It’s not me, it’s you: Breaking up with Morrissey

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Morrissey, we need to talk.

How long have we been together? Almost a decade, I would say. That’s a long time. That’s half of my life. You’ve been there for me in the darkest of times, whispering in my ear, helping me stay sullen and angry at whomever I was mad at. You’ve coddled me through hard times, licked your lips in the face of my despair. You’ve been friends with my shadowy feelings that lurk in the night, coaxing them into throwing me surprise parties. I loved you. I spilled my soul and bled in front of you, and you drank my tears.

I loved you, but I was ignorant then. I ignored red flags. I made excuses for you. I justified your actions because it was all part of an act.

I don’t think it’s an act anymore.

Morrissey, I think we should see other people. Actually, I think I should see other people, and you should stop making music until you can really right all of your wrongs.

My ex-favorite artist Morrissey has built his career on a persona of rebellion. The lifeblood of his music is a public that is passionate and ready to brawl over its beliefs. He took advantage of his gifted, silky voice, his witty ability to write lyrics and his penetrating rhythms to peddle fury and rage. He charmed me. His lyrics were poignant narratives that seemed irrelevant to the general public and yet touched on all our shared insecurities. He made me feel like I was not alone in my most vulnerable thoughts.

What I realized too late is that I was enveloped in not just his alluring, melodic tracks, but also his 30-year-old archive of unacceptable comments on matters that he has nothing to do with.

Morrissey is a provocateur. He thrives on angst and mutiny. I have been to the bottom of his well of moral beliefs. I have climbed out to spread the word: His well is empty. There is no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. This is not because of him as an artist — he is an incredibly gifted artist. This is because of him as a person, having so much influence and using it to promote anarchy and thoughtless values.

It is time Morrissey stops hiding behind his talent and answers for his mistakes.

He has pulled the rug out from under me one too many times. I’d felt secure, relating to his music, and all of a sudden he’s slapped me awake by saying something grossly inappropriate and detrimental.

I was ashamed when he released T-shirts featuring civil rights campaigner James Baldwin surrounded by lyrics from “Unloveable”: “I wear black on the outside ‘cause black is how I feel on the inside.” When he made Islamophobic comments regarding the Manchester bombing in May, I felt sick. I continued to listen to The Queen is Dead and Bona Drag, though. I was under his musically impressive thumb, and I saw no way out.

I reminded myself of his animal rights activism. I reminded myself that he openly disapproved of President Donald Trump. I reminded myself that we shared views on Israel’s decades-long struggle. I told myself it was all part of his shtick. I told myself I could still love his music, even if I didn’t support him. I repeated these things as lullabies, cradling me through my restless moral struggle with him.

But I won’t excuse his actions any longer.

After the release of Low in High School two weeks ago, Morrissey made comments, and I snapped out of a trance I had been in for years. Responding to Kevin Spacey’s alleged assault of actor Anthony Rapp, Morrissey claimed that Spacey was being “attacked unnecessarily.” He followed by casting doubt on the women who have come out about being sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. He claimed these women were just embarrassed and disappointed that it didn’t help their careers. He claimed that, “If you go through history, almost everyone is guilty of sleeping with minors. Why not throw everyone in jail right away?”

In that moment, I saw that this is not part of an act. This is who he really is, and it’s disturbing. The comments came out at the same time as the album, and it was suddenly clear the artist and the art were not two separate entities.

I couldn’t enjoy Morrissey’s music while hating Morrissey, because supporting his music is what encourages the extremist behavior he is so known for. By listening to his music, I was validating his harmful actions and words. I was helping to give him a platform to make intolerant, ignorant comments that I did not support.

Holding Morrissey accountable for his actions is imperative because he has millions of people at his feet, listening to whatever he has to say because they love his music. His art and his public image are both affecting millions of people’s own values and beliefs, just like they influenced me. Morrissey is using the fact that his songs speak to people on an intrinsic, beautiful level to say anything he wants — anything that will give him attention — promoting to fans that sexual assault can be belittled, racism can be swept under the rug and fame exempts one from accountability. He does all this while not worrying that he will lose fans, because his music is just “too good.”

But that’s not true. I will not keep listening. I will personally hold him accountable.

Morrissey, I deserve someone better than you. I don’t want to be friends. Please, don’t show up on my Spotify begging to be listened to. I will not lend my ear. I loved you so much, but I hate what you used my love for.

We are officially through.

Contact Maisy Menzies at [email protected].

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  • jcd

    why is what you think interesting, relevant or important? Who are you? Who cares what you think?

  • BlackConservative

    “When he made Islamophobic comments regarding the Manchester bombing in May, I felt sick.”
    Explain to me how those are islamophobic? I do not see anything but his opinion that you have been taught is islamophobic. It’s so naive IMO.

  • LordGreyFalcon

    If we ignore or reject the great art of someone with whom we disagree there would be fewer plays to see, fewer songs to sing, fewer films to watch. We then create an imprisoning echo chamber where the only ideas we hear are those we have uttered and our minds and souls begin to whither.

    You do yourself a disservice when you practice such. Whether it is politics, society, entertainment, or other topics, the knew-jerk “I want to remain unchallenged in my thinking” reaction is childish at best and intellectual suicide at worst.

    • ENOCH

      It’s not as simple as her refusing to listen to the guy’s music just because there’s a clash in politics. Musicians’ personae and art are difficult to disentangle and if you support (financially, through streaming services, buying records, etc.) him as an artist you’re also supporting him as a person with a career and an agenda. If a musician expresses bigoted views, it is reasonable for a consumer to decide that they no longer wish to support him. I thought GG Allin had some good hits, but I wouldn’t go out and buy his record if he were still alive today. Pop musicians in this age, like Morrissey, are public figures, and the proclamations they make to the world have consequences.

      • BlackConservative

        Why do you throw around the word “bigoted”? The definition of “bigoted” is this article, by not being accepting of other people’s views. Do you not see the irony?
        I think you better check every business, every artist, every tv show (writers, directors, producers,actors), every movie before you support it. You better not support any of these people because they have bigoted, racist views. When you think half the country is racist, bigoted or phobic (about something) because of their political views then you better stay inside. Your comment is made for a made up world.
        Who are your favorite artists?

        • ENOCH

          Well now, that’s not what “bigoted” means at all. If it were as you say then all people on earth would be bigoted, since there is nobody who accepts every view as valid or true.

          My favorite musical artists are Songs: Ohia, Shiina Ringo, and Arca. You?

          • SecludedCompoundTTYS

            “having or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one’s own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others” is the definition I found.
            This author of this article definitely thinks his opinions are superior to Morrissey’s viewpoints and opinions, and appears to be so intolerant of his views. He displays this by writing this article and the convictions within it. He seems pretty prejudice against conservative thought. I find Liberals to be far more bigoted in CA than any other group of people.
            What is your definition of bigoted?

          • ENOCH

            Seems like a more comprehensive definition.

            “This author of this article definitely thinks his opinions are superior to Morrissey’s viewpoints and opinions”

            Sure. You’re still missing the “obstinate” part. Thinking your views are superior to someone else’s isn’t bigotry — pig-headedly clinging to belief of superiority even in the face of obvious contrary evidence is.

            A historian writes a paper about the pitfalls of Maoism. Is he bigoted for believing that such an ideology led to catastrophic consequences and that a system he suggests as a replacement is superior? Of course not! Believing that one’s views are superior to an adversary’s is essential to free speech. Why would you back your ideas otherwise?

            “appears to be so intolerant of his views”

            Where? Where exactly, does the author express sentiment that Morrissey shouldn’t be allowed to express the views that he does?

            “He seems pretty prejudice against conservative thought.”

            I don’t see anything suggesting that this is the case.

            Edit: also, I’m pretty sure the writer of this article is female.

          • SecludedCompoundTTYS

            Good catch on the female! So what are Morrissey’s bigoted views then?

          • ENOCH

            I never said Morrissey held bigoted views. I haven’t looked into his past statements enough to have a definitive opinion.

            If you’ll recall, the original comment I replied to made the general claim that choosing to rejecting someone’s art because of a disagreement in ideology is detrimental in the long term. My response was that he was mischaracterizing the writer’s argument:

            “It’s not as simple as her refusing to listen to the guy’s music just because there’s a clash in politics. Musicians’ personae and art are difficult to disentangle and if you support (financially, through streaming services, buying records, etc.) him as an artist you’re also supporting him as a person with a career and an agenda.”

            I also said that IF an artist spews bigotry, it is reasonable for a consumer to feel estranged and no longer support him/her.

            I was responding solely to the parent comment and never made the claim that Morrissey’s statements are bigoted.

          • SecludedCompoundTTYS

            Oh ok, gotcha! I’m just trying to figure out what a bigoted comment is. Can you name a couple reasons Trump is such a bigot? I’m seriously just trying to figure out this definition that I hear EVERYDAY!

          • ENOCH

            This quote from David Boaz sums it up pretty well:

            “Not since George Wallace has there been a presidential candidate who made racial and religious scapegoating so central to his campaign. Trump launched his campaign talking about Mexican rapists and has gone on to rant about mass deportation, bans on Muslim immigration, shutting down mosques, and building a wall around America.”

            In addition, a large part of the accusations toward Trump are due to the people he promotes and associates himself with. Take his campaign spokesperson:


            or even the infamous “very fine people on both sides” comment. By delivering this public statement, Trump pushes a moral equivalency on ethno-nationalists who chanted nazi slogans (pretty much the definition of racial intolerance) and their protestors. Which, all things considered, does nothing but benefit the cause of the radical right wing.

            He also displays bigotry policy-wise — it’s evident that his platforms are based on what his constituents wish to hear rather than what is actually viable. All while rejecting previously proven models. To give a simple example from cultural historian Piero Scaruffi:

            “During a speech at Liberty University in Virginia, Donald Trump proclaimed: “We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries[.]” His supporters cannot understand that this can happen only if 1. the salary of the US worker gets as low as the salary of a Chinese worker; or 2. the US consumer is willing to pay 5 times more for that Appl[e] computer; or 3. Apple replaces all workers with robots; or 4. the USA turns communist and subsidizes Apple to sell its products at a government-set price (the way most populist experiments end up in Latin America).”

            I’m no political expert, obviously, but it seems clear to me that at the very least Trump is sympathetic to a certain culture of bigotry in America prevalent right now.

          • luca

            Well you love Arca …the one who ruined Björk career…enough said

          • ENOCH


          • ENOCH

            c’mon, vulnicura wasn’t that bad

          • luca

            It wasn’t that good either..only NOT GET a Bjork song…and did you listen to UTOPIA😤?…

          • ENOCH

            To be honest, I haven’t like anything from Bjork since Medulla…I haven’t check UTOPIA out yet but will now.

          • luca

            Well Arca is a non sense trying to be new and cool. But he’s not.

          • ENOCH

            Ah well, to each his own.

      • luca

        What did he say so wrong? What if I totally agree with him? What if I’m gay and so tired about the sweet Muslims you talk about not dissociating with the ones who throw gay people off from the highest towers? What if I can’t bear people who don’t respect women? Cmon really what’s wrong about this?!?!?

        • ENOCH

          I already responded to this, please refer to my answer above.

  • luca

    I’m sure he’s losing his sleep about this🤣🤣🤣🤣