In a statement posted to his website yesterday, former Smiths singer Morrissey dismissed the suicide of Robin Williams, lamenting the fact that it overshadowed the passing of actress Lauren Bacall. Of course, this sentiment was completely rude and unnecessary, but it should come as no surprise to anyone who's been following Morrissey in the media over the last 30 years. Here are six of Morrissey's meanest quotes.
1. (On dance music) "It's the refuge for the mentally deficient. It's made by dull people for dull people."
Morrissey is incapable of simply being indifferent about something - he must despise it, and viciously insult anyone who disagrees. Sure, a lot of dance music is awful, but a lot of music in any genre is awful, so his singling out of dance music is unnecessary, especially when the Smiths wrote some dance classics of their own ("How Soon is Now" and Barbarism Begins At Home").
2. (On Smiths drummer Mike Joyce) "I wish the very very worst for Joyce for the rest of his life."
In late 1996, Smiths drummer Mike Joyce brought Morrissey and Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr to court over a royalty dispute, claiming that he deserved 25 percent rather than the 10 percent he was actually receiving. Though I'm not here to judge whether or not Joyce actually deserved 25 percent (the case eventually settled in his favor), Morrissey's wish of "the very very worst" for him seems excessively mean-spirited.
3. "You can't help but feel that the Chinese people are a subspecies."
Morrissey's track record with racial tolerance is less than stellar. Though I've always interpreted the anti-immigration sentiments in "Bengali in Platforms" and "The National Front Disco" as being tongue-in-cheek and not written from his own perspective, it's still enough to make people question his opinion of minorities. However, his 2010 description of the Chinese as a "subspecies" due to their animal rights abuses was unequivocally racist.
4. (On the 2011 Norway massacre) "This is nothing compared to what happens in McDonalds and Kentucky Fried s**t every day."
Morrissey is an absolutely no-nonsense vegetarian, and though there's nothing wrong with vegetarianism, his rhetoric often makes it seem as if he places significantly higher value on the life of an animal than a fellow human. Following the 2011 Norway massacre, which claimed the lives of 77 people, Morrissey used the tragedy to advance his own anti-meat agenda, and though I'm sure a few vegans agreed with his sentiment, pretty much everyone else thought it was a bit of an overstatement.
5. (On the 1994 Prince Charles assassination attempt) "I wish that Prince Charles had been shot. I think it would have made the world a more interesting place."
I happen to agree with Morrissey most of the time when he criticizes the royal family (I find the idea of any royal family in any country to be absurd in this day and age), but to go so far as to wish someone to be shot is just too much for me. Nobody deserves to be shot, even if he is a member of an elitist family that wastes taxpayer money.
6. "The sorrow of the IRA Brighton bombing is that Thatcher escaped unscathed."
Like his opinions on the royal family, I agree with Morrissey when it comes to Margaret Thatcher being an awful Prime Minister. However, to side with terrorists as he did in this quote from 1984 is something that could have probably ended his career, and I'm frankly surprised it didn't.
I'm a huge fan of Morrissey and the Smiths, so here's a reminder of just how talented he is (or at least was):