We love Morrissey. We love his coiff, we love the tactless way he shoots off his mouth. We even love his supposed plan to have his band show off their new "Meat is Murder" T-shirts as a gesture of protest during his Thursday night show at the Majestic. And did you know it's his birthday tomorrow?
But he makes it hard for us sometimes, too. Old Moz isn't above preaching -- and even his message for the Majestic would seem to be aimed right at his own choir. As a protest, it may well fall, flatulently, flat. What's worse, he's not above his fair share of hypocrisy; in fact, there's plenty of protest-fodder we can hurl right back at this charming man of ours.
With that in mind, here are five such cases that embody our love-hate relationship with Morrissey. (Any of which might make fine slogans for a T-shirt. Or billboard. Or skyscraper...)
1. He endorses cannibalism. Well, sort of. At the 2009 Coachella music festival, Morrissey, after catching a whiff of BBQ, proclaimed, "I can smell burning flesh...and I hope to god it's human." So basically, in Morrissey Logic, it'd be better if some poor kid was roasting to death in the audience than for there to be a few hamburgers broiling in the vendor's section. That certainly seems reasonable, yeah? I'd be inclined to give Moz a pass if I thought it was just shock-value speak, but it wasn't. In a sweeping gesture of stupidity, Morrissey showed his true colors once more in 2011 when speaking about the Norway Terrorist Massacre (77 people were killed), declaring, "That is nothing compared to what happens at McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Shit everyday."
2. He hates Sir Paul McCartney How can anyone hate the happy-go-lucky, pop-melody genius Sir Paul McCartney? The guy's as disarming and pleasant as icons come. Hell, It's almost like hating a teddy bear, or a greatly admired musical superstar. Whatever. In fact, you'd think Morrissey would be the last person to lay into McCartney given that the former Beatle is one of the most ardent supporters of PETA's cause. But, not so. In 2013, Morrissey publicly criticized McCartney for not denouncing his knighthood on the grounds that refusal to do so represented an endorsement of the Queen's habit for wearing furs. Just to clarify: given that the Queen of England owns certain animal-derived family heirlooms, Moz thinks McCartney is morally inferior for not returning his nation's highest honor. Let that sink in.
3. He wants to scrub the 'black' out of pop music In an interview Morrissey once stated, "Reggae...is to me the most racist music in the entire world. It's an absolute total glorification of black supremacy." He went on, "Ultimately, I don't have very cast iron opinions on black music other than black modern music which I detest. I detest Stevie Wonder. I think Diana Ross is awful... I think they're all vile in the extreme. In essence this music doesn't say anything." The interviewer responded, "You seem to be saying that you believe that there is some sort of black pop conspiracy being organized to keep white indie groups down." What was Morrissey's response? "Yes, I really do." 4. If he's not racist, he sure wants us to think so. These should suffice: 1). "You can't help but feel that the Chinese people are a subspecies." 2). Morrissey on Pakistanis: "I dislike them immensely." 3). See above quips on black music.
I find it more unbelievable with each passing year, the extent to which Morrissey's fan base accepts his blatant hypocrisy. It seems that simply because the man speaks behind a veil of radical animal rights activism, he gets an infinite string of get-out-jail-free-cards. It'd be almost humorous if it weren't so alarmingly offensive.
Even if it wasn't quite wise, I could see fans glossing over Morrissey's indiscretions by chalking it all up to artistic eccentricity. The only problem is, the guy hasn't had a decent spark of creative insight since The Queen is Dead; that was 28 fucking years ago.
5. He'd just as soon have you diddle a kid or partake in genocide as eat a hotdog. Seriously, you can't make this shit up. To wit: "I see no difference between eating animals and paedophilia [sic]. They are both rape," Morrissey said earlier this year. Think he finally crossed a line? It gets worse. In the same interview he went on to compare meat-eating to genocide: "If you believe in the abattoir [(slaughterhouse)] then you would support Auschwitz." Classy stuff.
Bonus: He gives vegans a bad name.
It's a shame that one of the most recognizable advocates for PETA, a group whose fight to end animal cruelty is a most admirable cause, is oftentimes completely insufferable. Some might even say South Park missed a golden opportunity: