Culture

In Honor Of LA Declaring Nov. 10 Morrissey Day, Here’s Why Mexicans Love Moz So Damn Much

Yesterday, Los Angeles celebrated Morrissey Day.

CREDIT: Credit: Dominique Houcmant / Goldo / Flickr

“Los Angeles embraces individuality, compassion, and creativity, and Morrissey expresses those values in a way that moves Angelenos of all ages,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “Morrissey Day celebrates an artist whose music has captivated and inspired generations of people who may not always fit in — because they were born to stand out.”

Scholars, writers, cultural anthropologists, sociologists and generally curios people have attempted to find the origins and reasoning behind the connection between Latinos and Morrissey. They have yet to find a concrete answer, and it is likely that there isn’t one. There’s a very good chance there’s not a singular moment that served as the catalyst for that connection, but rather an overall collection of happenings and cultural shifts that have built this diehard following. That includes the influence of rock and roll on 1950’s pachucos and greasers assimilating to American life.

However, Moz, as he’s lovingly referred to, has his thoughts on the deep love between he and his Latino fans.

“Latinos are full of emotion, and whether its laughter or tears, they are ready to explode, and they want to share their emotion, and they want to give, and show, and show,” he once said in an interview. “I think that’s the connection because when I sing, it’s very expressive.”

Mexicans stand tightly together, heavily tattooed and full of heart, loudly singing along with Moz whether at a concert or in our bedrooms. It’s how we sing mariachi and rancheras with our families and friends.

CREDIT: Credit: mozzeriansaroundtheworld.tumblr.com

His songs are just as much our rancheras as anything by Vicente Fernandez, despite him being a pale British bloke from gloomy England. Both Chente and Moz express the anguish and awkwardness of loss, pain, love and desperation. Latinos are a people who feel and feel big, and The Smiths and Morrissey was another outlet to express our emotions. Particularly if we were outsiders, disappointing our parents with our weird clothes and weirder music.

We bring him flowers and cards, and express our concern when we know he is ill. It’s what we do for our family and friends who are hurting. We create bands in his honor, like the band Sweet and Tender Hooligans or Mexrissey, which does Spanish versions of Smiths/Morrissey songs and incorporates a Mexican sound. Think trumpets. The day Morrissey dies, I’m positive the Mexican flag will wave at half-staff and millions of pompadoured men and cat-eyed women will weep and light candles and play “I Know It’s Over.”

Morrissey is undoubtedly the patron saint of the sweet and tender Mexican. The Mexican who loves their culture –  its music, its language, its passion, its art, its high regard for love and family –  but also rejects its glorification of hyper-masculinity and antiquated gender norms.

CREDIT: Credit: Mark Oshiro / Flickr

The Mexican who cares about animals and sees the indignity in inequality. The Mexican who seems too soft to their parents and grandparents. That is, until the tequila flows. Then we’re all crying together.

There is a strong undercurrent of anglophilia in Mexican alternative culture. In the past I’ve written about Tijuana’s mod scene and attempted to understand how a subculture that grew as a direct response to post-war Britain had struck a chord with a group of Mexicans thousands of miles away from the foggy UK and who continue to keep the faith to this very day. The same curious connection exists with Morrissey and The Smiths.

Concurrently, my teens and early twenties were made up of countless nights dancing among shaggy-haired Mexicans to Blur, Pulp and, of course, The Smiths in a tiny Tijuana bar called Porky’s. The dance floor filled with screams of excitement when “This Charming Man” came on. The Mexicans that make up these subcultures are mostly working class and dealing with similar identity struggles British working class youth have encountered. There’s a shared experience there that seems to be more meaningful to the Mexican side, who have long adopted the style and sounds of British rock musicians. I’ve yet to meet any British people jamming out to Juan Gabriel or even Soda Stereo.

Morrissey, however, embraces his Mexican following and has adopted the culture to a certain extent. Some even call him an honorary Mexican. “I wish I was born Mexican,” he once told a crowd of Las Vegas concertgoers. He wrote a love letter to Mexico with the song “Mexico,” and gave a nod to his fans with “First of the Gang to Die,” about a Los Angeles gangster named Hector who meets his untimely end from a bullet in his gullet. 

When he sang about the dichotomy between his Irish blood and an English heart, and I could relate as a Mexican-American living life on both sides of a wall. The music of The Smiths and Morrissey often gave me the words I couldn’t form as an angsty young woman carving an identity for myself. Morrissey helped me sing my life, and he’s had the same effect on millions of other Mexicans. So much so that we tacitly forgive him as he devolves further and further into a blithering uncle with a penchant for arrogant shit talk and offensiveness.

Like when he said, “I really like Mexican people. I find them so terribly nice. And they have fantastic hair, and fantastic skin, and usually really good teeth.” He also blamed the near extinction of rhinos on Beyonce, and okayed the use of beloved black writer and cultural critic James Baldwin’s image on a t-shirt that included the lyrics “I wear black on the outside / ‘Cause black is how I feel on the inside,” from The Smiths’ song “Unloveable.” And then his views on immigrants are just…no.

He makes it very hard to love him sometimes, and yet we do. Perhaps because we’ve taken him on as our own.

I couldn’t tell you the first time I heard The Smiths or Morrissey, but as a first-generation Mexican woman who was raised on both sides of the border, Morrissey’s presence in my life has been as prevalent as my mother’s incessant yelling, my father’s rancheras and the deep conflicts that occur when you navigate a life of division.

The border I crossed every day was a too-obvious metaphor for the split in my being, and Morrissey’s melancholy voice and lyrics provided the soundtrack to my coming-of-age, mirroring my own vulnerabilities, anger, humor, heartbreaks, fears and passions. Those passions are shared by Mexicans and other Latinos alike.


READ: 7 Morrissey Covers That’ll Make Every Day Feel Like Sunday

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Eminem’s New Song ‘Unaccommodating’ Talks About The Bombing Of Ariana Grande’s Concert And People Are Offended

Entertainment

Eminem’s New Song ‘Unaccommodating’ Talks About The Bombing Of Ariana Grande’s Concert And People Are Offended

eminem / Instagram, arianagrande/ Instagram

Eminem’s new album has been getting a lot of backlash —granted, there’s no surprise there. But there’s one song in particular that has Ariana Grande fans fuming. It looks like the real Slim Shady referenced the 2017 bombing that took place during an Ariana Grande concert in one of his songs, and Arianators are not having it. 

Eminem’s new album, which dropped Friday, includes the track “Unaccommodating.”

The song contains the lyrics: “But I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game/Like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting.” Fans are steaming mad over the lyrics, which they say, make light of the Manchester Arena bombing. The 2017 terror attack killed 23 people, and happened during one of the “thank u, next” singer’s concerts.

To make things worse, the song samples an explosion sound effect, which many are calling disrespectful.

The 47-year-old raps the line against a backdrop of an explosion sound effect, and Twitter users were quick to express their disapproval. “Eminem really mocked the Manchester bombing on his new album? Does he not realize that kids and teenagers lost their lives that night?,” wrote one user. 

Others think he should stop making music altogether…

Real talk, Eminem is such a piece of trash for making a punchline out of the 22 people who died in the Manchester attack,” one person wrote on Twitter. 

The BBC reports that Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is among those who are unhappy with Eminem’s lyrics.

In a statement, the mayor further explained: “This is unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful to the families and all those affected.”

Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett died in the attack, also voiced her disapproval.

“Feels like he is piggybacking on the fame of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber and says distasteful things about other celebrities,” she wrote on Twitter after being informed of the two songs on Friday, “Not clever. Totally pointless. And before all Eminem fans pounce on me, I am not interested and will not engage.”

Murray has campaigned for the introduction of Martyn’s Law, which would require venues to introduce more stringent security checks. She later deleted the tweet after receiving backlash.

“Unaccommodating” is a song off of Eminem’s new album, Music To Be Murdered by. 

Fans of the rapper have taken to social media to defend him, with some pointing out that the entirety of his album is actually about gun violence and mental health. Others reminded Eminem’s critics that the rapper helped raise money at the time of the Manchester attack in order to support the victims and their families.

Eminem previously pledged his support to victims of the bombing in 2017.

The rapper urged fans to donate money to families who had been affected.

This is not the first time the 47-year-old has referenced the attack in song.

In a 2018 freestyle, he rapped about a brainwashed suicide bomber “seeing Ariana Grande sing her last song of the evening/And as the audience from the damn concert is leaving/Detonates the device strapped to his abdominal region.”

In a contrast to the Manchester Arena lyric, the album’s lead single, Darkness, advocates tighter gun control laws in the US.

The song and video reference the 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting in Las Vegas, in which 58 people died, with Eminem playing the role of an isolated, mentally-disturbed character who plots a murderous rampage to gain notoriety. The video ends with a montage of news reports from recent mass shootings, captioned: “When will it end? When enough people care.”

Eminem then urges fans to register to vote in the upcoming US elections, writing: “Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America”.

The video also links to a website with information and links to various anti-gun violence organisations including Everytown For Gun Safety, March For Our Lives and Sandy Hook Promise. It’s not the first time the rapper has addressed the issue. Performing at last year’s iHeartRadio music awards, he delivered a verse attacking the National Rifle Association’s hold over politicians, rapping: “They love their guns more than our children.”

The Super Bowl Just Hit The Latina Trifecta Thanks To This Big Announcement

Entertainment

The Super Bowl Just Hit The Latina Trifecta Thanks To This Big Announcement

ddlovato / Instagram, jlo /Instagram , shakira/ Instagram

Looks like the Super Bowl is officially going to be fire. Late last year it was announced that , Jennifer Lopez and Shakira would headline the halftime show. News of their duo performance sparked both delight and, in light of the NFL’s anti-Black Lives Matter stance, some controversy. Still, whether you love it or hate, the show will go on and Demi Lovato is now taking part.

On Thursday the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer announced that she will be performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl LIV in Miami. 

In a post to her Instagram account, the singer shared an official photo and a caption that read, “Singing the National Anthem at #SBLIV See you in Miami @NFL.”

The announcement is proof that Latinas and Demi in particular are setting 2020 on fire.

After all, Lovato’s announcement comes just two days after she announced that she had accepted an invite to performat the 2020 Grammy Awards at the end of this month. The news sparked excitement amongst Lovato’s fans particularly because the singer hasn’t performed live since 2018 when she was hospitalized for a drug overdose. 

This year, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will also headline the halftime show.

Super Bowl LIV will be played on February 2. Fox will televise the game starting at 6:30 p.m. with kickoff shortly thereafter.

We don’t know who will face off in the 54th Super Bowl but we know who will be serving up delicious cuisine at Hard Rock Stadium the day of the big game and the big performance — a dominicana chef.

Chef Dayanny de la Cruz the Centerplate Executive Chef of the Hard Rock Stadium will be feeding guests with delicious sazón on Super Bowl Sunday. 

The woman responsible for coordinating the food experience for Super Bowl LIV is Dayanny de la Cruz. The mom of three is the executive chef of the Hard Rock Stadium. FIERCE recently spoke to Chef Dayanny about her beginnings, her connections with the world of food, breaking through the glass ceiling and what it’s like to design a menu that matches JLo and Shakira’s superstardom. 

Chef Dayanny was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and grew up in a home where everything happened around the kitchen table. It was the kind of childhood where her mother always insisted she eat before she play and she was able to run outside and pick ripe mangoes straight from surrounding trees. Chef Dayanny credits this early association with fresh foods and the warmth of a lively kitchen with her decision to enter the culinary world. 

She first went to school to get a degree in hospitality management from Universidad Central del Este in the Dominican Republic. It was here that she decided to move to the United States with her parents and pursue a career in culinary arts. After getting her degree in Grand Rapids, MI, the newbie chef accepted her first position in a kosher kitchen at the DoubleTree Hotel in Chicago — an experience that she says was one of the most difficult and rewarding of her career. 

It was during this time in Chicago that Chef Dayanny was exposed to the world of sports luxury entertainment. She quickly started building her resume with some of the most elite sports events in the US, such as the US open in New York, the Kentucky Derby and the NBA All-Stars. Chef Dayanny explained to FIERCE, the experience was a different challenge than what she was used to, but she was drawn to that difficult task.

Her experience eventually led her to Miami and the Hard Rock Stadium.

 As the executive chef, this means she would be in charge of the kitchen staff for each of these locations. Chef Dayanny also oversees the menus for each concession, kitchen and restaurant at the stadium, and ensures the quality of the food leaving the kitchen. Currently, the stadium has 7 kitchens, 167 suits, 7 all-inclusive clubs and 25 concession stands.

Among those responsibilities is a self-imposed rule that Chef Dayanny expects of her kitchens: to keep them extremely diverse. Listing Central America, South America, Africa and other countries as some of the sources of inspiration for the cuisine she serves, the chef explained to FIERCE that she not only includes her own Dominican flavors into her kitchens but she encourages the native flavors of her kitchen staff to be utilized as well. 

The road leading up to her high-profile career hasn’t been easy. Unfortunately, Chef Dayanna also experienced something many women — Latinas especially — experience coming up in her career.

Like in many industries, the culinary world is still very much a boys’ club. As such, women are given an especially difficult time when they enter the industry to gain experience. Sometimes the interactions are so traumatizing that women leave their industry completely to avoid facing more injustices. 

Chef Dayanny confirmed that as a Latina she bumped into the infamous glass ceiling several times before climbing up the ladder. However, it wasn’t her own struggle she was concerned about, but the struggle of the next generation of women. Acknowledging that we still have a ways to go in making strides in equality, Chef Dayanny explained, “If we are standing still, not moving forward, we aren’t clearing the way for the next generation.” 

As thrilled as she is about the upcoming Super Bowl, when asked how she feels knowing that she is somewhat responsible for feeding JLo and Shakira, Chef Dayanny left us with a reminder of what’s most important. 

Anyone who talks to Chef Dayanny can hear how much she loves to cook and how she adores food in general. So, to reach this point in her career where she receives this honor is obviously a big deal for her. In her interview with FIERCE, we hear in her voice how proud she is to land this role. While Chef Dayanny admitted she is excited about organizing the menus at the Super Bowl, for her, the real excitement comes when the party is over.