May 18, 2009
Chad Love: Separating Art from Idiocy
By Chad Love
I'm feeling old today so here's a bit of flashback for anyone out there who came of age in the Eighties...
From the story:
Rocker Morrissey is adamant about performing in a meat-free environment — so much so that he regularly bans all food “that used to have a face” from concert halls. Case in point was his most recent gig at Webster Hall in NY this week. From the article,
“The ardent vegetarian - whose second album with his former group The Smiths was titled ‘Meat Is Murder’ - demanded the Webster Hall venue be a meat-free zone before, during and immediately after his performance on Wednesday night. A source said: ‘There were no deli sandwiches, sushi, pepperoni pizza or anything else that used to have a face. Even the cleaning staff were happy to do their part by bringing in veggie sandwiches for lunch.’”
Apparently, Morrissey also prohibits his staff from eating meat and will fire anyone on the spot if caught doing so.
Now I have to admit that back in the day I was a big Smiths fan. In 1986 I bought my own copy of "Meat is Murder" not because I agreed with Morrissey's political views (I was 16, I didn't know what a political view was) but rather I thought it was the ultimate act of ironic hipster coolness to be both a Smiths fan and an unapologetic, in-your-face hunter. However, I quickly discovered my ironic fashion statement (Trebark camo pants pegged into unlaced hightops, a Smiths t-shirt and a luxurious Oklahoma neck blanket) was completely lost on the female student body of my high school. Teen biology being what it is, thus ended (quickly) my experiment in philosophical duality.
But when I saw the story above, it got me to thinking: do you have artists (musicians, writers, actors, whatever) whose work you enjoy but whom you can't stand personally or politically? I think hunters, anglers and gun owners are particularly vulnerable to this quandary because of the pop-culture bashing we regularly receive. Can you separate the art from the person or does ideology get in the way? I mean, Morrisey is obviously a jack*ss and an all-around unpleasant dude who forcibly crams his political views down the throats of those under him. But I have to admit, even though the mullet's (thankfully) gone I'm still a big Smiths fan. Does that make me a sell-out or a traitor?