Sunday, October 23, 2016

It's important to remember that Morrissey isn't racist

There have been few things more divisive in British public life this century than Brexit. And you know who can't hear the word "divisive" without deciding to share his view?

So, Morrissey. Tell us what you think about Brexit:

“As for Brexit, the result was magnificent, but it is not accepted by the BBC or Sky News because they object to a public that cannot be hypnotised by BBC or Sky nonsense. These news teams are exactly the same as Fox and CNN in that they all depend on public stupidity in order to create their own myth of reality. Watch them at your peril!”
Morrissey appears to be doing media studies at GCSE. I was half expecting him to add "you might say someone is a terrorist, but somebody else could call them a freedom fighter."

Morrissey, of course, doesn't live in Britain and when he visits he feels it's important to mention that he hears people speaking languages other than English, but obviously not in a racist way. In other words, he's pretty much prime UKIP material.

It's fascinating that he feels the most important thing about the result isn't anything to do with the EU, but merely proves something about the BBC. Naturally, living in America he'd be in the perfect position to judge the tenor of BBC News coverage of the referendum. In precisely the same way that a person living in Didsbury is able to tell you about the weather in Miami right now.

Pitchfork also reminds us that he's as addled and deluded about music as he is about, sadly, everything:
Later in the same interview, he discussed how his legacy as an artist is folded into the Smiths’ success. “The Smiths are listed as, for example, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees, because people generally think that the Smiths also covers Morrissey—which it doesn’t.” Though they were nominated for the Hall in recent years, the Smiths were not nominated this year.

Then, he said, “we have PJ Harvey as a Hall Of Fame nominee,” which also isn’t true (though this was the first year Harvey became eligible for nomination). He continued, “It can’t be argued that she has ever meant more than Morrissey in the USA, and needless to say I have never been a nominee.”
This is a man angry that someone who hasn't been nominated for something he hasn't been nominated for isn't, in his opinion, any fitter for the prize that they both aren't in the running for.

It's a bit like me getting angry that Nigel Farage's eligibility for the Nobel Peace Prize instead of me.

The claim that a Smiths nomination doesn't include Morrissey isn't right, either - individual members of the band are inducted, and I don't think you can be inducted more than once. And, let's be honest, Moz - your best chance is getting considered for Strangeways and The Queen Is Dead rather than Years Of Refusal and... your other solo albums. The one about the ring or something?

And as for meaning than PJ - admittedly, Viva Hate went gold in the US back in 1993, and Bona Drag managed to scrape gold after a decade on the racks. But PJ Harvey's records consistently enter the US charts - maybe not at such a level that Taylor Swift will be worried, but still enough to show she has a strong base of interest in the US. And she's still doing interesting work, rather than... well, just complaining about a lack of respect.

1 comment:

Robin Carmody said...

Some people are in as both soloists and band members, fwiw - all the Beatles except Ringo, Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Neil Young, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Lou Reed, Clyde McPhatter ... and, appropriately enough, Eric Clapton. Morrissey - at least from the perspective of something like this - is clearly not what any of those people are, culturally or personally.

I know I've sort-of defended him in the past, but this is utter balls of the very first order; at least 25 years ago he seemed to be aware that American hegemony has eaten away at olde England at least as much as the tedious bedtime bogeyman of the EU (I'd say far more, but although he never went that far, he did at least have some consciousness that it hasn't been simply a one-way shift).

Now, all that seems to have completely slipped away; might it even be that, as with so many ostensible Little Englanders (in reality not even that, more Little Anglospherists), he might even support Brexit in part because it is seen by its supporters to strengthen Anglosphere hegemony (even though it doesn't, really - the entire Anglosphere, and Israel, were against it precisely because they want the best possible ties with the EU and know that it's easier for them if we're in)?

Also, and yes I am aware that Television Without Frontiers might well have helped Sky to breach the BSB monopoly had we had a different sort of government which did not go all out to help them anyway, but is he aware of how he sounds when he depicts what is essentially a Murdoch outlet as at the vanguard of Europhilia?

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