Sunday, September 5, 2010

Why not Morrissey?

There's a certain buzz going around outside of our farm regarding former-Smiths musician, Morrissey's racist remark about Chinese people:
Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can't help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies." (Sauce.)
Here at the barn, we are well aware that everyone farts up once in a while, and hold no illusion -- especially since child rapist Roman Polanski walked free, TWICE -- that even the cutest, most talented, smartest and even most cuddly sorts are saved from being fucked up. Little surprise, hence, that there's very little I care to say about who and what Morrissey is, and why his racism is any more or less egregious than if uttered by mere mortals.

On the other hand, there is much to be said about how fellow concerned life form can deal with famous assholes, much of it brought on by a Guardian commentary by Tom Clark, in which Clark calmly urges Morrissey's fans to "not feel obliged to disown the music we love" and that "nothing Morrissey says or does now would taint my enjoyment of the songs". Obviously the mileage varies between Clark and this male, unfeminist, gay Chinese pig, because I don't see why it's so impossible for offended fans to renounce their loyalty to any artist for the latter's assholicism.

In fact, I think any fan or music lover who gives a flying fuck about making the world a better place has every right to exercise some consumer discretion for an embargo. Here at the farm, we care to do something.

And just why fucking not?

My taking pleasure in one's art rings the latter's cash register, and in Morrissey's case it is precisely because his records are still selling that he feels his artistry will forever save him from truly being held accountable, or being remembered as a racist (apart from a good musician) long past his death. If his being popular from our listening to his music is empowering him to express his racism without contriteness, which is the case, then the obvious key to some humility may very well be in a boycott.

Then Morrissey's music wouldn't live forever. Maybe some day Someone will ask, "Hey, what happened to all the Morrissey songs that you liked?" And you can go, "I stopped listening to them because he turns out to be such a racist asshole that it pains me to even listen to him pluck his guitar." Then maybe when Someone listens to Morrissey on the speakers at your favourite bar, zie will share the racist factoid with hir friends, and they in turn can remind others that this brand of good music is spun from some moral bankruptcy--warning label reads "Enjoy at your own risk."

Personally, I don't have a problem with forgoing some good art for the sake of some humanity. I would rather the holocaust not have occurred and forgo "Schindler's List", than appreciate the impetus for art that Nazism provided. I would rather we didn't live in a kyriarchy and be writing about fluffy bunnies than exercising my writing chops here. Likewise, I would rather a musician not be a racist than have to exercise mental acrobatics over the fact that his racism is somehow an intrinsic part of some very complex, very profound whole, from which good music apparently stems, and which a simpleton like Bacon Bits here will never possess or understand.


Newsflash: greater people have lived without being assholes.

Why not Morrissey? Why not Polanski? Why couldn't Larkin? Why couldn't Churchill even?

The best art simply cannot justify the diminishing of human decency. And if you choose to ignore that, then don't mind if I stop listening to you too.

1 comment:

  1. So many assholes, so little time. We need nothing short of a new planet to boycott the lot of them.


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