Morrissey A-Z: "Bengali in Platforms"

A

Anonymous

Guest
It doesn't make a difference.

Panic was accused of the most violent racism.

Reel was accused of child abuse.

Obviously Bengali is an empathetic song - he's got the narrator saying don't blame me, don't hate me, which means he knows he's crushing the guy. What would the thought process be? Aye, I'll write a song about a really friendly person having his hopes dashed because I have no empathy with hopes being dashed???
It totally makes a difference to a Bengali. He used to be able to write songs about the outsider to empathise with. This was different.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Fletcher's A Light That Never Goes Out quotes Paolo Hewitt's NME review, which vaguely touches on the topic.

"Paolo Hewitt, a leader of NME’s “soul boy” brigade, critiqued the lyrics on face value. 'If Morrissey wants to have a go at Radio 1 and Steve Wright, then fine,' he wrote. 'When he starts using words like disco and DJ, with all the attendant imagery that brings up for what is a predominantly white audience, he is being imprecise and offensive.'
He had a point: Morrissey had made no explicit mention of the radio in his song, and his lyrics could therefore be construed as reviving the racist and homophobic “Disco Sucks” campaign of late 1970s America."

But it's a good point about that interview. Sounds very plausible that the drama was construed retroactively.

That MM interview really is something else. Still astonished by the way Morrissey talks about it in Autobiography as if the mentioning of public toilets was the worst aspect...
How Fletcher packaged that quote and his suggestion becomes the same point as prior.
Fletcher's 'could therefore be construed as' with zero from Morrissey's mouth directly about black disco DJs really = 'fitting some anecdotes and quotes in to my agenda's framework' and is a huge assumptive reach.
The main thrust of the song has always been, to myself, about the utter drivel on daytime Radio 1 and why bands such as The Smiths were to be relegated to late night listening.
I'd also suggest with the rise in popularity of the Stock, Aitken & Waterman dross of the mid-80's onwards, that 'disco' had a different connotation to most of us at the time and was more the prevalence of such types of lame music fodder rather than 'disco' in its 70's incarnation (my school discos certainly didn't play any). Such was their affect, the indie chart succumbed to PWL & their ilk - totally destroying the chart genres as they were technically an 'indie' label. I'm sure that would have been something Morrissey was aware of before Steve Wright ever appeared on a t-shirt.
Regards,
FWD.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
How Fletcher packaged that quote and his suggestion becomes the same point as prior.
Fletcher's 'could therefore be construed as' with zero from Morrissey's mouth directly about black disco DJs really = 'fitting some anecdotes and quotes in to my agenda's framework' and is a huge assumptive reach.
The main thrust of the song has always been, to myself, about the utter drivel on daytime Radio 1 and why bands such as The Smiths were to be relegated to late night listening.
I'd also suggest with the rise in popularity of the Stock, Aitken & Waterman dross of the mid-80's onwards, that 'disco' had a different connotation to most of us at the time and was more the prevalence of such types of lame music fodder rather than 'disco' in its 70's incarnation (my school discos certainly didn't play any). Such was their affect, the indie chart succumbed to PWL & their ilk - totally destroying the chart genres as they were technically an 'indie' label. I'm sure that would have been something Morrissey was aware of before Steve Wright ever appeared on a t-shirt.
Regards,
FWD.
Yes, that makes a lot of sense.
It's a long way from "imprecise and offensive" to "Hang the black DJ".

But this is, after all, the same Tony Fletcher who called for a boycott of Morrissey's music last year, while advertising his book on The Smiths in the same article 🙃
 
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Nerak

Reverse Ferret
It totally makes a difference to a Bengali. He used to be able to write songs about the outsider to empathise with. This was different.

Less empathetic than 'hang them' & 'make them old'?

What do you think a song that has to 'break the news gently' is trying to make you feel?
 

NealCassidy

FREE SPEECH #FBPB
If I move to Bengal I’m sure there are additional challenges to my new life over and above a Bengali.
 

NealCassidy

FREE SPEECH #FBPB
If I move to Bengal I’m sure there are additional challenges to my new life over and above a Bengali.
So perhaps I’ll shelve my eastern plans
 
S

simple really

Guest
It's nowhere near as "controversial" as people like to make it.

The worst thing that can be said about it is that the lyrics try to sound empathetic (his voice definitely does) but come out slightly condescending and patronising.
I know, people get hung up on the "...when you belong here" line, but I only ever saw it as clumsy, not malicious.

The 70s imagery fits well with the general feel of Viva Hate, but it also contributes to the impression of outdatedness the lyrics leave.

All in all not his finest hour.

Musically it's okay, although I find both the guitars and the "Bengali, Bengali" parts slightly annoying. Not something I would listen to on its own.
You said it all so clearly. The thread should be locked now.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I wonder if a lyric change as minor as 'life is hard enough when you were born here' would be enough to rehabilitate this song? I'd love to hear it live.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I wonder if a lyric change as minor as 'life is hard enough when you were born here' would be enough to rehabilitate this song? I'd love to hear it live.

Maybe - although I think some music journalists are idiots & it should have never been a scandal in the first place.

They seem to have entirely missed that Morrissey said this about Never Had No One Ever,

"It was the frustration that I felt at the age of 20 when I still didn’t feel easy walking around the streets on which I’d been born, where all my family had lived – they’re originally from Ireland but had been here since the Fifties. It was a constant confusion to me why I never really felt ‘This is my patch. This is my home. I know these people. I can do what I like, because this is mine.’ It never was. I could never walk easily.”

He was born in England but didn't feel it was his - which is probably why he keeps trying to claim it - and might be why he's so intensely hurt that every musician in England gets to hold a Union Jack except him.
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
Maybe - although I think some music journalists are idiots & it should have never been a scandal in the first place.

They seem to have entirely missed that Morrissey said this about Never Had No One Ever,

"It was the frustration that I felt at the age of 20 when I still didn’t feel easy walking around the streets on which I’d been born, where all my family had lived – they’re originally from Ireland but had been here since the Fifties. It was a constant confusion to me why I never really felt ‘This is my patch. This is my home. I know these people. I can do what I like, because this is mine.’ It never was. I could never walk easily.”

He was born in England but didn't feel it was his - which is probably why he keeps trying to claim it - and might be why he's so intensely hurt that every musician in England gets to hold a Union Jack except him.
What total and utter crap. The idea that he was picked on simply for waving the flag. It was obviously the culmination of so much dodgy stuff. A declaration that all reggae is vile, telling Bengalis that they don't belong in the UK, a glib hatred for modern black music, singing England for the English. He said it was in quotes, not his views but then years later decided to publicly support a far right group, and reveal to the world that he prefers his own race by wrongly assuming everyone else does. Far from being picked on, he was very lucky to get away with all this crap for as long as he did.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
What total and utter crap. The idea that he was picked on simply for waving the flag. It was obviously the culmination of so much dodgy stuff. A declaration that all reggae is vile, telling Bengalis that they don't belong in the UK, a glib hatred for modern black music, singing England for the English. He said it was in quotes, not his views but then years later decided to publicly support a far right group, and reveal to the world that he prefers his own race by wrongly assuming everyone else does. Far from being picked on, he was very lucky to get away with all this crap for as long as he did.

No.

It's pretty obvious if you look at his old interviews that rock music hacks were deeply uncomfortable with his sexuality & were looking for things to rationalise their discomfort.

Their articles are riddled with their own casual racism, sexism & homophobia - yet they managed to be outraged by quotes they took out of context.

He did not say he preferred his own race & I have bad news for you - if you get sent on a diversity training course you're going to be told that everyone has an unconscious bias towards their own group.

If you actually looked at the 'far right' party that keeps getting cited you'd see it's run by a former left-wing activist who got recruited at a time when the left was tearing itself apart with identity politics & the far right was trying to soften its image by exploiting the wedge issues the left was refusing to discuss.

She said she was a secular feminist who was being smeared & as he's been smeared, he believed it.

It's the press who have been getting away with it. I'm surprised Moz survived their mardy prejudices.

Anyway, I'm collecting the whole saga here:

 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Tbh I can't believe how blindly bigoted some music journalists are.

Morrissey said reggae is vile!! :drama:

Look at the article & discover the hack thinks black music is unintelligent & described punks as uppity f*****s...

5c36b5497629f905d0c011d16f01c0ff.gif
 
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GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
No.

It's pretty obvious if you look at his old interviews that rock music hacks were deeply uncomfortable with his sexuality & were looking for things to rationalise their discomfort.

Their articles are riddled with their own casual racism, sexism & homophobia - yet they managed to be outraged by quotes they took out of context.
+ uncomfortable with their own sexuality, perhaps.

He has a tendency to evoke such feelings.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
You can go to the original articles & SEE how much it's been distorted out of context.

You can also see that other artists went through worse racism scandals - Eric Clapton was literally a white nationalist. He literally said he wanted Britain to be white - without becoming pariahs.

And even if you dismiss that by saying they saw the error of their ways - it doesn't explain why left-wing arty types have no issue with Mark E Smith - who voted Tory, was pro the Falklands war, was pro Brexit, talked about what he thought was English & what wasn't, was drunk and abusive, slagged off Syrian refugees for not staying in Syria & fighting in the war, & used the N-word in a song.


John Doran of The Quietus tweeted this about Morrissey.

john 1.JPG

john 2.JPG


His essay - in which everyone is forgiven their real and imagined racist transgressions - except Morrissey.


The lyrics of The Classical - by The Fall - which John thinks are clearly not racist in the context of the song.

There is no culture is my brag,
Your taste for bullshit reveals a lust for a home of office
This is the home of the vain!
This is the home of the vain!
Where are the obligatory niggers?
Hey there f***face!
Hey there f***face!
There are twelve people in the world
The rest are paste
This is the home of the vain!
This is the home of the vain!
I just left the hotel amnesia, I had to go there
Where it is I can't remember,
But now I can remember, now I can remember
Hafta! hafta!
Message for yer! message for yer!
Too much reliance on girl here
On girls here, behind every shell-actor
Snobbier snobbier
Too much romantic here
I destroy romantics, actors,
Kill it!
Kill it!
Kill it a!
Kill it!
Kill it a!
You won't find anything more ridiculous, than this new profile
Razor unit,…

He asked some POC writers who could or do work for him & they agreed it would be mad to think it was racist - Gabriel Ebulue said: I feel that as a black man liking music made mainly by white people it means I will have to wince every now and then at lyrics... not to mention whatever Morrissey says... ever.

His lecture should have been entitled - why heterosexual men can say & do terrible things & not have journalists hate them.

John had this to say about his upbringing:

Where I grew up, in St Helens, was pretty hardcore and there would be some people back home who would call me a puff or whatever for stopping. “Why are you quitting? It was only a bit of liver disease, epileptic fits and a burst pancreas. Are you some kind of shirt lifter?”

 
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Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><><><><>
We are the Fall
Northern white crap that talks back
We are not black. Tall.
No boxes for us.
Do not f*** us.
We are frigid stars.
We were spitting, we were snapping "Cop Out, Cop Out!"
As if from heaven.


lol
 
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