Monday, 11 March 2013

Morrissey and Rookie

I decided to jump on the bandwagon with a post giving my view on Morrissey's controversial Rookie interview. As you know if you are a somewhat regular reader of my blog, Rookie and Morrissey are pretty much the two loves of my life so I almost cried when I saw the interview and my stomach did lots of little flips. Then I read it. And commented four times. 

There are a number of points I need to make in this post so bear with me; this could be a long one. 

"If more men were homosexual, there would be no wars."

Possibly the most controversial statement from Moz in this particular interview, I had seen this quote floating around the internet for a few days before I checked Rookie and freaked out because Morrissey was interviewed for Rookie. I know it should not be an excuse but the excuse remains that this dude is Morrissey; the man infamous for making controversial statements and having radical views. After thirty years shouldn’t people be used to his strong ideas? This is the guy who goes on stage holding this:
And who titled a whole album 'Meat is Murder.' He clearly has few fucks to give. It is not a trait that has been cultivated due to growing arrogance after being worshipped by fans for thirty years. If you look back at some of his earliest interviews, his comments are just as forceful. I find it unbearably dull when celebrities censor their own comments. I think that if everyone voiced strong views for and against certain things the world would undoubtedly be a more exciting place to inhabit. With Morrissey, it often seems to be all or nothing hence this comment that makes things seem slightly more black and white when in fact, the topic of war is greyer. Why beat about the bush and try to find a more ambiguous way of saying what you mean? I think that a lot of people have made poorly backed up comments to this and accused Morrissey of being ‘sexist.’ However, I have read in the well researched Morrissey and Marr: The Severed Alliance that Morrissey has always been extremely interested in the roles of different genders in society; buying books on both feminism and chauvinism in order to gain an understanding of both arguments since his teenage years. He is a feminist and walked around wearing a badge to show this when he was younger which was regarded as strange by many but he continued to wear it anyway. One of his closest friends Linder Sterling shared this interest in gender roles and was/is also a feminist. The androgyny of the glam rock era and bands like The New York Dolls also fascinated young Morrissey. Whilst Morrissey and Marr decided not to make The Smiths a ‘gay band’ you can see the sort of play on different gender roles through the symbolic flowers synonymous with the ‘80s band. It is refreshing to see grown men with flowers but it leads to wondering what women would be holding to symbolise masculinity and the first thing that I think of is a more violent object like a gun. This does not mean that all men want to kill all other men but it is a flaw in society that boys are still brought up to play with warlike toys. How come women are associated with something as innocent and beautiful as flowers whilst men are associated with something as destructive as guns? Whilst society focuses more on women’s rights than men’s rights I think there are some seriously misled views about what makes a man a man. Most teenagers now are happy to jump on the gay rights bandwagon but more effeminate males are bullied and perhaps more so before they come out because then suddenly all the girls think they’re cool because they’re gay and that makes me angry. Society has an obsession with labelling everything and everyone and that is not a new thing. Boyish girls are not as picked on as girly boys but lesbianism still seems like a more taboo topic than male homosexuality. Wow, I’m dipping my toes into so many topics here. I’m going to write a book on the whole gender roles/feminism thing because I suck at being concise and I have a lot to say. Anyway, back to Morrissey. I don’t think people should judge him so harshly for being blunt. It was a provocative statement to make and has got people thinking and that’s what all great geniuses do, right? Make people think.

Beyonce and Bieber

This makes me sad because I agree. There are very few mainstream artists who set the terms for their success. They just become a part of the system. I can understand why Morrissey feels very strongly about this because he doesn’t even have a record deal at the moment because he will not sign with a record company unless everything is just right. The Smiths originally decided to sign to an independent label where they would earn less money despite offers from more successful corporations because it felt right and Morrissey feels the same way today. I hate overly manufactured pop music because it is not real and if Morrissey’s lyrics are anything then they are that; real, true, gritty relatable. I have to quote Russell Brand here because he sums up why I love The Smiths more than anybody else ever has done, “They reach into the part of you where you feel the most weak, vulnerable and unacceptable and glorify it, make it heroic.” Can that be said about Bieber or Beyonce? I do love some of Beyonce’s songs but Justin Bieber makes me very, very angry.

"I am still my teenage self. If you think that we all step through a door marked Adult, or that we sign a Grown-Up Document, you’re quite wrong. We remain as we always were, and that, alas, is one of life’s many nasty tricks."

I adore this quote to pieces although it scares me a little as well for there are parts of my current teenage self that I hate but there are also parts that I love but I guess everyone has a love hate relationship with themselves.

Morrissey adds a heap of his signature morbidity to this interview throughout that makes me very contemplative of life and death like everything he says and sings and writes does. He received a ton of love and hate for the things he said in this interview. Being the super fan girl that I am hence knowing what I know about Morrissey, I do not strongly object to anything he said in the interview. I disagree with anyone who calls him ‘sexist’ in the same way that I disagree with anyone who calls him ‘racist.’ Certain comments can be taken out of context or analysed by people who lack knowledge on the person whom they are reprimanding and that is unfair.

I am sure that many would disagree, but I have lost no respect for Morrissey in this interview and my shrine type collage and huge Marrissey poster still remains in my bedroom.

To sum up my views for you if you got bored and skipped the chunks of text~

Morrissey > Life
Rookie > Life
Morrissey and Rookie > Life

One Rookie comment that I did find rather poignant was when someone mentioned that he just kept recycling Wildean quips but Oscar Wilde has been dead for over 100 years so what is the harm in trying to integrate some of the late writer's inherent wit into today's society that seems to incredibly lack that scale of genius in many essences? I do not see any harm in shaping oneself based on a number of different idols and mixing in your own views. After all aren't we all a product of the environment in which we live in and the art that we enjoy?

Morrissey has kittens on his shoulder therefore your argument is irrelevant. I don't really mean that. I would quite like to hear your views and maybe get in an argument about them. Still, Morrissey will kittens is cute as hell. Although I imagine hell not to be that cute but it was a replacement for a swear word that would have been equally as not cute. I must stop embarrassing myself now.

Read the full interview here.


  1. My goodness, this is worth an a* methinks. I'm glad I saw this because its kinda swayed my opinion on morrissey. Of course I love the smiths, but I've always felt that *in hushed tones* morrissey was like a wet Sunday. So, thank you

  2. I loved this interview. I didn't realise that people were so offended by it. I think his opinion on war was interesting. His statement that violence is a characteristic of male heterosexuality is unproven and bold but it made me question the nature of violence... is it the quest for male dominance, the result of the absence of mutual love or is it solely political. Would violence end if man loved man? I think with Morrissey you have to take his opinions as a grounds for debate and not let them offend, they are his opinions after all.

    Morrissey > Everything

  3. I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award :) The details are on my blog.

  4. I don't listen to the Smiths, but I read the article on Rookie and I saw all the comments on it... I feel like you've pretty much summed up why I wasn't bothered by it. There's this one thing this one person said (specific I know) that keeps going around in my was something like, if we worry all the time about offending people and just tolerate everything then nobody's opinions will be out there and we won't ever move forward. I mean, whatever...Morrissey's opinions are his opinions, he may not sound like somebody I want to be friends with but he can express his feelings however he wants.



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