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Professor Garbage - Say Lessissey

Professor Garbage
Professor Garbage
I never got to properly brag about pissing Morrissey off when it happened, so I might as well do that now.

Steven, It Was Really Nothing...
In 2018, Morrissey tried to cut the press out of his life entirely by starting his own blog where he could share his terrible, bigoted opinions without the burden of pushback.
In one entry, he gives an interview to a purported journalist named “John Riggers.” I’ve never heard of this John Riggers and Google apparently hasn’t either. That this mysterious reporter may be nothing more than Moz in Groucho Marx glasses only makes the next part funnier to me.
Can you believe this guy?
Can you believe this guy?
This “exchange” refers to a post I wrote when I was a SPIN staffer where I mentioned that many Moz fans struggle with “reconciling the artist they initially loved with the bitter old fascist he’s become.” Describing someone who openly supports far-right, nativist political parties and shares an anti-immigration video touting replacement theory as a fascist sounds fair to me. Restrained, even. 
Anyhoo, long story short: I never got my day in court. No one sued anyone. In hindsight, I’m a little bummed about. For one thing, Moz vastly underestimated what I’m willing to say to his face in front of a judge, jury, and God. Not only would I gladly call him a fascist to his face in open court, I’d fire a t-shirt cannon full of shirts reading “Moz is a fascist” at onlookers while I did it. Think of me as the Phillie Phanatic of taunting problematic British pop singers.
You Either Die a Hero...
If I’m being absolutely honest with myself, Moz’s far-right heel turn didn’t come out of nowhere. It’s not even much of a turn. For his entire career, the guy has been letting us know exactly who he is. At a certain point, we all have to admit to ourselves that we project a certain persona onto artists we love, and it often has nothing to do with who they actually are. Take Johnny Depp stans*.
Of course, millennials and Gen Z are learning this one the hard way with JK Rowling using her massive platform to beat up on an already marginalized community. There are few betrayals greater than an author whose work delighted an entire generation of children ripping the kind, motherly mask off to reveal a raging transphobe. She’s all: “Hey kids, I helped you grow up and became obscenely wealthy in the process. Now I’m gonna actively endanger the most vulnerable among you. And check this out: I’m gonna act like a righteous martyr when called out on my shit.” Can’t imagine why anyone would have soured on this lady.  
That said, being confronted with the uglier aspects of an artist’s legacy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It forces you to figure out what you actually stand for. Do you side with power or the powerless, the comfortable or the afflicted? Do I still have every lyric from The Queen Is Dead album** committed to memory nearly 30 years after the first listen? Yes. Do I need to buy tickets, merch, or otherwise put money in the pocket of a guy who says fucked up things about Muslims and immigrants? Separating the art from the artist is for people who want to avoid introspection while materially supporting problematic or abusive people. 
Till next time…
xo,
M
Footnotes:
*Take them somewhere without internet access. Holy shit
** The lyric “Life is very long when you’re lonely” still fucks me all the way up, ngl. 
 
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Professor Garbage
Professor Garbage

Whatever crap I happen to be watching or reading. Or whatever's gnawing at my soul.

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