The Far Left’s Misguided Contempt For Morrissey (and for the truth about Islam)

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The police are kicking their way into my house. And haunting me, taunting me. Wanting me to break their laws — Ganglords, Morrissey 2006

It’s almost like Morrissey had a psychic sense the thought police would be coming for him in 2017. If so, he was right on the money because they’re after him alright. They’re cracking down hard on all dissenters. Got any wrong opinions? You might be better off keeping them to yourself.

And by wrong opinions, we’re talking literally any ideas that deviate from the group think of the Far Left, particularly on the subject of Islam. So if, for example, you’re one of those troublemakers that thinks it’s odd that cartoonists living in the free world must refrain from mocking one religion for fear of death…you’re on their list.

These people really don’t want to hear a critical word said against Islam. Ever. Ever. Ever.

Just after the jihadist attack on his hometown of Manchester, Britrock icon Morrissey broke their sacred law. He spoke out on social media, expressing his frustration with politicians’ obfuscation over the obvious role Islam plays in the never-ending stream of violent attacks against Europe from the Islamic state.

The statement was met with a swift and fierce response. Morrissey was branded a racist, a far-right zealot, a bitter man seething with hatred for all minorities. After all, in the hive mind of the Far Left, that’s the only explanation for why a person wouldn’t embrace an open-borders immigration policy in the middle of a jihadist insurgence.

Journalist Suzanne Moore wrote a piece for The Guardian, decrying dissenters like Morrissey as “hate figures”. Moore has a far more hive mind-compliant theory as to what drove 22-year old Salman Abedi to massacre twenty-three concertgoers. According to her, his actions have nothing at all to do with scripture-sanctioned violence against infidels and everything to do with—drumroll — toxic masculinity.

As usual, Islam played no role in the attack. Moore even insists on putting quotation marks around the word radicalized. These troubled men, she reminds us, are often from broken homes. Some even visit sex workers and use drugs, so it’s not like they’re devout Muslims anyway, right?

Martin Rossiter — frontman of the britpop band Gene — also wrote an op-ed, in which he clamps down even harder on Morrissey’s nay-saying. He begins with the assertion that Morrissey is a coward for not using the word “muslims” in his Facebook post. Rossiter’s speculation, that he sees as fact, is that Morrissey was giving himself room to backpedal away from his comment later.

Mourning his former idol’s transition into an “alt right poster boy”, Rossiter accuses Morrissey of “dogwhistle Islamophobia”. Yes, we’re still talking about Morrissey. The sexually ambiguous, often contrarian, vegan music legend who’s got nothing nice to say about either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton—that Morrissey.

The most cringe-making paragraph is the one where Rossiter self-flaggelates over having basically been a mafia wife to Morrissey’s alleged racism. He apologizes for the crime of having continued to buy his bygone hero’s albums all the way through 2009. He then scans the lyrics of Bengali in Pumps and National Front Disco for potential social justice infractions, and yes, he finds some.

Rossiter and Moore have a shared mission to paint Morrissey as a bigot, but just what is the evidence for his bigotry exactly? His frustration over politicians refusal to speak candidly about Islam? On that matter, he’s alligned with liberal Muslims such as Asra Nomani, Raheel Raza and Maajid Nawaz and many many others fighting to reform their culture. Are they all “bigots” as well? Are they all “Islamophobic”? The trouble is that actual peaceful Muslims like them are so completely invisible to the Far Left they might as well be ghosts.

The article in Spin magazine from Winston Cook Wilson decries how selfish Morrissey was to focus on his own anger after the attack instead of on the victims’ families. Apparently, it didn’t occur to Wilson that anger and sympathy could be felt simultaneously in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy in Manchester.

These examples of smear journalism are a microcosm of the Far Left’s larger strategy to shame critics of Islam into silence.

Here’s a few others:

  • Muslim “civil rights” activist Linda Sarsour teaming up with the Islam advocacy group CAIR to censor screenings of the documentary film Honor Diaries, which focuses on Islamist violence against women
  • University student groups seeking to have critics of Islam disinvited from their scheduled campus speaking events and creating a dangerous riotous atmosphere when the event happens as scheduled
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center labeling Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Maajid Nawaz as “anti-Muslim extremists” for the crime of having the courage to speak about problems in Islamic culture.
  • The Canadian parliament passing Motion 103 which aims to discourage criticism of Islam, in effect pre-shaming anyone who might be getting any funny ideas about being too vocal with their reflections on, say, the violent homophobia in Muslim society or the horrendous mistreatment of women.
  • News site Mother Jones smearing talk show host Dave Rubin with the bogus claim that he’s a member of the “far right”, undoubtedly because of his candid conversations about illiberal ideas in Islamic culture.

In the interim since Morrissey’s allegedly problematic comments, Europe and the United States, unsurprisingly, have been attacked by more jihadists.

This is no time to make truth-telling haram. If we are free to speak honestly about bad ideas, we can give Muslim reformers the support they need to effectively reform the way Islam is taught and practiced. It’s worth a shot and there’s nothing liberal about standing in the way of that goal. Nothing liberal at all.

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Art Tip No. 2—Get The Most Out of Your Next Art Museum Visit

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(Bathing Men by Edvard Munch)

Visiting art museums is a holy time for me. The whole experience oils the mechanics of my creativity & fills me w/ fresh enthusiasm towards art and the art life.

But if you’re not in the habit of being mindful, you could accidentally miss it. How tragic to passively peruse dozens of works of art…and then realize you were worrying about some bullshit the whole time!

Ideally, walking through an art exhibit of any kind should and absolutely can produce the following positive results inside you:

  1. An enhanced admiration for the imagination of your fellow artists in this world.
  2. A fresh respect for the collective human imagination.
  3. Loads of inspiration to produce your own art!

Here’s a few easy ways to get the most out of your next art museum experience:

  1. Schedule your art museum on a day you actually have time to absorb it. (Don’t squeeze it in between dropping off some mail and rushing over to the grocery store for some fresh pasta)
  2. Practice mindfulness as you view the art. Let the thoughts come and go. Become aware of your breath. Breathe in and out. Notice the paintings. Examine their texture, colors, the choices the artist made. Look deeply at the painting and just breathe and be there with it. Become aware of the church-like quiet of the museum. Disentangle from your thought loops simply by becoming conscious of them. Once you do this, you’ll enter the moment. Your consciousness will increase. You’ll be better able to process the stimuli around you.
  3. Use marijuana. (Disclaimer: This only applies if you enjoy marijuana. If getting high isn’t your thing, then don’t do it. Your disdain for the drug will cancel out the benefit…) If you’ve never walked through an art museum stoned, its definitely something to try at least once. By supplementing the art-viewing w/ marijuana you can space out while staring at a painting and get lost speculating on the wild moves the painter made to get this or that effect. You might even feel prompted to try something similar on your own canvas…

So, take your time. Breathe. Discover new art. Enjoy it. Keep that feeling w/ you for the rest of the day. Then, go home and do something.

Art Tip No. 1—Do Some Marker Art On Your Next Vacation

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Do you ever feel the impulse to knock out some fast art when you’re on holiday? If you’re like me, you probably prefer not to stuff your suitcase full of painting supplies. They’re bulky. They’re messy. Plus paintings often take several days to complete…

Why not bring along a pad of paper & a few markers instead? They’re lighter than paints. They dry instantly and are far more low-maintenance.

Challenge yourself to knock out some fast sketches. If your art life normally involves long-term projects, you’ll be giving yourself the joy of breaking from that pattern. Keep it fast and loose and just see what happens.

Limiting yourself to markers is extremely liberating. You can use them in parks, cafes…anywhere. Draw the people and places around you and your art instantly becomes a cool souvenir from your trip.

So, find room for a slow moment. Focus your mind. Whip out the markers and paper and go for it.

I make you this promise: It will inject a little needed mindfulness into your vacation. You deserve to be present and engaged. Give yourself that gift.

2 Matisse Paintings I dig

This Matisse painting is called Portrait of Lydia Delectorskaya. I like that Lydia’s been painted w/ the same colors as the Swedish flag and that her hair is misshapen on one side.

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This one’s called Les toits de Collioure. Doesn’t it feel like the village you have to go through in the Nintendo game Zelda II—The Adventure of Link?
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Seeing Suede @ Gröna Lund

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We took the boat over to the Gröna Lund amusement park to watch Suede perform.

We had dinner at this Mexican place, easily the best place to be out of all the places there. We got to avoid the crowd and munch on sweet potato fries alongside the lime-splashed vegetarian tacos…

After dinner, Malin said she needed a coffee lift.

From the short but slow-as-fuck line at Coffeebar, we heard the woh-woh beginning of the first song from Night Thoughts. We were missing the beginning of the show, which would sting a lot more if we hadn’t gotten to see Suede just a couple of months ago on their Night Thoughts tour. We stood in line anxiously listening to the first couple of songs.

Then the third song was one of Malin’s favorites: Outsiders.

“You go on ahead,” I told her. “I’ll get the coffee.”

I kept breathing and trying to appreciate the far-away songs while waiting for the coffee to brew. I asked the coffee girl if she was familiar with Suede. She wasn’t. I geeked out and told her a little about them.

So then I got the coffee and went to find Malin but couldn’t. I wandered toward the back, less-crowded part of the crowd…And then I froze. There was this this handicapped kid with misshapen hands in a motorized wheelchair and he was with his caretaker and they were both having an amazing time. The caretaker would reach out and take the kids’ hands and gently move them around. They were dancing together and behind my sunglasses I was crying (I missed my daily Zoloft yesterday) and the caretaker had short gray hair and some facial hair – sorta looked like an older hippy.

Maybe this older hippy caretaker guy is a Suede fan from way back and he’s now – at this moment in his life – getting to share the beauty of their music with this sweet kid he cares for. Or maybe he’s never heard of Suede. Maybe they just knew this was one of the concert nights, so they came to the amusement park, and here they were enjoying Suede’s music for the first time.

I didn’t care at all that I’d missed the beginning of the show because I got to take in this totally authentic moment of love and benevolence. It was powerful enough that I actually don’t even remember the song that was serving as the background music for this touching scene.

Then someone put a hand on my shoulder. It was Malin. She guided me to to this pretty decent place she’d found for us to watch the show.

Brett Anderson seduced the crowd. He made jokes. He did the whole have-the-crowd-sing-along thing too, which would normally annoy me..but I found myself kind of loving the way Brett did it. He slowed the songs way down and minimized them—If you’ve always thought Everything Will Flow sounds too produced, you owe it to yourself to go on Youtube and find a video of the song being performed live in mass karaoke-style.

Gröna Lund is sort of an odd place for a show of this caliber. Ideally, the stage would be given its own isolated area in the park. But no, the stage is located right between House of Nightmares and the carousel. So, you’ve got people wandering all over, going to their roller coasters, buying their ice cream and trying to win gigantic chocolate bars….

But I don’t know—there’s just something warm and fuzzy about it.  There’s random people there who probably don’t know about Suede and are maybe at the park for other reasons entirely but wind up falling in love anyway. I love when music transcends the gaps.

Open Letter to Wardah Khalid

Dear Ms Khalid,

I’m writing to you regarding the article you recently wrote in which you harshly criticized Muslim reformers for their efforts to modify Islam.

I totally get it that you disagree with them. What I find baffling, however, is your assertion that your ideological opponents shouldn’t be given a voice at all in the government and the media. To me, that sounds a lot like censorship. And worse, you seem to be suggesting that your effort to silence these “eccentrics” is being done on behalf of the majority of Muslims.

What strikes me as especially strange is that you go on to write that “no single person can speak on behalf of a religion with more than a billion adherents or even the millions of American Muslims.” Do you see the Jekyll/Hyde thing we have goin on here? One minute, you’re totally against the notion of anyone acting as the chief spokesperson for all adherents of a religion. But then you appoint yourself to that very task in the next sentence:

“There are many, many people out there speaking on Islam and extremism whom Muslim Americans ourselves generally consider to be fair representatives of our views. These are the people the government and the media should be consulting.”

Sooo apparently, there are indeed people who get to speak on behalf of the entire Muslim community. And that honor, you allege, belongs exclusively to you and those who happen to agree with you. Muslims who find themselves on a different page are “offensive and incorrect.” They are “eccentrics” that you say the government and the media shouldn’t pay attention to….

Now, let’s look back at some inspiring things you said on Texas Muslim Capitol Day just last year. You stood before a doting crowd and said Muslims must redefine their own narrative and make their voices heard. Then, most notably, you added “We as Muslim Americans will no longer sit idly while others seek to define us and our beautiful faith.”

That last line got an applause from the crowd. And from me as well! See, I agree with you that each person ought to have the right to practice their own faith and no one should be defining it for them.  But aren’t you doing exactly that when you refer to your ideological opponents as “psuedo experts” and “anti-Muslim” zealots simply because you don’t see eye to eye with them on the issue of reform?

Your anger over this disagreement seems to have driven you to behave in a way that is inconsistent with your stated principles.

You’re deciding who is an authentic Muslim and who is not.

You’re deciding which ideas are “incorrect and offensive” for Muslims and which are not.

You’re drawing the line on which views are “fringe” and which are not.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts I had. I am always available to dialogue with you if you’d like. My twitter handle is @thebobbynelson.

Take care,

Bobby Nelson