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Depressing musician… June 23, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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And so the old question, the artist or the art, comes back into play. The musician or the music. The song or the… okay, you get the drift.

A snippet in the Phoenix mentions UK far right ‘activist’ Anne Marie Waters (originally from Stoneybatter) and her travels through various parties, including UKIP (deselected for being too extreme and accused of Neo-Racism by one UKIP MEP), the BLP (‘jettisoned’ for being anti-immigration) and so on. She formed For Britain, and as the Phoenix notes she has an ally in Tommy Robinson (already his imprisonment is seeing far-right forces in the UK combine to protest).

But what’s this, who else is a fan of Waters and For Britain?

Cult musician, Morrissey, another controversialist with Dublin roots (Crumlin). The outspoken singer, who recently lamented Robinson’s jailing says Anne Marie believes in British heritage, freedom of speech” and that ‘she is absolute leadership’. He describes are as a “humane version of Thatcher – if such a concept could be”.

And the Phoenix notes:

Is this the same man who once remarked: “The sorrow of the IRA Brighton bombing is that Thatcher escaped unscathed”.

The For Britain wiki page notes that Morrissey has ‘declared his support for For Britain’. Lovely.

Though perhaps unsurprising that:

“London is debased,” Morrissey said, criticising the city’s South London-born mayor, Sadiq Kahn, for speaking with a South London accent. “I saw an interview where he was discussing mental health, and he repeatedly said ‘men’el’…  The Mayor of London! Civilisation is over!”

And:

As evidence of the city’s decline, he pointed to a recent surge in acid attacks. “All of the attacks are non-white,” he said, inaccurately; a recent study drawing on 15 years of data showed around half of victims and a third of suspects for acid attacks in the capital are white Europeans.

And:

Amid other factually suspect statements, he said: “Labour are no different from the Conservatives in that they do not object to FGM,” referring to female genital mutilation – an illegal practice which the Conservative government has repeatedly condemned.
In an aside, he added: “Nothing I say is provocative. They are just facts.”

Well, no, not really, as evidenced by yet another gem:

Morrissey added: “As far as racism goes, the modern Loony Left seem to forget that Hitler was Left wing!”

For those of us who have long felt that we’ve been watching a bear with little brain these comments are no surprise. What I’ve always been struck by is the almost credulous worship displayed by some. I wonder have attitudes changed in light of this? Because as early as the early 1990s it was clear to me, and some others, that some very toxic attitudes were at work.

And then by contrast there’s Johnny Marr who by all accounts is a genuinely sound and good person. Great guitarist too.

Ah, and just on For Britain, at the Lewisham East by-election Waters received 266 votes which came in just over 1%. 1% too many but… nonetheless…

Comments»

1. Mick 2 - June 23, 2018

I’m a huge Smiths fan but, even before Morrissey became more outspoken and explicit in his racism in recent years years (and I would actually argue this has been a slow, steady process), I never thought his solo stuff, considered as a whole, was very good. Flashes of the old wit and beauty, yes, but there’s so much filler on pretty much every album he’s ever released, and the recent ones have been staggeringly bad, despite the standard *** and **** reviews. As a lyricist, singer and non-musician, he’s only as good as the musicians with whom he works (or is capable of working). Johnny Marr was a very tough act to follow in this regard, and Morrissey has chosen members of his band literally because of the kind of jeans they wore. Anyone I know who still goes to his concerts (wonder will they anymore…) does so almost grudgingly because they’re Smiths die-hards and pretty much just to hear The Man from the Smiths sing the Smiths.

You say “as early as the early 1990s”. I was only a wean then, but if you put aside the kinds of views he’s explicitly espoused in recent times, much of what he was criticised for I think could be defended. An interesting one is “The National Front Disco”, which I think is one of his strongest tracks. If Morrissey hadn’t increasingly turned explicitly to racist and xenophobic views and utterances, you could take that song as an ambiguous and detached character study, and that’s still the way I hear it, with big quotation marks around “England for the English”. He was correct when he criticised critics for calling the song racist and challenged them to point to one specific aspect of the song that was racist. Now, with hindsight…

In a way there’s a strange poetic logic to the transition he’s made and his trashing of his legacy. Embittered racist in self-imposed exile fits the washed-up pop star trope in a way.

What will be interesting to see is whether he’ll swap out his old fan base, in whole or in part, for a new one that sympathises with his views and has come to his music through reporting of his comments in the papers. There is a slew of comments under each post on his Facebook page deriding his racism and fondness for cancellations; there is also a fair number of posters deriding those posters and coming out with the “he’s not afraid to speak up for England”, etc.

The “Hitler was a left-winger” stuff is pathetic and a shibboleth of people who know nothing about history and spend all day watching right-wing teenagers’ vlogs on YouTube. Doubtless Morrissey has never heard of Otto Strasser; Hitler had nothing to do with the left wing of the Nazi Party.

Was good to see Waters laughed off the electoral stage and lose her deposit. 1% too many for sure, but a pathetic result all the same, even in metropolitan, multicultural London. Had no idea she was from Stoneybatter specifically. Doubt her views would find much favour there nowadays!

LONG POST. Sorry.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2018

No reason for apologies at all. Excellent overview. I liked the Smiths on and off, went through phases, and some songs are just genius to my ears, but I think you’re right that in a way you can see the transition he made visible in retrospect with a certain weird logic.

Hah, Strasser, yes very true, Morrissey unlikely to have a grasp of that particular angle.

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2. AdoPerry - June 23, 2018

Its no real surprise that people still buy Morrissey records/ tickets despite his sad views. People still but Eric Clapton records yet his racist views were well known. Even Bowie apologised for his racist comments. The only difference is timing in their careers. Clapton and Bowie were growing into superstars yet Morrissey is in terminal decline. Its his pathetic attempt to be relevant….or even remembered.
The same can be said for the parasites that play Israel and break the boycott on that apartheid state. Nick Cave, Depeche Mode a variety of other past sell by date bands are trying to cash in on the financial rewards of playing in a state which forbids all of its citizens to attend.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2018

Did Clapton even apologise? Bowie did definitely, as you say. Think you’re right, attention grabbing stuff.

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3. oliverbohs - June 23, 2018

My fave Morrissey story was the one where, at the end of a mid-90s British tour supporting Bowie and by that stage beside himself with rage and jealousy for having to play second fiddle to the Dame, he got on his tour bus and forced the driver to bring him home, leaving his band and roadies behind in Newcastle. If that isn’t true it should be…

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4. Starkadder - June 23, 2018

Didn’t Luke Haines call Morrissey “a fat whinger” once, or am I
mis-remembering?

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2018

It sounds like Haines. 🙂 Did you ever read his first book?

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Lamentreat - June 24, 2018

Always liked the story that, after the Smiths became famous, Mark E. Smith would without fail greet Morrissey with “Hello Steven!”

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