Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before: A Study in the Politics and Aesthetics of English Misery by Owen Hatherley - Verso

Comments

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Middle class Marxist 30-something and his attempt to understand M.


Lord, no wonder the left's in trouble, that's the usual badly researched guff.

He's not enthusiastic about Tommy Robinson, he clarified that he didn't support Nigel or UKIP, & Anne Marie is an Irish vegan lesbian feminist, that's a lot weirder than the standard far right. He also said he thought she was left wing & that she'd been smeared.

And why put 'Islam' in quotes & act as if there's been no legitimate tensions. Moz has mentioned Rotherham, feminism, Charlie Hebdo, Orlando, the Manchester bomb & Halal slaughter. He hasn't gone on some rant about Muslims in general.

He's also never denounced the young or the woke & he came out as gender fluid, which is as woke as you can get.

And he's not 61 yet.

It probably would help if they actually listened to his solo albums & didn't just Google him.

Just like it might help if they looked at the real data from voters & didn't just dismiss them as Boomer racists who will die soon leaving a pluralistic utopia in their wake. 🙄
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Yep, stop, I've heard this one before, already.
It's annoying, but it's quite funny.

He's gone for the full, how did no one notice that The Smiths were fronted by a fascist who was singing about hanging black DJs?

And Morrissey has death, misery & disturbing power dynamics in his lyrics, which is what Hitler would have liked if he hadn't mysteriously denounced such things as degenerate. Or something...

It might actually be worth the dent in his career to give this much demented commentary to future cultural historians.

They've lost their minds.
 

Stephen Hofmann

Well-Known Member
Lord, no wonder the left's in trouble, that's the usual badly researched guff.

He's not enthusiastic about Tommy Robinson, he clarified that he didn't support Nigel or UKIP, & Anne Marie is an Irish vegan lesbian feminist, that's a lot weirder than the standard far right. He also said he thought she was left wing & that she'd been smeared.

And why put 'Islam' in quotes & act as if there's been no legitimate tensions. Moz has mentioned Rotherham, feminism, Charlie Hebdo, Orlando, the Manchester bomb & Halal slaughter. He hasn't gone on some rant about Muslims in general.

He's also never denounced the young or the woke & he came out as gender fluid, which is as woke as you can get.

And he's not 61 yet.

It probably would help if they actually listened to his solo albums & didn't just Google him.

Just like it might help if they looked at the real data from voters & didn't just dismiss them as Boomer racists who will die soon leaving a pluralistic utopia in their wake. 🙄

Well, this is a guy that thinks a literal revolution wouldn't be a bad idea. Marxists eh?
 

Pippistrella

Well-Known Member
Just another Guardian wokester rewriting history to his own personal liking.

These people and their predictable views are obsolete. Bin them along with the celebrities.
 

the_kaz

Active Member
"Owen Hatherley reflects on the generational divides that have emerged over the course of the last two UK general elections by charting the musical evolution of The Smiths. Comparing Morrissey’s political trajectory to those of many voters throughout the North of England, Hatherley investigates the roots of the North’s departure from anti-Thatcherite collectivism to nationalist reaction."

https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/46...the-politics-and-aesthetics-of-english-misery
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Very good writing.

I don't agree with all of it, by any means, but that's a fascinating left-wing take on Morrissey over the decades and how his current "stance" (if it's anything as coherent as a stance, which I don't think it is) is reflective of much wider English traits and beliefs.

The irony, of course, being that the overlap between those two things results in practically zero sales - as reactionary, conservative older types have never liked Morrissey, because he's too weird for them.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Very good writing.

I don't agree with all of it, by any means, but that's a fascinating left-wing take on Morrissey over the decades and how his current "stance" (if it's anything as coherent as a stance, which I don't think it is) is reflective of much wider English traits and beliefs.

The irony, of course, being that the overlap between those two things results in practically zero sales - as reactionary, conservative older types have never liked Morrissey, because he's too weird for them.
I don't agree with any of it because he's got his take on Morrissey from google. And he's ignoring all of the important fights on the left & acting as if we've lost because we're outnumbered by Boomers. It's a comfort read for lefties who think all we have to do is keep breathing till the old people die & then our time will come.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Very good writing.

I don't agree with all of it, by any means, but that's a fascinating left-wing take on Morrissey over the decades and how his current "stance" (if it's anything as coherent as a stance, which I don't think it is) is reflective of much wider English traits and beliefs.

The irony, of course, being that the overlap between those two things results in practically zero sales - as reactionary, conservative older types have never liked Morrissey, because he's too weird for them.
I will say one good thing about it - it's probably the Neo-Moz ur-legend.

I can't see it getting any more elaborate than that.
 

DreamingofStew

Active Member
Bloody hell, the author says he wants to understand this shift in politics, but at no point whatsoever makes any actual attempt to understand. He has what Emmett Rensin called 'the smug style in liberalism' down to a tee. (At least the smug part of it, if he is a Marxist rather than a liberal.)

https://www.vox.com/2016/4/21/11451378/smug-american-liberalism

People keep wondering why Labour were slaughtered at the last election. It's because they are perceived as the party of insufferable smug gits like this Owen Hatherley. They really are hopeless, aren't they?

 

Pippistrella

Well-Known Member
Bloody hell, the author says he wants to understand this shift in politics, but at no point whatsoever makes any actual attempt to understand. He has what Emmett Rensin called 'the smug style in liberalism' down to a tee. (At least the smug part of it, if he is a Marxist rather than a liberal.)

https://www.vox.com/2016/4/21/11451378/smug-american-liberalism

People keep wondering why Labour were slaughtered at the last election. It's because they are perceived as the party of insufferable smug gits like this Owen Hatherley. They really are hopeless, aren't they?

Starkey is brilliant. Watch him demolish the privileged wokester Laurie Penny. It's hilarious.

 
N

No Facebook Account

Guest
This is one of the better "guys, have you realized Morrissey is racist?" accounts but the prosecution's case is still sorely lacking. It's easy to cherry-pick signs that Morrissey is a middle-aged racist. It's also easy to run down a list of signs which, if they don't exonerate him, profoundly complicate the picture.

We're all familiar with the list of offenses. It's dutifully recited with each new essay or review expressing horror at what Morrissey has allegedly become.

There is also a list in his defense: his wholehearted embrace of his Mexican fanbase, his surprising cosmopolitanism (songs about Mexico, France, Turkey, Israel), attacks on America in the Bush era ("America Is Not The World"), support for Obama, a few newer tracks like "Who Will Protect Us From The Police?" with its closing refrain of 'Venezuela!', his recent use of an inspirational image associated with the Black Panthers, and on and on and on.

Sure, every one of those points can be contested, but so can all the damning ones. To take just one example from Hatherley's essay, yes, "Panic" contains a withering line about DJs. But to say it's about "black music" is to ignore the song's direct inspiration. Immediately following a story about Chernobyl, Radio One played a Wham track, a disconnect which stunned Morrissey and Marr into writing the song (it is Marr, whose politics are not in question, who affirms the truth of that anecdote). "Panic" is obviously an attack on mainstream pop.

Well, but didn't Morrissey hate reggae? Here's an excerpt from a 2003 Guardian article about Morrissey's revived Attack label, an imprint of Trojan:

"Despite his gibe about reggae, made to the NME in the 1980s, Morrisey picked a ska track - Swan Lake by the Cats - when he curated a compilation of music for a series devoted to famous artists' influences.

Commenting on his choice, he told the music magazine Word: "I once said, 'Reggae is vile,' did I? Well, several tongue-in-cheek things were said in those days, which, when placed in cold print, lost their humorous quality.

"This track, along with Double Barrel and Young, Gifted and Black, were staple teenage necessities to me."

He added: "Anyway, annoying the NME always has value."

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/jun/07/arts.artsnews

Really, there's almost no offense committed by Morrissey that doesn't have another side which overturns or heavily qualifies it. Again: if not an exonerating side, then a side that complicates and muddies the picture enough to make any reasonable person back off from slamming him with terms like "racist" and "suburban fascist".

The truth is, Morrissey's songs and public persona have always presented a difficult ambiguity, both in The Smiths and as a solo artist, and if one is too narrow in one's interpretation, if one only selects some aspects of his work to examine and not others, the wrong conclusions will surely be reached.

This is even clearer with respect to his public remarks. Has anyone read the article in 1985, after "Meat Is Murder", when a writer notes he's wearing leather shoes and he brushes it off? Has anyone read the piece from the mid-90s in which Morrissey-- Morrissey, writer of "Margaret On The Guillotine"-- laments the "public decapitation" of Thatcher? Does no one remember when he called Americans, not a "subspecies", but "a few steps above diseased orangutans?"

What's changed comes down to art, not politics: Morrissey is currently taking a beating among critics and industry peers because his music is no longer compelling enough to make them do the tricky work of unraveling his ambiguities. Unlike his time in The Smiths, when the music was so good critics were willing to take on the thorny task of figuring him out, Morrissey's solo career has been so artistically patchy and culturally irrelevant that no one bothers to investigate what he's actually saying anymore. Can you imagine what Simon Reynolds would say if you asked him to approach "I Am Not A Dog On A Chain" with the same enthusiasm and depth of interpretation he brought to his excellent piece on "Viva Hate"? He'd chew through his own leg to avoid that assignment.

So we're flush with public condemnations sent down from people who haven't bothered to pay attention since 1987. Among writers and critics there's no investment in understanding Morrissey. Why bother? It's easier to scan headlines. Easier to wag a finger about a badge than it is to dwell on the giant photos of James Baldwin and Bruce Lee he used as backdrops on his last tour. The badge tells a simple picture, just like the Union Jack at Madstock. Low-hanging fruit for shocked leftists too bored by Morrissey's music to do their homework.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Bloody hell, the author says he wants to understand this shift in politics, but at no point whatsoever makes any actual attempt to understand. He has what Emmett Rensin called 'the smug style in liberalism' down to a tee. (At least the smug part of it, if he is a Marxist rather than a liberal.)

https://www.vox.com/2016/4/21/11451378/smug-american-liberalism

People keep wondering why Labour were slaughtered at the last election. It's because they are perceived as the party of insufferable smug gits like this Owen Hatherley. They really are hopeless, aren't they?

If they dared look it might undermine their sense of moral superiority & their destiny as The Right Side Of History.

It's unthinkable that they could be bigoted or wrong, so the only reasonable explanation is that the Boomers were Hiding Their Fascism In Plain Sight In Smiths Lyrics until coming out in December 2019 but thankfully will die soon.
 

Stephen Hofmann

Well-Known Member
This is one of the better "guys, have you realized Morrissey is racist?" accounts but the prosecution's case is still sorely lacking. It's easy to cherry-pick signs that Morrissey is a middle-aged racist. It's also easy to run down a list of signs which, if they don't exonerate him, profoundly complicate the picture.

We're all familiar with the list of offenses. It's dutifully recited with each new essay or review expressing horror at what Morrissey has allegedly become.

There is also a list in his defense: his wholehearted embrace of his Mexican fanbase, his surprising cosmopolitanism (songs about Mexico, France, Turkey, Israel), attacks on America in the Bush era ("America Is Not The World"), support for Obama, a few newer tracks like "Who Will Protect Us From The Police?" with its closing refrain of 'Venezuela!', his recent use of an inspirational image associated with the Black Panthers, and on and on and on.

Sure, every one of those points can be contested, but so can all the damning ones. To take just one example from Hatherley's essay, yes, "Panic" contains a withering line about DJs. But to say it's about "black music" is to ignore the song's direct inspiration. Immediately following a story about Chernobyl, Radio One played a Wham track, a disconnect which stunned Morrissey and Marr into writing the song (it is Marr, whose politics are not in question, who affirms the truth of that anecdote). "Panic" is obviously an attack on mainstream pop.

Well, but didn't Morrissey hate reggae? Here's an excerpt from a 2003 Guardian article about Morrissey's revived Attack label, an imprint of Trojan:

"Despite his gibe about reggae, made to the NME in the 1980s, Morrisey picked a ska track - Swan Lake by the Cats - when he curated a compilation of music for a series devoted to famous artists' influences.

Commenting on his choice, he told the music magazine Word: "I once said, 'Reggae is vile,' did I? Well, several tongue-in-cheek things were said in those days, which, when placed in cold print, lost their humorous quality.

"This track, along with Double Barrel and Young, Gifted and Black, were staple teenage necessities to me."

He added: "Anyway, annoying the NME always has value."

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/jun/07/arts.artsnews

Really, there's almost no offense committed by Morrissey that doesn't have another side which overturns or heavily qualifies it. Again: if not an exonerating side, then a side that complicates and muddies the picture enough to make any reasonable person back off from slamming him with terms like "racist" and "suburban fascist".

The truth is, Morrissey's songs and public persona have always presented a difficult ambiguity, both in The Smiths and as a solo artist, and if one is too narrow in one's interpretation, if one only selects some aspects of his work to examine and not others, the wrong conclusions will surely be reached.

This is even clearer with respect to his public remarks. Has anyone read the article in 1985, after "Meat Is Murder", when a writer notes he's wearing leather shoes and he brushes it off? Has anyone read the piece from the mid-90s in which Morrissey-- Morrissey, writer of "Margaret On The Guillotine"-- laments the "public decapitation" of Thatcher? Does no one remember when he called Americans, not a "subspecies", but "a few steps above diseased orangutans?"

What's changed comes down to art, not politics: Morrissey is currently taking a beating among critics and industry peers because his music is no longer compelling enough to make them do the tricky work of unraveling his ambiguities. Unlike his time in The Smiths, when the music was so good critics were willing to take on the thorny task of figuring him out, Morrissey's solo career has been so artistically patchy and culturally irrelevant that no one bothers to investigate what he's actually saying anymore. Can you imagine what Simon Reynolds would say if you asked him to approach "I Am Not A Dog On A Chain" with the same enthusiasm and depth of interpretation he brought to his excellent piece on "Viva Hate"? He'd chew through his own leg to avoid that assignment.

So we're flush with public condemnations sent down from people who haven't bothered to pay attention since 1987. Among writers and critics there's no investment in understanding Morrissey. Why bother? It's easier to scan headlines. Easier to wag a finger about a badge than it is to dwell on the giant photos of James Baldwin and Bruce Lee he used as backdrops on his last tour. The badge tells a simple picture, just like the Union Jack at Madstock. Low-hanging fruit for shocked leftists too bored by Morrissey's music to do their homework.

We all say and do things at different stages of lives and we may or may not mean them. He's as contrary as all of humanity.
 
R

Respo

Guest
We all say and do things at different stages of lives and we may or may not mean them. He's as contrary as all of humanity.
Yeah, for example, last week and the week before, and actually the week before that I thought skiddy was a complete knob. This week I think he's a complete and utter c*nt and bigot.
At this stage of my life I can't see any of that changing.

I've not reached the point yet where I don't mean it though...that's some way off. I might even take that to my grave.

But all can be salvaged...

All he needs to do is write a full written apology for all his evil mutterings, and retract his clear endorsement of the far shite-wing Bigoted Narcissist Party (BNP), and support for the For Bigots (FB) party then we'll be good. His loose, nasty, mouth has really not helped him in the popularity stakes, anywhere; his drone-base has been totally devastated, probably lost around the 80% mark now. People won't even attempt his crossword puzzles, or view his twatter page.

I, for one, hope he can turn it around, so we can welcome him back into the fold.

It's all in his hands really...
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
This is one of the better "guys, have you realized Morrissey is racist?" accounts but the prosecution's case is still sorely lacking. It's easy to cherry-pick signs that Morrissey is a middle-aged racist. It's also easy to run down a list of signs which, if they don't exonerate him, profoundly complicate the picture.

We're all familiar with the list of offenses. It's dutifully recited with each new essay or review expressing horror at what Morrissey has allegedly become.

There is also a list in his defense: his wholehearted embrace of his Mexican fanbase, his surprising cosmopolitanism (songs about Mexico, France, Turkey, Israel), attacks on America in the Bush era ("America Is Not The World"), support for Obama, a few newer tracks like "Who Will Protect Us From The Police?" with its closing refrain of 'Venezuela!', his recent use of an inspirational image associated with the Black Panthers, and on and on and on.

Sure, every one of those points can be contested, but so can all the damning ones. To take just one example from Hatherley's essay, yes, "Panic" contains a withering line about DJs. But to say it's about "black music" is to ignore the song's direct inspiration. Immediately following a story about Chernobyl, Radio One played a Wham track, a disconnect which stunned Morrissey and Marr into writing the song (it is Marr, whose politics are not in question, who affirms the truth of that anecdote). "Panic" is obviously an attack on mainstream pop.

Well, but didn't Morrissey hate reggae? Here's an excerpt from a 2003 Guardian article about Morrissey's revived Attack label, an imprint of Trojan:

"Despite his gibe about reggae, made to the NME in the 1980s, Morrisey picked a ska track - Swan Lake by the Cats - when he curated a compilation of music for a series devoted to famous artists' influences.

Commenting on his choice, he told the music magazine Word: "I once said, 'Reggae is vile,' did I? Well, several tongue-in-cheek things were said in those days, which, when placed in cold print, lost their humorous quality.

"This track, along with Double Barrel and Young, Gifted and Black, were staple teenage necessities to me."

He added: "Anyway, annoying the NME always has value."

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/jun/07/arts.artsnews

Really, there's almost no offense committed by Morrissey that doesn't have another side which overturns or heavily qualifies it. Again: if not an exonerating side, then a side that complicates and muddies the picture enough to make any reasonable person back off from slamming him with terms like "racist" and "suburban fascist".

The truth is, Morrissey's songs and public persona have always presented a difficult ambiguity, both in The Smiths and as a solo artist, and if one is too narrow in one's interpretation, if one only selects some aspects of his work to examine and not others, the wrong conclusions will surely be reached.

This is even clearer with respect to his public remarks. Has anyone read the article in 1985, after "Meat Is Murder", when a writer notes he's wearing leather shoes and he brushes it off? Has anyone read the piece from the mid-90s in which Morrissey-- Morrissey, writer of "Margaret On The Guillotine"-- laments the "public decapitation" of Thatcher? Does no one remember when he called Americans, not a "subspecies", but "a few steps above diseased orangutans?"

What's changed comes down to art, not politics: Morrissey is currently taking a beating among critics and industry peers because his music is no longer compelling enough to make them do the tricky work of unraveling his ambiguities. Unlike his time in The Smiths, when the music was so good critics were willing to take on the thorny task of figuring him out, Morrissey's solo career has been so artistically patchy and culturally irrelevant that no one bothers to investigate what he's actually saying anymore. Can you imagine what Simon Reynolds would say if you asked him to approach "I Am Not A Dog On A Chain" with the same enthusiasm and depth of interpretation he brought to his excellent piece on "Viva Hate"? He'd chew through his own leg to avoid that assignment.

So we're flush with public condemnations sent down from people who haven't bothered to pay attention since 1987. Among writers and critics there's no investment in understanding Morrissey. Why bother? It's easier to scan headlines. Easier to wag a finger about a badge than it is to dwell on the giant photos of James Baldwin and Bruce Lee he used as backdrops on his last tour. The badge tells a simple picture, just like the Union Jack at Madstock. Low-hanging fruit for shocked leftists too bored by Morrissey's music to do their homework.
I agree to a point - but I think they should pay more attention to his solo career.

It's good & it's been neglected.
 

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