She has a new tattoo! Remember when she ripped up a picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live?
Whatever happened to Sinead O’Connor?
October 28, 2011 • 8:59 am
Why Evolution is True is a blog written by Jerry Coyne, centered on evolution and biology but also dealing with diverse topics like politics, culture, and cats.
118 thoughts on “Whatever happened to Sinead O’Connor?”
People get older. Mortality looms. Wishful thinking doesn’t seem such a loony idea.
Maybe there are no atheists in recording studios?
Not true. I’ve spent time in recording studios.
There’s my bro. One of the best in the biz! (can Google “Dangerous Music” to see what the gear he designs and builds looks like.) Anti-theist to the core. 🙂
And the band Bad Religion, headed by evolutionary biologist Greg Gaffin…
I’m a passionate musician, who has an education in audio engineering! And i know many others like me. So there 😉
Mich: People get older. Mortality looms. Wishful thinking doesn’t seem such a loony idea.
I dunno. She’s not all that old, and I’m a fair bit older, but I’ve not been tempted to fall for the Jesus scam. Still seems pretty loony to me.
BTW — when I saw that picture I was reminded of an old Kinks tune: “Ducks on the Wall.” I’d think such a tattoo would be creepy on anyone.
I wonder what her husband/S.O. thinks.
She is infamous for her curious catholicism.
…another example of Schroedinger’s Catechism? 🙂
Curiosity killed the catechism.
And her bleeding heart is a bit too central. Clearly not a liberal.
All the comedians here have got to Coyne a phrase, don’t they?
We could pay you back in the same Coyne.
Way too much doggerel here.
It looks inflamed. She should maybe put some ointment on it or something.
In her youth, she was half a bubble off plumb.* It’s a full bubble now, I see.
*Her cover of “Nothing Compares to You” is very good, though.
Don’t bother about the myrrh.
Written by Prince.
I don’t understand.
I was under the impression she was religious, believed in Jesus etc, but that she didn’t like the way the Catholic church is being run.
That’s exactly right.
Is she a MelGibsonite?
Melgibsonite sounds like a useful substance for defeating evil catholic extremists!
I think MelGibsonite is sort of like Milorganite. Look it up.
“produced by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District”!
Yes, that’s it. IIRC she’s an ordained priestess in a breakaway Catholic denomination. She hates the church and its anti-woman positions but she was never an atheist.
Sinead O’Connor has never been an atheist. She has always been religious – she just hates the catholic church.
She was even ordained a priest! (although obviously not a catholic priest)
She is also know for having some rather long standing mental health issues!
Actually she was ordained a Catholic priest, just not a Roman Catholic Priest. It was some Irish breakaway from Rome.
Yes, she’s always been a couple of loaves and a fish short of a miracle.
She became some kind of nutty priest. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint) she didn’t last long at it. About 2 and a half weeks, I believe. Sort of a Bob Dylan and Christianity thing.
To be charitable to her, she claims that she was abused as a child by her mother. Although I think her brother denied any such thing occurred. I remember listening to her relate to an interviewer how she ‘explained’ about ‘God’ to her little children and thinking ‘Oh good, the abuse stops with you then?’
I think Dylan still calls himself a christian, unless I missed something.
Some relevant quotes from his 60 minutes interview a few years back:
“He also writes that, as a stunt, he went to Israel and made a point of having his picture taken at the Wailing Wall wearing a skullcap. When he went to Israel, he writes that the newspapers changed him overnight into a Zionist. How did this help?
“If the common perception of me out there in the public was that I was either a drunk, or I was a sicko, or a Zionist, or a Buddhist, or a Catholic, or a Mormon – all of this was better than ‘Archbishop of Anarchy,'” says Dylan, referring to being considered the voice of a generation opposed to everything. ”
“”I realized at the time that the press, the media, they’re not the judge – God’s the judge,” says Dylan. “The only person you have to think about lying twice to is either yourself or to God. The press isn’t either of them. And I just figured they’re irrelevant.” ”
“”It’s ironic, that the way that people viewed you was just the polar opposite of the way you viewed yourself,” says Bradley.
“Isn’t that something,” says Dylan. ”
My personal impression is that he’s vaguely theistic, largely agnostic, and that reports of hyperreligiosity have been greatly exaggerated. I suspect that he calls himself Christian because he identifies with the redemption narrative — even in his early stuff you can see him weaving in religious themes (Gates of Eden, etc.). He’s a storyteller and I suspect the story is what appeals to him about religion.
I’m a big fan of old Bobby’s (though I wouldn’t go and see him live these days – and for quite a while back – if he were playing in my back garden). But I have never heard him being interviewed without squirming with embarrassment he talks that much crap.
Incidentally, I haven’t heard Dylan even mention Christianity for about the last 20 years or more. I’m not surprised after Shot of Love. I was dire. Though his first religious LP (showing my age there!) Slow Train Coming had some great tracks on it.
It’s the same with Van Morrison in regard to being interviewed. Great song writer, but couldn’t string a coherent sentence together to save his life. It’s fucking excruciating listening to him. He’s a bit of a God freak too.
Actually, I wasn’t on it, so I couldn’t have been dire. Ooops!
Maybe Bob wisened up a bit after meeting Zappa? There’s this wonderful story from their meeting when Bob wanted Frank to produce his next record. Bob came to Frank’s place and played him his demo. Then Frank’s dog started barking and yapping at Bob and was generally aggressive. “Why’s the dog barking?”, asked Bob. “He doesn’t like Christians” Frank said. Bob left for a vacation so nothing came of it.
Hey, gang! Jeebus has a new look for Halloween!
Man, it’s been years since I’ve made a fridge magnet. There’s all kinds of differently-themed dress-ups available now. From a Lady Gaga version to a BDSM version! “Just Google Jesus!”
Yeah, she’s an ordained priest in some religion or another – another offshoot of the catholics. This is not unwell known.
It’s funny you put up this post today. Not funny haha, just funny timing-wise inasmuch as I was just last night downloading her song “Emperor’s New Clothes”. A post about PZ made me remember how much I enjoyed that song and I just had to have it on my iPhone.
Serendipity is amusing.
LOL ~ I read it & had a good laugh 🙂
The best description I’ve heard of serendipity: “Looking for a needle in a haystack and finding the farmer’s daughter.”
That’s not serendipity. That’s hitting the jackpot.
Kinda depends on the farmer’s daughter.
Around here they tend to be religious.
She has always been a devout Catholic, but in a breakaway Catholic sect. A lot of people misinterpreted her tearing up the picture as an anti-religion statement, but that’s wrong. It was actually an anti-religion-other-than-my-own statement.
No, it was an anti-Pope/anti-Catholic hierarchy statement.
I don’t know if it was based on the Church’s misdeeds in Ireland that we’ve since learned about and which have generally harmed the Church’s position in Ireland, or if it was due to more general anti-Church sentiment such as anger at the Pope’s position on contraception.
Both, I believe.
Perhaps anger at the Church’s misogyny in general?
I honestly love that SNL performance. It’s unfortunate that she is not and was not an out-and-out atheist making a powerful statement, because the lyrics of that song fit very well with the view that many of us atheists share. Namely that religious dogmatism is a major divisive and destructive force in the human community.
I cared little about her then and little about her now.
What little care I had about her then was the negative kind. Now I really just don;t care at all. Once a fruit loop, always a fruit loop apparently.
I never really got the impression she was a fruit loop. I really like some of her music.
Its funny, a lot of Catholics, like my brother in law, still have this impression of her being super crazy just because of tearing up the picture of the Pope. My Brother-in-law had since forgotten *why* she did it, and it was funny to see his face drop when he realized she did it because of the sex abuse scandal, and she had a perfectly good reason for doing it.
That being said, of course that doesn’t suddenly make her an atheist paragon, but it should say volumes that someone odd enough to get a Jesus tatooed on their sternum *still* is sane enough to realize that raping children and covering it up is wrong.
Thought it was because of the RCC’s position on birth control and the poverty problems that policy has caused in Ireland. I suppose it could well be both.
Religious fantasies seem to be the fall back position for most people. There used to be drawings of the “narrow path to god” (replaced by Chick Tracts?)
The irony is that reason is the true narrow path – though the most secure one to tread.
That’s rich, coming from YOU!
Just kidding…I’m pretty sure you didn’t die in 1978 in a mass suicide.
I did a little facebook messaging with my (Mormon) friend Julie this morning. I knew her fairly well in high school and now it is 20 years later. She’s married well, has a beautiful family and is optimistic and cheerful which is why I like her.
The gist of my message was: “It all seems CHANCE and circumstance and happenstance to me. The fact that you are who you are and believe what you believe is chance, Julie. I know you will rebel against this. Had you been born in India (exactly as you were at birth), you’d have completely different religious beliefs now.”
The gist of her reply was: “You see the fact that I WAS born in this country in the time frame that I was, is not by happenstance either Friend. Your life and mine, the families we were born into, the country we were born in, ALL of it was divinely orchestrated.”
It just goes against every fiber of reason I have in me to believe that “ALL of it was divinely orchestrated.” By this logic, you could say the various Occupy Wall Street protests were divinely orchestrated or the famines and earthquakes and anything else.
Lucky for Julie that she was born in the ‘right club’ (and a new one at that) while billions were not.
Ask her why she gets chosen to be born rich and lucky and in the ‘right’ religion while all those kids in Africa and India don’t.
God, apparently, plays favorites.
It’s funny. When she tore up the picture of the pope, she was saying that the church was guilty of sexual crimes against children.
We didn’t know then the extent of the crimes, or how high up the church hierarchy they went. We now know that the guilt extends all the way to the top. John Paul and Benedict both were involved in covering up the rape of children (although it appears that Benedict’s guilt is far worse).
At the time, she was vilified. People said she was crazy. But she was right.
I feel a little sorry for Jesus — stuck there on a sagging bosom.
Tom, don’t act like a sexist douche. Her age, and the associated physical changes to her secondary sexual characteristics, are really not the point here. Your obnoxious opinions about her body should be kept to yourself.
Oops, forgot to subscribe.
Well, perhaps it was a bit sexist. But I really meant to comment on the choice of the site for artwork — not the inevitable ravages of time that we all endure.
But thanks for your correction.
Fair enough. 🙂
The inevitable ravages of age are one of the many reasons I’ve never gotten tattoos anywhere on my body, bosom included.
Me too, and the fear of changing my mind. What’s she gonna do if one day she realises it’s all bullshit?
Even if Jesus was real, that is one mofo ugly tattoo.
it need not be sexist, we’ll all have sagging bosoms at some point, just some have more sag (or drag) than others…woo-hoo middle age, here I come!
Yeah, I can see how it might be meant otherwise, and I accept Tom’s explanation. It’s just… comments on women’s sagginess usually tend to be about how old people (especially old women) are ugly, not about how time tends to muss one’s body art.
Some bits expand rather than sag… waists! A guy I used to work with would pat his rotundity and say “All bought and paid for!”.
What what it is worth, I am nearing 60, so I know all about sagging from personal experience!
I think Anne was right to call me on this.
While I meant it as a comment on the wisdom of using our (imperfect) bodies as a canvas, there is too much disrespect of women going on in the world and I shouldn’t contribute to it.
Thanks, Tom. Much appreciated.
I feel sorry for him being made to look like a sideburned Elvis during his In The Gatto period. Mind you, he does look remarkably unconcerned about it – even with a crown of thorns stuck in his loaf!
Maybe we can submit it to “ugliest tattoos”?
[Comment deleted by Ceiling Cat for salacious content]
What did she have to say about that?
Crimony! Looks like the Bleeding (OK, I guess it’s Sacred) Heart of Jesus cult. First time I had an inkling of the existence of this was at an estate sale. At the head of the dead woman’s bed there was a ~14 x 17″ framed picture of a relatively anatomically correct heart (veins, aortas and all) stabbed with a dagger, dripping blood into the space below. Who in hell wants to go to sleep below something like that every night?
I have a sense that women are more likely to be attracted to this imagery. Is that right? Also, what’s it all about?
It’s a bloody awful tattoo ~ a cartoon. Jesus with false eyelashes
If you Google for “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus” you will get the full nutty background to the symbolism of that arrowed heart ~ it’s madness
In 1999 she was ordained as a priest by the leader of the Tridentine order of Mater Dei, a quasi-Catholic religious sect in Ireland, and was styled Sinéad Mother Bernadette Maria O’Connor
She has also called herself a Rastafarian
She has claimed to be a psychic medium after two years of training at the College of Psychic Studies in London
I think there’s a desperate need in her to belong to something that will give sense & purpose to the chaos which is the human condition. She wants certainties where certainties do not exist. I feel a lot of sympathy for her ~ I suspect that much of her behaviour can be explained by manic depression. A disease that cuts away the possibility of forming healthy & nurturing relationships with others. Terrible.
You are probably right. It is sad to see people playing out their strange troubles on a public stage as it probably negatively affects those who have problems but are not ‘celebrities’.
Didn’t Mick Jagger refer to that sort of church in Far Away Eyes?
Her ripping up the photo of the pope on SNL was specifically in protest of the Irish catholic church’s cover up of pedophilia; in 1992, that cover up was still holding strong, so the outrage and backlash was over her disrespect to the pope.
She greatly derailed her career by taking a brave and moral stance that I would think everyone here would agree with. Yeah, she’s a believer, but she was absolutely on the right side of this issue.
The other thing she got notoriety for was objecting to an American flag being on an outdoor stage she was performing on. (Why do outdoor stages often have American flags on them?) She had some oppositions to American foreign policy, which I share. Maybe not the most effective way of voicing those objections but not loony either.
She says the doctrine is good, the people in charge are bad.
I am always puzzled by xians endorsement of the imaginary friend pinned on a cross and with a torturing headband.
In a seemingly masochistic way.
Are they aroused by this?
On a second thought; Maybe it’s not a tattoo, but she was tanning. And as virgin Mary on toast, behold, it’s Jesus on flesh!
what is that blue-ish crap around the top edge of jebus? looks like he’s wreathed in intestines. suppose that’s the remains of the last (supper) person zombie jebus ate.
Ben is not around is he? – you should know that you should never use the gut word or you will set him off on a Thomasine sort of rant! 😉
It’s supposed to be a cloud.
Seriously, she couldn’t find a talented tattoo artist in Ireland?
I don’t know why anyone expresses an opinion of any sort in tattoo form. Don’t people realize they might change their minds?
Reminds me of the old Norman Rockwell illustration of the sailor getting his new girlfriend’s name tattooed on his arm – under a list of other girls’ names with lines drawn through them.
You just outed yourself as a middle-aged man who was never in the military.
All of my nieces and nephews have one or more tattoo. Ranging in age from 17 to 35. My oldest niece’s husband is an ex-Marine who has a terrific tattoo of a dragon on his lower leg. He got it in Okinawa — there being not much else to do over there.
They’re all nice, normal, solid citizens. Not a biker, Goth, or other type of freak in the lot.
It’s their generation’s thing. Like tie-dyed T-shirts and smoking pot back in the 60s.
I’d get one, but I’m not that fond of pain, nor hepatitis.
The fact that the Red Cross won’t accept blood from you for a full year after you get a tattoo has been one of my main incentives to not get one.
A reputable tattoo artist will show you her sterilizing equipment if you ask, usually an autoclave. Amazingly, some states, mine included, don’t regulate or license tattoo artists.
My tattoo is of the Midgard Serpent. Since I never believed in the Norse gods or the offspring of their relations with giants I don’t foresee regretting it in the future.
Oh, I’m not worried about that- I know some tattoo shops with exceedingly good reputations.
That, however, doesn’t matter to the Red Cross- they won’t accept your blood for one full year if you’ve gotten a tattoo, no ifs, ands, or buts.
Heck, if you’re male and have ever had sex with another man they won’t take your blood period.
And if I was going to get a tattoo, I’d either get the eye of Horus because I love the Alan Parsons Project (album cover artwork for Eye In The Sky) or a cladistic tree of life with a tiny arrow that says “You are here” because, well, I’m just like that.
Hello (throat-clearing noises),
Though I am quite sure I will be the target of some folk’s ire because of what follows, I hate stereotypes and cannot pass up the opportunity bust them whenever I can.
I am a middle-aged man and a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy (now “retired” from active duty-though not from work) and I have no tattoos nor have I ever been tempted to get one. I would sooner pierce my ear than get a tattoo, as a pierced ear is easier to undo. My attitude towards what may be broadly described as “body art” (as I use the term it includes tattoos, body piercings, etc.) has always been ambivalent at best. I do not deny that there is an element of art in the creation of tattoos, but I fail to see how the “canvas” on which the artist works deserves my praise or admiration.
Body art (broadly defined as I noted above) is often defended as an expression of ones personal identity and uniqueness. Fair enough, but is that the sole basis of such a person’s identity and uniqueness? It seems like a very superficial and feeble crutch to me. I have always been suspicious of displays of ostentatious, showy “style,” whatever form it may take, be it material possessions (cars, homes, boats, iPhones, etc.) or personal appearance (make-up, clothes, jewelry, unnatural hair colors, body art, and on, and on…).
After becoming an atheist in my mid-20’s, one of the few things I retained from my religious upbringing was the idea that it is what a person is on the inside that matters–”red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight…” and all that. This childhood lesson eventually “evolved” into my adult (atheistic) conviction that it is the quality of what is in one’s head and heart (in person I would point to my head and my chest–and that order is not arbitrary) that matters. What I value in human beings is what remains after the superficial trappings are stripped from them, whether it is the childish certainties of religion or the stylistic eccentricities of a Lady Ga-Ga, Eminem, Madonna, or Michael Jackson, and extending to those that defend such things as being somehow meritorious.
To put it even more bluntly, many might raise an eyebrow at the proverbial middle-aged man with tacky gold medallions and a bad toupee, driving a flashy red convertible and wonder, “What is he compensating for?” I ask that same question of those with meticulously detailed monster four wheel drive pickups, lacking any indication that they have never actually been off-road, those sporting gaudy tattoos, unnatural hair colors, or any of the tacky, stylistic affectations that many people seem to think they can pass off as a tawdry substitute for actual substance.
While I have been occasionally misled by my personal “rule of thumb” in the past, the true positives have far outnumbered the false positives.
As the old saying goes, “always remember that you are unique–just like everyone else.” Any trend is ultimately herd behavior.
No offense intended to tat sporters. If you like ’em, cool.
While I broadly agree that an obsession with the externals is usually a sign of insecurity or camouflage you have left out the fun to be had from a touch of ostentatious display. Just look at the peacock!
It is natural for a person to tell their story in the best possible light ~ the one that accrues the most benefits to them in the long run. This story includes the display of physical adornments & desirable character traits such as the ‘anti-displays’ of modesty, chastity & giving.
My strategy is to mix it up a little & to wear something totally unsuitable at least once a week. I’m the embarrassing dancing uncle at weddings.
Try it. Take off the shirt & tie in your avatar & just let go !
Note to sailors – best to stick with ‘Mum’!
Coincidentally, the TV rerun of 30 Rock last night mentioned an episode where their star, Tracy Jordan, also tore up a picture of the Pope.
Pete: “We have no actors. Now we could rerun episode 214.”
Liz: “No, no, no. That’s the one where Tracy tore up that picture of the Pope.”
Pete: “In his defense, it was Pope Innocent the fourth, because he increased taxation in the Papal States.”
Very good! I like 30Rock but although we have it on TV in the UK I never seem to catch it.
I have no comment on the subject matter.
But the tattoo itself is a piece of crap.
I was sitting at a bar having lunch the other day. Across from me was a heavily tattooed man and his quite attractive girlfriend. She leaned over to whisper something in his ear, and I noticed that his arm had a tattoo of her face on it. Amazingly well done, and instantly recognizable as the woman in question. Quite lovely, too, even if you’re not into that sort of thing.
Whoever did Sinead’s ink ought to be shot. Or at least sent to 6th grade art class.
Maybe it’s meant ironically?
It would be on her arse in that case.
I think she’d look okay if she grew some hair. I can’t say I like the military shave on her or any other woman for that matter. Although, Demi Moore looked okay in that shaved style in GI Jane.
Anyway, I think Sinead O’Connor should go back and listen to her own song “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” and pay close attention to the lyrics she wrote. Maybe she’ll grasp the irony.
If she had a tattoo of Dawkins on her breasts, then would everyone still condemn her?
Not sure we are all condemning her. If having a tattoo makes her happy she can tattoo herself all over as far as I am concerned – it is her body. Personally I think tattoos are all very nice when they are fresh but are liable to washing out into the surrounding flesh so in older people they look rather unattractive. Tattoos are very popular now in the UK with women as well as men but they bring risks and many people live to bitterly regret them.
PS Clearly a Coyne tattoo would trump a Dawkins one.
Certainly there’s room for one of each…
I did not condemn either her or her choice of subject matter for the tattoo. Only her choice of artist — who appears to have as much talent in this area as I do.
And the majority of comments I’ve read seem to be more interested in her quite nutty religious views, rather than the ink.
Really, you should try reading a bit more slowly and for comprehension.
It would depend on the quality of the artwork.
Why does Jesus have such prominent eyelashes?
She will no longer be allowed to swim in the pool in the health club I used to swim at in Japan. No tatoos allowed.
I gather that’s routine in Japan but don’t really have further experience. Does it have something to do with the Yakusa liking tatoos a lot?
Yes, it has a lot to do with yakuza liking tattoos.
Well, it looks like Ms. O’Connor,judging from her jebus body art, is still very much the religious believer.
I always wear a silver Celtic cross round me neck and certainly am not religious
Of course she is. She is doing a concert in a church soon to raise money… to send a group of people to Lourdes [not joking]
Who gives a shite?
In all fairness, I aaalways wear a Celtic cross. But I’ve neeever been religious. But I’m originally Irish and wear it as a piece of my cultural heritage – and Catholicism (of all religions!) just happens to be a big thing in the Republic… Maybe Sinéad has similar reasons?
She became a priest once but it was short-lived! I don’t think she liked the celibacy aspect.
Given the fact that she’s had four children, all with different partners, has been married/divorced four times, you might look a lot different too.
Also, she has bipolar disorder and is on medication, which very likely can contribute to her weight gain. Also,many women’s thyroid gland shuts down after pregnancy. This can also contribute to weight gain, since the thyroid gland keeps your metabolism / weight in check. Yes, there are medications for that as well, yet not always effective.
Finally, much time has passed since she sung Nothing Compares 2 U, at the age of 26?
I know I look different from when I was 20. I will be the first to admit, I was a better looking guy than I am now. I am still handsome, but I’d take my old look any day of the week. What I do know, is that it takes alot of perseverance to ‘look good’ when you get older, since your body is changing chemically as well as your mind set.
Have fun, eat well and exercise!