Wednesday, 2 May 2018

If You're Wondering Why...

The cartoon above was stolen, with apologies, from this week's Guardian. I'm a huge fan of the cartoonist, Stephen Collins, and I recommend you check out his excellent book The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil.

Rage against the Morrissey continues unabated across the world, fueled by his most recent interview (with himself) in which he continues to promote his dodgy political views. For the record, I still don't think he's racist, in the strictest sense of that word, and find myself agreeing with Mike Joyce's verdict on his former bandmate... strange world we live in where Mike Joyce is the only one left defending Mozzer, given their litigious, blood-splattered history. But my opinions are irrelevant now, and I'm long past picking over the bones of what he says and trying to explain why he thinks what he thinks. He's not being an agent provocateur any more: he's just being a dick.

As Stephen Collins' cartoon shows, many old Moz fans are unable to separate art from artist any longer and are turning their back on not just the artist but his entire recorded legacy. When JC, The Vinyl Villain, decided to boot not just Moz, but also The Smiths, out of his excellent ICA World Cup, many lifelong Smiths fans supported his move, some even saying how they were chucking out their old Smiths albums and would never listen to them again. Well, I'm sorry, but I still can't do the same. And there's one lyric that sums up why perfectly for me...

The passing of time
And all of its sickening crimes
Is making me sad again

But don't forget the songs
That made you cry
And the songs that saved your life

Yes, you're older now
And you're a clever swine
But they were the only ones who ever stood by you

I can honestly - with no exaggeration - say that there have been times in my life when the songs of The Smiths and Morrissey have pulled me through. And no matter what hateful opinions he might hold in his dotage, I'd be cutting off my nose to spite my face if I blacklisted those songs from my record collection.

But do you know who I feel sorriest for in all this? Morrissey himself. No, stick with me a second. He's always prided himself in being an outcast, a pariah, giving a voice to the lonely and maladjusted... but now the very fans who cherished this in him are turning their backs on him because they no longer recognise their idol. As Stephen Collins' cartoon ably illustrates, he is destroying his own legacy but no one will ever be able to make him see the damage he's doing because he never listens to anyone else but himself. With that in mind, another old Smiths lyric has been running through my mind on repeat these last couple of weeks. If you put me in a room with Morrissey tomorrow, this is what I'd say to him..

If you're wondering why
All the love that you long for eludes you
And people are rude and cruel to you
I'll tell you why

I'll tell you why
I'll tell you why
I'll tell you why

But you wouldn't believe me!

So as not to offend those who never want to hear his master's voice again, here's Kirsty...


  1. I haven't bought that 'Love The Smiths, Hate Morrissey' T Shirt yet...but it becomes more and more of a tempting prospect...

    1. I'd have to get a Love Morrissey's Lyrics, Hate Morrissey's Words t-shirt. Or a Love Morrissey's Singing, Hate Morrissey's Talking.

    2. Bigmouth Strikes Again

  2. Perfect post, Rol. I agree wholeheartedly with every word of it.


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