Van Morrison's 'They Own The Media' slammed as 'anti-Semitic', fans call album 'pure toxic entitled ressentiment'
Fans are also recalling Morrison's vehement denial of the pandemic in 2020, when he mocked people for wearing masks
Veteran singer Van Morrison recently released his latest album, 'Latest Record Project Volume 1', and one of the songs seems to have landed him in a soup. Even ardent Van Morrison fans are finding the lyrics of the song, 'They Own The Media', from his album problematic. The song was dubbed by many to have anti-Semitic undertones while British journalist Alexis Petridis called the entire album 'boring and paranoid'.
The two-hour-plus album comprises 28 songs among which some titles like 'Stop Bitching, Do Something', 'Big Lie', and 'Why Are You On Facebook' created controversy when the song list was released in March 2021. Fans are also recalling Morrison's vehement denial of the pandemic in 2020, when he mocked people for wearing masks and claimed that scientists are 'making up crooked facts'.
Van Morrison is proud to present ‘Latest Record Project Volume 1’, a free-wheeling blend of blues, R&B, jazz and soul across 28 new tracks. Listen now and order your copy here: https://t.co/AQ4MyIub8P pic.twitter.com/MjPVhn72va— Van Morrison (@vanmorrison) May 7, 2021
Is Van Morrison's new song 'anti-Semitic'?
According to Stereogum, the title of the song 'They Own The Media' appears to be an 'anti-Semitic trope'. Though the lyrics never indicate who is being referred to with the pronoun 'they', many are perceiving it to be directed towards the Jewish community.
Incidentally, Morrison was also called out in 2005 for his song 'They Sold Me Out', which reportedly propagated anti-Semitism.
"Even if it’s not relying on old antisemitic stereotypes, the idea that any singular group of people ‘owns the media’ is a dangerous myth,” stated Insidehook.
According to Forward, the unfounded and offensive notion that Jewish people control the media was once endorsed by Nazi minister Joseph Goebbels in 1933. It was first ideated in the 1903 anti-Semitic text 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'.
In Morrison's song, the lyrics float ideas like - You ever try to go against them, you will be ignored / Because they control / They control / They control the narrative they perpetuate the myth / Keep on telling you lies, telling you ignorance is bliss / Leave it all and you’ll never get, never get wise / To the truth / Cuz they control / Everything you do
During the pandemic, the 75-year-old singer who resides in Belfast had rallied against stay-at-home orders and expressed his displeasure about Covid-19 protocols and restrictions in a number of songs. He even went to the extent of calling the practice of social distancing 'pseudoscience'.
My god this new Van Morrison album is so bad, pure toxic entitled ressentiment. "Western man / has no plan / he's under attack....." 🙄🙄 🙄— Alison Croggon (@alisoncroggon) May 7, 2021
'Make Van Morrison Great Again'
Van Morrison's fans, who hail the singer for his legendary songs like 'Moondance', 'Astral Weeks' and 'Brown Eyed Girl', called him out for the alleged anti-Semitism and problematic connotations in his latest track. "I appreciate that he has lived long enough for people to realize that in many ways Van Morrison is terrible," tweeted film critic Jason Gorber. Author Otto English slammed him by saying, "There are few things so depressing on this Earth as a once great artist, who has turned into an angry old bigot."
"I'm shocked to hear that Van Morrison, the famously sanguine, even-tempered charmer who's always been so forthcoming, warm and sound of judgment (not least in dedicating a 1983 album to L. Ron Hubbard), has taken a turn for the obstreperous," wrote writer Ashley Clark. Journalist and historian David M. Perry directly attacked Morrison by tweeting, "I’d rather van morrison didn’t go full antisemite but he didn’t ask me."
"Make Van Morrison Great Again," a fan tweeted, borrowing Donald Trump's presidential catchphrase 'Make America Great Again'.
I appreciate that he has lived long enough for people to realize that in many ways Van Morrison is terrible.— Jason Gorber (@filmfest_ca) May 7, 2021
There are few things so depressing on this Earth as a once great artist, who has turned into an angry old bigot.https://t.co/mFQg7CPoDq— Otto English (@Otto_English) May 6, 2021
I'm shocked to hear that Van Morrison, the famously sanguine, even-tempered charmer who's always been so forthcoming, warm and sound of judgment (not least in dedicating a 1983 album to L. Ron Hubbard), has taken a turn for the obstreperous.— Ashley Clark (@_Ash_Clark) May 7, 2021
I’d rather van morrison didn’t go full antisemite but he didn’t ask me— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) May 7, 2021