Tag Archive: the smiths


deep-not-macho

A strong leader stands in an un-drained swamp.

“It’s so easy to laugh,
It’s so easy to hate,
It takes guts to be gentle and kind”
Lyrics by Morrissey to ‘I Know It’s Over’ by The Smiths

A recent survey carried out by the newspaper La Repubblica  found that 80% of Italians think the country needs to be run by “un uomo forte” (a strong man). In 2006, only 55% of the populace subscribed to this view while 60% held this belief in 2010.

This rising trend is worrying and depressing on many counts. It indicates that more and more voters are willing to be represented by leaders solely on the basis that they adopt strong opinions and maintain a posture of decisiveness.

On the surface this may seem logical and uncontroversial. After all, who would want a leader to be weak and indecisive? The problem lies with what exactly is meant by the word ‘strong’. Continue reading

MORRISSEY – Live at Carisport, Cesena 8th October 2015

Give that man a hand

In my last post I was scathing about Morrissey’s debut novel, List Of The Lost, but I’m happy to report that his ‘day job’ as singer and musical icon is still in rude shape.

For this show in Cesena, the second of just two dates in Italy, he was in fine voice and treated an adoring public to a supremely polished show dominated by material from his excellent new album World Peace Is None Of Your Business.

It would have been all too easy for him to go through the motions and run through Smiths classics. Probably a fair proportion of the audience would have actually preferred this but I’d much rather see an artist performing songs that reflect where he is now than who he was then. Continue reading

LIST OF THE LOST by Morrissey (Penguin Books, 2015)

“If you must write prose and poems, the words you use must be your own. Don’t plagiarise or take on loan” – lyrics from Cemetry Gates by The Smiths.

The kindest thing you can say about Stephen Patrick Morrissey’s first, and surely last, published work of fiction is that he follows his own advice and writes in his own words.

Some lines would even make admirable song lyrics :
“Accept the enslavement of my undying love,
Or bear my unpleasant cruelty,
For dearly I love you,
More than any other could”

Unfortunately, this is not a record but a novella and the results are positively dire. Continue reading

THE LEATHER BOYS directed by Sidney J. Furie  (UK, 1964)

1964 The leather boys

The sixties might have swung for many but cinema’s representation of sexuality in this era was often anything but liberated.

The notion that sexual intercourse necessitates the removal of clothing is just one of the taboos filmmakers were reluctant to challenge.

An honest visual display of carnal lust and desire is controversial enough in straight relationships and is still more taboo when it comes to  homosexuality.

Even in our supposedly more enlightened 21st century, coming to terms with being gay can be unnecessarily traumatic. Ellen Page’s emotionally charged coming out speech is proof that this is still too often the “love that dare not speak its name”.

Mainstream cinema perpetuates negative attitudes by rarely treating same-sex relationships in an open or mature fashion.

The Leather Boys is regarded as an early example of ‘Queer Cinema’ and is unusual in that it tentatively tries to ‘normalise’ homosexuality instead of showing it as a threat to the moral wellbeing of society. Continue reading

petriburger“It’s not natural, normal or kind – the flesh you so fancifully fry is murder” . Morrissey’s words to The Smiths’ Meat Is Murder still speak for vegetarians the world over.

I am one of them, not having eaten meat or fish for the best part of 40 years, most of my adult life.

The arguments for a vegetarian diet are environmental as well as ethical:

  • Global meat demand is estimated to increase by 73% by 2050. But we already use 70% of farm land for livestock
  • Livestock farming for meat is responsible for ~18% of all greenhouse emissions, more than all global transport combined

This is why scientists have invented a meat product that is not natural and normal but is kind in that no animal is ‘murdered’.

Cultured beef takes the muscle cells from a living cow, grows them in a lab to produce muscle tissue, the main component of the meat carnivores consume. Continue reading

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