City News

Naked City: No Meat Tray For Moz!

You arrive at the Sydney Opera House and are immediately frisked to see if you are concealing a packet of beef jerky. If you are wearing leather shoes you are ordered to change into thongs and your belt is quickly replaced by an old piece of rope. Forget about that pre-concert meal of beef tenderloin or braised lamb in the downstairs bistro as the only item on the menu tonight is tofu by the tubload.

That’s the frightening, almost Kafkaesque scenario predicted when one Steven Patrick Morrissey plays the Sydney Opera House in May as part of the Vivid Festival, Sydney’s world renowned “festival about nothing”. If you believe the PR hype, the staunchly vegetarian Morrisey has declared all meat totally off limits for his four night stint at the Opry. Whether his decree is enforced down to the last  salami sandwich in a lighting tech’s packed lunch remains to be seen but this kind of gastro-totalitarianism, be it right, wrong or just well intended smacks of a posturing arrogance – the same didactic onslaught we cop from fellow very well to do pop stars like Bono and Bob Geldof. Hell, we colonials don’t take too kindly in being told what we can eat – be it a Dagwood Dog, a Chiko Roll or a slice of meatlovers pizza.

The Morrisey concerts will no doubt all sell out and you need to enter a ballot, such is the expected demand. We would hate to think that ballot includes a set of boxes to be ticked i.e. carnivore, omnivore, vegetarian or vegan but that would certainly be one way of whittling down the numbers. Morrisey’s ‘Meat Is Murder’ campaign is of course well publicised and he is on record as saying he sees “no difference between eating animals and paedophilia”, adding “they are both rape, violence and, murder.”

If you are a meat eater, and there’s bound to be thousands in the Concert Hall over Morrisey’s four night season, you might well feel belittled and coerced if Moz decides to editorialize on the night and the sycophantic applause becomes almost deafening. Damn it, totally overwhelmed with guilt, you find yourself rushing to the toilet and regurgitating that beef lasagne you ate earlier in the evening. And why bother with the loo? In one almighty surge of shameless self exorcism, you chunder the lot over the bunch of smug faced vegans sitting directly in front of you. You stand up for your rights, don one of those provocative barbeque aprons and hurl strings of snags at the stage along with covert guerrilla punters from the Australian Meat Board.

Back in 2007 the BBC is rumoured to have approached Morrisey to write a song for the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. Surely this would have been a perfect opportunity to pen a new anti meat anthem and preach his message to an audience of millions. Negotiations apparently broke down and the concept was never pursued. But wait on, isn’t Australia the special guest country at Eurovision 2015? Given that It’s that omnipresent cultural cringe that sees festival organizers constantly import ‘heritage’ artists like Morrisey to headline Australian festivals, perhaps this time we could actually export him back as our honorary Australian ambassador to Eurovision. Bad luck Jessica, but a crooning, groaning Morrisey, wearing the vegetarian version of Lady Ga Ga’s meat suit, has winner stamped all over it. Moz – the challenge of a meat free Eurovision awaits you!

By Coffin Ed, Jay Katz and Miss Death