Elvis Costello OBE

Pretty self-explanatory
cwr
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby cwr » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:42 pm

I'm fine with this. Elvis performed for Prince Charles back in 1995 and gave similar reasons for it-- McCartney asked him to, and it was to benefit a music school. Now it's 2019 and it's his mum and because it's an award for his "services to music."

I think this is them endorsing him and him accepting the honor, not him endorsing them.

I also think the past decade and the loss of one parent probably has given him some perspectice-- anyone who has read his memoir has a clear sense of how much it has affected him, and no doubt it has focused the mind somewhat in terms of how he takes on parental advice in matters such as this.

I see a lot of posts in various place of people who feel that this is a betrayal of the Elvis of decades ago. I could care less what Costello of 1979 or 1989 would think about his decision: that guy's a memory, and we still have the records even though those days are long over. Everyone has a right to feel bent out of shape about it if that's their POV but I'm glad I don't.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby bronxapostle » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:32 am

cwr wrote:I'm fine with this.

I could care less what Costello of 1979 or 1989 would think about his decision: that guy's a memory, and we still have the records even though those days are long over. Everyone has a right to feel bent out of shape about it if that's their POV but I'm glad I don't.



Totally with you CONOR.

BUT, don't you mean you could NOT care less??? :D

Hoping your great, well balanced last sentence can end this discussion here, so i will reiterate!

"EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO FEEL BENT OUT OF SHAPE, BUT I'M GLAD I DON'T. "

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:27 am

I know I am not the same person I was forty years ago, mentally as well as physically. I have no problem with this honor for him-as he states in his acknowledgement piece-it is an honor and a recognition of his songwriting and performing efforts. It should not even be a matter of holding one's nostrils and accepting. I am happy he and his family take pride in his life's work. Let the honors roll in. Despite his protestation that no one listens to the words, we all do-this board would not exist if that were not the case. This recognition by the establishment of England of his worth and his acceptance in no way dis-affirms that younger man as a songwriter and entertainer nor his fervently held beliefs. If anything, it affirms that younger person for me and hopefully for himself, too, showing that the country of his birth could over time recognize and respect his talent even when he at times used that talent to vigorously and vocally criticize the establishment. Good for him..........
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:51 am

Neil. - we could call the awards “The Pride of the Nation”.

You should propose it - this is your big opportunity :lol:
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby And No Coffee Table » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:06 pm

https://twitter.com/BillyIdol/status/11 ... 3261891589

Billy Idol wrote:Rock on @ElvisCostello OBE ‘obviously bloody exceptional’ I guess that means in ur case...

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Mr. Getgood » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:20 pm

And No Coffee Table wrote:https://twitter.com/BillyIdol/status/1137248193261891589

Billy Idol wrote:Rock on @ElvisCostello OBE ‘obviously bloody exceptional’ I guess that means in ur case...


:lol:

Our Beloved Elvis...
I love you just as much as I hate your guts.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby sulky lad » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:15 pm

Just wonder what Elvis would have done if Ross had survived and Lilian has passed away?

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby verbal gymnastics » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:06 am

Mr. Getgood wrote:
And No Coffee Table wrote:https://twitter.com/BillyIdol/status/1137248193261891589

Billy Idol wrote:Rock on @ElvisCostello OBE ‘obviously bloody exceptional’ I guess that means in ur case...


:lol:

Our Beloved Elvis...


Our Beloved Entertainer even.
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby jardine » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:31 pm

did a message get posted and removed????

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Neil. » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:16 pm

verbal gymnastics wrote:Neil. - we could call the awards “The Pride of the Nation”.

You should propose it - this is your big opportunity :lol:


Hee hee. I dunno - something like 'The Queen's medal'/'The King's Medal' might be a way to go. Get rid of that empire connotation.

They could do away with the fuzzy distinction between MBE/OBE and have this one generic medal for a long period of excellent service to the country in whatever capacity, to be described in the accompanying certificate.

They could keep the knight and damehoods for seriously exceptional people.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby bronxapostle » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:16 am

jardine wrote:did a message get posted and removed????


I think someone did do that. :D :D

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby wardo68 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:15 am

Still begs the question as to why the hell Charlie Watts hasn't been knighted yet.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:10 pm

Perhaps he has not been offered the opportunity or has turned it down.
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby erey » Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:33 pm

Ulster Boy wrote:
The process in its shorter form can take around 6- 9 months (there are exceptions where e.g. a sports team wins a big international tournament, then there is some fast tracking). I have an uneasy feeling that ECs (mis) reported illness last summer may have been the trigger for this.


Ulster Boy wins top honors on this thread. I have not seen this idea put forth elsewhere and I suspect it might be exactly right. The timing is certainly suggestive.

I haven't had a chance to look at this forum since the OBE announcement before now. I'm glad to see that the response here has been, in the main, more measured than in some other forums. Thanks to Ulster Boy, Neil, Offshoreram, and Verbal G for their insights. I have to say that, although I was aware that some people decline these honors, I had no idea the degree to which declining was considered mandatory in some quarters. My impression is that this attitude is not particularly widespread -- I noticed that neither Feargal Sharkey nor M.I.A. got anywhere near the level of abuse for accepting their honors that EC did -- but happens to be concentrated in the demographic that corresponds with EC's English fanbase.

Here's a relevant anecdote that was a bit too convoluted to share on more hit-and-run forums... When I saw EC play in Jacksonville in March 2015, he said something about either "Sir Paul" (by way of introducing a song he'd written with him) or "Sir Elton" (who was playing a nearby venue the same night) -- I can't remember which. This prompted an audience member to yell out the suggestion that there might someday be a "Sir Elvis". EC replied, "Trust me, that will never happen." His tone was so certain and matter-of-fact that I kind of assumed he'd already quietly declined this type of honor. So, even granting that an OBE isn't a knighthood, I think it's a safe bet that EC wasn't feigning his surprise at receiving that OHMS letter.

cwr wrote:
I see a lot of posts in various place of people who feel that this is a betrayal of the Elvis of decades ago. I could care less what Costello of 1979 or 1989 would think about his decision: that guy's a memory, and we still have the records even though those days are long over.


I'm not so sure the EC of 1979 or 1989 would have gone through with declining the honor -- if his mother had really wanted him to accepted it and presented her reasoning. The impression I got from EC's announcement statement was of a man who hasn't won too many arguments with his Ma over the last 64 years.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Hawksmoor » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:56 pm

I'm fine with him accepting the honour for the reasons he explains in the blog. Personally, I'd rather he didn't, but I understand the blog, and I appreciate the reasons for accepting it.

What I'm slightly struggling with is the extensive (and endlessly reiterated) 'Some Songs That Must Have Been Overlooked' thing on Facebook.

What's that about? 'I'm accepting an OBE, but secretly I'm on your side after all'?

Get off the fence, pal. Accept the honour in good grace. Or decline it, and post loads of songs that remind us how anti-establishment (and anti-empire) you are. Don't do both of those things simultaneously, it's just embarrassing.

Makes him look like an anti-establishment sixth-former who accepts the Headteacher's prize while snickering to his mates behind the teachers' backs. A bit pathetic.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby erey » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:27 pm

Hawksmoor wrote: ...


Reason #837 EC will never, ever move back to England. :roll:

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Hawksmoor » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:55 pm

erey wrote:Reason #837 EC will never, ever move back to England. :roll:

I guess. Just can't help seeing some irony here, and some inconsistent behaviour.

As noted, I'm fine with him accepting this honour from the UK establishment, and totally sympathise with his reasons for doing that.

Equally, I'd have been fine with him declining the honour, and then posting a bunch of songs on Facebook saying 'this is why the establishment were dumb to offer me an honour in the first place'.

But doing both? What's going on there?

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby cwr » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:25 am

Hawksmoor wrote:But doing both? What's going on there?


I think you have set this up as an either/or thing, but that's just the way you see it. He seems to see it differently, that's all.

Not unlike someone saying, "how come these songs on Armed Forces sound bright & poppy like ABBA but the lyrics are dark & political? Pick one or the other!"

I don't see any big inconsistency in accepting an award and being open about one's misgivings.

The short version: "I want to bite the hand that feeds me/I want to bite that hand so badly"

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby erey » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:08 am

My dearest Hawksmoor,

To put it nicely, you may want to consider the possibility that EC's Facebook and other communications are not intended exclusively for the consumption of the tiny subset of his fans that feel substantially conflicted or negative about his accepting the OBE. Furthermore, to put it somewhat less nicely, you may want to consider that the opinions of members of this subset of EC fans (this is, a certain caste of middle-aged, white Englishmen) are not more important than anybody else's, either to EC or the world at large, although they may have had the disadvantage of being raised to believe otherwise. Therefore, to put it definitely not-nicely, you may want to consider getting over yourself, already.

Love, erey

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Hawksmoor » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:29 am

erey wrote:My dearest Hawksmoor,

To put it nicely, you may want to consider the possibility that EC's Facebook and other communications are not intended exclusively for the consumption of the tiny subset of his fans that feel substantially conflicted or negative about his accepting the OBE. Furthermore, to put it somewhat less nicely, you may want to consider that the opinions of members of this subset of EC fans (this is, a certain caste of middle-aged, white Englishmen) are not more important than anybody else's, either to EC or the world at large, although they may have had the disadvantage of being raised to believe otherwise. Therefore, to put it definitely not-nicely, you may want to consider getting over yourself, already.

Love, erey

My dearest Erey

I would begin 'to put it nicely', but that feels patronising, which is not my intention. In all honesty, I thought I did put it quite nicely, but if you believe I didn't, please accept my apologies.

For what it's worth, yes, I do understand that EC's Facebook communications are aimed at a wider consumption than 'the tiny subset of his fans that feel substantially conflicted or negative about his accepting the OBE'.

I'm also fully aware that 'the opinions of members of this subset of EC fans (this is, a certain caste of middle-aged, white Englishmen*) are not more important than anybody else's'. You are absolutely right in that respect.

As you have decided to include this in your 'to put it somewhat less nicely' section, I'm intrigued to know where I have implied that 'the opinions of members of this subset of EC fans (this is, a certain caste of middle-aged, white Englishmen) are more important than anybody else's'.

To clarify, I have no problem whatsoever with EC accepting an OBE, nor with his reasons for doing so. Good for him - I may well have done the same in his position, particularly if I was being advised by my Mum.

I have no problem with him posting a series of Facebook posts saying 'here's another reason why they should never even have offered me an OBE' - haven't they heard this song?' I think that's amusing and provocative, two qualities which I have always admired in EC's work.

But to do both of those things simultaneously, to me (and this is a subjective opinion) looks inconsistent. Do you honestly not see any inconsistency there?

I'll be honest here, I do think my statement doesn't require me to 'get over myself', and I regard that as a personal insult, to which the anonymity of the internet is sadly prone.

I think there is an inconsistency between EC's two approaches to this. If you don't, fine. Maybe I'm wrong. But if you can explain why the two approaches (in your view) are consistent, that would be great, and we could have an intelligent debate.

Or we could patronisingly tell each other to 'get over yourself'. :D

Best wishes

Hawksmoor

* PS I'm not English or middle-aged. But hey, stereotypes are always fun. :wink:
Last edited by Hawksmoor on Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:38 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Hawksmoor » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:58 am

cwr wrote:I think you have set this up as an either/or thing, but that's just the way you see it.

Well...yeah. That is the way I see it, if I'm honest. I've set it up as an either/or thing because - to me - the two things of publicly saying 'I'm going to accept this award because...' and publicly saying 'they should never have offered me this award because...' seem inconsistent.
cwr wrote:I don't see any big inconsistency in accepting an award and being open about one's misgivings.

Neither do I. Which is why I was very sympathetic towards the original blog/post. I do see some inconsistency between explaining your reasons for accepting an award and then posting a lengthy series of posts saying 'here's why they should never have even offered it to me'.
cwr wrote:Not unlike someone saying, "how come these songs on Armed Forces sound bright & poppy like ABBA but the lyrics are dark & political? Pick one or the other!"

With respect, I don't think that's a very accurate analogy. For me (this is a personal opinion) the combination of bright, poppy, ABBA-like music and 'dark/political' lyrics works really well on Armed Forces in the same way that sweet and sour works really well with chicken, and the laugh-out-loud comedy and dark pathos of King Lear work really well together on stage. In all cases, the (unexpected) combination is given to you on a plate, and works well.

But (to me) to say 'I'm honoured to accept this award, thank-you very much' while saying (on a different bit of the internet) ''if they'd heard this song they wouldn't even offer it to me' is not an attractive combination, it's a hypocritical one. It's not two contrasting ingredients on a plate, and therefore not as much as fun as Armed Forces, sweet'n'sour chicken or King Lear.

Unless EC is going to whip out his guitar at the awards ceremony, give the Queen a verse or two of 'Tramp the Dirt Down' and say 'you overlooked that one!' In all honesty, I'd buy a ticket for that at any price, but I don't think it's going to happen. It's easier to 'straighten up, look proud and pleased' but then tell your internet followers 'I'm laughing at them really, you know'.

cwr wrote:The short version: "I want to bite the hand that feeds me/I want to bite that hand so badly"

Sure. But the slightly longer version might be: 'I want to bite the hand that that feeds me. But I'm not going to publicly bite it, and I'm not going to bite it on the day of the awards ceremony. Publicly, I'll smile, politely accept what they give me, and say 'thank-you very much'. But I'll tell all my followers on the internet that in my imagination, I'm biting the hand'.

Seriously, if you actually want to bite the hand that badly: turn down what the hand offers, no?

To reiterate: I have no problem with EC accepting the OBE, and appreciate his reasons for doing so. I simply think (and yes, this is my opinion only) that to publicly accept the award and say 'thank-you very much' to the establishment which awards it, whilst simultaneously posting a series of internet posts saying 'this is why they were stupid to have even have offered it to me', is either (a) hypocritical or (b) ungrateful.

And, personally, I don't think the above suggests that I need to 'get over myself'. I think it's a reasoned and reasonable thought-position which others are welcome to argue against without resorting to personal insults.

So in short, I appreciate you engaging with the debate (even though we disagree) instead of telling me to 'get over myself'. :)

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby sulky lad » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:03 pm

Hawksmoor please see my PM - even more relevant since your first post !

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby erey » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:03 pm

Hawksmoor,

Maybe you're just a guy who wandered into the bar just as the brawl was winding down and got himself pasted for his trouble. On the other hand, you did call EC "pathetic", which is a pretty obnoxious thing to say about anybody, so maybe you should have known better -- or at least ducked.

But onward...

Hawksmoor wrote:I have no problem with him posting a series of Facebook posts saying 'here's another reason why they should never even have offered me an OBE' - haven't they heard this song?' I think that's amusing and provocative, two qualities which I have always admired in EC's work.

But to do both of those things simultaneously, to me (and this is a subjective opinion) looks inconsistent. Do you honestly not see any inconsistency there?


First of all, I don't expect EC, or any human being, or indeed any multicelled organism, to be completely consistent. I can't see how this would be desirable, even if it were possible. We are all large and contain multitudes.

That said, I do see EC's posting a handful (to be exact, six -- yes, I counted) of "songs they must have overlooked" to his Facebook page in the week after the OBE announcement as of a piece with his initial statement: genuinely surprised, bemused, conflicted, and irreverent all at once. I'm also fairly certain those posts were intended to make the most of his social media engagement in the wake of this newsworthy event. Sure beats getting clicks for supposedly being at death door with cancer, no?

It seems to me that underlying your complaint is that EC is not treating this honor with the seriousness you feel it deserves. But really, why should he take it any more seriously than, say, his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? (People have apparently declined those on principle, too.) They're both nice, both kind of silly, both problematic from a certain POV, both worth showing up for, and neither worth taking all that seriously. If EC were to indulge in some lightly irreverent humor about the Walk of Fame and his putative unsuitability for it -- which he probably will -- I'm sure no one involved would get their feelings especially hurt.

If this seems like an untoward comparison to you, ask yourself why. At least that sidewalk in Hollywood exists. The British Empire doesn't.

Hawksmoor wrote:
* PS I'm not English or middle-aged. But hey, stereotypes are always fun. :wink:


So you're old and Scottish?

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Hawksmoor » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:55 pm

sulky lad wrote:Hawksmoor please see my PM - even more relevant since your first post !

Replied to...I hope. I can't get the knack somehow. It's still appearing in my Outbox rather than my 'Sent' box...PM me again I you haven't received.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Hawksmoor » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:11 am

erey wrote:So you're old and Scottish?
'Every day when I wake up, I thank the Lord I'm Welsh'. And yes, probably 'old', although it's all relative these days.
erey wrote:Maybe you're just a guy who wandered into the bar just as the brawl was winding down and got himself pasted for his trouble. On the other hand, you did call EC "pathetic", which is a pretty obnoxious thing to say about anybody, so maybe you should have known better...or at least ducked.

Point taken. Maybe I'm that guy. And in the heat of the moment, I think I did revert to labelling EC as 'pathetic' which was possibly unfair. I'd dispute 'obnoxious' as (a) I think any public figure who regularly presents their opinions could reasonably expect the public to have opinions about them; and (b) I wouldn't have said that 'pathetic' was actually 'obnoxious', compared with other insults. What I was trying to say was that I regard his behaviour (over this OBE thing) as 'pathetic', and I'm afraid I stand by that opinion.
erey wrote:But onward...

Indeed.
erey wrote:First of all, I don't expect EC, or any human being, or indeed any multicelled organism, to be completely consistent. I can't see how this would be desirable, even if it were possible. We are all large and contain multitudes.

Yep, largely agree with that. On the other hand, if you are a public figure, making pronouncements on a range of issues, consistency is perhaps a goal to be strived for. Of course we are all inconsistent. But I do think there is a danger in making that a get-out clause for hypocrisy. If a public figure says, one week, 'I believe (a)' and the next week says 'actually, I believe (b) [the polar opposite of (a)]' then I believe it is right to call them out on that. And if the answer is 'oh well, we're all inconsistent, aren't we?' then I believe that is the foot-in-the-door for justifying hypocrisy.
erey wrote:That said, I do see EC's posting a handful (to be exact, six -- yes, I counted) of 'songs they must have overlooked' to his Facebook page in the week after the OBE announcement as of a piece with his initial statement: genuinely surprised, bemused, conflicted, and irreverent all at once. I'm also fairly certain those posts were intended to make the most of his social media engagement in the wake of this newsworthy event.

OK. Wouldn't dispute any of that. I would dispute the idea that EC might be 'surprised, bemused and conflicted' but simultaneously carefully calculating how best to 'make the most of his social media engagement in the wake of this newsworthy event'. I'm being open and honest here. If he was truly 'bemused and conflicted' but at the same time talking to his team about how best to maximise his 'social media engagement'...that doesn't feel good to me. Does it to you?
erey wrote:Sure beats getting clicks for supposedly being at death door with cancer, no?

With respect, that's a bit below-the-belt. I haven't mentioned the cancer thing. For what it's worth, I have long regarded EC as somebody whose music, lyrics and performances I admire intensely (I think he is hands-down the greatest musician, lyricist and performer of the last hundred years), but simultaneously I have, until recently, thought of him personally as pompous, self-important and unpleasant.

That's nothing new for me. Most of the artists whose work I admire intensely are people I would actively avoid meeting in person (conversely, I have several artists I would love to sit down and have a pint with, but whose music is average at best). Maybe that's just the way of it. However, many of EC's recent blogs/posts (about the cancer thing, about his Mum, about his attitude now to the way he behaved in the late 1970s) have really impressed me and made me think much more highly of him, as a person.
erey wrote:It seems to me that underlying your complaint is that EC is not treating this honour with the seriousness you feel it deserves.

Nope. Here, you have mistaken my opinion (or perhaps I didn't make it very clear). I don't think this 'honour' deserves any 'seriousness' whatsoever.

Personally, I am uncomfortable with anybody accepting an award from the UK 'establishment' (the government/the royal family), particularly when that award contains the word 'empire'. And that's because I'm anti-royalist and anti-empire. I always though that EC was too, which is one of the reasons I've enjoyed (and will continue to enjoy) the six songs he's now posted on his Facebook page.

But, simultaneously (here comes my inconsistency :D) I can accept that, despite being anti-royalist and anti-empire, somebody might have reasons for accepting such an award. I will never be offered an OBE. But if I were, I like to think I would decline it. Unless my Mum insisted, in which case I would accept it. As EC apparently has. Fine.

So...no. I don't 'feel that EC is 'not treating this honour with the seriousness I feel it deserves'. For me, this award is an outdated relic that means nothing in the modern world, and is, by its inclusion of the words 'British Empire', potentially offensive to many, many people whose lives EC has championed in his lyrics. And I believe that, in the six songs posted on Facebook, EC is treating this award with the contempt it deserves. And I love that.

What I object to is the lack of consistency. If EC wants to smile and publicly accept an OBE from the people he has railed against for decades: fine. If EC wants to post a series of songs on Facebook to say 'here's why they were dumb to offer me such an award in the first place, and here's why the British Empire is a horrible concept', fine. But to do both, simultaneously, just feels (to me) a bit...poor. And potentially, a bit hypocritical.

Personally, I'd rather he had turned down the award (like Weller, Bowie and many others). But if he wants to accept it, OK, I understand his reasons. If he'd done one thing and not the other, I'd rather he had turned down the award and posted the songs (demonstrating why he'd turned it down) on Facebook. My second choice would be that he'd explained why he was accepting the award, and accepted it graciously (and thereby not posted the songs on Facebook).

But don't do both. Don't accept an establishment award, and then quickly post six anti-establishment songs on your Facebook explaining why you shouldn't have accepted it. That's just ungracious (or, if you want a kinder way of phrasing it, trying to have your cake and eat it). :D
erey wrote:But really, why should he take it any more seriously than, say, his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? If this seems like an untoward comparison to you, ask yourself why. At least that sidewalk in Hollywood exists. The British Empire doesn't.

Couldn't agree more. Absolutely fine with EC accepting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the grounds that it exists whereas the British Empire doesn't. You are right. He absolutely should take the Hollywood Walk of Fame thing much more seriously, and more worthy of acceptance, than the Order of the [no-longer existent] British Empire.

Presumably, then, you are fine with EC accepting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but less OK with him accepting an OBE? So am I. We share that position.

None of this makes me feel particularly good. This is the person I regard as the greatest living popular music artist, and whose music I think I will continue to enjoy until the day I die. But his behaviour over the OBE thing makes me feel as though he is hypocritical. I wish I didn't feel that way, but I do. Sorry.


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