“In Our Lifetime Those Who Kill, The Newsworld Hands Them Stardom.” – Morrissey
Once again, another mass murder. Once again, it was by radical Islamic terrorists. Once again, social media feeds were rampant with public figures more concerned about Islamophobia than what’s become a chronic deadly problem. Until… there was Morrissey.
Let’s be clear. Morrissey is no conservative. He’s as liberal as you get. An evangelizing vegan. Sexually ambiguous. Thoroughly anti-monarchist. Vocally anti-Trump. But what he has, unlike the media and our reigning pop stars, is courage and common sense.
Just look at Hollywood’s responses to the Manchester massacre. Rather than holding the political class’ feet to the flame and acting as a speakerphone for the victimized “little people,” they jumped to social media to type their meaningless “thoughts and prayers,” and will soon surely start spewing lame leftist talking points. In fact, Katy Perry didn’t even wait! She immediately took to the Elvis Duran Show to advocate, “No Barriers, No Borders… We just need to Co-Exist.” Yes, we do need to co-exist, but what do we do with the group that isn’t allowing us? How do we solve the issue? How do we use pop culture to get politicians to stop enabling radicalization? We don’t expect answers from you, but if you’re going to use your platform, use it well.
Musicians used to be rebels standing up to the “establishment” when it was peddling rubbish. When the Vietnam War was raging, icons like John Lennon and Yoko Ono protested with avant-garde performance art, like their Amsterdam Hotel “bed-in” protest. Although a laughable way to protest, they used their stardom, and a creative gimmick to begin a conversation and encourage their fans to peacefully follow suit. When Reagan-Bush Era social conservatism was gripping the nation, Madonna sought to instigate social change with her 1992 Sex book and accompanying Erotica LP, and her 1984 MTV VMA performance of “Like A Virgin.”
Acts that now seem inconsequential were, for their time, like matches to gasoline, igniting profuse debate across bars, dinner tables, campuses, and newsrooms. Even instances where pop musicians have been on the wrong side of history, like the anti-monarchy Sex Pistols, they at least got the masses thinking, discussing, and debating. Vital in the diverse, ideas-based Anglo-American world.
What’s become so sadly clear this decade is that pop culture, media, and the political establishment are at a consensus. There is a lack of dissidence. The political elites have co-opted pop icons. Or, rather, the pop icons who’ve risen are just simply dull. Too lazy or too busy to step back and think about what they’re saying to their many influential fans.
Look at last year’s election. Rather than protesting Hillary on anti-war grounds, Lady Gaga was there whaling, “Come to Mama. Tell Her You Want Her.” When Beyoncé and Jay-z should’ve been slamming Hillary for paying years of lip service to the African-American community without doing anything to help foster upward mobility or break down the prison-industrial complex (in fact, she made it worse), they were there on stage endorsing her.
So, after scrolling through feeds of finger-wagging, brainless public figures more concerned with Anglo-America’s allegedly rampant Islamophobia than the nearly two dozen murdered it was a pleasant surprise to see one of the U.K.’s pop culture royalty come out of the woodwork to give the ruling class a pointed, thought-provoking whacking.
Maybe that’s a sign of the times. The millennial generation is so vapid that the lone voice of reason is the moody, graying Morrissey. He may still sell out stadiums without even taking out a billboard, but he is no spring chicken, and —as an old-souled hermit — doesn’t come close to the likes of Rihanna when it comes to media power. Imagine the impact the latter would have if she held the government’s feet to the flame, rather than bed with them.
This article isn’t to analyze Morrissey’s message. You should read it, and repost it, yourself. It’s meant to point out the intellectual void in pop culture, and thank Morrissey for standing up in a sea of conformity. It’s not easy speaking common sense in Hollywood nowadays, especially when you’re a “liberal” going against the in-crowd.
Luckily for us we still have some of the older generations, like him and Clinton Eastwood, to call B.S. on their fellow elites.
Thank you to Morrissey – Last of the International Pop Stars with Common Sense.