The internet lost all of its mind over Kanye West’s love for Donald Trump. However, in the example of him and Morrissey, I don’t think we’re really that mad.
To twist a tired commuter aphorism, you wait for one artist to disappoint you, and then two do at once. The world has taken a Kim K posterior magnitude of umbrage towards the color of Kanye West’s hat.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
According to Twitter, he’s either a) promoting his new album, b) a GOP plant, or c) a massive dillweed. It’s probably all three, with the Interwebs reacting with bunched fists, rolled eyes, and faux obits.
Like sand through the hourglass, angry retweets will beget angry retweets, and we’ll elevate the most tenuous of long-pulled bows. To prove my point, I propose an experiment. I’m standing in my kitchen as I type this. I’ve also planted a broom handle to my forehead. Now, I’ll spin around the broom three times, lay the broom on the floor, jump over it, and in my dizzy, impaired state, even then, I’ll find something.
All of this has happened before. All of this will happen again. pic.twitter.com/s0W3ysilab
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) April 25, 2018
Honestly, there’s something we need to talk about. We don’t care what Kanye thinks. We take great lengths to make this completely very clear every time he says something. Sadly, it seems our collective criticism doesn’t reach him, so more of the same is apparently needed. Okay.
Morrissey is another that runs in the same parallel as Kanye. To borrow a tongue-in-cheek Kanye lyric: we miss the old Morrissey … we used to love Morrissey. Not the modern version who believes that Hitler was okay, you’re as bad as Islamic State, and that Muslims can’t even speak properly.
Every time either of these, or anyone of their ilk, speaks, a question is raised. How can we enjoy the music of the people who are morally dead to us? The short and only answer is that we absolutely do, and the question is just to hear ourselves voice our disappointment. Kanye supporting Donald Trump matters as much as Morrissey starting a trendy LDN vegan caliphate. It doesn’t actually matter what they think or say, as the octaves of their songs we sing in the shower, car, or mid-thrust do not change.
Yes, they say awful things, but I feel our criticism emboldens their power. They’re like Emperor Palpatine, if we give into our hate, they will become something more powerful than we can ever imagine. But know that their power stems from us. They’re both performers, desperate for collective validation. Think of them as the atomized equivalent of the generic busker who interrupts your commute to butcher Vance Joy. If we ignore him, eventually he’ll play something different. Those two are exactly the same, just bigger.
Now, I’ve either had too much coffee or not enough sleep, but I’ve discovered something. The bars of the songs we love are the problem. Whether either of them wants to admit it, The Queen Is [long] Dead and Graduation day is a day distant in the calendar. What they’re both currently victims of is Sick Boy’s unifying theory of life. At one point you have it, then you lose it, then it’s gone forever. Morrissey’s solo stuff is as good as Kanye’s later albums, not bad but not great either.
Kanye West’s bulltwang about his red hat is Sick Boy’s point, beautifully fucking illustrated.
Maybe these news rants are the songs they can’t write anymore. Or maybe it is a genius plot to make us retreat back into their back catalogs, to remind ourselves the merit of those things they did that we love so much. It’s a PR push promoted by two desperate men who desperately want to be hit with the largest wet fish you can find, anything for the sweet sweet release of topping the Twitter trend list.
And, to be fair, it’s a ploy that has worked and will work in the future.
Peep this. If Morrissey announced today that he’s reforming The Smiths for one tour only, but it would be held in a working slaughterhouse and there’d be an animal rights speech before, during, and after, it’d sell out in a nanosecond. Or if Kanye suddenly promised to only play only his first three albums with the caveat that you have to buy a lifetime supply of Alex Jones’ bufflements, it’d sell.
The point is that we wouldn’t care, and the other is that we really don’t care today.
We love them for what they’ve done, not who they are … and we always will. No matter what they do or say. We love those certain versions of them, and they know it.
Despite the magnitude of our complaint, we’d buckle. We’ve put up with them for so long like this, that if they dared to reveal the tiniest slither of who they used to be, according to our assumptions, we’d cream all our Yeezys.
Their music means more to us than our morals do.
Morrissey could do his set as Adolf, just as long as he plays “This Charming Man.” Kanye West could bring an actor dressed as Donald Trump to climax with his hand on stage, but as long as he “Touches the Sky” with the other.
It wouldn’t matter, because they’re playing our song, and frankly, that’s the only use they have. Let’s be real here.