Spectator article by Brendan O'Neill: "Morrissey is the rock'n'roll rebel we need" (October 10, 2022)

A new article by Brendan O'Neill in The Spectator, off the back of last night's Palladium show.

Full text:

There was a truly electric moment at the Morrissey gig at the Palladium in London last night. Moz was introducing his new song, ‘Bonfire of the [sic] Teenagers’. It’s about the Manchester Arena bombing in which 22 people were killed. He looked out at the audience and asked us a question. How come you know the name Myra Hindley but many of you won’t know the name of the man who bombed the Manchester Arena? People looked stunned. I believe some looked a little ashamed. It is rare indeed for hush to fall at a Morrissey concert, but it did then.

It’s a question that demands an answer. Sounding a little emotional, Morrissey described the 2017 arena bombing as one of the worst things that has ever happened to Manchester, his hometown. It was an even more calamitous slaughter of Mancunian youths than that carried out by Hindley and Ian Brady. Those evil lovers murdered five. Salman Abedi – for that is his name, now strangely faded from many people’s minds – killed four times that number. The youngest was an eight-year-old girl, Saffie Roussos. Younger even than Hindley and Brady’s youngest victim, Lesley Ann Downey. Downey’s name is also better known than Roussos’s, of course.

Five years after the bombing, Morrissey is still furious about it. And about the culture of amnesia that surrounds it, to such an extent that the names of both the killer and his victims rarely trip off the tongue. The stark, disturbing title of his new song – ‘Bonfire of the [sic] Teenagers’ – means it is likely to induce much Moz-bashing in the tabloids and maybe even the Guardian if it is ever released as a single. But it’s an incredibly haunting and moving song. Morrissey sings about society’s weirdly passive response to the barbarism in the arena: ‘And the silly people sing: “Don’t Look Back in Anger” / And the morons swing and say: “Don’t Look Back in Anger” / I can assure you I will look back in anger ’till the day I die.’

The song ends with a line that is repeated over and over and which brilliantly captures the odd moral cowardice behind our reluctance to speak frankly and openly about Islamist terrorism: ‘Go easy on the killer…’

Watching two thousand people sway along to this line, and to Morrissey’s reprimand of modern Britain for failing to keep the arena atrocity in its collective conscious, was strange and unsettling, but uplifting too. Finally, tribute was being paid to the dead of Manchester. Finally, anger was being expressed on their behalf.

It struck me that ‘Bonfire of the [sic] Teenagers’ is a great protest song. It’s exactly the protest song we need right now. No doubt the fact that Moz has dared to sing about an act of Islamist-inspired mass murder will be held up by his haters as further proof that he’s now ‘hard right’. Apparently it’s right-wing, and possibly Islamophobic, to be concerned about radical Islam. Once, secularist leftists would have been at the forefront of condemning murderous acts of religious hysteria. Now, these same folk are more likely to tut-tut at those who talk too much about Islamic extremism. ‘Move on – don’t look back in anger.’ In putting his anger about the slaughter in the arena to music, Morrissey is not only standing up for the memory of that terrible day – he is also taking aim at the chilling, censorious climate that too often surrounds the issue of Islamist violence.

Don’t worry, though, if you have a ticket for any of the upcoming Morrissey shows. It’s a gig, not a lecture! It’s not all about Manchester Arena. Indeed, Morrissey has never sounded better. He played both Smiths and solo classics and the audience went wild. It feels as though the chattering classes’ bitter attempts to cancel Moz in recent years – for being pro-Brexit, for apparently being right-wing, for his comments about immigration – have given him a renewed sense of self-possession and vigour. Cancel culture has backfired in this case. It hasn’t tamed its target – it’s given him a shot of moral adrenaline, making him perform at his best since the days of The Smiths.

Morrissey is the rock’n’roll rebel we need today. Where too many pop and rock stars sing from the same, soul-zapping political script, Moz goes against the grain. He describes Brexit as ‘magnificent’, wears a vest that says ‘f*** the Guardian’, and loathes what is widely referred to as ‘wokeness’, especially for its intolerance of freedom of speech and alternative ways of thinking. ‘I’m a stern believer in free speech, but in my case I actually mean free speech for everyone, not just for those who agree with me’, Morrissey has said.

Good man. That’s the spirit of cultural liberty we need back in the world of pop. Glassy-eyed cancellers can hound Morrissey all they like but they won’t turn us against him. We know a national treasure when we see one.


Later shared by Morrissey Central:
 

goinghome

Hearts securely stacked
This is more like it, Bredon is the dogs bollocks. If M would have been crappy he would have said so.
I have nothing against Fiona, she's just shit. That's all. I mean not as a human but as a thinker and writer and her opinions are paid for, so it doesn't matter if she says something is good, as she is told to say that. She is told to dislike Johnny M, so like a nice podgy piglet, she dislikes him. Like James Maker. You know he won't ever say anything against M, in public, and he says whatever M tells him.
Not attacking James, I'm just saying. Some people you can trust, some you can't
Brendon is one of the better modern thinkers and writers in the UK This is good stuff. More Bredon and the like fewer paid staff
By the way, a friend in NY played me Bonfire last night. It's f***ing awsome.
Edit , the song Bonfire, the studio version is powerful Sounds much better than the early live versions. Though I liked the singing and music on the live versions. Just not the words and some of the spirit (re fans)
Re. the journalist dilemma - https://www.theonion.com/promising-..._RSS&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2022-10-10
 

Mozzer1980

Well-Known Member
Ok, it started earlier than I thought ... it's time to say good night :eek:
 

goinghome

Hearts securely stacked
It always makes me laugh when anyone from any part of the political spectrum tries to claim Morrissey as they're own, for their own ideological purposes, in this case Brendan O'Neill, the man who calls himself a Marxist, yet constantly spouts right wing talking points. It's almost like they don't get Morrissey, and don't understand that you need to take almost of his political opinions with a pinch of salt. One minute he's praising Jeremy Corbyn, the next he's shagging For Britain. There's no point in trying to pinning Morrissey down to any particular part of the political spectrum or an ideology, as Brendan tries to do here.
If the review is pinning Morrissey down, it's as a cultural liberal, meaning someone who doesn't agree with rigid fact-checked positions only, with cemented minds. It turns out most of us are the same, hopelessly inconsistent in our political views, swinging from right to left of the spectrum with abandon, per research - https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politic...08/14/left-wing-vs-right-wing-its-complicated
 

Emotional Guide Dog

Chairman Of The Bored
What did Morrissey and O'Neill want Manchester to do? Run around with flaming pitchforks? Burn down a couple of mosques? Morrissey might remember people wanted to burn down the Irish Centre in 1996.

It's a nifty ditty from Morrissey and a typical article from the contrarian's contrarian, they're free to be as angry as pleases them, but I don't think anyone needs their lectures.
 

goinghome

Hearts securely stacked
I was going to put this in a gig thread but I think it really fits here; another item from the pre-show video montage I tracked down -
Sorry if already added.

Any ill-judged political behavior has been teased out somewhat in previous threads like this one - https://www.morrissey-solo.com/thre...er-support-has-collapsed.149686/page-12#posts

Do people feel that's the main cause he's not getting a record deal at the moment? It's nice to read this review by someone who recognises at least most of the outspokenness as bravery.
 

Emotional Guide Dog

Chairman Of The Bored
True story: A week or so after the bombing I was woken up by the sound of screeching tyres and raised voices. I went outside for a cigarette and came face to face with an armed policeman. I definitely don't need Morrissey's lectures.
 
L

Lujissey and Lawrence

Guest
All terrorism is condemnable, all dictatorships are condemnable whether right or left. All extremes are bad. To oppose terrorism is not to be of the extreme right, it is to want to live in freedom and harmony and to let others live in the same conditions
 
B

Benny-the-British-Butcher

Guest
What a prick !!!!
This from a man who sent flowers to and idolised those murdering c##ts Reg and Ron Kray .
Go easy on the killers Steve eh !!!!!! :rofl::clap:

Benny 🇬🇧:knife:
 

Mozzer1980

Well-Known Member
I'm pretty sure he only ever wanted to annex the East, if he was going for the whole kit and caboodle he'd have sent in his A team from the beginning with the kind of 'shock and awe' tactics we're now seeing.

Having said that Ukraine have fought bravely, but can we at least negotiate for peace? Peace was right on the table back in April by all accounts before Boris was parachuted into Kiev with a clear message that the West wanted Zelensky to keep fighting. Nice for the West, no dead bodies, nice for the MIC but very bad for the Ukrainian people.

And now we have the very real possibility of some type of nuclear engagement.

Zelensky has to give some type of concession here because I really do fear for the welfare of the Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the East if Russia were just to leave. The slaughters will be unimaginable but there will be no-one with a Ukrainian flag in their FB bio calling for their safety.

Equally a concession would ideally get Putin out of Ukraine, (he must be desperate to go,) and save many Ukrainian lives from the relentless bombing campaign that looks like it will come next.
I understand your point of view, but how can you negotiate peace with murderers, terrorists whose policy since Stalin's time is based on terror and constant lies.
Recently, my mother was at the hairdresser. The Ukrainian woman cut her. She did her job perfectly. She fled Ukraine in March with one suitcase ... One suitecase. There is nowhere to go back, her home, her business are nowhere to be found ... These are true stories ... everyday life.
And that's what this song is about. On negotiating with Putin or Salman Abedi ...
Love, peace and harmony? Oh, very nice Very nice Very nice Very nice But maybe in the next world...
 
S

Seymour Glass

Guest
The reason the terrorist's name is never mentioned is because he's not white. The liberal media has to protect all people of color especially Muslims. Mentioning his name would be considered anti Islam. And we mustn't hurt the feelings of such a peaceful bunch!!!
 

Redacted

Perfectly Satisfied
The reason the terrorist's name is never mentioned is because he's not white. The liberal media has to protect all people of color especially Muslims. Mentioning his name would be considered anti Islam. And we mustn't hurt the feelings of such a peaceful bunch!!!
Sadly, this is so very true
 
L

Les Tameside

Guest
A new article by Brendan O'Neill in The Spectator, off the back of last night's Palladium show.

Full text:

There was a truly electric moment at the Morrissey gig at the Palladium in London last night. Moz was introducing his new song, ‘Bonfire of the [sic] Teenagers’. It’s about the Manchester Arena bombing in which 22 people were killed. He looked out at the audience and asked us a question. How come you know the name Myra Hindley but many of you won’t know the name of the man who bombed the Manchester Arena? People looked stunned. I believe some looked a little ashamed. It is rare indeed for hush to fall at a Morrissey concert, but it did then.

It’s a question that demands an answer. Sounding a little emotional, Morrissey described the 2017 arena bombing as one of the worst things that has ever happened to Manchester, his hometown. It was an even more calamitous slaughter of Mancunian youths than that carried out by Hindley and Ian Brady. Those evil lovers murdered five. Salman Abedi – for that is his name, now strangely faded from many people’s minds – killed four times that number. The youngest was an eight-year-old girl, Saffie Roussos. Younger even than Hindley and Brady’s youngest victim, Lesley Ann Downey. Downey’s name is also better known than Roussos’s, of course.

Five years after the bombing, Morrissey is still furious about it. And about the culture of amnesia that surrounds it, to such an extent that the names of both the killer and his victims rarely trip off the tongue. The stark, disturbing title of his new song – ‘Bonfire of the [sic] Teenagers’ – means it is likely to induce much Moz-bashing in the tabloids and maybe even the Guardian if it is ever released as a single. But it’s an incredibly haunting and moving song. Morrissey sings about society’s weirdly passive response to the barbarism in the arena: ‘And the silly people sing: “Don’t Look Back in Anger” / And the morons swing and say: “Don’t Look Back in Anger” / I can assure you I will look back in anger ’till the day I die.’

The song ends with a line that is repeated over and over and which brilliantly captures the odd moral cowardice behind our reluctance to speak frankly and openly about Islamist terrorism: ‘Go easy on the killer…’

Watching two thousand people sway along to this line, and to Morrissey’s reprimand of modern Britain for failing to keep the arena atrocity in its collective conscious, was strange and unsettling, but uplifting too. Finally, tribute was being paid to the dead of Manchester. Finally, anger was being expressed on their behalf.

It struck me that ‘Bonfire of the [sic] Teenagers’ is a great protest song. It’s exactly the protest song we need right now. No doubt the fact that Moz has dared to sing about an act of Islamist-inspired mass murder will be held up by his haters as further proof that he’s now ‘hard right’. Apparently it’s right-wing, and possibly Islamophobic, to be concerned about radical Islam. Once, secularist leftists would have been at the forefront of condemning murderous acts of religious hysteria. Now, these same folk are more likely to tut-tut at those who talk too much about Islamic extremism. ‘Move on – don’t look back in anger.’ In putting his anger about the slaughter in the arena to music, Morrissey is not only standing up for the memory of that terrible day – he is also taking aim at the chilling, censorious climate that too often surrounds the issue of Islamist violence.

Don’t worry, though, if you have a ticket for any of the upcoming Morrissey shows. It’s a gig, not a lecture! It’s not all about Manchester Arena. Indeed, Morrissey has never sounded better. He played both Smiths and solo classics and the audience went wild. It feels as though the chattering classes’ bitter attempts to cancel Moz in recent years – for being pro-Brexit, for apparently being right-wing, for his comments about immigration – have given him a renewed sense of self-possession and vigour. Cancel culture has backfired in this case. It hasn’t tamed its target – it’s given him a shot of moral adrenaline, making him perform at his best since the days of The Smiths.

Morrissey is the rock’n’roll rebel we need today. Where too many pop and rock stars sing from the same, soul-zapping political script, Moz goes against the grain. He describes Brexit as ‘magnificent’, wears a vest that says ‘f*** the Guardian’, and loathes what is widely referred to as ‘wokeness’, especially for its intolerance of freedom of speech and alternative ways of thinking. ‘I’m a stern believer in free speech, but in my case I actually mean free speech for everyone, not just for those who agree with me’, Morrissey has said.

Good man. That’s the spirit of cultural liberty we need back in the world of pop. Glassy-eyed cancellers can hound Morrissey all they like but they won’t turn us against him. We know a national treasure when we see one.


Later shared by Morrissey Central:
Lest anyone be readily convinced otherwise by this article, there is (in my experience) no ‘culture of amnesia’ around the Arena bomb in Manchester.

It’s a little malevolent of O’Neill to suggest otherwise: whilst I accept the principle of free speech, it’s perhaps not in ‘the spirit of cultural liberty’ to glibly write-over many people’s voices for the benefit of The Spectator’s wider agenda.
 

WhalleyRange

Active Member
Yeah yeah whatever O Neill

Let's just forget about the millions dead in endless Zionist wars that cockroaches like you support
And which Morrissey used to care about before he decided only certain lives matter
 

Requiescant

You Should Not Go To Them, Let Them Come To You...
We should always remember the names of the victims, not the murderers.
Absolutely true, and Brendan kind of makes this point by claiming we all know the name of Lesley Ann Downey(and Keith Bennett, though he isn't mentioned in the article), yet no-one remembers the name Saffie Roussos. Likewise, despite being Scottish, I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the girl who travelled all the way from the Isle of Barra, only to die in the arena. Her name was all over the Scottish(and indeed national) news for days, but I cannot remember it.

On a similar note, my place of work is exactly one mile of motorway from Dunblane Primary School. Now, EVERYONE in Scotland knows the name of the arsehole who committed the atrocity, but ask anyone to name a single victim other than the teacher!
Sadly, in the 'culture of amnesia', we only remember the bad guys.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The reason the terrorist's name is never mentioned is because he's not white. The liberal media has to protect all people of color especially Muslims. Mentioning his name would be considered anti Islam. And we mustn't hurt the feelings of such a peaceful bunch!!!
That's just not true, at least definitely not in America. Omar Mateen, the Tsarnaev brothers, etc., were constantly mentioned by both the liberal and conservative media, nonstop. You also can't go a week without still hearing Mohamed Atta's name mentioned somewhere. Maybe in the U.K. and Europe it's slightly different?
 
B

blah blah

Guest
So the point here is that Morrissey still says what he wants knowing the repercussions. That is important. Free speech is important. Real free speech, not people trying to cancel you because they don't like what you say. Morrissey is one of the only artist that says what he wants and is real about it. I respect that.
Now if he would only add 5-6 more songs a night to his concerts and mix up the songs every night he would be even better. :)
 
M

MichaelTBiggins

Guest
Yeah yeah whatever O Neill

Let's just forget about the millions dead in endless Zionist wars that cockroaches like you support
And which Morrissey used to care about before he decided only certain lives matter
And there we have it. An opportunity for some anti-semitism. Lower than a snakes belly and she’s criticising Morrissey on
Moral grounds. 🙄
 

DreamingofStew

Active Member
Strange that nobody seems to remember the 1996 IRA Manchester bombings with more than 200 ppl injured.
I remember. I visited Manchester not long thereafter and saw the bomb damage. But you're right that no one seems to mention it anymore, oddly.
 
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