I have said this before but maybe you missed it. If a person just stops buying something because they don't like it, it doesn't equate to a Boycott. A boycott is a protest to either bring about financial change to a seller or to bring about change. I never had either intention. I just don't want to buy it cause I don't like it. That isn't a boycott.An individual, or individuals, may boycott. They may continue alone or in concert. Either configuration counts as a boycott.
You are at times speaking for others here yourself and making plenty of implications of your own, about those who don’t agree with you being, for example, conspiracy theorists. Nobody has spent their lives praising Morrissey’s way with words without allowing for some context.
The charge is that what he said was victim-blaming. What I hear is exasperation and refusal to play the shock-sensation game. Would anything have happened to the boy if his parents had accompanied him? The point he was making, and likewise for the Holywood casting scene, is that some situations present more risks than others, and those risks may often be predictable, and related harms therefore preventable.
More context. In his Autobiography, Morrissey describes a boyhood surrounded by Irish relatives in their new host city of Manchester, with hardly any money, having sometimes to put up with living in derelict council properties, and music keeping them going. Of early school companions, he writes: “These children are slackly shaped and contaminated. Many stragglers stink, and will faint due to lack of food [and remain soaked all day if arriving in rain].” He could see that many children were worse off than him.
Aged nine, when being dragged by a teacher to the principal’s office, he was confident enough of his station in hearts to warn her, “you touch me, and my mum’ll be down.” And because the words are not empty, he knows, “there will be no beating for any case that steps this far over the line…I am well turned out, soft on the eye, soft of voice, and absent of the Jackson Crescent muddiness, and this calls for a certain consideration.”
There were people in Morrissey’s life who were looking out for him and let him know they would take action if he was abused. “Mother is a critical guide, and Dad is playful although fist-ready with the outside world…constantly called upon when family feuds demand the physical, and he is always there and always unafraid in the days when physicality ironed matters smoothly, and recipients backed down without offence.”
Perhaps that’s why he came across as categorical in that interview, being aware that carer character and behaviour is so consequential in these matters. Someone bemoaning the occurrence of abuse is hardly the same as someone approving of, or committing abuse though? Or someone maybe hinting at it, as in The Smiths’ debut album, which according to this excellent review by a MSolo subscriber, distinguishes itself by being full of all kinds of sex! - https://thestreetlampdoesntcast.blogspot.com/2010/07/kitten-wine9-everybody-wants-to-be-joe.html
The world is still having much trouble calling abuse what it is and acting accordingly. Bonfires of teenagers keep breaking out. Back in the 70s and 80s, even mentioning it was rare and brave, and what was the point, in an era without services, except for protection by your folk? Despite legal-moral fluctuations in attitudes about its seriousness, what has also changed is increasingly younger sexualisation, which cannot be without its own ramifications. If that's victim-blaming too, then it seems to me that you simply do not want to examine the many factors that possibly play a part, but are clinging to one perspective i.e. blame?
Whether in respect of filth in art or trespasses in reality, accepting even the best of us is fallible, isn't space for understanding and forgiveness healthier and more social than limiting responses to judgement and punishment? So much for freedom of speech otherwise..
Here are more relevant lines from https://yalereview.org/article/garth-greenwell-philip-roth -
"...One reason a particular strain of our current moralism—the strain that would subject artists to tests of acceptability, that says we shouldn’t consume art made by bad people—is so dismaying is that it sees works of art as endlessly fungible, just another commodity on the market. There’s so much art available to us, this reasoning goes; there’s nothing Lolita or The Enigma of Arrival or Wise Blood might offer that we can’t find in a writer less problematic than Nabokov or Naipaul or O’Connor. But a profound experience of art is an experience of something like love, which is to say of singularity; when you’ve had a profound encounter with Giovanni’s Room, say, or a portrait by Alice Neel, you can’t imagine swapping it out for something more conveniently affirming of social values we cherish.
This affinity is more mysterious than evaluation or ranking or canon-formation; it seems to me analogous to other relationships we form. The love I feel for my partner or my friends isn’t the result of comparative evaluation, it isn’t founded on a claim that of all candidates I’ve judged them worthiest. The question of comparison doesn’t enter; they are simply themselves, incommensurate, irreplaceable. My life wouldn’t be my life without them, as my life wouldn’t be my life without any number of artists who failed, in various ways large and small, to be excellent outside their art.
The problem is that, in much of our discussion of art, we’ve made a mistake about what moral engagement is, and so what art’s role in it might be. The value I find in the art I love seems different from and greater than formal experiment or technical display, greater than play, certainly greater than “metabolic churning.” Art has a value that seems to me moral, and, like my students, like much of what we’ve taken to calling The Discourse, with its purity tests and cancelations, its groupthink and dismissal, I want to think of art making as an activity with moral implications. More, I want to place it at the heart of one way of striving toward a moral life, by which I mean at the heart of our attempt to live flourishingly with others, or at least bearably and with minimal harm. The problem is that, in much of our discussion of art, I think we’ve made a mistake about what moral engagement is, and so what art’s role in it might be. In much of our commentary, there’s a desire for art to be exemplary, to present a world the moral valence of which, whether positive or negative, is easily legible; there’s a desire for the work of art to provide an index of judgment clearly predicated on values the reader can approve. We want the work to give us a place to stand that grants access to righteousness, a place from which to judge a work or its characters.
But more and more I question the role of this kind of judgment in moral life. I don’t mean the constant, shifting, provisional evaluations we make moment-to-moment, the moral echolocation by which we position ourselves and our actions. I mean the act of coming to judgment, to a verdict: of assigning someone a durable or even permanent moral status. This is sometimes necessary, of course, though maybe less often than we suspect; it’s what we do, hopefully with some seriousness, in courts of law, and what we do sometimes flippantly, recklessly, in social media campaigns for de-platforming and cancelation.
The seriousness of our verdicts depends in large part on the density of their contextualization; and, since the context of a human life is so nearly depthless and made up of such incommensurable elements, ideally righteous judgment is impossible. To be bearable, to be plausibly adequate, even our imperfect, sublunary judgments require an immense amount of work; the idea that we might carry that work out on social media is one of the genuinely repulsive aspects of our moment. I am immensely grateful, every day, that judging others in this way is not my job. The best thing about being a novelist, in fact, is that my job is actively to resist coming to such judgment. Plausibly adequate verdicts may be a necessary feature of the real world, but they are never necessary in matters of art.
When we place this kind of definitive moral judgment at the heart of our engagement with others, assigning a person or a work a status as problematic or righteous, we make a mistake about what a moral relationship to another is, I think. If a moral relationship means to live with or beside another in such a way as to recognize the value of their life as being equal to and independent of our own—that impossible, necessary Kantian standard—then passing judgment is the abrogation of that relationship: it destroys the reciprocity necessary for moral relation, it establishes a hierarchy utterly corrosive of it. This is another reason to reject the idea that we should only consume art made by good people: Who am I to judge the goodness of another?..."
"..In life, we bear what we can bear and risk what we can risk, and make our necessary accommodations. But in art we don’t have to make those accommodations: we can bear things in art we can’t bear in real life, and so art can offer us a crucial moral training, placing us in the impossible position, which is also the only morally defensible position, of cherishing the existence of others we cannot bear..."
I applaud your lengthy response in trying to find an excuse for what he said but in reality it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what happened in his childhood etc. His words over the 14 year old boy, stating the boy should have been aware, as he himself was aware, if in a room with an adult, that it may could lead to sexual abuse, and therefore shouldn't have been there is reprehensible. It makes no difference if it was preventable or not. The only blame for a child being abused lies only and totally with the adult committing the abuse.
His separate comments over the victims of Weinstein or any couching issue and the me too movement, only speaking up because they were disappointed they never got a career out of it are also reprehensible.
But I have said a few times now that I don't care if people don't agree with my decision over this. If you wish to belittle my decision and try to academically give reasons for him saying those things that is up to you, but I will never buy it or accept it.
The point was that I have the right to make that decision, and it is the right decision, and the decision to no longer buy something being produced by someone whose views I find reprehensible is just my consumer choice. It really is that simple.