Göteborgs-Posten: Carl R. Belfrage on media's mistreatment of Morrissey (February 6, 2024)

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I read an article, just yesterday, in the local newspaper (in Sweden) that talked about how all the eccentric and contrarian music journalists of the 90s have completely fallen in line with the narrative that Morrissey is a "racist" and how they jump at the change to slag him off. I haven't read anything positive about Morrissey in years.

The point of the article was basically that formerly independent thinkers have become boring virtue signallers/giving in to peer pressure.
 
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I read an article, just yesterday, in the local newspaper (in Sweden) that talked about how all the eccentric and contrarian music journalists of the 90s have completely fallen in line with the narrative that Morrissey is a "racist" and how they jump at the change to slag him off. I haven't read anything positive about Morrissey in years.

The point of the article was basically that formerly independent thinkers have become boring virtue signallers.
The piece by CRB? I thought that article was absolutely fantastic. He’s always been one of my favorite writers.
 
The piece by CRB? I thought that article was absolutely fantastic. He’s always been one of my favorite writers.

Where is that article please? Refreshing to hear it was published.
 

But it’s in Swedish and behind a paywall.
Thanks Gregor. Tried the archive, translate trick. Is this close? It's a brilliant bit of culturally-insightful investigative work.

 
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Fredrik Strage under "Bokmässan by Night" 2022. Bild: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Carl Reinholdtzon Belfrage: It is a shame that the media men of the 90s have woken up

Cultural Debate • The gang and the magazine Pop never apologized, that's why we remember them today. How do the same people navigate the woke climate of our time? Well, they have submitted to a conformist moral view, writes Carl Reinholdtzon Belfrage.

This is a discussion article. The purpose of the text is to influence and the opinions are the writer's own. -Carl Reinholdtzon Belfrage


Updated 2 hours ago|Published today 20:42

We live in funny times. It is completely politically correct to, in the name of the environment, paint classic masterpieces or to sit down in the morning traffic. But paying attention to artistic expressions where the sender is criminally charged and breaks the rules is not considered ok. The youth channel P3 grapples with these problems on a daily basis and censors artists a little from time to time in an ongoing process with no visible pattern or principled logic. As you know, it is called "woke" and has been debated, and joked about, extensively in recent years. The most embarrassing examples are of course the debacle surrounding the White Sea at Konstfack or when Rättviseförmedlingen wanted to introduce a new spelling alphabet, Adam Berit, for the police and defense forces to use in emergency situations.

The reality is that public service in particular, and all social networks and media in general, have woke as a filter for their publishing decisions. Censorship thrives in 2024. And when we now stand in our impoverished present and compare to previous cultural eras, this becomes painfully obvious. Very recently, two brilliant examples were revealed. Through two hits in the 90s, the insightful documentary "The Story of the Killing Gang" and a long tribute report to the music magazine Pop (SvD 26/1), it becomes clear what woke has done to the cultural climate.

Because why do we still remember the Killing gang? And why did Pop magazine become something that "set the tone"? Both of these expressions had their basis in an uncompromising and passionate belief in the individual taste of those involved. No one apologized. Should a ferret be packed on stage wearing a funny hat, then so be it. If 40 pages were to be written about Kevin Rowland, well then it happened. No excuses. The result was, regardless of what one thought of ferrets or Kevin Rowland, something that can almost be described as objective quality. Both the documentary about the Killing gang and the Pop article in SvD circulate around this. The iconic. The legend of the headstrong cultural workers who sacrificed everything for art.


The whole review was a wake-up call to the prevailing woke opinion that Morrissey was a Nazi who ate children for breakfast.

But what I miss is the follow-up critical eye. Because how do the same people navigate today's woke climate? What happened to these "wayward" and "individual" cultural workers when they were faced with the fear of being censored? What happened when they faced the pressure to submit to a strict, collective morality?

Well, when politics entered the culture pages and everything became politicized and record reviews became as attractive as marrying one's own mother, the journalist Andres Lokko, who has a prominent role in both reports, probably got a little taken in bed. All of a sudden a young girl on the leader's side was hotter than a guy on the record side. Lokko overcompensated and became increasingly dogmatic and political in his record reviews and it all escalated in his treatment of Morrissey.

Morrissey was a house god for the indie magazine Pop. Long tribute reports had been written in which Andres Lokko described his fascination for the controversial and outspoken singer and when they did, Morrissey also graced the covers. But in modern woke times, Morrissey had been labeled as far-right because he advocated a stricter immigration policy. How did Andres Lokko handle this? Well, he gave Morrissey's then-current record "Low in high school" a rating of one out of six in SvD and called the record "a far-right concept album." The whole review was a wake-up call to the prevailing woke opinion that Morrissey was a Nazi who ate children for breakfast.

Andres Lokko was now so inclined to stay in the collective warmth and show that his occupation was still of value and importance that distance and analysis were totally removed. A previously uncompromising writer had ceased to be an individual, was pushed down by the masses and, like Peter Birro and many other terrified culture nuts, began to apologize for his craze for Morrissey. Andres Lokko had woken up.


The social debate connects the music genre with the growing gang crime and this affects the previously independent Fredrik Strage.

Fredrik Strage then? Another journalist from the same "tough" gang went out on October 29, 2021 in DN and apologized for his love and glorification of gangster rap. “Dear gangster rap. Young people get murdered and they say it's your fault.

We have to go our separate ways.” The social debate connects the music genre with the growing gang crime and this affects the previously independent Fredrik Strage. After years of covering hip-hop, he suddenly realizes how badly affected he actually is by the violence surrounding gangster rap and regrets his entire cultural deed. Fredrik Strage comes out as woke.

So. The deeply ironic thing about SVT's and SvD's tribute reports to the individualistic and uncompromising media men of the 90s and 00s is that they are published at a time when the same journalists submit to an anti-intellectual and conformist moral view.

And of course you have to feel sympathy for underpaid writers with insecure jobs who, if they get the "wrong" opinion, can immediately be dropped by anxious media houses, but it is clear that no documentaries or tribute reports will be dedicated to the contemporary texts of Fredrik Strage and Andres Lokko.


https://archive.is/Y74hK

Original Swedish link (Thanks to Gregor Samsa for sharing)
 
I didn't start this thread. It started itself!!! :lbf:
 
CRB is a fantastic writer. Has been a favorite of mine since the 2000’s.
 
Great article! It’s high time Morrissey came back to Scandinavia to tour.
Except for festivals in 2016 and 2011, he hasn’t played here since 2014. I wonder why.
 
I didn't start this thread. It started itself!!! :lbf:

Your mention of the article set off the collaboration though 🙏

The writing voice of CRB reverberates. Is Andres Lokko a Swedish journalist? He's being used as an example of someone who doesn't hesitate to toss their faculty of independent thinking overboard, along with their former loyalties, when confronted with engineered oscillations in public sympathy.

Morrissey was a house god for the indie magazine Pop. Long tribute reports had been written in which Andres Lokko described his fascination for the controversial and outspoken singer and when they did, Morrissey also graced the covers. But in modern woke times, Morrissey had been labeled as far-right because he advocated a stricter immigration policy. How did Andres Lokko handle this? Well, he gave Morrissey's then-current record "Low in high school" a rating of one out of six in SvD and called the record "a far-right concept album." The whole review was a wake-up call to the prevailing woke opinion that Morrissey was a Nazi who ate children for breakfast.

Andres Lokko was now so inclined to stay in the collective warmth and show that his occupation was still of value and importance that distance and analysis were totally removed. A previously uncompromising writer had ceased to be an individual, was pushed down by the masses...
 
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