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The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor

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Jim Dixon 04 Oct 12 - 11:00 PM
Dave Hanson 05 Oct 12 - 03:36 AM
GUEST,Desi C 05 Oct 12 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,999 05 Oct 12 - 08:48 AM
Jack Campin 05 Oct 12 - 09:27 AM
nboldock 05 Oct 12 - 11:10 AM
Splott Man 05 Oct 12 - 11:14 AM
Pete Jennings 05 Oct 12 - 11:23 AM
Charmion 05 Oct 12 - 11:28 AM
Chris C 05 Oct 12 - 02:25 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Oct 12 - 03:27 PM
gnu 05 Oct 12 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,999 05 Oct 12 - 03:43 PM
Jeri 05 Oct 12 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,CS 05 Oct 12 - 06:07 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 05 Oct 12 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,john in hamilton 05 Oct 12 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,999 05 Oct 12 - 09:57 PM
GUEST,leeneia 06 Oct 12 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,999 06 Oct 12 - 02:27 PM
Charmion 09 Oct 12 - 03:01 PM
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Subject: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 11:00 PM

It's been twenty years since Sinead O'Connor tore up that photograph of Pope John Paul II during her performance on Saturday Night Live. At the time, it seemed like an inexplicable act, at least to American audiences and critics. Hardly anyone paid attention to what she actually said.

A few days later, she was booed off the stage at a Bob Dylan tribute concert. Dylan said nothing to defend her. The American market for her music vanished.

Knowing what we now know about the abuse of children in Ireland, are we ready to admit we should have listened?

See this article in The Atlantic, by Michael Agresta.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 03:36 AM

Kris Kristofferson supported her, and yes we should have listened.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 08:42 AM

Absolutely, and at the time I completely agreed with her. This Pope is a disgraceful completely out of touch, bigoted idiot


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: GUEST,999
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 08:48 AM

Sinead needs no redemption on this count. Never did, never will.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 09:27 AM

Agresta sticks it to the American media - who certainly deserve it - but the British and Irish media didn't do any better at giving her a fair hearing. The episode was just reported as another celebrity meltdown.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: nboldock
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 11:10 AM

Kristofferson actually wrote a song for her, "Sister Sinead" on his (rather good) 2009 album Closer To The Bone.

She was of course completely in the right all along and her actions were hideously misrepresented.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: Splott Man
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 11:14 AM

I seem to remember that it was reported at the time that she was booed off for singing a song NOT written by Dylan.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 11:23 AM

Ahead of her time. I went to a Catholic junior school for about 6 months and the nuns who were the "teachers" were too scary for words. There's something very wrong about institutional celibacy. Anyone with half a brain knows that it is simply unnatural.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 11:28 AM

What an interesting article; thanks very much for drawing it to our attention.

At the time, I was as scornful of Sinead O'Connor as any other middle-aged North American. I didn't like her style or her repertoire, which seemed wilfully ugly, and consequently lacked the will to pay attention to her statements. Of course, I knew nothing meaningful about her -- because her self-presentation was so repellent to me that I did not want to know.

But then, like most people in North America, I think of musicians as entertainers first, believing that their first obligation is to make me like them. Clearly, this was never part of Sinead O'Connor's agenda, and hence we missed the point of a valuable social comment.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: Chris C
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 02:25 PM

Agreed. She was right and "we" (collectively, the mainstream American audience) was wrong. And yes, I bet mostly that same "we" would now readily admit we should have listened.
Of course, "we" didn't know then what we know now. On top of that, we had just endured a decade of pretty bad popular music, so we were (again, collectively, I think, folks of "a certain age", anyway) especially jaded or suspicious about acceptance of a new pop star. Add ripping up a picture of the pope, and well,...we saw what happened.
What Charmion said above is exactly correct. A thousand times that.
And yes, good on Kris Kristofferson for being kind to her. He's a super-smart forward thinker.
For the record, she was prepared to sing a Dylan song at the tribute concert (I Believe in You; would have probably been great), but was booed so badly she (sort of) sang "War" (as she had done on SNL) in defiance of the audience. The boos, of course, just got louder.
I'm glad she has carried on; I hope she feels somewhat redeemed.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 03:27 PM

Here's Sinead O'Connor singing WAR (music by Bob Marley, 1976; lyrics derived from a speech by Haile Selassie, 1963) on SNL. Oct. 3, 1992. At the end of the song, she tears up the photo and speaks the words "Fight the real enemy." There is applause when she is introduced at the beginning, but none at the end:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCOIQOGXOg0

Here is her appearance at the Bob Dylan Tribute on Oct. 10. She is introduced by Kris Kristofferson. Though I can't make out any "boos" specifically, the audience is very raucous and won't shut up. The band begins playing the opening chords to the Dylan song she was supposed to sing, but the audience still won't quiet down. Finally she signals the band to be quiet and she sings WAR a cappella, more or less as she did on SNL, but without the photo. Throughout the song, the audience continues to make noise, but she defiantly continues to the end:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKeJifOXAnA

Though I haven't compared O'Connor's version of WAR line by line with Marley's version, it appears O'Connor has inserted some language about child abuse.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: gnu
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 03:38 PM

No doubt. I just hope this thread is about her, her music and why and how she went through and dealt with things re her actions and as a result of those actions... not about Cat'licism. Ya wanna bash the religion or the Pope (justified or not), do it on your own thread because that is NOT THE TOPIC being discussed herein. I offer that VERY FEW people are not aware of those OTHER discussions, topics and threadsssss so there is no reason to attempt to educate the readership with ad infinitum thread drift which takes away from meaningful discussion of THIS thread.

Yeah... I AM in a bad mood. I waited too long to mash the potatoes and my fish cakes are gummy and it REALLY pisses me off. So what?


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: GUEST,999
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 03:43 PM

The first mention of Catholicism on this thread is from you, Gnu.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 04:43 PM

Musicians have voices, they're in the public eye and if they don't do what they believe is right, they have to live with it. We can all think of performers who stuck their necks out and sang songs that could and did cause strong reactions.

Just like all of us, sometimes they're right and sometimes they're wrong. Being polite and non-controversial will probably offend fewer people. If one doesn't feel obligated to take a stand publicly on a particular issue, it's understandable.

I have respect for those who do right by their own consciences. I may disagree with them, but I respect their courage. It turned out she was right in what she stood for at a time in history when performers were expected to "shut up and sing" and the issue was being swept under the rug. That time lasted until today, and likely, beyond.

I don't think this is about Catholicism. I think it's about how powerful people in beloved institutions can get away with terrible things because those who would speak out are told to shut up.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 06:07 PM

Well said, Jeri.

For related interest a news story currently filling British newspapers about how one individual (not quite on the scale of the Catholic clergy scandal) in trusted positions of power can so easily silence multiple voices. Over forty women have now come forward since the dam of silence broke about this man's - a loved household name and prime time entertainer - behaviour:

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=141144&messages=198


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 06:20 PM

It's The Pope & his Boysies who need Redemption, not Sinead. She's always known what's what...


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: GUEST,john in hamilton
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 07:43 PM

I remember her doing that on SNL. It looked like a melt-down because....(She has that personality)... I can respect her intentions, but it just went over too many people's heads, at the time . JP2 was a popular figure in his day. I suppose if it were the current fellow, it wouldn't have caused the same flap.time has shown that she had the insight into RC church abuse of its faithful. Maybe she should have done a naked album cover...oh...20 years too late(at the time)!


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: GUEST,999
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 09:57 PM

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/sinead-oconnor-calls-for-catholic-boycott/

Note that the linked article is from March 31, 2010. It gives some perspective to her actions and much of the to-do afterwards.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 12:00 PM

the church, the church, thc church!

What about the mothers, the fathers, the grandparents, the aunts and the uncles who turned their backs on those defenseless children?


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 02:27 PM

. . . and the police, child protective services and social services who let it all disappear. Much easier to blame Sinead and misdirect from where the responsibility really is.


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Subject: RE: The Redemption of Sinead O'Connor
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:01 PM

The pattern in Canada, and I'll bet in many other jurisdictions, was the state asking religious institutions and organizations to step in and manage delicate family problems such as unplanned pregnancies and ungovernable children.

The church was discrete; family secrets could remain secret. And if there were no priests to confess the problem to in the first place, no nuns to operate nursing homes and orphanages, no brothers to run industrial schools, who would deal with the fallout of family melt-down? The police? The courts? The district school board? Surely you jest.

What's more, church institutions were available to the poor as well as to the rich. Okay, they often were nasty places (Magdalene Laundries, anyone?), but the poor don't need gentility; they need their problems solved. And all of this was done at lowest-bidder cost to the public purse -- a value much cherished by taxpayers the world over.

Of course, now the chickens are flocking home to roost. In Canada, the first big public scandal was the Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland, back in the early '80s, and now it seems the bad news just never stops.

What a world of misery grows from righteous penny-pinching!


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