Morrissey and his bad opinions are back in the news. The former Smiths frontman and hero to the foppish is promoting a new solo album, so he's doing a few interviews, each of which gives him a unique opportunity to say something objectionable.
Yesterday, in an interview with Juliane Liebert of German newspaper Der Spiegel, he outdid himself. He answered questions about the allegations of rape and sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey with all the decency of a man who once called the Chinese a "subspecies."
The article was originally published in German, so the Google translation is a little clunky. But Morrissey really shines through the algorithm. Let's jump right in.
SPIEGEL: Since we're in Hollywood, have you followed the debates about Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and #MeToo?
Morrissey: To some extent, yes, but then it became a play. All at once everyone is guilty. Anyone who has ever said to someone else, "I like you," is suddenly being charged with sexual harassment. You have to put these things in the right relations. If I can not tell anyone that I like him, how should he ever know? Of course, there are extreme cases, rape is disgusting, every physical attack is repulsive. But we have to see it in relative terms. Otherwise, every person on this planet is guilty. We can not permanently decide from above what we are allowed to do and what we can not do. Because then we are all trapped. Some people are very awkward when it comes to romance anyway. They do not know what to do and then their behavior is aggressive.
Liebert's next question offered Morrissey an out. He did not take it.
What do you think about Spacey, one of the main characters in a movie, being replaced shortly before the start date?
I think that's ridiculous. As far as I know, he was in a bedroom with a 14-year-old. Kevin Spacey was 26 and boy 14 was wondering where the boy's parents were. One wonders if the boy did not know what could happen. I do not know about you, but I've never been in situations like this in my youth. Never. I always knew what could happen. When you are in somebody's bedroom, you have to be aware of where that can lead to. That's why it does not sound very credible to me. It seems to me Spacey has been unnecessarily attacked.
He kept on. Liebert asked how that related to Weinstein, and Morrissey made sure to be crystal clear. "People know exactly what happens," he said of rape and sexual assault victims. "And they play along. Afterward, they feel embarrassed, or they do not like it. And then they turn it around and say: I was attacked, I was surprised, I was dragged into the room. But if everything had gone well and had it given them a great career, they would not talk about it."
The remarkable thing about Morrissey in this interview is his insistence on plugging away at grotesquerie, even when it's not explicitly asked for. The conversation trails off for a while; Liebert presses Morrissey on global politics and Brexit and "the establishment" without going for anything particularly provocative. The singer takes it all as an invitation to racism. Liebert asks if Angela Merkel can be considered the "mother of Europe." See if you can figure out where this answer takes a turn.
Well, she's smart enough not to say much. She stays silent, which is very interesting. But I'm sad that Berlin has become the rape capital.
It's the third sentence, right? It's definitely the third sentence. It almost seems like Morrissey has some stuff to get off his chest, and this interviewer isn't going to railroad him into decency. He clarifies that his invention of Berlin's Morrissey-appointed status as "capital of rape" is "because of the open borders." And then this:
So you are against taking in refugees?
Morrissey: Okay, let's talk about multiculturalism. I want Germany to be German. I want France to be French. If you try to make everything multicultural, you will not have any culture in the end. All European countries have fought for their identity for many, many years. And now they just throw it away. I think that's sad.
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