A little bit about appropriate responses, and a fond farewell to an early teacher.
This is the most beautiful, spot-on tribute to Sinead that I have read. Thank you for this.
The best thing I’ve read about her passing. Thank you.
Beautifully said. I remember watching both of those SNL shows and how proud I was of her, and how shocked I was by the reactions all that week in the media and the following show. It was nothing new. Many people do not want to believe the extent of rape of children and adults that goes on. Rather than believe it and deal with it,,they prefer to say the victims are lying. Victims often don’t have the memories in words, but carry the trauma in sensations so when y can’t give the date or the time. There are so many cultural cues to perpetuate the myth that this just doesn’t really happen, that most victims have almost no way to tell their story. Look at the inappropriate response to the woman who courageously told the truth at judicial hearings. Again we just can’t believe it and now we have 2 sexual avusers on the Supreme Court. We just had a rapist for a president. Sinead was the queen of the appropriate response. Her trauma gave her greater empathy and strength to face the truth and put the anger where it belongs. Thank you for reminding us of what we have lost, and what we can cherish.
The thing I remember most vividly about her SNL appearance, was how so much was made of her ripping up the photo while nothing at all was observed about how, in that moment, she made Bob Marley’s “War” her own in exactly the same way Aretha took ownership of Otis Redding’s “Respect” and as Hendrix did with Dylan’s “Watchtower”. Meaning, with simultaneously the greatest respect and the most devastating firepower.
Listen closely to her delivery of those lyrics and how perfectly they culminate in the ripping up of the photo. It is every bit as hair-raising and soul searing and you described.
I wonder if those who were angered most weren’t in fact really scared shitless.
"So O’Connor’s lesson was to demonstrate that there’s a price to be borne for appropriate responses, a monetary and physical and psychological price to entering awareness about the ways the world’s institutions accommodate corruption and abuse, a price to caring enough to have an appropriate reaction."
"These are dangerous days / To say what you feel is to dig your own grave / 'Remember what I told you / If you were of the world they would love you'"
Thank you for the good words about her. She was a beautiful soul and I, too, miss her though I never actually knew her other than through her work.
As an aside of my own, Krishnamurti is a deep and worthwhile well to dive into.
"I think the thing that Sinead O’Connor was teaching was that the world is a beautiful and wonderful place, full of beautiful and wonderful people, and that the appropriate response to that reality fact is joy and creativity and love—but also that we humans have bent our societies in inappropriate reaction to this truth, have structured their institutions to press human spirit into defaults that accommodate greed, cruelty, and abuse, and that the appropriate reaction to such corruption is anger: a creative and artistic anger that is not antithetical to love, but inextricably rooted in love for humanity’s impossible beauty, and scorn for those who would mar it with abuse for their own corrupt gain."
That's a string of sentences there.
Bracing clarity, brutally honest, inspiring. Simply true.
Puts me in mind of this from MLK: "There are some things in our society, some things in our world, to which we should never be adjusted. There are some things concerning which we must always be maladjusted if we are to be people of good will.”
This was a balm for my soul. I was not a huge Sinead O’Connor fan, but I respected her voice, her art and her honesty. Seeing all these people suddenly praising her on facebook and elsewhere brought to mind the Sara Teasdale poem, “I shall not care.” I don’t mean your piece, but I am sure you have seen what I mean.
Keeping up with the world today can be a stressful and disheartening task, but I feel like I must. It’s pieces like yours, filled with beauty and compassion, that restore me. Thank you.
That was a beautiful piece. Thank you.
Sinéad and I are the same age. Her voice. Her rage. Her struggles. Her heartbreaking ability to dwell in the eye of swirling storms. They all informed who I am as a person.
I don’t say this lightly: Part of me died last week.
RIP Sinead O'Connor: In your voice I heard and felt the scream of the world.
This is perfect.
There is nothing that infuriates those who benefit and defend the status quo so much as someone standing up to it.
This essay resonated loudly, as you've take two concepts that I've noodled on a lot in my life and connected them so beautifully with the concept of "inappropriate" as the thread. One is the depth of reaction I've occasionally felt when an artist / teacher whose work I loved so much that it projects onto the person themselves dies. The other is that "am I the only person seeing this?" feeling when I'm suddenly the bad guy if I speak observable truths about a garbage human's actions and words just because they've died.