Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bigmouth strikes again!

Morrissey says he won't play Canada because of seal hunt
Globe and Mail Update
Former Smiths lead singer Morrissey says he won't play any Canadian dates on his upcoming world tour in protest of the seal hunt.

In a statement posted on Morrissey fan Web site True To You, the singer offers a harsh criticism of hunt — which he terms an "horrific slaughter" — and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's defence of it.

"The Canadian Prime Minister says the so-called cull is economically and environmentally justified, but this is untrue," the singer said.

"The seal population has looked after itself for thousand of years without human intervention, and, as the world knows, this slaughter is about one thing only: making money."

Morrissey is gearing up a tour to promote his upcoming album, Ringleader Of The Tormentors. The first single, You Have Killed Me, was released in Britain this week.

But he says he won't play any dates in Canada and has called on fans to boycott Canadian goods, accusing the country of placing "itself alongside China as the cruellest and most self-serving nation."

"I fully realize that the absence of any Morrissey concerts in Canada is unlikely to bring the Canadian economy to its knees, but it is our small protest against this horrific slaughter," he said.

He also dismisses arguments that the hunt is an economic necessity by providing jobs to local communities.

"Construction of German gas chambers also provided work for someone -- this is not a moral or sound reason for allowing suffering," he said.

"If you can, please boycott Canadian goods. It will make a difference."

A number of celebrities have arrived in Canada in recent weeks to protest the hunt.

In February, Sir Paul McCartney, an ex-Beatle and vegan, came to Canada with his wife, Heather Mills McCartney, to stage a high-profile protest. After posing on ice floes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Mr. McCartney went head-to-head with Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams on CNN's Larry King Live.

The singer called the hunt a stain on the Canadian people. But Mr. Williams stood his ground, arguing that it provides a livelihood to remote communities.

Earlier this month, French actress Brigitte Bardot took her campaign against the centuries-old hunt to Ottawa, holding a press conference and requesting a meeting with Mr. Harper.

Mr. Harper refused, saying "I respect Ms. Bardot and all other famous people who have causes, but it's not in my nature to need to have my picture taken with celebrities."

The annual hunt began last weekend.

Separately Tuesday, actress Pamela Anderson has asked for a meeting with the Prime Minister following her hosting duties at Sunday's Juno Awards in Halifax.

"As a proud Canadian who frequently travels abroad, I am alarmed that people are starting to see Canada as a country more beholden to a pack of greedy hunters and to the seal-skin 'fashion' whims of a few countries than to the massive international outcry against the hunt," Ms. Anderson, a vocal member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in a letter faxed to Mr. Harper's office.

"One of the biggest problems facing the U.S. government is appearing aloof about its own hostile behaviour; I'd hate to see that happen north of the border too."

The actor and model said she's collected thousands of signatures via an on-line PETA petition protesting the seal hunt.

Ms. Anderson, who is from Ladysmith, B.C., said she wants to visit Ottawa on Monday to meet with Harper.

With a file from Canadian Press


Princess Pessimism said...

Love a man who stands up for what he believes in!!! As if I didnt love morrissey enough already!

Jennifer said...

I love the man too, but too bad he doesn't know what he's talking about and his priorities are way off.

sly said...

argh!! i read this and practically wept. but your fans morrissey, your fans!!

(and i agree with jenni: he can tour america who starts wars but he can't tour canada?)

Miss Ash said...

Ughh, i guess i'll have to go to the bloody states to see him.

yrautca said...

Sorry this is off topic but I need to reply to your post about homeless people on my blog.

Since I moved to Seattle I realized how big a problem this is. On every corner of ever block you will find homeless people begging for money. At first I felt sorry for them and gave them some change. Then I found out that Seattle has a very well established program for homeless and they get food etc from various shelters. Most of them beg for money to buy booze and drugs.

Moreover, they are not nice people. When I am in Starbucks, they just sit there and talk loud and use foul language. I cant study and have to keep changing Starbucks. In the library, they are not reading. They are just either occupying 2/3 seats and sleeping or just having a chat. Its not a nice environment.

We all feel compassion for the underprivelaged, but I doubt that these people are among the really needy. Other day I am in Starbucks and I was sitting next to a window. A guy in his early 20s, with arms and feet intact and no visible disability sat there and spent half hour to write on a piece of cardboard that he needs money and nobody got poor for giving etc etc. Then he just stood there, smoked his cig, at his sandwich and begged for money, right in front of my eyes. He knew I was watching but it didnt matter to him.

When I say liberal attitude I mean to say that Seattle is one of few cities in US with this attitude toward these people. Its a paradise for bums. The more right leaning cities and states dont have these many bums.

I think it is great to have programs for the homeless but those who abuse them and those who just make the city look like crap should be confronted about it.

Jennifer said...

I see what you were getting at now. Vancouver has a similar problem this way, not that they have tonnes of social programs, but they have the most temperate climate in Canada and so it's easier to be underhoused in Vancouver, than the harsh winter in Ontario or Quebec.
You can blame the social programs in Seatle as much as you like, but the right wing cities where these people likely come from are as much to blame for foisting these problems off on Seatle as Seatle is for attracting them.
We had a problem here where politicians in Alberta would give the homeless a one way bus ticket to Vancouver to make them someone else's problem. Alberta is the Texas of Canada, yeesh!
I know it bothers you to have to deal with homeless people, but the solution is not to send them elsewhere, the solution is to set up programs that will actually create conditions to get them off the streets. Take the one I posted about recently where they were dispensing small amounts of alcohol to alcoholics, or the program they have for opiate addicts in the UK where they get heroin/morphine from a government program and regular monitoring, knowing that they have a regular fix actually allows them to hold down a job, rebuild relations with their family, pay rent, assemble a safety net and this puts you in a strong circumstance for kicking the habit. This is only one example of tonnes of innovative programs to help street people. Toronto has a co-operative for former sex trade workers and soon to be sex trade workers, where they can live and help eachother to get off the street, network to find jobs, etc. There's a program in Germany to retrain sex trade workers to be nurses that I posted about recently. Shifting people somewhere else and somewhere else isn't going to solve the problem.
It still makes me cringe when you talk about what the panhandlers do with the money they collect. You can't govern what someone does with the money you give them, if you want accountability then give your money to a charity instead.

Jennifer said...

Sly and Ash, you're both so right. Morrissey doesn't realize that Canadians are used to being passed over by concert tours and that 80% of us live within 100 km of the US border so it's no big deal to go to a show in Detroit or NYC, or maybe he does and he figures that this is a great way to still get our dollars in his pocket without comprimising his questionable morals.

Jennifer said...

Every article I read on the topic mentions that it's slim pickings this year on younger seals because most of them died when the ice melted before they could learn to swim and they drowned. Does this bring global warming to anyone else's mind? No mention of that by Morrissey.
Also he mentions that the seals regulated their own population fine for thousands of years, but that's not true, native people have always hunted seals and that doesn't take into account whaling and the effect of global warming on polar bears who hunt on the now non-existent ice, both which left seals without predators. I'd certainly never suggest that the solution to an imbalance created by human interference is more interference, but Morrissey's arguement is bunk as well.
I don't even particularly support the seal hunt, but I think these people need to get better priorities, and look at their own countries. Morrissey why don't you speak out about Britain withdrawing it's troups from Ireland and Iraq? Because that would actually be a controversial stance? Because going up against the British governement is not as easy as pushing around some unemployed east coast fishermen and Canadian Native people?

Trib said...

Here in KC we've been having a lot of homeless on homeless crime. Which is weird because we do have a lot of social programs (yes, right here in the heart of red america), but the homeless people don't seem to know a lot about them. A good friend of mine once bought a homeless man a sandwich which he promptly threw in the garbage in front of her.
It's interesting to think about, what would I do if I suddenly lost all my stuff? Like the rest of you, I don't think I'd be homeless for long. (The answer doesn't involve begging) Some things that are crucial for success can't be taken away.

And Morrissey is a strange strange man.

Jennifer said...

Trib, it's unlikely that just you would loose all your stuff, we might all end up in a dustbowl scenario like the 1930s, but if your friends and family still had money then you wouldn't end up on the street.
On the other hand if there was a complicating factor, like you started prescribing drugs to yourself and ended up with a bad drug problem and then had several malpractice suits and some impared driving convictions that bankrupted you and then your family and friends disowned you because all you did was sponge money for drugs off of them and steal to feed your addiction.
You see, often the issues that land you on the street are the issues that keep you there - and I didn't even have to hypothetically give you schizophrenia to get hypothetically you there.
Actually there's this show Intervention on A&E, and they had one person featured who had owned a BMW and a house, he was a stock broker and had a bad coke/crack addiction and couldn't even admit to his friends that he was on the street. It's amazing how much more frightening it is to see that when you can identify with the person as someone you might have been friends with.

Jennifer said...

Wait, I forgot to hypothetically take away your medical licence, you loose that at the same time as the malpractice and DUI.

Even then, you probably would go to rehab that your family and friends would help with and you'd still probably land on your feet because (I assume) you started out with a strong foundation in life. Add a lack of family support, some molestation as a child, addict parents....

On the other hand, there are plenty of homeless people in Toronto who are happy with their living situation. We had a tent city for a while that was a pretty strong community, with a sense of permanance. They got evicted from their spot by the city and the owner of the land - Home Depot - which claimed that the property by the docklands was contaminated, therefore, a liability issue.
Take the people in NYC and other places who have successfully squatted themselves some real estate and are now owners.