Spectator USA: "Human after all" by John Waters (August 5, 2020)

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Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
You get the general tenor at the mention of "left lunacy", and it goes on to mention "slanders" - same comments as always - take them to court, otherwise it's fair comment and criticism.

A mish-mash of right-wing arsewash and Trumpism.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Article in full for those gated out:

"As the weird world of lockdown winds down, we might pause to consider what we’ve learned. I am hardly alone in my heightened hankering to unravel, synthesize, undo and discard. In this mission a voice from the past is helping me piece things together anew as the strange tyranny begins to dissolve.

It began when Google started throwing videos of the Smiths in my daily cyberpath, prompting a non-essential trip down Memory Lane. Back in the day, I was, as David Cameron used to boast, a ‘huge fan’ of the Smiths. Precisely, I was a fan of Johnny Marr’s guitar literacy and the persona of Morrissey, the enchanting singer who had jettisoned his given names.

I hadn’t paid attention to Morrissey for 25 years, hadn’t read his autobiography or heard any of his nine solo albums. I wasn’t singling him out. I started as a rock scribe, but life led me to take a long holiday from the scene and its scene-throwers. I occasionally dipped in when I thought I heard something interesting, invariably realizing my mistake. There were withdrawal symptoms as I left Morrissey behind: I regarded him as perhaps the only genuine pop star ever, with the possible exception of David Bowie.

From the beginning, Morrissey has embodied his medium’s mysterious reason for existing. The Smiths, he once said, were about something ‘quite beyond and more important than adolescence, something that hasn’t been thought out yet’. I believe we may be about to understand a little more about that ‘something’ in the coming times, to which the COVID-19 crisis may be the overture.

During a decade or more of wokeness, cancel culture and left-lunacy in general, I’ve had a sense that time has turned around and is heading headlong back whence it came, undoing all the niceties we had taken for granted, and making the 1980s seem like a distant utopia of freedom, plain-speaking, enlightenment and decency.

The COVID-19 crisis may make things better, if only because things could hardly be worse. Talk of an economic reset and new normality notwithstanding, I’ve started to feel we may be on the verge of a shift in consciousness sufficient to turn the train around again and allow us to resume our interrupted journey. I also have a sense, from contemplating him anew, that Morrissey may reemerge as an inspirational figure in that restoration.

Watching his performances and interviews from the caesura in our acquaintance, I observe a man who has grown as though exponentially from the gauche, tentative intelligence of the 1980s, to a strong, self-confident and self-realized artist. We could hardly have foreseen that the awkward youngster on television in 1983, with his spiky grace and grandiloquence, would emerge as perhaps the only pop star of his generation who would still be worth wondering about two decades into the third millennium.

As Morrissey grows older, he becomes more determined to be himself now he has found most of the missing pieces, and more interesting to watch and ponder. He is now definitively an adult – unlike most of his contemporaries, who appear adult but are really children in grown-up costumes. To refine his observation about what the Smiths signified: the journey tracked by pop relates to that quality of the human that remains continuous throughout, erupting in 60-year-old hearts just as readily as in those of ‘sweet sixteens’.



Elvis Costello once bitchily remarked that Morrissey fashioned the best song titles ever, but never got around to the songs. The line is (slightly) funny because Morrissey’s song titles are so consistently memorable, but Costello misconstrues. The point of a Morrissey song is Morrissey singing it — or being sung by it, his entire being vivified by the song’s spell and story. And this, more than the songs’ enduring qualities, or his legend and outspokenness, is why he endures. He is an artist in his being, even more than in his work. Costello writes great songs too, but he constructs them so that he may sing them insulated in a pod of irony, without any risk of exposing inner rawness or vulnerability. He steps sideways where Morrissey leaps forward.

There is said to be a ‘problem’ with Morrissey’s politics. He’s changed, lament the fallacists and scribes — shifting to the right, even the ‘far right’. In the beginning, he appeared to genuflect idealistically at the altar of PC (all that ‘meat-is-murder’ was before its time). For two decades or more, he has been accused of racism because he has reiterated a deep affection for the England he grew up in, which is now disappearing under mass immigration.

‘England is a memory now. The gates are flooded and anybody can have access to England and join in,’ he said in one blurt. ‘Diversity can’t possibly be a strength if everyone has ideas that will never correspond,’ in another. ‘If borders are such terrible things then why did they ever exist in the first place? Borders bring order.’

Worse, Morrissey signaled admiration for unapproved figures like Nigel Farage, who led the UK Independence party in the Brexit referendum of 2016, and Anne Marie Waters of the nationalist For Britain group. There once was a light, whined Billy Bragg, ‘but it has gone out’. Even Johnny Marr, Morrissey’s earliest accomplice in alchemy, fell victim. When a fan raised the perennial Smiths-to-reform? query, Marr responded by tweeting, ‘Nigel Farage on guitar.’

Morrissey continues regardless, singing what he’s seen and suffered, speaking as he finds, responding to questions as though he’s a nonentity on a bus, conversing loudly with the driver with nary a hot mike within earshot. It is bizarre that an artist beloved of humans of all colors and none could become a target for such slanders. But such is the art of the falsifiers and scribes.

Morrissey is the victim of two separate but converging ideological instruments. One is an inverted racism that patronizes nonwhites by interpreting every gripe and slight against any of them as an attack based on racial hatred. The other is the conflation of evocations of historically white nationhood or patriotism with bigotry. The union of the two begets an easy smear — ‘Racist!’ — which clears a wide space around its object, who instantly sprouts horns as though struck by a materializing hex.

The problem resides with the falsifiers and scribes. They are oblivious that their ownership of ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ — once incontrovertibly virtuous qualities — has been appropriated by globalizing interests that seek to conquer the world for Mammon by leveling true cultural diversity. This is especially tragic in pop scribes, who, still prating clichés irrefutable in 1984, are now mouthpieces for The Man.

A sniffer hound of humbug, Morrissey reacts forcibly against this incoherence. With him, it’s never been a matter of fad or attitude. ‘My political stance is simple,’ he has said. ‘I oppose barbarism…from the left, from the right, or from the center.’ He has stood as no other artist — not sociologically, but existentially — against the warped spirit of the times. From the beginning, he followed faithfully the injunction of his greatest inspiration, Oscar Wilde: ‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.’

These qualities suggest him as the artistic embodiment of emerging post-lockdown humanity, an unlikely patron star of the era of the dread ‘new normal’. Those of us who are shocked by the recent epidemic of silliness and servility among our neighbors may be tempted to segregate ourselves permanently from their reach or influence. Morrissey, happily, has always advocated such precautions. He eschews the sex ’n’ drugs elements of the rock ’n’ roll triad for unapologetic anti-social distancing. He prefers his own company and suffers fools minimally.

The secret to his appeal is that everyone has a little Morrissey inside: the part that is always alone, no matter what. Loneliness is for him a choice, not an ordeal. The British radio show Desert Island Discs places famous subjects on an imaginary island and asks them to nominate their favorite records. Most of the strandees fear loneliness. When it was Morrissey’s turn for insular quarantine, he said, ‘I can’t wait!’ Was he happiest when alone? ‘Yes, yes!’

Morrissey has always combined charm with distance. He refuses to devalue himself by people-pleasing. There is a near-excruciating TV interview online in which the host, the garrulous R&B pianist Jools Holland, tries to embroil him in a ‘knock-knock’ joke. Morrissey resists with a smile Jools takes for hard-to-get. As the joke stalls and Jools fails to get the message, it becomes necessary to climb under your chair as Morrissey politely, but with determined wickedness, continues to decline.

What Morrissey always resisted was not so much respectability — the usual target of wannabe pop rebels — as normality and norms. ‘There is no such thing in life as normal,’ he sings in ‘The Youngest Was the Most Loved’. ‘I don’t want to be any kind of a happy couple with a photograph on the television set,’ he once shuddered.

For these reasons, he is unlikely to adapt agreeably to our ‘new normal’. He may yet provide a workable model for others to follow. In the coming times, we may become a little more economical in our friendships, less timid about saying what we believe. Truculence may be the Next Big Thing. In the post-lockdown world, we will become happier in our own company, less keen to cling to groups or gangs, more choosey about friendships, less inclined to be put upon by cultural psyops rooted in orthodoxy, and more willing to speak our minds and sing our hearts.

We’ve seen too much of the wastage of life, of cretinous politicians and inane and docile neighbors. For life to be worth living, we will need to draw on our capacities for seeming like adults on the surface while feeling like children inside. The Moz mojo may be about to inherit the Earth."


Regards,
FWD.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
You see the thing about articles like this is that they miss the real, overarching point. If he's so right about everything, how come the fan-base is deserting him, and he doesn't sell anymore? It's almost like espousing right-wing ideals loses you business. Now - you may think he's been right and stuck to his guns all along, but try telling that to the punters who won't give him their money anymore when they find out about his many pronouncements. All about the money. Always was, and still is. He doesn't sell anymore. And there's only one person to blame. Who said all those things? Was it someone else?
 

NealCassidy

FREE SPEECH
Fascinating article - skinny naturally ignoring the argument and diving straight for his All
About the money ‘Insult’?
 

NealCassidy

FREE SPEECH
 

Radis Noir

This radish kills fascists.
You see the thing about articles like this is that they miss the real, overarching point. If he's so right about everything, how come the fan-base is deserting him, and he doesn't sell anymore? It's almost like espousing right-wing ideals loses you business. Now - you may think he's been right and stuck to his guns all along, but try telling that to the punters who won't give him their money anymore when they find out about his many pronouncements. All about the money. Always was, and still is. He doesn't sell anymore. And there's only one person to blame. Who said all those things? Was it someone else?
It's a prolix, dreary article that gets some of it wrong, I think. If anything, COVID19 has caused people to realise that there is a bigger picture and that pure, belligerent selfishness simply won't do whilst the pandemic is a threat. He fails to explain why 'truculence' is likely to be the Next Big Thing - if anything, when I look back at UK politics over the last four years, gratuitous truculence rears its head time and time again. As you say, Morrissey's popularity seems to be in decline, but you'd think that if anyone could ride this tide of truculence it would be him, yet he has signally not done that.
And I can't square this truculence with the notion that "[Morrissey] is now definitively an adult – unlike most of his contemporaries, who appear adult but are really children in grown-up costumes." Really? Truculence hardly seems like the sort of attribute that one would associate with 'adultness.' I suspect that what Waters means by 'is now definitively an adult' is simply 'he thinks the same way as me.'
 
As I said in another thread - it's a positive spin on the same crime list. Nicer than a hit piece but not any more insightful.
I found the style of writing rather pompous and he doesn't really say much using a lot of words.
An odd piece of writing and I feel like he doesn't really know that much about Morrissey.

Saying that Moz is more of an adult than other artists of his age is pretty absurd in my opinion.
 

NealCassidy

FREE SPEECH
It's a prolix, dreary article that gets some of it wrong, I think. If anything, COVID19 has caused people to realise that there is a bigger picture and that pure, belligerent selfishness simply won't do whilst the pandemic is a threat. He fails to explain why 'truculence' is likely to be the Next Big Thing - if anything, when I look back at UK politics over the last four years, gratuitous truculence rears its head time and time again. As you say, Morrissey's popularity seems to be in decline, but you'd think that if anyone could ride this tide of truculence it would be him, yet he has signally not done that.
And I can't square this truculence with the notion that "[Morrissey] is now definitively an adult – unlike most of his contemporaries, who appear adult but are really children in grown-up costumes." Really? Truculence hardly seems like the sort of attribute that one would associate with 'adultness.' I suspect that what Waters means by 'is now definitively an adult' is simply 'he thinks the same way as me.'
Prolix lol, thank you professor
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
It's a prolix, dreary article that gets some of it wrong, I think. If anything, COVID19 has caused people to realise that there is a bigger picture and that pure, belligerent selfishness simply won't do whilst the pandemic is a threat. He fails to explain why 'truculence' is likely to be the Next Big Thing - if anything, when I look back at UK politics over the last four years, gratuitous truculence rears its head time and time again. As you say, Morrissey's popularity seems to be in decline, but you'd think that if anyone could ride this tide of truculence it would be him, yet he has signally not done that.
And I can't square this truculence with the notion that "[Morrissey] is now definitively an adult – unlike most of his contemporaries, who appear adult but are really children in grown-up costumes." Really? Truculence hardly seems like the sort of attribute that one would associate with 'adultness.' I suspect that what Waters means by 'is now definitively an adult' is simply 'he thinks the same way as me.'
It's pretty bizarre to equate being right with sales though - plenty of artists have been denounced in their day & vindicated or rehabilitated later on.

Morrissey's hero Oscar Wilde died absolutely despised.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I found the style of writing rather pompous and he doesn't really say much using a lot of words.
An odd piece of writing and I feel like he doesn't really know that much about Morrissey.

Saying that Moz is more of an adult than other artists of his age is pretty absurd in my opinion.
Just filler really.

Interesting he pitched a Moz article though when he's dropped off the cancel culture radar for not engaging with the media.

I think they thought he'd made a definitive break to the right but he's stayed in Morrissey World, as usual.
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
You see the thing about articles like this is that they miss the real, overarching point. If he's so right about everything, how come the fan-base is deserting him :lbf: , and he doesn't sell anymore? It's almost like espousing right-wing ideals loses you business. Now - you may think he's been right and stuck to his guns all along, but try telling that to the punters who won't give him their money anymore when they find out about his many pronouncements. All about the money. Always was, and still is. He doesn't sell anymore. And there's only one person to blame. Who said all those things? Was it someone else?

:crazy:



If it is as you always say ‘all about the money’

why does Morrissey make such comments?


why hasn’t he gotten The Smiths back together?


yeah, sure, ‘all about the money ‘

give us a break.


:sleeping:
 

Thewlis

Junior Member
:crazy:



If it is as you always say ‘all about the money’

why does Morrissey make such comments?


why hasn’t he gotten The Smiths back together?


yeah, sure, ‘all about the money ‘

give us a break.


:sleeping:
It’s all about principles and not surrendering to ‘anything cashable’. Just like it always was.
 
L

Lujissey

Guest
Grea critic!!
I feel identified, i discovered Moz 1 year and half ago,.
I was a fan of The Smiths, but i had not paid attention to Moz as a soloist!!!
Luckily now i enjoy his voice and his music.!!!!
He is for me the best singer in the universe
The one that reaches me the most!!
The most authentic talented charismatic and charming...
I am proud of him and me for choosing him as the BEST of all singer
Thank you Moz!
He is my MOZ!!!❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤😍😍😘😘😘
 

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