It’s very disappointing to read that Van Morrison, 75, is some kind of anti-masker, or at least that he believes that Covid health advisories and restrictions in England constitute a form of Orwellian, anti-freedom oppression.
A statement on his website says Morrison will soon release three protest songs — “Born To Be Free”, “As I Walked Out”, “No More Lockdown” — “that question the measures the government has put in place”, and make it clear “how unhappy he is with the way the government has taken away personal freedoms.”
Morrison: “I’m not telling people what to do or think. The government is doing a great job of that already. It’s about freedom of choice. I believe people should have the right to think for themselves.”
Some people turn cranky and obstinate when they get older, and sometimes even unreasonable.
I learned a long, long time ago that genius-level artists and performers are not necessarily sensible or well-behaved people. The art that channels though a person is one thing, but their personal behavior or political philosophy is another. In some cases it’s not entirely their fault as people have been giving them a pass for decades, and after a while they get used to not being called on their bullshit. I wouldn’t say that I’ve come to expect famous, world-class creatives to act or think in disappointing ways as they’re 97% cool, but if something weird pops through I’m ready to shrug and let it go. These days you’re not allowed to say that “art gods get a special pass” but my tendency is to cut them a break unless they behave in a deliberately cruel or sadistic manner.
Twitter epitaph: “There are two kinds of people. Those who like Van Morrison and those who’ve met him.”
In other words, with certain artists it’s better to enjoy their work and let it go at that.