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ASPartOfMe
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07 May 2021, 10:15 am

They Own The Media’: New Van Morrison song amplifies antisemitic trope

Quote:
Legendary singer-songwriter Van Morrison released a new song on streaming platforms Thursday whose title espouses a classic antisemitic trope.

The lyrics of the song, “They Own The Media,” never indicate who the pronoun in its title refers to. But Morrison, a two-time Grammy winner, was also accused of antisemitism for the 2005 track “They Sold Me Out,” and throughout the coronavirus pandemic has been trafficking in conspiracy theories that frequently overlap with Jew-hatred.

The album raised eyebrows in March when its song list was revealed, including titles such as “Why Are You On Facebook,” “Big Lie,” and “Stop Bitching, Do Something.” On the website Stereogum, writer Tom Breihan called out “They Own the Media,” saying “it sure seems to be an antisemitic trope.”

“Maybe it’s satire,” Breihan wrote. “Maybe the “they” of the title doesn’t refer to any specific group of people. But when you consider that this man just went on a months-long COVID-denial tantrum, we have every right to be suspicious about this one.”

Over the last year, Morrison, 75, has railed against stay-at-home orders, releasing a number of songs protesting coronavirus restrictions and calling social distancing pseudoscience. A native of Belfast, he accused the government of the United Kingdom of “taking our freedom.”

In “They Own The Media,” he sings, “They control the narrative / they perpetuate the myth / Keep on telling you lies / telling you ignorance is bliss.”

Morrison — whose 1968 album “Astral Weeks” was ranked the 60th greatest album of all-time by Rolling Stone — denied back in 2005 that “They Sold Me Out,” in which he sings in first-person from the perspective of Jesus, was antisemitic. That song includes the lyrics: “For a few shekels more, they didn’t even think twice / For a few shekels more, another minute in the spotlight.” Morrison later said the song was about the plight of the artist in society.


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07 May 2021, 10:20 am

Alt-Right =\= Always Right


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VegetableMan
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07 May 2021, 12:08 pm

I listened to 'They Own the Media' and can't find anything antisemitic in the lyrics. I also listened to 'They Sold Me Out." Nothing there either. I'd interpret 'They Own the Media' as a statement against the oligarchs.

As far as his statements against the lockdowns and the Covid crisis...yeah, I don't agree with them.

If somebody could show some actual antisemitic comments that Morrison has made, I'd be interested in reviewing them.



ASPartOfMe
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07 May 2021, 1:55 pm

VegetableMan wrote:
I listened to 'They Own the Media' and can't find anything antisemitic in the lyrics. I also listened to 'They Sold Me Out." Nothing there either. I'd interpret 'They Own the Media' as a statement against the oligarchs.

As far as his statements against the lockdowns and the Covid crisis...yeah, I don't agree with them.

If somebody could show some actual antisemitic comments that Morrison has made, I'd be interested in reviewing them.

It was noted in the article “they” did not refer to any group. In an era when everything one says is interepted as racist most everyone knows not to be overt, Morrison is not going to write a song entitled ‘Brown Kike Girl”. Thing is so many actual anti-Semitic groups have replaced saying “Jews own the media” with “They own the media” or “Bankers sold you out” people are going to assume you are anti-semetic if you say those things.


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07 May 2021, 2:07 pm

In other words, it seems as if Morrison is writing anti-Semitic songs by using the method of "implication."

It can't be "logically" proven that he has anti-Semitic intent-----but there are rather strong implications that this is, indeed, the case.



VegetableMan
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07 May 2021, 2:17 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
I listened to 'They Own the Media' and can't find anything antisemitic in the lyrics. I also listened to 'They Sold Me Out." Nothing there either. I'd interpret 'They Own the Media' as a statement against the oligarchs.

As far as his statements against the lockdowns and the Covid crisis...yeah, I don't agree with them.

If somebody could show some actual antisemitic comments that Morrison has made, I'd be interested in reviewing them.

It was noted in the article “they” did not refer to any group. In an era when everything one says is interepted as racist most everyone knows not to be overt, Morrison is not going to write a song entitled ‘Brown Kike Girl”. Thing is so many actual anti-Semitic groups have replaced saying “Jews own the media” with “They own the media” or “Bankers sold you out” people are going to assume you are anti-semetic if you say those things.


I understand. I'm just looking for a precedent in past statements from the artist that can be construed as antisemitic.



roronoa79
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07 May 2021, 6:47 pm

Even if he isn't explicitly stating the Jews are the ones who own the media, suggesting a single group does remains fuel for anti-semites. Replacing 'Jews' with 'Liberals' these days is just the fashionable way to repackage anti-semitic conspiracy theories for the mainstream.

Not explicitly anti-semitic either, but 'Western Man' on the new album seems pretty emphatically alt-right to me:

Quote:
Western Man has no plan
'Cause he became complacent
Stopped believing in himself
Let others steal his rewards

While he was dreaming

While he was dreaming
Others were scheming
Doing deals behind his back
Now Western Man is adrift, and under attack

What happened in between?

Now there’s no other bite of the cherry
Unless he’s prepared to fight
Start on a new path to freedom

New path to freedom

The horse has bolted from the stables
Lunatics have taken over the farm
Caretakers have taken over the main house

Plan to start meetings in the forest

Going back to the way it was
Now just seems near impossible
Western Man has no plan
They stole it while, while he was dreaming

Now there’s no other bite, bite of the cherry
Unless he’s prepared to fight
Start on a new path to freedom
Horse has bolted from the stables
Lunatics have taken over the farm

Caretakers have taken over the main building
The governors have gone over the wall
Plan to start meetings in the forest
Not going back, not going back to the way it was

Western Man has no plan
Since he became complacent
Stopped believing in himself
And let others steal his rewards
While he was dreaming

While he was dreaming
While he was dreaming
While he was dreaming
While he was dreaming
While he was dreaming
While he was dreaming
Others were scheming

Scheming while he was dreaming
Others were scheming
While he was dreaming
Others were scheming
While he was dreaming

Emphasis mine.


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07 May 2021, 11:19 pm

I have a hard time believing that the man who wrote, 'Brown Eyed Girl' could be Alt-Right. On the other hand, anything is possible these days.


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