Monday, 14 July 2014

Michael's Bones.

I feel sick.
I’ve just spent all day listening to the new Morrissey album. To call it eagerly awaited would be a gross understatement. This was supposed to be the album that I had waited for all my adult life. This was supposed to be the one that saved me. This was supposed to be the album that set me free, that made me cry “Jesus wept” from the very top of Twitter, the one that made me realise I’ve given Morrissey way too many chances and I’d finally be free from fat guitars, plodding drums and making excuses for his constant “eccentricity”. This album was supposed to be the one I threw in the bin and then I could grow up. This album was supposed to be shit.
But once again, Morrissey has let me down. And it starts so promisingly. World Peace Is None of Your Business is Morrissey’s best album since Your Arsenal but it’s also a completely godawful song. When it was released as a download single, I was overjoyed. It sounded like Morrissey had turned to me and said “You’re free to go”. Somehow, once again, a B-side from a band that should never exist had made it on to an actual Morrissey album. Well, I’ve stood by him through all five terrible photocopies of Vauxhall and I and clearly he didn’t want me anymore. I could run and frolic through pretty meadows for the rest of my life and leave Moz and his song to repeat themselves to death. Thank you. Then the second track on the album came along and I fell for him again. Just when I thought I was out, he pulls me back in.
The thing is, this sounds like Morrissey actually being creative again. Clearly that book did him the world of good. Maybe he read it and thought “Flip. This bloke sounds awful” and decided to be nothing like him? Or maybe he’s just great and, this time, he’s decided to show it.
The flamenco guitars on When Last I Spoke to Carol from his last album are back and, once again, they’re a highlight. Earth Is The Loneliest Planet is basically a depressing La Isla Bonita and I can think of nothing more joyous, while Kiss Me A Lot is proudly Glorious Esteban. Obviously there’s more than enough traditional Morrissey defiance for us long-termers, “I’d never kill or eat an animal. Well, what do you think I am? A man?”, but it’s the Spanish-styled songs that speed the album along with something close to being upbeat. Just to make things worse, Morrissey keeps the very best for last. Did any of us think he’d write something as good as Oboe Concerto again? Damn him. I’m lumped with him again.
Luckily there are a couple of glimpses of a time when I can move on. The title track and Istanbul are both terrible and Kick The Bride Down The Aisle won’t be making it on to any of Bridget Christie’s compilation tapes any time soon but other than that it’s an incredible piece of work that ensures further arrested development for me for years to come. Will he ever let me grow up? Thank God I have George Lucas and Steven Moffat doing their best for me.


  1. He keeps releasing albums, and also releasing Deluxe edition bonus track versions and the bonus tracks are better than the albums. Then you have to buy an album to collect all the bonus tracks.

    Then I have to buy all the albums.

    Anyway, I liked the fat guitars, plodding drums of You Are the Quarry & Ringleader of the Tormentors, no idea who was singing on them but fun overblown rock albums I thought, does it sound like them?

  2. What I said Michael re Dappy is - since you cant read the facebook comments ... - Well at end of the line... it's people like me who promote who have to do the dirty work of actually censoring people.

    And so I think I have I a right to criticise when people come up for arguments for censorship that are palpably nonsense. Dappy may be a revolting misogynist but that doesn't make it okay for people to libel him by claiming he's promoting rape or insinuating he's a rapist.

    It doesn't matter how good someone's intentions are at heart are it isn't okay to twist facts to fit an argument. Or to build huge towers of political "logic" without the foundations of at least some empirical evidence.

    Also it is misleading to give people the impression that rapists can be profiled - and that is actually dangerous.

    There are links that may be provable or look viable based on the use of porn for example but I am not aware of any direct links between the kind of sad blokey behaviour Mr Dappy promotes and actual rapes. I mean none of these people are criminologists are they? All I'm asking for is some sense of proportion. On a purely practical level if I stopped booking all the misogynists (and indeed misandrists as well) on the circuit I dont think I'd have enough acts to make up a night.

    I dont think all you hard lefties know what it's like to be constantly set upon by both right and left maniacs for not automatically agreeing with their lines. It's constant.

    But at the end of the line I'm the man who has to explain to the James Kettles of the world that they have to change their sets because their jokes about birds are so offensive they're going to get me punched ... now he lives his life on paper he's suddenly switched into becoming the voice of political correctness. You'll forgive me if I am somewhat sceptical of many of the similar road to road to damascus conversions I observe around Chortle.

    There's a line somewhere between legitimate criticism and bullying and I just felt Mr Kern's article had gone over that line. I mean eventually as part of a wider culture of Jade Goodiesh TOWIE drivel in the fullness of time as an overarching trend it may result in someone getting raped sometime in the distant future possibly but to say it DEFINITELY will and load all that onto one person as though they're solely responsible is just morally wrong. I think.

    Mr Kern might think he needs to be dealt with as he has achieved a dangerously high profile but I'd no idea who he was so is it really such a big deal? I just felt it was all a bit lynch mobby ... so ...erm ...I said it.

    Toodle pip

    Anthony Miller

  3. PS On the wider issues... The thing is as well I really don't think it matters if he's on TV or not... Look at Humza Arshad's little empire. You can film yourself, put it on line, promote it on line, monetise it through advertising online and even if you dont make a fortune make enough to live off. It's simply got to the point that people cant keep the Dappers of the world off TV.

    The reason so many people are wound up about Mr Dapper is not because he's unethical (obviously he is) it's because he represents a paradigm shift in the old power structures. ITV2 are just following because that's what they do and Kern who's so deluded he thinks he is working in an art form and not a business is a King Canute standing against the tide.

    But I am a businessman and a good one so I see it differently. Not that I think everthing should be slave to the market but ...I used to have a political dream that Pear Shaped was here to give real people a voice.

    And then I booked some real people and discovered that most of them were Mr Dapper and that ordinary people's voices are generally boring, homophobic, sexist and racist ... dont ask me why.

    Still with all it's problems and imperfections young people today dont realise how lucky they are to live in the era of the internet. Where it will all end I dont know I suppose a new different power structure will emerge... but the past is another country and I do not wish to return there.

    I mean TV special and important? Not to me and not to a lot of people these days. It's now just one medium of many. Anyway, it was TV putting on an endless stream of repetative mainstream rubbish that created the alternative comedy circuit - Look on the plus side. Dapper gives us all a new USP.

  4. You know if you want to know what’s supposed to be banned this week, last week or next week you should always try Spiked first

    They were Living Marxism back in the 90s and were obsessed by censorship and still are – partly because beneath the mask of left wing “libertarianism” their own views (like mine) are so extreme they too are being censored by the state which has a problem with them claiming it should be violently overthrown. A bit like the mirror image of Liam Mullone…

    But they usually have a point. No, Dapper Laughs isn’t the real “working class” – but is he perhaps the personification of a certain type of person’s worst fears of lad culture. Stepping outside individual blame you do see characters being reactions of political opinions of the day. Arthur Daley was a reaction to Thatcherism. Alf Garnet was a reaction to Enoch Powell & Co. Dapper Laughs is a reaction to the NUS campaign against “lad culture”. They may by good or bad reactions but they are reactions which is interesting. It’s a bit like Allo Allo. I watch it now and it’s in terrible taste but at the time it came out joking about “the war” and “real people who fought for our country” was such a huge taboo it needed to be broken somehow.

    Almost everything’s got a good element somewhere and the good idea at the back of Dapper Laughs that’s given it its USP is an attempt to demystify something – pulling … which is built up by the mens mags and the feminists into this hugely complicated arena of social and political obstacles. Well…

    There used to be an act called Christian C Dunn. Christian was a bit mental and his act largely consisted of shouting “give us a shoe” but he would always turn up with a beautiful woman on his arm. She would quickly evaporate when Dunn started doing his act as his act seemed to be a thinly veiled excuse to touch up the front row … as a result of which I introduced my “look but don’t touch rule” on the advice of Mr Stringfellow. But the point is if a mentalist like Dunn can pull anyone can pull. Actually pulling people isn’t hard at all yet we’re constantly told it is. Like you have to be a social genius to pull – having a relationship and maintaining it …that’s a different story … that’s hard? But pulling?

    Yet somehow there seems to be this whole industry of mystery around pulling. Loads of men and women from the average to the not-quite-as-beautiful-as-Ava-Alexis stand on my stage regularly and regale us with long stories and interminable moaning about how they cant pull and I think – why? What exactly is it so hard?

    I mean no one remember Singled Out with Richard Blackwood? Take away the furore about using the word gash etc it was probably even worse but it paid lip service to the idea of a romantic relationship at the end so no one gets wound up about it. The difference is that Dapper Laughs is about pulling someone for sex whereas Singled Out was about the embarrassment of seeing people rejected on the pretence that there was a romantic relationship at the end. I don’t know if any of Dapper’s methods work but pulling probably is little more than a learnable social skill and not very complicated …Of course there’s more than the possibility that the only message people will come away from DL is how to be rude to women but there is something subversive about the fact it doesn't pretend it is about "love" I think ...but then I’m a bit of a sick bastard all told.

    And anyway we’re not going to see Stewart Lee doing a dating show any time soon are we…? Or are we? It may be lowest common denominator TV but it’s filling a vacuum…

  5. In short it's like this:

    I think...

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  7. Oh yeah. Positive discrimination. Chris Philp did some research into this. He found the number 1 thing that repels people from Labour is "positive discrimination" and the number 1 thing that repels people from the Conservatives is it's mainly for a rich elite

    So people WANT more equality they're just not prepared to do anything to get it. Andrew Lawrence's views on positive discrimination aren't that far off the mainstream. Indeed Dara said something quite similar about the problems with how the policy is percieved which is his middle class way of saying he doesn't like it but with more words. Deep down we're all selfish and looking for ways to ensure our own privilege but on the whole I do think things more forward if at a glacial pace...