If I could I would rail like King Lear:
"O, reason not the need: our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous:
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life's as cheap as beast's: thou art a lady;
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st,
Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need,--
You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!”
I am not here to recruit your opinion or change your mind. You are a young person and instincts are the glue you sniff not the preoccupations of the old who have lost their connection with the beasts and can only rely on what knowledge they squirreled away like acorns for winter. This makes them quiet, chastened and bitter. For instance an aphorism about songwriting and art I repeated old man style: “No one wants to hear you sing about what you know - sing your best guess”.. Yuk, right? Embarrassing to realize when you become the bearer of portentous cliches...
I also saw your MTV video but I am writing this because I saw how it affected Sinead. At the time I only thought “Ew put that tongue away” - but her involvement made it interesting.
I’m not bitter as an artist who has not had much success. I know how I fucked up. I spent too much time rolling in the mud of ‘self expression’ when I should have been getting on with shining the brightest light into the world. I have no excuses and wish the absolute best for everyone who is trying to make it. More or less.
Unfortunately what I saw in your spot was more like the flash in the sky in that painting by Turner: The Field of Waterloo. You didn’t turn the world on with a smile - so to speak - you just hung above the dead and dying like some eerie apocalyptic firework.
It was not was scandalous or bad - but it was the banality of evil dressed up as lowest common denominator. It was less of a song and more commercial for the rollout for a brand. You didn’t try to sell a ‘song’ - you were angling for a place in the upper tier of a very difficult marketplace. Its a cold thing.
And that tongue, my goodness. You must have had a director or writer or someone who took a BA in medieval symbolism. He must have told you to keep it wagging? The devil and Gene Simmons were always doing it. So Why Not! Or did pull it from the darkness yourself? Did you try debutante-like to assume the face of ultimate debauchery?
What no open letter has said but what I see as the real problem: here is this pretty young rich girl pretending to play a demon. Very End Times. It wasn’t disturbing in itself - just hard to look at - like a hateful preacher - or a You Tube skateboarder smashing his nuts on a railing. Sinead knows a little about demons. You just play one on TV. She had to be a little disturbed by it all. Plus you used her tear. What was that? Another ‘demonic’ move? Honey no.
But it was a great dance macabre. You kind of hit it. I was slightly convinced. I appreciate the duality of demon as victim who must show contempt for the suffering of others. You played it well. You wore makeup and silly outfits and shamelessly mocked the fallen. Why did it disturb so? I can’t put my finger on it but it has something to do with mocking belief. Theres a point when you can’t play with that shit. It gets bloody. You opened your mouth and nothing came out but dust. You let us see that having nothing to say is soul destroying as heroin. And lived it. If this was ‘rebranding’ as a creative act then ok - but you created a dead thing dark and mindless.
My brave open letter is just as much an act of vanity as yours. Sorry. It’s definitely way after the fact and more than unnecessary but I could not sleep for thinking about that picture of Sinead I recently saw. Her brave bald head and her breast tattoo reminded me how I loved her and used to think she was some kind of angel - really - before she was rolled underneath the bulldozer of fame and dreams of shallow minds - which is the same big yellow beast you drive - or think you do.