She’s been out of public consciousness for awhile, but I
still love Sinéad O’Connor. For one, she possesses one of the most
beautiful shaven heads on the planet, something which fascinated me as a
teenager (much to my mother’s anxiety).
Not to mention the flexibility
and power of her voice. "Nothing
Compares 2 U" is still a classic.
Also, there was that time on Saturday Night Live where she
managed to outrage a good percentage of the TV-watching world. That’s a girl with guts, if not skills in
That moment is years past now, and O’Connor has retired from
the music biz and since returned. Her newest release, her first album of completely
original work in seven years, hit stores last month. Its title, Theology, seems to have interviewers playing that game where they
ask a question about a thing without really asking it, even fifteen years later.
In a recent interview with one of those
public radio guys who are supposed to be above rolling in dirty tabloid
headlines, the host still fumbles for words about women and his wife before
getting around to his main question: Does society dislike outspoken women?
Gosh, I wonder if that’s a pointed query.
O’Connor takes it in stride, though not surprisingly in a
totally unexpected direction. Who else
would begin (completely without irony) with, "Britney Spears, and Paris
Hilton, and me"? And when she gets to
her point, it’s even more interesting:
"It’s not just women, it’s small
women, actually. No, it is, and I think
that’s very important because a bigger woman would come around and break your
face. You know, they go after the women
that they know are not going to come around to them."
Heh. Although I know
better, Sinéad — my girlfriend is 5’1", but in a verbal sparring match with
Bill O’Reilly, I’d bet on him being in tears by the end of the hour. And you don’t seem the type to stay quiet forever
O’Connor finishes her theory of little women with:
"I think it’s acceptable for a
large woman to be outspoken, but little women are meant to sit there looking
Well. True, some
media bully small women like the mean kid in the school yard, but she obviously
missed out on a certain View
cohost’s entire last year. Rosie O’Donnell qualifies so highly for
outspoken that she was reamed on a daily basis by a certain "fair and balanced"
network, but she still managed to get made fun of by Donald Trump, of all people, for not being that little woman as
well. Conclusion: Size doesn’t matter if
you are a woman and outspoken.
In promoting Theology,
which she’s said was inspired by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, O’Connor tries
really hard to occupy neutral political ground on her website:
"Theology is an attempt to create a
place of peace in a time of war. I want to be very clear — there is no
message. No preaching. Nothing deep and meaningful the artist wants to say,
nothing trouble making. I simply wanted to make a beautiful thing, out of
something beautiful, which inspires me."
Actually, I’d say that creating things of beauty in a time
of war is a pretty darn big message in itself.
But despite those words, O’Connor can’t content herself with looking —
and sounding — pretty. In the interview,
she takes a swing at people of all faiths who interpret their scriptures to
assume God is on their side:
"I always think if God were here,
he, she, or it would be suing a lot of people for libel."
Ah, Sinéad O’Connor.
It’s good to have you back.