Well, Morrissey is up to his usual tricks. He’s embarrassed his followers yet again. During a performance in Warsaw, he had this to say about recent world events:
“We all live in a murderous world, as the events in Norway have shown, with 97 dead. Though that is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Shit every day.”
Words that, not surprisingly, sparked another wave of controversy for the outspoken singer, just coming off last year’s misguided little speech about the Chinese. There’s no choice but to conclude that Morrissey is a nasty, offensive person who values animal lives over human ones. But we’ve known that for a long time. How far does poetic license go in excusing this ongoing pattern of verbal outrage? As usual, I continue to support Morrissey, because as I see it, he’s fulfilling his role of rudely, persistently bringing up interesting and valid philosophical/political talking points. Like I mentioned the last time this happened, politely pointing out the world’s problems will get you roundly ignored and it takes a strong dose of controversy to get people paying attention.
Morrissey has been a lifelong advocate of animal rights, openly supporting radical groups like the Animal Rights Militia and of course PETA, an organization famed for outrageous tactics. Comparing the slaughter of children to the slaughter of animals is right up their alley, rhetoric-wise. I’m surprised no one has yet had the balls for a meat industry/Holocaust shock campaign. Yes, I went there. But wait, it’s not as far-fetched a comparison as it seems. Not because it raises animals to the level of people, but precisely the opposite. The horror of genocide is in treating human beings like animals. And the urge towards mass annihilation has been one of the defining shortcoming of the human race for as long as we’ve had the ability to bash something weaker than ourselves to death, that is, forever. If we don’t like something we, kill it, as much of it as possible, as horribly as possible and as fast as possible. Having gleefully destroyed any number of species and ecosystems, it was only a matter of logistics before we figured out how to apply that same murderous instinct towards people we don’t approve of. In simpler terms, the guy who kicks his dog will someday kick his child, too. The nature of the meat industry (I’m sure you’re familiar with the horrific practices therein) depends on our epic ability to compartmentalize; lavishing every affection on the favored animals we share our homes with while not giving a shit about the presumably less deserving animals which we eat. It is the same ability applied to our fellow humans that allows atrocities to occur within supposedly civilized societies. From this perspective the leap from dead children to dead chickens, while admittedly a long one, is not so outlandish. That’s a heavy moral argument, of course, and should be subject of a book, not a blog post. And of course, a pop singer has to bring it up before it crosses anyone’s mind.
My other point in making this little news item a blog post is this. Goddamn it, I’m glad Morrissey says offensive things! I’m proud of him. I hope he goes right on blurting out every damn politically incorrect obvious thing that crosses his mind! We need more rudeness on our side. There are so many right-wing psychos like Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter whose careers are based entirely on saying inexcusably dumb and offensive things, and their fans gobble it up, while the other side just keeps sitting there with nothing to say because they’re so deathly afraid they might accidentally offend someone. Look at that repulsive dickhead Rick Santorum, whose political platform is playing to the worst prejudices - he’s famous for comparing gay marriage to dog fucking. No one’s calling for his resignation – he’s a potential candidate for the presidency. I realize that Morrissey is just a singer. He’s by no means a political figure, with no desire to become one. But he has something to say, and he’ll say it as rudely as he has to, to be heard. Someone’s got to harness the power of outrage in the service of a good cause. PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk understands that, and Morrissey understands that. Sometimes complete and utter disregard for the standards of political correctness is not such a bad thing. It wakes people up. Go Morrissey. Insult everyone on Earth if you want to!