Listening to her music today and just remembering all the feelings attached to it.
As soon as I pumped iTunes full of my $50 gift card, I immediately forgot every song, TV show, and movie I ever liked.
This version is awesome.
This was even more epic in the days before CDs and you had to rewind the tape each time you wanted to hear it.
The best thing about Young Adult was my discovery of The Concept by Teenage Fanclub…and Elizabeth Reaser. How did I not know this band in high school?
If Beyonce and Barbra Streisand did a duet I would literally cry…like real tears and everything. And then a video to go with it, just shoot me now.
A friend of mine texted me a few weeks back to tell me when Morrissey was scheduled to play Philadelphia and to ask if I planned on going. The question startled me. It shouldn’t have. Like most Morrissey fans, I’ll find a way to mention his work if you talk to me long enough, and I often find myself pleading with Morrissey agnostics to listen to his work, particularly those who know nothing except for the penchant for whiny navel-gazing that has earned him the pejorative honorific “The Pope of Mope.” It only makes sense that anyone who’s gotten close enough to see how important Morrissey’s work is to me would ask if I wanted to see him in concert. But it’s a far more complex decision than it seems on its face.
Morrissey doesn’t make himself easy to like, and has proved to be as deft at writing catchy, literate indie-pop songs as he is at erecting barriers that prevent the unqualified enjoyment of those songs. He’s egregiously precious and oversensitive, and has a tendency to come off in interviews as self-important, vain, and smug. He’s a vocal advocate for animal rights, but perhaps too vocal. His passion for protecting all God’s creatures is an admirable one, but the rigid, bratty way he tends to express that passion represents the type of myopic zealotry that stunts movements more often than it fortifies them.
I could accept all of this, though, if it weren’t for the fact that Morrissey is also probably racist. I say probably for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that Morrissey is not at all shy about litigation where such accusations are concerned. Added to this, as with any damaging rumor that shadows a celebrity, Morrissey’s alleged racism is a conjecture built of equal parts fact, perception, and apocrypha. But in spite of his insistence that he isn’t racist, an assertion he’s repeated over the years, no one has done more to make the case that Morrissey is deeply racist and xenophobic than the man himself.
It’s a challenge that crops up often for anyone who dares to look past artistic surfaces, who can’t help but consider a piece of art within the context of its origins, its agendas, its desired effects, and its unforeseen consequences. These conundrums present themselves often, for the feminist whose prurient side draws him to butt-shaking hip hop videos in spite of his consciously hating hip hop’s misogynistic bent, or for the woman who abhors domestic violence, but reserves the right to drop it like it’s hot when Rihanna and Chris Brown’s “Birthday Cake (Remix)” comes through the speakers. It’s a crazy-making process of rationalization and compartmentalization that never seems to get easier the more you do it, the arduous task of determining if it’s even possible to extricate an artist from her art, and whether trying to do so is worth the psychic toll.
In the interest of being true to myself, I’ve sworn off Morrissey live performances, and am glad on some level that the cancellation of his tour will allow me to maintain my principles without feeling like I’m missing out on something. It could be cogently argued that no real distinction exists between listening to Morrissey’s music and watching him onstage, and I’d be inclined to agree. But these are the types of contextual cages we place around art and artists with pretty mouths that conceal poisonous fangs, the type of mental construct that leads someone to deem Tyga’s “Rack City” perfectly appropriate for the treadmill, but all wrong once the belt stops. I actively do the work of untangling Morrissey from his music because I’ve deemed it worth the effort based on what that music has meant to my life. But I have to draw the admittedly arbitrary line at the genuflection of watching him bathed in lights on an elevated stage. To watch a hero’s welcome for a man who has said some of the repugnant things Morrissey has said, and to hear no one cry foul, well…that would make me feel like the ultimate other.
Confessions of a Black Morrissey Fan by Joshua Alston
I’m always interested in reading about how people navigate liking problematic things, and this one in particular strikes close to home, because The Smiths’ music is and always has been extremely important to me.
As a black Morrissey fan, I had to reblog this.