"To die by his side: How far is too far for Morrissey’s devout fanbase?" - FACT Magazine

To die by his side: How far is too far for Morrissey’s devout fanbase? - FACT Magazine
by April Clare Welsh

A rather interesting article allowing both sides of the argument. Includes contribution from the man who still runs this website for better or worse...

The audiences he has been attracting in Mexico are phenomenal for someone without a record deal but the glory days are long gone for me.


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A

Anonymous

Guest
This is nonsense. You won't even take responsibility for the language you use.

You won't even note that I called him a man in that post without referring to him as black or in the other post above. This does feel like I'm talking to count three again
 
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Angela Davis Jr

Guest
You won't even note that I called him a man in that post without referring to him as black or in the other post above. This does feel like I'm talking to count three again

"Well, yes officer, I was speeding but yesterday I went the speed limit."
You're trying to say that you don't see James Baldwin as a black man, right? Or am I wrong? Yet you called him a black man. The fact that you also see him as a man, a writer or a person with depression doesn't change that you see him as a black man. But the wonderful thing is that it's not even about you so it really doesn't matter. I only used that because if you could say, "Of course I see him as a black man and I can understand that many people would see him as a black man," your other arguments, poorly constructed as they are, might be more likely to get some benefit of the doubt. I might think that what you were trying to express, in that impassioned but nonsensical post, were actual beliefs and not the sort of excuses that the article in question is addressing very plainly and directly.
I have no idea who count three is but I know that if you're trying to make some sort of personal remark it's just a sign that you know at some level that your argument has failed.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
"Well, yes officer, I was speeding but yesterday I went the speed limit."
You're trying to say that you don't see James Baldwin as a black man, right? Or am I wrong? Yet you called him a black man. The fact that you also see him as a man, a writer or a person with depression doesn't change that you see him as a black man. But the wonderful thing is that it's not even about you so it really doesn't matter. I only used that because if you could say, "Of course I see him as a black man and I can understand that many people would see him as a black man," your other arguments, poorly constructed as they are, might be more likely to get some benefit of the doubt. I might think that what you were trying to express, in that impassioned but nonsensical post, were actual beliefs and not the sort of excuses that the article in question is addressing very plainly and directly.
I have no idea who count three is but I know that if you're trying to make some sort of personal remark it's just a sign that you know at some level that your argument has failed.

No I'm saying that his being a black man doesn't dominate define or is relevant to every context his image is put in. We don't need to make it so either when more obvious meanings present themselves as it doesn't do him any service as a black man and possibly does him a disservice as an artist. That it's a stretch to make use of the word black relate to his race here though people who want to see outrage or are just nervous about race in general seem to be trying really hard to do so. Especially smiths fans who already know that the meaning of the original line also relates to Baldwin. That It's possible to see other more relevant things about him than his skin color and that his being black shouldn't be the obvious go to when trying to associate meaning to any the context he's put in
 
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Anonymous

Guest
You can underline it, you can bold it, you can write it in ALL CAPS, but the one thing you have failed to do is make it coherent.
"You can not say that those millions who believe there's only one race of human beings, a lot of them far less privileged than the less privileged american citizen, are trivializing the condition of an american citizen ignoring his skin tone."
What?
"writing very well promoted articles and songs about how hard is to be an american with a darker skin tone, when they actually have at least basic safety and food, which is a privilege"
If black people, sorry, people with darker skin tone, in America have food and basic safety this is a privilege? That's an interesting take for someone who believes race doesn't exist, and that racism is over.
It's pretty obvious that you think that black people in America should shut up with the complaints and be happy that they have food. Slaves had food. Were they privileged?
And you seem to have an issue with people protesting that academy awards go almost exclusively to white people. I guess these people that protest should just be glad that they are allowed to go to the cinema and watch a movie.
You also seem to think that there are mobs of people in America protesting this t-shirt which I think would be overstating the situation. Most people here don't know who Morrissey is. If they have heard of him it's because of some idiotic statement he has made in the press. But there are also an awful lot of people that used to listen to him or to The Smiths, along with Depeche Mode, New Order, and The Cure, but great masses of these people are not even aware an entity called Morrissey is still occasionally releasing some product. They aren't "checking for him" as the kids say. So if you're afraid that the protests against the t-shirt are taking valuable protesting energy away from the Syria attacks or something let me assure you nothing could be further from the truth.

I'm talking about the contemporary situation, not about historical injustices. Every few decades there is a new world order. If you think it's right to support the fake victimization of the most privileged people of the world, you are the incoherent one. People are literally killing themselves trying to enter there and become american citizens because they know they will have at least one opportunity. In other places you have less than nothing. Terrible things are happening around the world and some people believe they are heroes because they talk about who should win an Oscar prize or get offended by the face in a t-shirt. They are just helping to hide the most serious problems of our present world. There is not solidarity with suffering people. It's all about me, me and me. A bombing is just a news episode and a way of showing power to a foreign guest premier. We are living the triviality of pain, mainstream culture is a tool to hide true and acual serious injustices. Is it necessary to wait 30 years to make a tribute to today's pains? Again?
I know who Morrissey is and his place in America. I'm not afraid for him, he is doing perfectly well.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
You won't even note that I called him a man in that post without referring to him as black or in the other post above. This does feel like I'm talking to count three again

Baldwyn was a thinking human being. As a true thinker, if he were alive today he would be concerned by other topics more relevant to the human condition of our times. On a personal level, possibly he would be happily married living in a progressive middle class neighborhood.
He deserves a tribute because he actually fought the battles of his time. Like Joan d'Arc and others. I ask where is today's James Baldyn. It's not Whoopi Goldberg nor Steve Bannon.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I think Baldwyn is in Mississippi but no I don't think it'll be whoopi or Kanye. It'll be interesting to see if history reveals someone going unnoticed in literature (as they're not being noticed now) but these days it'll probably be someone in an academic field. Something along the lines of the economics of poverty and deacrimination. Funny I had to edit the auto correct which automatically wants to make it baldwin
 
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Angela Davis Jr

Guest
No I'm saying that his being a black man doesn't dominate define or is relevant to every context his image is put in. We don't need to make it so either when more obvious meanings present themselves as it doesn't do him any service as a black man and possibly does him a disservice as an artist. That it's a stretch to make use of the word black relate to his race here though people who want to see outrage or are just nervous about race in general seem to be trying really hard to do so. Especially smiths fans who already know that the meaning of the original line also relates to Baldwin. That It's possible to see other more relevant things about him than his skin color and that his being black shouldn't be the obvious go to when trying to associate meaning to any the context he's put in

Yes, there is a stretch here, but it's not in seeing the only black person that ever appeared in Morrissey's iconography as black. There is a stretch in refusing to address that Morrissey said that Obama was "white on the inside" and then a few months later approved a t-shirt design contrasting the line "black is how I feel on the inside" with a black activist. It's a stretch to say that the obvious meaning is "a stretch."
What you're doing is denying Baldwin his black identity in order not to have to confront that Morrissey made a blunder.
This is concluded really. You're just repeating yourself and your refusal to discuss the Obama quote in context of this t-shirt tells me that you know who is really making a stretch.
 
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Angela Davis Jr

Guest
I'm talking about the contemporary situation, not about historical injustices. Every few decades there is a new world order. If you think it's right to support the fake victimization of the most privileged people of the world, you are the incoherent one. People are literally killing themselves trying to enter there and become american citizens because they know they will have at least one opportunity. In other places you have less than nothing. Terrible things are happening around the world and some people believe they are heroes because they talk about who should win an Oscar prize or get offended by the face in a t-shirt. They are just helping to hide the most serious problems of our present world. There is not solidarity with suffering people. It's all about me, me and me. A bombing is just a news episode and a way of showing power to a foreign guest premier. We are living the triviality of pain, mainstream culture is a tool to hide true and acual serious injustices. Is it necessary to wait 30 years to make a tribute to today's pains? Again?
I know who Morrissey is and his place in America. I'm not afraid for him, he is doing perfectly well.
The Oscars protests were a while ago and you still seem upset that black artists are trying to draw attention to the fact that motion pictures and the motion picture industry are dominated by white people. It's possible that many of the people that had something to say about that also are active in other causes. Choosing that cause doesn't mean that you can't also work for some other issue to be recognized. And the motion picture industry is important because it exports culture around the world. Film is a powerful medium. Films are very expensive to produce and distribute. Music is more equally representative because anyone can make music on a computer and distribute it on the Internet. It is consumed in a different way. To get a film in cinemas still requires the support and cooperation of powerful people. It is an important issue and one that people in the industry should not have to apologize for bringing to light. I agree that Will Smith doesn't have a lot to complain about if you look at his individual circumstances, but he is someone who has a voice and can raise awareness of inequality in the industry so I don't believe he should have to be silent. In effect you're saying that the only people who should be able to complain are people that have no voice and won't be heard, and from your earlier post you'd say they shouldn't complain anyway because they're not being beaten and they have food. I don't think you mean to but the logical extension of your thinking is that the only people who should be allowed to complain are those who are dying and won't be heard from anyway.
When you say mainstream culture is a tool to hide true and actual serious injustices, I think it probably depends on your own viewpoint and what news stations you watch. I think that most viewpoints do have a fair chance of being represented but you just might have to look for the viewpoints you want to see.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The Oscars protests were a while ago and you still seem upset that black artists are trying to draw attention to the fact that motion pictures and the motion picture industry are dominated by white people. It's possible that many of the people that had something to say about that also are active in other causes. Choosing that cause doesn't mean that you can't also work for some other issue to be recognized. And the motion picture industry is important because it exports culture around the world. Film is a powerful medium. Films are very expensive to produce and distribute. Music is more equally representative because anyone can make music on a computer and distribute it on the Internet. It is consumed in a different way. To get a film in cinemas still requires the support and cooperation of powerful people. It is an important issue and one that people in the industry should not have to apologize for bringing to light. I agree that Will Smith doesn't have a lot to complain about if you look at his individual circumstances, but he is someone who has a voice and can raise awareness of inequality in the industry so I don't believe he should have to be silent. In effect you're saying that the only people who should be able to complain are people that have no voice and won't be heard, and from your earlier post you'd say they shouldn't complain anyway because they're not being beaten and they have food. I don't think you mean to but the logical extension of your thinking is that the only people who should be allowed to complain are those who are dying and won't be heard from anyway.
When you say mainstream culture is a tool to hide true and actual serious injustices, I think it probably depends on your own viewpoint and what news stations you watch. I think that most viewpoints do have a fair chance of being represented but you just might have to look for the viewpoints you want to see.

No, the logical extension of my thinking is that people should protest harder and louder in favour of people who suffer serious humanitarian risks. I'm sure we all have something to protest about and certainly oscar prizes worth thousand of millions, but it's unethical to complain about them from mansions in Hollywood using civil rights as an argument, and at the same time saying nothing about bigger atrocities that are happening in the world. That is hypocrisy.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yes, there is a stretch here, but it's not in seeing the only black person that ever appeared in Morrissey's iconography as black. There is a stretch in refusing to address that Morrissey said that Obama was "white on the inside" and then a few months later approved a t-shirt design contrasting the line "black is how I feel on the inside" with a black activist. It's a stretch to say that the obvious meaning is "a stretch."
What you're doing is denying Baldwin his black identity in order not to have to confront that Morrissey made a blunder.
This is concluded really. You're just repeating yourself and your refusal to discuss the Obama quote in context of this t-shirt tells me that you know who is really making a stretch.

So now the smiths lyric he used is a reference to a comment he made seven months ago and we need to discuss that interview and his comments thoughts on obama now to understand the shirts and morrisseys meaning and intention. The shirt, morrissey, is saying here's a real black man? Im not denying Baldwin his legacy as an activist I just don't assume that any line with the word black in it is a reference to race. Why would I. especially when I'd have to assume a new meaning other than the context the words already been used in. I've no idea what morrisseys intention was or what he wants to say with this shirt but the lines original meaning fits the man it's next to. That would makes it the most obvious meaning. It's a stretch to think it's in line with his words about another person from over half a year ago. If anything I'd say your thoughts on that incident are leading you to make the assumption and to look for a way to view the shirt in the way that you are. This is me repeating myself because your conversation tends to drift and evolve. You may or may not be count three, who can care, but that is reminiscent of him from my experience
 
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Angela Davis Jr

Guest
So now the smiths lyric he used is a reference to a comment he made seven months ago and we need to discuss that interview and his comments thoughts on obama now to understand the shirts and morrisseys meaning and intention. The shirt, morrissey, is saying here's a real black man? Im not denying Baldwin his legacy as an activist I just don't assume that any line with the word black in it is a reference to race. Why would I. especially when I'd have to assume a new meaning other than the context the words already been used in. I've no idea what morrisseys intention was or what he wants to say with this shirt but the lines original meaning fits the man it's next to. That would makes it the most obvious meaning. It's a stretch to think it's in line with his words about another person from over half a year ago. If anything I'd say your thoughts on that incident are leading you to make the assumption and to look for a way to view the shirt in the way that you are. This is me repeating myself because your conversation tends to drift and evolve. You may or may not be count three, who can care, but that is reminiscent of him from my experience

Okay, I understand that we're not going to get anywhere. One of you is fixated on people having the nerve to protest inequality in the industry they work in, an industry which influences culture around the world and affects lives. The other, you, want to talk about "context" while failing to recognize that context is exactly what we're discussing.
The words in the song have one meaning. In that context it's a kind of cheesy line about wearing black clothes because you're sad. I don't remember Morrissey ever wearing black clothes but maybe he was just using that line before Robert Smith could. It sounds more fitting for The Cure. But it had one context then.
If it was just the words on a shirt it would still be the same context. When you place it next to a photo of a person the context changes. It is no longer just the words of the song. It almost looks like a quote by the man in the photo.
Now to place that in context and to answer whether there is a reference to "black" as identity, we handily have a quote about another black man which uses very similar language, too similar to be ignored unless you're bent on pretending that we have no possible way of guessing any possible meanings of the way the line is used on the t-shirt. "White on the inside" as opposed to "black is how I feel on the inside." You don't think there could possibly be any use in comparing the two statements? I think it's clear there is, if not an intentional connection, at least a hint to how Morrissey thinks. It must be all that Public Enemy he listens to now.
But you're right. It's true that it's all repetition now. Believe what you want to. Don't be surprised that others see it differently. In the end it served the purpose of getting attention and dividing people. That seems to be Morrissey's mission, making his core audience feel like "us vs. them."
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Okay, I understand that we're not going to get anywhere. One of you is fixated on people having the nerve to protest inequality in the industry they work in, an industry which influences culture around the world and affects lives. The other, you, want to talk about "context" while failing to recognize that context is exactly what we're discussing.
The words in the song have one meaning. In that context it's a kind of cheesy line about wearing black clothes because you're sad. I don't remember Morrissey ever wearing black clothes but maybe he was just using that line before Robert Smith could. It sounds more fitting for The Cure. But it had one context then.
If it was just the words on a shirt it would still be the same context. When you place it next to a photo of a person the context changes. It is no longer just the words of the song. It almost looks like a quote by the man in the photo.
Now to place that in context and to answer whether there is a reference to "black" as identity, we handily have a quote about another black man which uses very similar language, too similar to be ignored unless you're bent on pretending that we have no possible way of guessing any possible meanings of the way the line is used on the t-shirt. "White on the inside" as opposed to "black is how I feel on the inside." You don't think there could possibly be any use in comparing the two statements? I think it's clear there is, if not an intentional connection, at least a hint to how Morrissey thinks. It must be all that Public Enemy he listens to now.
But you're right. It's true that it's all repetition now. Believe what you want to. Don't be surprised that others see it differently. In the end it served the purpose of getting attention and dividing people. That seems to be Morrissey's mission, making his core audience feel like "us vs. them."

I think it's a stretch and not the obvious interpretation. You could look at it that way if you had a problem with what he said on Larry king and that's in your mind and want to try and connect it. If you're looking for it. or if you just see the word black next to a black person and think any use the word must relate to race which people can do as most are anxious to any mention of race. Since the original meaning of the line fits the person its next to and could be said by the person, even a black person, that would be the most obvious way to see it. The shirt is made to stand and be interpreted alone. If so what do you think the shirt is saying or is trying to say. That Baldwin wears his skin color because he feels black? You're right though we're not getting anywhere. Enjoy though
 
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Angela Davis Jr

Guest
I think it's a stretch and not the obvious interpretation. You could look at it that way if you had a problem with what he said on Larry king and that's in your mind and want to try and connect it. If you're looking for it. or if you just see the word black next to a black person and think any use the word must relate to race which people can do as most are anxious to any mention of race. Since the original meaning of the line fits the person its next to and could be said by the person, even a black person, that would be the most obvious way to see it. The shirt is made to stand and be interpreted alone. If so what do you think the shirt is saying or is trying to say. That Baldwin wears his skin color because he feels black? You're right though we're not getting anywhere. Enjoy though

No, you really don't have to look for it. You have to choose not to ignore it. You claim the shirt is meant to be interpreted alone, and at the same time you keep talking about context. How do you know how the shirt is "meant to be interpreted?" You don't. But ignoring the obvious and making baseless claims like that is the only way you can sustain your argument.
And no, I don't think Baldwin wears his skin color because he feels black. I think the shirt was recontextualizing the quote. Remember, this is Morrissey we're talking about, the same person who thought that "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" should be an obvious hit single because it has the word Paris in it. You don't think he's above referencing skin color when he can get involved in something like that do you? This is the same person who talked about Colonel Sanders friend chicken in the wake of the mass murder of teenagers.
The reason we're not going to get anywhere is because you have your conclusion predetermined and you will bend any facts to support it, such as "the shirt is meant to be interpreted alone." But that's okay. I think it has been demonstrated sufficiently and I don't think anyone else cares anymore. :thumb:
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
No, you really don't have to look for it. You have to choose not to ignore it. You claim the shirt is meant to be interpreted alone, and at the same time you keep talking about context. How do you know how the shirt is "meant to be interpreted?" You don't. But ignoring the obvious and making baseless claims like that is the only way you can sustain your argument.
And no, I don't think Baldwin wears his skin color because he feels black. I think the shirt was recontextualizing the quote. Remember, this is Morrissey we're talking about, the same person who thought that "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" should be an obvious hit single because it has the word Paris in it. You don't think he's above referencing skin color when he can get involved in something like that do you? This is the same person who talked about Colonel Sanders friend chicken in the wake of the mass murder of teenagers.
The reason we're not going to get anywhere is because you have your conclusion predetermined and you will bend any facts to support it, such as "the shirt is meant to be interpreted alone." But that's okay. I think it has been demonstrated sufficiently and I don't think anyone else cares anymore. :thumb:

'"I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" should be an obvious hit single because it has the word Paris in it.'

Is that what he said ? Can you please supply a link to him saying that the song would be a hit just because in had the word 'Paris' in it?

Or are you just 'bending any facts' to support your predetermined conclusions?
 
F

F Lee Bailey

Guest
'"I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" should be an obvious hit single because it has the word Paris in it.'

Is that what he said ? Can you please supply a link to him saying that the song would be a hit just because in had the word 'Paris' in it?

Or are you just 'bending any facts' to support your predetermined conclusions?

http://true-to-you.net/morrissey_news_151125_02
Look at the letter "Boz" sent to the record company.
My name is Boz Boorer and I represent all of the musicians who played
on I'M THROWING MY ARMS AROUND PARIS (Morrissey).


We are shocked that you have made no move this week to promote the
above song (download/special 7-inch/special CD) to support the people
of Paris. Any other artist would be number 1 with this song RIGHT NOW.


Why are you doing nothing? There is no other song in modern music that
aptly supports the people of Paris.

It was followed by Morrissey's claim http://true-to-you.net/morrissey_news_151119_01 that he, Morrissey, had asked that the song be re-released and was refused.
Here is Morrissey lying about the letter.
http://true-to-you.net/morrissey_news_151125_01
Morrissey is in possession of a letter from John Reid at Russells (London) in which it is clearly stated that David Joseph of Universal Music (London) has no interest in re-issuing I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris, but has instead planned his own tribute to the Paris victims for December which will only involve current Universal bands.

Of course when the letter was revealed later it actually agreed to licensing the re-release of Paris and simply asked where the money was going to go, but that's old news, as is all of this.
:thumb:
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
http://true-to-you.net/morrissey_news_151125_02
Look at the letter "Boz" sent to the record company.
My name is Boz Boorer and I represent all of the musicians who played
on I'M THROWING MY ARMS AROUND PARIS (Morrissey).


We are shocked that you have made no move this week to promote the
above song (download/special 7-inch/special CD) to support the people
of Paris. Any other artist would be number 1 with this song RIGHT NOW.


Why are you doing nothing? There is no other song in modern music that
aptly supports the people of Paris.

It was followed by Morrissey's claim http://true-to-you.net/morrissey_news_151119_01 that he, Morrissey, had asked that the song be re-released and was refused.
Here is Morrissey lying about the letter.
http://true-to-you.net/morrissey_news_151125_01
Morrissey is in possession of a letter from John Reid at Russells (London) in which it is clearly stated that David Joseph of Universal Music (London) has no interest in re-issuing I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris, but has instead planned his own tribute to the Paris victims for December which will only involve current Universal bands.

Of course when the letter was revealed later it actually agreed to licensing the re-release of Paris and simply asked where the money was going to go, but that's old news, as is all of this.
:thumb:

No... in your post #53 you said....

'Remember, this is Morrissey we're talking about, the same person who thought that'"I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" should be an obvious hit single because it has the word Paris in it.'


And so I ask again .....


Can you please supply a link to him saying that the song would be a hit just because it had the word 'Paris' in it?


Or are you just 'bending any facts' to support your predetermined conclusions?

:tiphat:
 

Qvist

Well-Known Member
Yes, really. "What is also on the t-shirt: using the term black in a completely different sense, is juxtaposed with a "picture of a black man." Those are your words, "picture of a black man." Not "picture of a man Morrissey admires," "picture of a well-known writer," "picture of a man who wrote about his own depression," but "picture of a black man.".

I think you'll find those were Your Words, actually. To directly quote you : The problem is that it's really obvious what "black" means when it's a black man on the t-shirt. With which I disagree. Among other Things, precisely because the Picture is of a specific person (Baldwin), and includes a Smiths quote, each of which comes With its own context. What I wrote was this: Depicted, Baldwin wearing black. So, that's an icon of depression wearing black. Also, it's an icon of black empowerment wearing black.

Then you followed it up With this:

Of course it's possible that another meaning can be constructed but you can definitely "take as implied a connection between black as a skin color ... and black as a state of mind." It's very obvious. Otherwise we're playing this game where we pretend we see him as a man and not as a black man, and doesn't that strip him of some of his identity?

It is not merely "possible that another meaning can be constucted", there are other meanings positively leaping out at anyone who is prepared to see them and is aware of the context. Secondly, the point is what does "black as a state of mind" mean? In this specific case at least, there are at least two different viable meanings. One is "depressed", for which "black" is conventionally used as a metaphor. Re for example the Expression "The Black Dog". This is obviously the sense in which "black" is used in "Unloveable". It is also the sense in which a Goth would motivate his Choice of clothing, whatever his or her skin color. The other refers to skin color, and being "black on the inside" in this sense would refer to a person possessing a sense of Identity tied to his or her skin color. In the spceific case of James Baldwin, who was famously depresseive as well as a strong advocate of black civil rights, both meanings obviously apply, and taken together, they say something strong about him. But, that does not amount to a claim that there is an essential Connection between being depressed and being black. Most People of black skin color are not depressed, and most People who are depressed are not of black sin color. They are juxtaposed elements, not Connected elements. The different meanings of "black" being homonymic, not synonymic - they just happen to meet in the specific case of James Baldwin.

"Now explain to me this quote about Morrissey's views of President Obama's handlng of race relations in America, “Obama seems to be white inside.” In what sense is he using the term "white?"
If you'd like to put that in context for me in a way that isn't obviously about skin color as cultural identity, I'd be glad to read it"

Firstly, so what? Is it inherently objectionable to say something involving Someone's skin color? To a lot of people, their skin color is rather an important part of their identity, in many cases because the continued existence of racism as a social fact has caused it to shape the experience of their lives, however arbitrary it fundamentally is as a point of definition for people. Which is why a slogan such as "Black Lives matter!" make sense. Secondly, it's the first I hear of it. But if the statement was made in the context of the handling of race relations in America, it would seem resonable, at least as an immediate reaction, to see that as a claim that Obama encapsulates American mainstream values, rather than values emanating from the specific experience of being a black-skinned person in America, and an outsider. In other Words, a counterpoint to how he depicts Baldwin, and it is obviously tempting to see the two statements in conjunction. If so, there is little doubt which of the two he would be extolling. The fundamental point he would be making if that is the case does not seem to me objectionable, nor different from the general attitude he has consistently had to the world in general over the past 30 years. Although I personally do not share his appetite for Identity politics, and certainly would neither think of nor describe Obama in this way.
 
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Qvist

Well-Known Member
This would be more convincing if both of you didn't refer to him as "a black man."
I worked for this woman who was black who claimed to be "color blind" about race. One day she asked me to go to the back room and bring out "the black books." I expected to find books with black covers and when there were none I asked for clarification. She wanted the "books by the black authors."
Now it's not her fault that she sees them as "black" and there is nothing wrong with wanting to see people as people without classifying them by skin color. It's a great goal and I'm all for it. But we're not there yet. We have a history of people being sorted by color, not just in the US but throughout the world and going back thousands of years at least. So to pretend that everything is all equal now, that these divisions don't exist and that you're not aware of them, that they are not the first thing you see, in fact, is truly racist, elitist, and privileged, because, like the shirt, it trivializes the condition and situations one faces being a black person in America.

Sorry, but it is not actually feasible to decipher a coherent point of view out of this post. On the hand you complain about using the phrase "a black man", and at the same time you seem to argue that it also is not possible to do the opposite, because racism and injustice is real an ongoing, which of course it is. So....you're looking for what, exactly?
 
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F Lee Bailey

Guest
No... in your post #53 you said....

'Remember, this is Morrissey we're talking about, the same person who thought that'"I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" should be an obvious hit single because it has the word Paris in it.'


And so I ask again .....


Can you please supply a link to him saying that the song would be a hit just because it had the word 'Paris' in it?


Or are you just 'bending any facts' to support your predetermined conclusions?

:tiphat:
For people that can read, there were three links there. Thanks.
 
A

Angela Davis Jr

Guest
I think you'll find those were Your Words, actually. To directly quote you : The problem is that it's really obvious what "black" means when it's a black man on the t-shirt. With which I disagree. Among other Things, precisely because the Picture is of a specific person (Baldwin), and includes a Smiths quote, each of which comes With its own context.

Then you followed it up With this:

Of course it's possible that another meaning can be constructed but you can definitely "take as implied a connection between black as a skin color ... and black as a state of mind." It's very obvious. Otherwise we're playing this game where we pretend we see him as a man and not as a black man, and doesn't that strip him of some of his identity?

It is not merely "possible that another meaning can be constucted", there are other meanings positively leaping out at anyone who is prepared to see them and is aware of the context. Secondly, the point is what does "black as a state of mind" mean? In this specific case at least, there are at least two different viable meanings. One is "depressed", for which "black" is conventionally used as a metaphor. Re for example the Expression "The Black Dog". This is obviously the sense in which "black" is used in "Unloveable". It is also the sense in which a Goth would motivate his Choice of clothing, whatever his or her skin color. The other refers to skin color, and being "black on the inside" in this sense would refer to a person possessing a sense of Identity tied to his or her skin color. In the spceific case of James Baldwin, who was famously depresseive as well as a strong advocate of black civil rights, both meanings obviously apply, and taken together, they say something strong about him. But, that does not amount to a claim that there is an essential Connection between being depressed and being black. Most People of black skin color are not depressed, and most People who are depressed are not of black sin color. They are juxtaposed elements, not Connected elements. The different meanings of "black" being homonymic, not synonymic - they just happen to meet in the specific case of James Baldwin.

"Now explain to me this quote about Morrissey's views of President Obama's handlng of race relations in America, “Obama seems to be white inside.” In what sense is he using the term "white?"
If you'd like to put that in context for me in a way that isn't obviously about skin color as cultural identity, I'd be glad to read it"

Firstly, so what? Is it inherently objectionable to say something involving Someone's skin color? To a lot of people, their skin color is rather an important part of their identity, in many cases because the continued existence of racism as a social fact has caused it to shape the experience of their lives, however arbitrary it fundamentally is as a point of definition for people. Which is why a slogan such as "Black Lives matter!" make sense. Secondly, it's the first I hear of it. But if the statement was made in the context of the handling of race relations in America, it would seem resonable, at least as an immediate reaction, to see that as a claim that Obama encapsulates American mainstream values, rather than values emanating from the specific experience of being a black-skinned person in America, and an outsider. In other Words, a counterpoint to how he depicts Baldwin, and it is obviously tempting to see the two statements in conjunction. If so, there is little doubt which of the two he would be extolling. The fundamental point he would be making if that is the case does not seem to me objectionable, nor different from the general attitude he has consistently had to the world in general over the past 30 years. Although I personally do not share his appetite for Identity politics, and certainly would neither think of nor describe Obama in this way.

There isn't much I can say to this because you came to the same conclusions I did and it is about identity politics, in the case of the shirt, politics which Morrissey appears to be co-opting to sell merchandise.
Most people do not recognize a photo of James Baldwin and if there were a name attached, other than Morrissey's, most people would think of him as a political activist and writer and not a person who suffered from depression.
If his name were on the shirt it would be different. If it were another lyric that didn't juxtapose a quote about "feeling black on the inside" it would be different. If it were a picture of Johnny Cash, it would be different.
I think we agree except for the part where you want to say the shirt doesn't have an obvious meaning.
Close enough.
And I was going to make some comment about how long your post is but actually I found it interesting and pretty well reasoned and I did ask you to explain. You did that and I respect the time you spent and thank you for sharing your thoughts.
 
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