Monday, 3 December 2007

small-boy jokes and loaded guns: nme wrong morrissey

NME printed a garish misrepresentation of Morrissey as a racist in their 1st December issue. From comments such as the reminiscent “you have to say goodbye to the Britain you once knew” and, on the inflamed topic of immigration, “the gates are flooded”, NME mounted a comparison between the compassionate singer and the “crypto-fascist BNP”. They did this despite him specifying that the reason he chooses not to live in Britain is not immigration but the looming police state (“in my view the face of modern Britain is Jean Charles De Menezes… everybody associated with the murder was exonerated or promoted, which is shocking”) and stating his view that “racism is ludicrous”.

Morrissey is allowed to mourn the loss of England's national identity, a result of American influence more than any other integrating immigrant culture. To take issue with relentless immigration is not inherently racist. Morrissey's lyrics have always been brazenly against avoiding taboo and giving the standard line, and while this has led him into controversy, it is clear from his entire career's work and his multi-ethnic devoted world following that he is not a racist. Rather, he is someone who unapologetically portrays the world as he sees it: if he settles on a Bengali in platforms in the late '80s as a representation of not belonging, that does not mean he thinks ethnic minorities cannot integrate into British society. Songs such as 'I Will See You In Far-Off Places' and 'Ganglord' express Morrissey's feeling of a universality regardless of racial or cultural diversity in the face of ignorant controlling authorities. NME’s condemning reaction to his serious contemplation of the immigration issue is narrow-minded and, contrary to their apparent assertion “we’re not in the mood to play in grey areas”, actually condemns any free debate over issues where certain buzz-words trigger fears of saying something offensive.

Progress is not about just saying the right thing and avoiding grappling with issues, but NME's reaction is more than just safe. Most disgusting about their misrepresentation of Morrissey is how they contrast themselves against the supposedly '"dangerously" BNP-esque' singer as some forward-thinking cultural tyrannosaurus because of their affiliation with the Love Music Hate Racism campaign. As Merck Mercuriadis of the respected ‘True To You’ (a Morrissey magazine) puts it, “Mr. McNicholas thought the "new" NME could gain some credibility at Morrissey's expense”. Frankly, to learn that a magazine that champions The Pigeon Detectives and The Kooks is anti-racist (as if that were a brave, revolutionary thing!) is laughable; members of these bands were the jocks at school who trod and spat on kids who were a bit different and Morrissey will continue to comfort those kids who are different, regardless of their colour, class or religion, long after the corporate-minded, sensationalist drivel Conor McNicholas’ NME has become is dead.

Morrissey - 'Ganglord' (a song against pig-ignorant policemen, hardly the rantings of a fascist!)


jehan said...

you can read the article here


read tim jonze's response here too.

jehan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jamila FUCKING DANCE said...

brilliant blog post. the NME has come undone. i predict a "re-vamp" or a complete toppling of their readership.

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