For several years now I’ve been a massive fan of Morrissey, there’s very few entertainers out there quite like him, and this especially goes for Morrissey’s interviews. Sure, Morrissey does seem to get made fun of more than most musicians in the indie world (at least it appears that way to me). And I’ve never been able to join in on other people’s Morrissey hate, I just can’t help but see things his way most of the time. I remember when Morrissey was on The Colbert Report and one of my friends thought that he was just being a big asshole, I’m sure there’s plenty of people who would think the same, but I agree with many of the things that Moz states.
Sure, there’s been plenty of times where he oversteps and says things that absolutely no one would say, but that’s just another reason why Morrissey will always been ten times more interesting than other entertainers. His craft goes beyond just lyrics, almost all of his interviews are filled with some very well spoken responses. Morrissey’s biggest influence has always been Oscar Wilde, and that shines in his interviews as well with plenty of wit and self-deprecating comments. Moz has gotten himself in some deep shit in past interviews by not backing off of whatever personal or political issue he chooses to discuss.
Of course, the biggest issue that Morrissey brings up is vegetarianism. Over and over he’s made plenty of outlandish statements that give a bad name to vegetarians everywhere. While I’m not a vegetarian I did try it out for a week after hearing Morrissey sing “Meat Is Murder” enough times on my iPod. Moz’s views on animal rights are quite insane, ranging from relating the Norway tragedy as “nothing compared to what happens in McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Shit every day” or saying that “the Chinese are a subspecies” because of their treatment of animals.
These kinds of statements have slightly alienated me from Morrissey, and I feel like I’ve almost reached a final straw with his recent statement put up on his official Facebook page regarding his decision to not appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live because Kimmel’s other guests that night were the stars of the reality TV show, Duck Dynasty, a show about duck hunters. Here’s parts of Morrissey’s official statement: “he cannot morally be on a television program where the cast members of Duck Dynasty will also be guests. Morrissey would be honored to play the show, if Duck Dynasty were removed” and Morrissey also stated, “I can’t take the risk of being on a show alongside people who, in effect, amount to animal serial killers.”
Morrissey decided to pull out of a scheduled show, that plenty of people must have got tickets just to see him do his one or two songs, because the other guest had a different viewpoint than himself. Morrissey has said that he’s stuck in his teenage years, and I’m starting to believe him with reactions like this. Instead of seizing the moment to have a thoughtful debate with the other guests on the show, Morrissey wimps out and doesn’t even show up.
Just a day or two after Morrissey’s comments on Duck Dynasty, an interview gets published on rookiemag.com where Morrissey (of course) says something that automatically gets strong reactions. Morrissey was asked about political causes, and somehow ended up with this quote:
War, I thought, was the most negative aspect of male heterosexuality. If more men were homosexual, there would be no wars, because homosexual men would never kill other men, whereas heterosexual men love killing other men. They even get medals for it. Women don’t go to war to kill other women. Wars and armies and nuclear weapons are essentially heterosexual hobbies.
Some people, including myself were quick to comment on this statement. It’s just Morrissey being Morrissey, but this really bothered me at first. Making a negative statement about “male heterosexuality” is just about as dumb as homophobia, right? And stating that homosexual men “would never kill other men” is just false. There’s been plenty of horrible instances where gay men have killed other gay men. How can Morrissey not realize how factually wrong is on this?
This quote stuck with me for several hours, and I kept thinking about it as the day went on, leading me to write this. The more I thought about it, I started to understand where he was coming from. Although I still think it’s slightly crazy. While saying “heterosexual men love killing other men” does seem out of line, it does add up historically. And Morrissey putting forth the hypothetical of “what if there were more gay men in the population?” and more specifically “what if there were more gay men in positions of power?” does bring up some interesting points.
While Morrissey’s quote doesn’t quite add up at first, I fully understand where he’s coming here, and I almost have to agree. Roger Ebert has already made a very powerful argument for putting more women in power over men in one of his blog posts, and I can’t help but think that putting gay men in power would have the same positive effect. There’s a certain sexism here, but the world is run by men. So, of course counteracting this is only going to be looked at as sexist.
Of course, there’s still plenty of flaws in his logic, going back to his “homosexual men would never kill other men” part. It’s just as easy for a gay man as it is a straight man to end up killing someone. Stating that gay men are less inclined towards violence, does seem to make sense to me, although I wouldn’t be surprised if that was factually incorrect.
Trying to tackle the subject of Morrissey and sexuality is really another essay in itself, and one that has been explored in length by plenty of great writers. I’m just trying to make some sense out of the recent comments from Morrissey and what they mean to me. As a gay man, I don’t quite agree with everything that he pointed out, but it does makes sense in a twisted sort of way. But most importantly, it’s raised the question “What would the world be like with gay men in positions of power?”