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Morissey: I’ve probably had the worst sexual life that could befall any human
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Morissey: I’ve probably had the worst sexual life that could befall any human

British musician Morissey talks about his love of animals and Istanbul; hate of McDonald’s and Prince William.

With all the streaming and free downloading opportunities; finding, listening, sharing and making music is easier than ever. As a recognized critic of today’s music industry, do you think that music is still treated as a ‘moving experience’ rather than being just a kind of time-filler marketed to masses?

– I think music is presented to the masses mainly as synthetic excitement. Whenever I accidentally switch into a video channel I find that the song and the content are always the same. There is no nervous tension in modern music, and modern radio has become senseless. All that we see is disproportionate praise for certain singers and bands who are heavily financed by a major label, but whom we all know are absolute crap and have nothing to offer the world. We see so many young people in t-shirts bearing the Ramones logo, or the Velvet Underground, or the New York Dolls or Patti Smith, but these were all artists of struggle whom radio shunned. And radio is STILL getting it wrong! There is still a feeling that people want to hear mindless and constricted pap, which is not the case.

We encounter ‘alienation’ as a theme in your lyrics. Is there a specific incident or a period of time in your life that contributed to this theme most?

– The incident continues! I think I’ve probably had the worst physical or sexual life that could befall any human, and obviously that’s scarred me for life. It comes across, I know, as sexual panic, but we must accept – if we can – that some of us are cursed where desire and affection are concerned. It is also alarming to realize that people can, in fact, die from loneliness, or die from sexual neglect, and although I don’t consider myself to be a casualty, I am open enough to fully admit that my private or sexual life has never momentarily ceased to be abysmal. The problem with this is that, as you grow older, such problems can’t develop, they can only repeat. Fans have been familiar with your strong opinions as you word “the big crime” against animals.

When and how did you realize the ethical and philosophical truth about this and decided to become a vegetarian?

– For me, the yellow M that is the trademark of McDonald’s is no different to the swastika. Their brainwashing slogan is ‘I’m lovin’ it’. Well, I’m hatin’ it, and if people knew how animals were treated before and during their slaughter, no one would stand for it. The meat industry is the most evil conspiracy on the planet. You either fall for it, or you don’t.

We know your strong opinions about animal rights and your collaboration with PETA. Do you have any other collaboration with other associations? These days we come across so many associations and it gets hard to trust and track their true mission…

– I think some organizations are questionable. For example, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has the Queen (Elizabeth) as their main patron, yet she and her family shoot and kill birds constantly! It was reported that Prince William killed 78 birds in January alone of last year! Also, the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) do not protest the existence of the abattoir or slaughterhouse, so how exactly are they preventing cruelty to animals? As with everything, you can use your own wisdom about these things. At the root of it all, however people treat animals is usually the way they treat humans. It naturally follows. The key to a person’s sensitivity is in their response to nature and to animals. Nothing else. If you walk past a kebab stand, you don’t expect the seller to be reading a book on Greek philosophy.

In an interview made nearly 30 years ago, you described how the the album “Meat is Murder” entered the charts at number one but the title track didn’t get any air time. Do you think that the chance of getting “air time” while singing about topics like animal rights or vegetarianism is higher today?

– No! All chart hits in 2014 express only manufactured emotions, and only singers with manufactured emotions are allowed to succeed. People have turned away from music charts because they unashamedly represent marketing only, and in order to succeed with marketing the results are an overpowering plasticity that has never previously been known in music. “Meat is Murder” would not be played in 2014 because, as a song, is it true, and the fact that it is popular and has made a noble mark for 30 years is absolutely immaterial to radio program planners who are, in any case, usually convinced that all of their listeners are absolute idiots.

Morissey: The meat industry is a modern-day re-enactment of how the Nazi’s treated Jewish people

Morissey: The meat industry is a modern-day re-enactment of how the Nazi’s treated Jewish people

I believe there are many activists who adopt homeless animals, protest for animal rights, live green and follow the ethical way of this life although they are still non-vegetarians. Do you find them honest?

– I think it’s quite funny. For example, I might find myself in a lift (elevator) with a woman who is a complete stranger to me, and she’s wearing a fur coat whilst carrying a little dog, and she doesn’t see the connection. The simple response to such people is to ask them “Would you wear your dog?”, and they say “Of course not!” But they would find the pig that they eat as bacon just as loving and funny and endearing as they find their cat or dog. When people argue in favor of eating animals it is always an utterly sterile process. The meat industry is a modern-day  reenactment of how the Nazi’s treated Jewish people, and you either endorse that slaughter or you don’t. But you can’t deny whilst accepting. If you eat steak, bacon, ribs, chicken, hamburgers, sausages or veal, then the message is very plain: you hate animals.

You first mentioned that you begun working on your autobiography back in 2002. How would you describe the experience of writing an autobiography?

– Generally the point of autobiography is to present a perfect version of yourself. I didn’t do this, partly because there is no perfect version. You prove your own case and your own opinion in so far as it is possible to prove it, and that’s all you can do.

You have described your experience in Istanbul as “When I’m in Istanbul I feel as if I could never die. My life is matched.” Which aspects of the city made Istanbul special to you? What surprised you the most?

– I come from a very shy, repressed background, and I still know virtually nothing about physical enjoyment, yet Istanbul banishes these feelings, whereas they remain insoluble once again as soon as I land on British soil. Exactly how Istanbul banishes these feelings is the secret of the city. Turkish people are aware of themselves as flesh, which is something I envy because I feel absolutely no physicality whatsoever. I am simply a head.

Turkish fans were thrilled by your song “Istanbul” from your latest album, live on stage. Is there any story behind it?

– I have very rarely held a child in my arms – perhaps twice in my entire life. It strikes me that such moments show us as we really are, and I don’t know why this happens but it just does. Perhaps it’s something to do with self-confirmation. I wanted to write about this masculine moral code that suddenly appears in our love for a child, and it was whilst in Istanbul that I had the idea to express such feelings in song. The song itself is a question mark, and everything about Turkish culture tells us that the people hold many secrets in their hearts. Film has always depicted Istanbul as an epic city of shadows, which, of course, it is.

 


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