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Nothing Compares To Her
A paean to a great artist's legitimate pain
Sinead O'Connor at | Nothing Compares To Her
Sinead O'Connor at
"A native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, 'The one I feed the most.' " - George Bernard Shaw

I'm pretty sure that if Sinead O'Connor's countryman had known her, he'd have recommended that she get a cat. I also intuit that she'd have appreciated the jest.

Despite her self-created image as an angry protester du jour, it impresses me greatly that, given her history, she's also a witty, gifted artist and observer who takes neither herself nor the world too seriously. Excluded from that overall sentimental posture, however, must be the Vatican and its various successive occupants, as well as their internally tolerated phalanx of aaronic shepherds who too often have mistaken (and, she and I suspect, continue to 'mistake') their two-legged young flock as gullible, easily led sheep.

As for the latter, she demonstrably ripped to shreds the photo of then-Pope John Paul II on 'Saturday Night Live' in 1992. You may decide which dog was not hungry on that memorable night; As for me, Joan of Arc -- whom Mr. Shaw dramatized so memorably -- had its worthy, albeit reverse, sequel that evening.

Now 44, divorced thrice (hey, she's from that most literary of isles), mother to four children aged 4 to 24, O'Connor needs to be cut some serious bloomin slack, ye lads and lasses. Yes, the breakup in 2010 of her latest marriage to some unappreciative bloke seemed to have caused her a bout of ordinary depression, and fadmits as much in her own website's blog postings (and not some freaky fan blog site), dated quaintly as '26.09.11', including her assertion (link provided below) that she's been erroneously diagnosed some eight years ago as suffering from 'Polar Disorder'. She goes on to relate just how the father to one of those children was refusing to 'acknowledge the child', causing her to '...become suicidal. I went to a doctor and said so.' The medications she had been prescribed, she allows, had several side effects.

In her very next post, she states: "Ok... A newspaper in Ireland chose to report on Saturday, as being serious, jocular remarks I made regarding shooting the pope... I have no interest in shooting anyone..."

Since age 14, when she was still too young to tour with any band, O'Connor has been enigmatic, especially to t
"I want to go to Heaven so bad, have for years... can't manage any more..."
hose who still can't comprehend that she's as iconoclastic as the artist formerly known as Prince, who wrote her signature song, 'Nothing Compares to You'.

And, though she won a Grammy for the latter, she's since withdrawn her name from the award's consideration despite many nominations. Wow, rare is the performer who will tell 'them' just where to put their shiny icon. Despite her admitted bouts with 'ordinary' depression, imagine the looks on the faces of those consequently depressed judges and presenters who wanted so conventionally to slap labels on her as perfunctorily as upon what used to be called 'records', the slick vinyl sort.

Since then, she's delved intelligently into such divergent subcultural musical troves as traditional Gaelic and Rastafarian for material.

Fearing objectification by that other idolotrous coven known as Hollywood, she early-on shaved her otherwise Natalie Portman look-alike head, preferring its contents as it related to her artistic work to cover girl status. Irony was not finished with her, however, as this had the obverse effect of allowing her hairless image's appropriation as some androgynous version of the memorably iconic Yul Brynner.

Finally, there is her photographic image, the ones from 2011, trumpeted by the tabloids as 'unrecognizable'. Aside from the tacky tatooes (see my article 'Leave Off the Crass', as this is, well, uncharacteristically pedestrian of her), her looks are still 'photographable', that word conjuring the torch song ballads she was wont to record in the early years of this century.

Besides, she'd probably invoke old Mr. Shaw on the topic, generally: "Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable."

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"Nothing Compares To Her | A paean to a great artist's legitimate pain"
Editorial ID #11356, 688 words, first released September 19, 2011, 3:00 pm
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ntenTen H. (“tPee”) gaeByl reevsd yewntt-tow saery ni het AIC, dlgainhn pessi dna sfdtceore ni ntneieaCsld eervSisc dna iirnsg to...

(Yes, the caption is scrambled a bit to sharpen your mind.)

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