Saturday, 4 September 2010

Morrissey brands Chinese people "sub-species": this little China Girl says "just you shut your gob"

The Guardian plugs their "Morrissey sparks racism row calling Chinese 'subspecies'" Weekend magazine article on their front page.

The old miserabilist has used the excuse of an animal cruelty scandal in China to brand the entire Chinese race as a "sub-species". What, even Buddhists who don't eat meat? Even the Chinese environmentalists and animal rights activists who work hard to protect pandas and tigers in their natural habitats? Even the Chinese people who are shocked and furious to find private zoos mistreating the animals they've been trusted to look after? Even the Chinese investigative team at Xinhua News Agency who uncovered the scandal of the deaths of tigers in Harbin zoo?

While he understandably described the latest scandal as "absolutely horrific", which it is, he neglected to extend his empathy to fellow human beings when he said, "You can't help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies."

There's been a wave of anti-Chinese Yellow Peril fever whipped up coinciding with the rise of China as a superpower, surfacing in sensationalist scapegoating every time there's a disaster. They've attempted to stick us with the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in rural England, the Gulf Of Mexico BP oil leak, even climate change when the West has been belching out carbon emissions for 160 years since the industrial revolution and look set to continue doing so at four times per capita that of the Chinese.

Loved One (Jewish) just chimed in to say it's like being Jewish between the wars. "No wonder Jews are so fond of Chinese food. In New York it's practically the staple diet. Red star, yellow star, what's the difference?"

Turn to any nation and you will find a callous money-grubbing section of society which views animals and humans as objects to be stripped down and used. These are the enemy and the ignorant who need to be educated (possibly, if all else fails, with steel-toed boots). We could count the ways that this particular barbarism manifests in the West, but I respect my readers sufficiently to assume that they know what those issues are.

It was Spaniards themselves who halted bull fighting in Barcelona, but it took a long time and a hard fight. The same is happening in China. At least they don't bomb people from 30,000 ft as some civilised nations do.

I know animal rights activists who care about humans as well. Pity Morrissey isn't one of them. Fading old rock stars will do just about anything to grab a headline — and the best thing about The Smiths was always Johnny Marr's guitar-playing.

Sherlock and wily orientals. Review of "The Blind Banker", Episode 2.

BBC jumps racist shark with "Fu Manchu In Edinburgh"

Racism for fun. Fu Manchu producer pleads irony on BBC.

The Independent publishes article by Sonny Leong, Chair of Chinese For Labour, 6th October 2010, asking if the Chinese have lost face by their lack of response.


claude said...

He clearly put his foot in it. Mozza could have expressed his rage/disgust at what are frankly vile practices of animal abuse without making such a crass sweeping statement that labels 1bn people as a whole.

I've always admired Morrissey for his animal rights work, but this was certainly a crap faux pas on his part.

Or maybe he simply needed a new lot of headlines. He is not stupid and he knew exactly that a (minor) media storm would await.

Yin said...

I haven't heard from Morrissey in a looong time. =/

An open letter to all the blamers:

How come we all have be generalised as one? That's just ignorant. People treating animals badly is only a small part of the society, and sadly it happens to be SOME chinese people. Don't generalise people, it's a disgusting trait.

VenerableSage said...

Morrissey wanted to be Oscar Wilde but ended up settling for Jeremy Clarkson. Quel twazzock.

harpymarx said...

Great post...

I read that Guardian article last night/early morning, and I really bloody wish Morrissey would shut the f-ck up!! His vile racist rants are just despicable. And as a Smiths fan I feel his bloody music sullies the rest of my DVD collection. Hatful of Hollow? Hatful of Hate!

I am a vegetarian .... and that b'stard gives vegetarians a bloody bad name.

Tim Mitchell said...

He does have form when it comes to "expressing himself". But only a cynic would say that his liking for the race-card has served him well when he feels in need of press attention.

I just wish he'd stick to saying vile things about the Tories - but maybe they just aren't what they used to be either.

Renegade Eye said...

Really insightful post.

Your listing of Chinese animal rights activists, was effective.


stentor said...

He should have stuck to music and branded them a sub-cultural species, ie zero global influence on the music scene. PK14, Carsick Cars? All knockoffs, even Hans Ebert could be forced to agree.

Gwei Mui said...

OMFG! Only a week away from the internet, newspapers and I feel so totally stupid having missed all of this - great post MM but where are all the othershinese community they should be posting on this my exuse I was out of the country on holiday. This really is begining to p*ss me off. And I think there is truth in the view that there always has to be a demon, a devil someone to balme for the ills, the insecruties and the failures of a nation - the world. Picking a devil then you won't pick on someone that loks familiar to you or shares "supposed views" Difference is the key play on people's fears of what they don't know, recognise or seems unfamiliar
Wake up people pick up your iqs from the basement znd start using your gray cells

dtks888 said...

Let's roast his bollocks
Pickle his winkle
Stew his arse cheeks
For swine and dogs
To feast.

A fitting end

Gwei Mui said...

I waas going to apologies for the typos - but when I get angry or really passionate about something my dyslexia just takes over!

Lobo said...

Well, he's a subspecies too - he can't sing!

Dave said...

'Fading old rock stars will do just about anything to grab a headline...'

And the reaction just plays to this tune. I have a Chinese partner and child who is half-Chinese and I am not remotely offended by Morrissey's remarks.

Reading between the lines of the interview, Morrissey clearly saw an opportunity to make a splash, to play 'Morrissey' and to wind up his interviewer (the talentless Mr Armitage). I found parts of the transcript funny. I read the 'subspecies' thing through these spectacles. It's play-acting, not very bright play-acting in places (in that playing Morrissey seems to involve some deep-seated prejudices) but there you go.

There's also some difference between saying group X are inferior because they do Y and saying group X are inferior, period. And if Morrissey wants to say Chinese people are a subspecies in any context (be it heartfelt or as part of some bullshit media circus) then he should have the democratic right to make those stupid, offensive, remarks.

One thing I think Morrissey has demonstrated of benefit continually is that it is very difficult to have a sensible debate with the liberal/left about any issues to do with race/identity/community. As an example, I don't feel entirely comfortable as an English person in parts of London at times. I don't think that's because of prejudice (although who can really tell?) or because I'm some prick nationalist.

But I would rather have tongue cut out than openly admitting this to friends on the left (can you imagine the finger wagging?).

Madam Miaow said...

So you have a Chinese partner who's not offended? Great. That's because we're not all the same. Who'd a thunk it?

Dave said...

Nope. I said I wasn't offended. I made no comment on whether my partner was offended or not.

Madam Miaow said...

So was she offended? Or doesn't she have a say?

Morrissey has the right to be dumb and offensive. I have the right to respond, which seems to piss you off more than the original remark.

Mellie said...

"I don't feel entirely comfortable as an English person in parts of London at times. I don't think that's because of prejudice (although who can really tell?) or because I'm some prick nationalist."

What are you afraid of? The nasty foreigners are going to mug you or something? Sounds like prejudice to me!

Dave said...

You're evading the issue. The point I was making is that I don't have some chip on my shoulder about Chinese people. If my partner wants to get involved in debates that's up to her. I'm not speaking for her.

I made a critical but considered response to your article - you rather enforce Morrissey's standpoint that it is impossible to debate with the liberal left on any issue of ethnicity (despite the offensive way in which his remarks are couched). When did I suggest you didn't have the right to respond?

I'm not pissed that you in particular did respond (??)but critical of the grounds on which you make your response.

claude said...

Dave @ 16:17
"it is very difficult to have a sensible debate with the liberal/left about any issues to do with race/identity/community."

Oh yeah. That's why the issue has been constantly been debated over the past few years non stop.

Not to mention that calling a whole race "subspecies" is not "sensible debate". If it is then I'd like to know what "insensible" is.

Just admnit it, Morrissey's choice of words was just crap. The man isn't a god. He can be an utter prick like any human being. And, in that interview (and many others), he was.

Madam Miaow said...

So Dave, let me get this right: you are a white guy using his Chinese partner as collateral in order to legitimise his reprimand of a person of Chinese origin for responding critically to Morrissey's "subspecies" comment? Hmmm ...

VenerableSage said...

Dave -- you appear to be experiencing acute difficulty getting your head round the notion that OTHER people (emphasis on 'other') might be affected or offended by a remark which, because it's not aimed directly at you, does not affect or offend you.

Maybe because it's aimed directly at them, perhaps?

If you were a suspected replicant in Blade Runner and Harrison Ford was giving you the Voight-Kampff test, you'd fail. This is because it's a test to measure something called 'empathy.'

Try it sometime.

harpymarx said...

Dave, what do you mean by "sensible debate with the liberal/left about any issues to do with race/identity/community."

Is it cos the so-called "liberal/left" has a tendency to condemn racism?

And what do you mean by "as a comfortable as an English person in parts of London at times"....

You feel unable to say that as a white bloke? Well, let's shift the power dynamics, what do you think it's like for a non-white person in parts of London because of the real fear of racism and racist violence.

And Morrissey's racist remark is all part of a society that is based on power and oppression that also reflects racism. As "liberal/lefties" or for that matter anyone it is our duty to challenge, condemn and fight against this. said...

The Times had an interesting column asking why the British Chinese community weren't up in arms about Morrissey's comments. Why, generally, are they not up in arms about anything?

For my money, I've rather ignored anything Morrissey has ever said for the last 20 years. The ramblings of an old man stuck in a world he doesn't like or recognise.

J.L said...

I really dragged my heels when it came to blogging about this latest Morrissey scandal - one the one hand, I've been to China and seen first hand some of the animal abuse which offends him to greatly, but on the other I've long grown nautious of his pseudo-Tory, publicity-hungry ranting. I totally agree with - I ignore most of what comes out of Morrissey's mouth, other than his Smiths material.

Czarny Kot said...

RE; Bullfighting

Bullfighting has actually been banned by Catalans, not the Spanish (although the Canary Island have banned it.)

Whilst concern for animal welfare may have played a part, I suspect that the main reason for the Catalonia ban is that bullfighting is a very Spanish activity and they want everyone to know they are not Spanish.

Madam Miaow said...

Almost Witty, that is interesting. I don't suppose you could sling across the text of the article, could you?

One argument is that that China is now strong enough to ignore the provocations of fading powers, and Chinese who identify with the new superpower will do likewise. But I still think that it's right to speak out when racism raises its head. They're flying a kite to see how Chinese communities will respond and what we'll put up with.

PatrickWaldron said...

If Morrissey used this to stir up (negative)publicity for himself, he's stooped to an all time low. My opinion, it was a slip of the tongue and absent brain. Everyone knows he's a lyrical genius, however it seems common sense invaded him on this statement. As many people quickly see, he put all of "chinese" people into the box of a lower species. My first gut reaction was angry disbelief for someone I admired to say that. Ah well, it's a mad world and sometimes people disappoint...but we can forgive and FORGET them.