An Addition To Yesterday's Rant (Still not me)

D

dazzak

Guest
"I'd ask you this: Name me one heterosexual indie artist to write a great gay love song or a touching song about two guys that didn't involve amyl nitrate or some club drug or f***ing your brother or something twisted? When straight people do that whole ironic gender-bending thing and write about gay issues, whether it is Bowie or Brett, the end result is always more a celebration of depravity than a celebration of love between two men, an attempt to be controversial and sell, basically, not an attempt to communicate something universal. Straight men are never afraid to write songs like 'Animal Nitrate' or 'The Drowners' when there's a slew of lapping-it-up indie kids out there with money to spend, but a love song about two men would make half those same kids uncomfortable, and you damn well know it, so none of those artists ever do it.

I am not saying that a straight guy can't write a beautiful gay love song, I'm just saying it rarely, if ever, happens, and I certainly haven't witnessed it happen by any Britpop band in my lifetime. It's hip to camp it up and it's hip for people like Brian Molko to wear eyeliner and condescendingly debate the guy from Gay Dad in the pages of the NME about who is more bisexual when everyone knows they're both straight, but neither of them would ever get down and write an album that was tribute to gay love or gay compassion. Without the drugs and vaguaries and the chance to take it all back and say "I was just being coy" or "I'm a bisexual Brian whose never had a homosexual Brett but I like to wear eyeliner" or whatever, none of these indie kids would listen to it or even like it, including, dare I say, a whole generation of British music fans and mopey American suckers weened on the duplicity and pretenses of artists like Morrissey.

I still pull out my Smiths discs about once a year. I'm always amazed at how great the guitar parts are, how lovely, truly lovely, the songs are, and how hilarious a lot of the Morrissey lines are. Ironically, they're the same lines I used to listen to when I was 16 and take way, way too seriously as proof that the world was was crap and that I should spend more time moping. I give Moz the credit to assume he was being funny all along, but it doesn't help when I meet Morrissey fans who dress and act like him or ape his misery as if even half his misery were genuine. I guarantee you, Morrissey is one of the happiest people in all the world. And why shouldn't he be? He's rich, he's famous, he's loved and adored, and there's literally millions of moping little Moz clones out there the world-over living life according to a series of edicts that I'd be willing to bet the man never took seriously to begin with. I promise you, he laughs all the way to the ATM every morning before he goes to some snazzy cafe in LA to buy his $50 cup of coffee.

I don't think artists have to live by their words literally. I know I probably come off that way, but that's now how I feel. I don't hold David Byrne to his words, but then, his words have always had an artistry to them that I frankly think is lacking in a lot of musicians. PLUS - David Byrne (whom I just using as an example) never implied through is words that his words should be roadmaps for the way others should live. I don't think Brett Anderson has to take it up the ass for me to like his music or find something to relate to. All I'm saying, for his benefit or the benefit of any other fledgling artists out there thinking of taking up the gay flag for a bit of temporary fun, is that it is worth noting that for myself, as a gay music fan with literally thousands of CDs in his collection, the songs by Brett Anderson that I still relate to today and still find myself moved by have nothing at all to do with anything seedy or with sexuality, but are the universal songs he's written, or the songs about universal ideas like love and compassion and friendship. In most of the songs that he wrote that touched on gay issues, these things aren't there, and at 30, I think I'd (rightly) rather hear a song about such issues by someone who f***ing meant it. Gay or straight, just someone who f***ing meant it. Because ten years on, songs like 'Wild Ones' and 'This World Needs a Father' and 'Daddy's Speeding' and 'My Dark Star' hold up with the best artists out there; Songs like 'Animal Nitrate' and 'The Drowners' just seem kind of silly, like those morbid, phony, whining, do-nothing idiots I knew in college who wore eyeliner, marched in the parades, but once the fad wore off, they couldn't have cared less about somebody like me.

'I know It's Over' still moves me. 'This Charming Man' tends to leave me feeling like Morrissey was making fun of closeted homosexuals because he didn't have the courage to make art at his own expense. To me, that's not an artist at all, that's just a guy who knew how to steal some words from other people and get some attention at the head of a rock 'n' roll band, albeit a particularly lovely one.

A final David Byrne reference: Years ago, Byrne wrote a song called "Now I'm Your Mom" that was about someone's father getting a sex change operation. It was hilarious and witty but it was also completely and totally nonjudgemental, not condescending in the least, and left you, by the end of the song, feeling happy for this guy who had made this change. Morrissey could have never pulled that off, and neither could have Brett Anderson, because neither of them could have done it without trying to make it seedy enough to appeal to indie kids or comically self-loathing enough to appeal to a bunch of psuedo-depressed idiots, most of whom probably have never really had a genuine reason to contemplate suicide. And what's worse, neither Moz nor Brett could have pulled it off, I don't believe, without mocking and insulting the very character they claimed they were building up in song. Byrne? Straight. Moz and Brett? Straight. Byrne never once, though, pretending to be anything but straight, and yet, he's the only one of the three that's ever written a song about gay issues that I think was genuine or genuinely artful, not just sarcastic. Maybe it's all in how much eyeliner you wear or how campy you can act on stage in a flowery shirt, I dunno. But when you get down to the art and cut out the people...

As an aside, and back to the original point of this thread, I think Moz should pay up. A band is a band, and the Smiths were a band. Moz and Marr picked the men they picked because they wanted bandmembers who would let them have control, artistically. They could have gotten some primadonnas who'd spend the entire career of the Smiths insisting that they write a song or contribute artistically in some comical way. And while I think Bigsby is a bit too muso for his own good sometimes, he has a point, at least with respect to the fact that a band is a band because of the dynamic created between the people involved. Not just musically, either, I think, but personally. The personal dynamic between the four of them, on some level, was a part of the Smiths, and if Moz ripped them off, then Moz should pay up. I guarantee you he'll still be able to afford a coffee in LA when it is all over. Otherwise he and Marr should hop in a time machine, go back to the early 80's, and call themselves "Morrissey and Marr featuring accompaniment." There either was a Smiths or there wasn't. And a million moping assholes the world over proove that there was."
 
W

Worm

Guest
This is a fine, fine post...

I enjoyed reading this post. I agree with almost all of it.

A problem I have with this guy's perspective, though, is that it's entirely hostile to ambiguity. Pointing out that Morrissey (and many other indie artists) may not quite live up to the image they project is fine and well, but beware of going to go too far in the other direction and assuming that these people are total frauds. This person seems to be one of those pop music fanatics who was disappointed somewhere along the line and then turned savagely against the idea of any authenticity at all, or at any rate, that if authenticity does exist, it would have to fall into easy, cut-and-dried categories: universal, gay, or straight.

Morrissey's appeal has always rested upon his ability to blend and mix those categories. I'm inclined to think that, yes, Morrissey probably chuckles to himself while on the way to the ATM every morning, but, also and equally, that his self-proclaimed lonely pansexual neurosis-- his artistic sensibility in other words-- is completely real. Over time some people are proven fakes, and others stand up well, and Morrissey is clearly one of the latter. The man came on the scene in '83 talking about individualism, celibacy, gay advocacy (albeit often indirectly or caked with irony), vegitarianism, and his own debilitating, crippling unhappiness. And in twenty-plus years no one has torn away the veil to reveal a charlatan. He's slightly happier now, and there's hushed talk of gay relationships, but that's about it. Aside from the fact that he's made himself a martyr in his own stupid music-biz tragedy (that's another post), he's largely the same person, and no one has "outed" him on any front. You don't go that long without being spotted with a boy, a burger, or a Bob (Geldof).

Pop culture is trash. We all know that. The entire music business is made up of people who fake it for a living. But it's not zero-sum. Among those masses of simple liars there are some unique fakers who are genuinely different, brilliant, and highly artistic, despite the medium in which chance (or a rotten childhood) landed them. You almost have to believe that if you like pop music. I don't see how you can accept that some of Morrissey's (or Brett's, or Bowie's) songs are fake and others authentic without tossing them all in the bin. You're supposed to enjoy the naked confessionalism of "I Know It's Over", when you also think the same writer flippantly trivialized closeted homosexuals? No, to conclude that the essence of pop music is a cheap lie would necessitate abandoning it entirely. The other option is to accept the ambiguity of it all, and that we will never really know the truth about the men and women who make a buck exploiting our pain.

We're taking advantage of
Breaking the back of love
 
D

Danny

Guest
Re: This guy can certainly outdo Morrissey on the bitterness front.
 
P

permanent vacation early retirement

Guest
take a f***ing cooking class or something all of you.

> "I'd ask you this: Name me one heterosexual indie artist to write a
> great gay love song or a touching song about two guys that didn't involve
> amyl nitrate or some club drug or f***ing your brother or something
> twisted? When straight people do that whole ironic gender-bending thing
> and write about gay issues, whether it is Bowie or Brett, the end result
> is always more a celebration of depravity than a celebration of love
> between two men, an attempt to be controversial and sell, basically, not
> an attempt to communicate something universal. Straight men are never
> afraid to write songs like 'Animal Nitrate' or 'The Drowners' when there's
> a slew of lapping-it-up indie kids out there with money to spend, but a
> love song about two men would make half those same kids uncomfortable, and
> you damn well know it, so none of those artists ever do it.

> I am not saying that a straight guy can't write a beautiful gay love song,
> I'm just saying it rarely, if ever, happens, and I certainly haven't
> witnessed it happen by any Britpop band in my lifetime. It's hip to camp
> it up and it's hip for people like Brian Molko to wear eyeliner and
> condescendingly debate the guy from Gay Dad in the pages of the NME about
> who is more bisexual when everyone knows they're both straight, but
> neither of them would ever get down and write an album that was tribute to
> gay love or gay compassion. Without the drugs and vaguaries and the chance
> to take it all back and say "I was just being coy" or "I'm
> a bisexual Brian whose never had a homosexual Brett but I like to wear
> eyeliner" or whatever, none of these indie kids would listen to it or
> even like it, including, dare I say, a whole generation of British music
> fans and mopey American suckers weened on the duplicity and pretenses of
> artists like Morrissey.

> I still pull out my Smiths discs about once a year. I'm always amazed at
> how great the guitar parts are, how lovely, truly lovely, the songs are,
> and how hilarious a lot of the Morrissey lines are. Ironically, they're
> the same lines I used to listen to when I was 16 and take way, way too
> seriously as proof that the world was was crap and that I should spend
> more time moping. I give Moz the credit to assume he was being funny all
> along, but it doesn't help when I meet Morrissey fans who dress and act
> like him or ape his misery as if even half his misery were genuine. I
> guarantee you, Morrissey is one of the happiest people in all the world.
> And why shouldn't he be? He's rich, he's famous, he's loved and adored,
> and there's literally millions of moping little Moz clones out there the
> world-over living life according to a series of edicts that I'd be willing
> to bet the man never took seriously to begin with. I promise you, he
> laughs all the way to the ATM every morning before he goes to some snazzy
> cafe in LA to buy his $50 cup of coffee.

> I don't think artists have to live by their words literally. I know I
> probably come off that way, but that's now how I feel. I don't hold David
> Byrne to his words, but then, his words have always had an artistry to
> them that I frankly think is lacking in a lot of musicians. PLUS - David
> Byrne (whom I just using as an example) never implied through is words
> that his words should be roadmaps for the way others should live. I don't
> think Brett Anderson has to take it up the ass for me to like his music or
> find something to relate to. All I'm saying, for his benefit or the
> benefit of any other fledgling artists out there thinking of taking up the
> gay flag for a bit of temporary fun, is that it is worth noting that for
> myself, as a gay music fan with literally thousands of CDs in his
> collection, the songs by Brett Anderson that I still relate to today and
> still find myself moved by have nothing at all to do with anything seedy
> or with sexuality, but are the universal songs he's written, or the songs
> about universal ideas like love and compassion and friendship. In most of
> the songs that he wrote that touched on gay issues, these things aren't
> there, and at 30, I think I'd (rightly) rather hear a song about such
> issues by someone who f***ing meant it. Gay or straight, just someone who
> f***ing meant it. Because ten years on, songs like 'Wild Ones' and 'This
> World Needs a Father' and 'Daddy's Speeding' and 'My Dark Star' hold up
> with the best artists out there; Songs like 'Animal Nitrate' and 'The
> Drowners' just seem kind of silly, like those morbid, phony, whining,
> do-nothing idiots I knew in college who wore eyeliner, marched in the
> parades, but once the fad wore off, they couldn't have cared less about
> somebody like me.

> 'I know It's Over' still moves me. 'This Charming Man' tends to leave me
> feeling like Morrissey was making fun of closeted homosexuals because he
> didn't have the courage to make art at his own expense. To me, that's not
> an artist at all, that's just a guy who knew how to steal some words from
> other people and get some attention at the head of a rock 'n' roll band,
> albeit a particularly lovely one.

> A final David Byrne reference: Years ago, Byrne wrote a song called
> "Now I'm Your Mom" that was about someone's father getting a sex
> change operation. It was hilarious and witty but it was also completely
> and totally nonjudgemental, not condescending in the least, and left you,
> by the end of the song, feeling happy for this guy who had made this
> change. Morrissey could have never pulled that off, and neither could have
> Brett Anderson, because neither of them could have done it without trying
> to make it seedy enough to appeal to indie kids or comically self-loathing
> enough to appeal to a bunch of psuedo-depressed idiots, most of whom
> probably have never really had a genuine reason to contemplate suicide.
> And what's worse, neither Moz nor Brett could have pulled it off, I don't
> believe, without mocking and insulting the very character they claimed
> they were building up in song. Byrne? Straight. Moz and Brett? Straight.
> Byrne never once, though, pretending to be anything but straight, and yet,
> he's the only one of the three that's ever written a song about gay issues
> that I think was genuine or genuinely artful, not just sarcastic. Maybe
> it's all in how much eyeliner you wear or how campy you can act on stage
> in a flowery shirt, I dunno. But when you get down to the art and cut out
> the people...

> As an aside, and back to the original point of this thread, I think Moz
> should pay up. A band is a band, and the Smiths were a band. Moz and Marr
> picked the men they picked because they wanted bandmembers who would let
> them have control, artistically. They could have gotten some primadonnas
> who'd spend the entire career of the Smiths insisting that they write a
> song or contribute artistically in some comical way. And while I think
> Bigsby is a bit too muso for his own good sometimes, he has a point, at
> least with respect to the fact that a band is a band because of the
> dynamic created between the people involved. Not just musically, either, I
> think, but personally. The personal dynamic between the four of them, on
> some level, was a part of the Smiths, and if Moz ripped them off, then Moz
> should pay up. I guarantee you he'll still be able to afford a coffee in
> LA when it is all over. Otherwise he and Marr should hop in a time
> machine, go back to the early 80's, and call themselves "Morrissey
> and Marr featuring accompaniment." There either was a Smiths or there
> wasn't. And a million moping assholes the world over proove that there
> was."
 
U

Uncleskinny

Guest
Daz - I might be reading this entirely incorrectly, but is the writer of your two posts a woman? By the way, could you send me an e-mail? Ta.

Sk./Peter
 
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