- 26 Sep 2015
- Reaction score
I had to wrestle with similar feelings when one of my long-term songwriting heroes (Morrissey, the lead singer of The Smiths, a very successful solo artist, and a superlative lyricist) started actively supporting some of Britain's far-right parties, so you have my sympathy. I also got similarly annoyed when watching the news last night. I was listening to the English translation of NHK news, and they blandly mentioned that he stepped down because of "comments he had made on bullying". "Comments he made on bullying? He made disabled kids eat poo!" I shouted at the TV, much to the amusement of my older son.Allow me to get on my soapbox again regarding this particular recent development.
While the full body of the article is far more enlightening (as well as disturbing; read it at your own risk if you're easily traumatized), I just have to say that I'm very frustrated with headlines and sound bites that refer to this simply as "(past) bullying", or Japanese news stories likewise glossing over it as ijime (though again, many of the news programs have done a fine job covering/criticizing it in depth).
"Past bullying" kind of makes it sound like it came to light that he called a classmate some names back in junior high and is now being forced to pay the price decades later.
It would be more accurate to say that he stepped down (or, it seems now, was forced or at least strongly encouraged to by the Japanese government) over the revelation that he had not only physically, psychologically and sexually tortured and abused disabled classmates as a high schooler, but had bragged, joked about it, and laughed it off on multiple occasions even long after becoming a successful adult, not even showing one ounce of regret or remorse until issuing a form-letter apology on Twitter after an old magazine interview resurfaced this week in light of his role in the Olympic ceremony.
On a personal note, this one was pretty rough for me, as I genuinely like this guy's music and had/have a ton of respect for his talent as a composer. It was very hard (and still is) for me to accept that someone who has composed such beautiful songs could be such a psychopathic monster.