If misery likes company, Big Mouth Morrissey continues to keep in stride with fellow shameful nativist Brit rock legends Eric Clapton—who, despite his debt to American Blues, still gives merit to the “Keep Britain white” tenets of the National Front that he endorsed in 1976—and Bryan Ferry, UK Conservative Party supporter. The self-anointed humasexual (in his advancing years looking eerily like booze-bloated media whore Rush Limbaugh) recently posted to Morrissey Central an “unfiltered” interview (which, aside from the nauseating content, is a pain in the retina to read the gold text painfully glowing on top of black background, terrible layout) with his like-minded nephew, one Sam Esty Rayner, not the son but the heir. In it he endorses and extols For Britain, an Islamophobic political party helmed by Anne Marie Waters. Waters is a hardliner in the spray-tan orange-blob vein who was recorded in an undercover video calling Muslims “fuckers,” as well as stating, “Stop all Muslim immigration now.” Morrissey recently appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” rocking a For Britain pin.
Good ol’ narcissist Moz (he allegedly hates the nickname, so here ’tis) courts his own controversy out in the open, telling his nephew:
“But if you call someone racist in modern Britain you are telling them that you have run out of words. You are shutting the debate down and running off. The word is meaningless now. Everyone ultimately prefers their own race…does this make everyone racist? The people who reduce every conversation down to a matter of race could be said to be the most traditionally ‘racist’ because everything in life is NOT exclusively a question of race, so why make it so? Diversity can’t possibly be a strength if everyone has ideas that will never correspond. If borders are such terrible things then why did they ever exist in the first place? Borders bring order.”
Funny thing, him mentioning borders. For years Morrissey has lived and wallowed in the Latinx-rich melting pot of Los Angeles, about two hours north of the U.S. border with Mexico, a country in which the cult devoted to worshiping and emulating the Mancunian asshole has inexplicably taken permanent root. The loyalty is just as thick stateside, the fandom on the whole being still fond of him, despite public evidence for at least two decades of the Mozfather’s xenophobic statements. That diversity “corresponds” all the way to the bank—but does it owe him a living?
Singer/songwriter/activist Billy Bragg spoke on Morrissey’s racist statements and legacy, “I think he’s decided that he wants to betray everything he ever said in the Smiths, and he’s broken the hearts of a lot of people…
The Smiths expressed a lot of people’s own sense of disconnect with society and helped them to find their own identity, and he’s totally trashed that. I’m heartbroken for them because I’m a big Smiths fan, too. And I’m heartbroken for Johnny Marr because he’s genuine, a lovely guy, and he doesn’t deserve to have his legacy dragged through the dirt… I have no sympathy for [Morrissey], no respect for him, but I have a lot of sympathy and respect for his audience.”
About two years ago, Moz stepped into the #MeToo reckoning of Hollywood movers/shakers like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. While speaking with the German news outlet Spiegel Online, Morrissey blamed then 14-year-old actor Anthony Rapp for being sexually assaulted by Spacey. “I do not know about you, but I’ve never been in situations like this in my youth. Never. I always knew what could happen. When you are in somebody’s bedroom, you have to be aware of where that can lead to. That’s why it does not sound very credible to me. It seems to me Spacey has been unnecessarily attacked.”
Those of us who are not Moz-apostles might get comfort and clarity with the words of Nick Cave in answering a question via The Red Hand Files regarding his peer’s “newer more ugly persona.”
“Perhaps it is better to simply let Morrissey have his views, challenge them when and wherever possible, but allow his music to live on, bearing in mind we are all conflicted individuals – messy, flawed and prone to lunacies. We should thank God that there are some among us that create works of beauty beyond anything most of us can barely imagine, even as some of those same people fall prey to regressive and dangerous belief systems.”
All of this drama unfolds as Moz promotes his latest album, a collection of covers comprised of the likes of Dionne Warwick, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, titled “California Son” and preps for a tour with Interpol later this Summer.