“The basic fascination I have with cats is nothing unusual. I find them very intelligent and very superior. And I feel entranced by them. If I see one in the street I feel immediately drawn to the cat. I have a friend, Chrissie Hynde [the singer with The Pretenders], she’s exactly the same. You can be walking with her along the street, she sees a cat, she walks away. You continue to walk on, talking to no one. You look around and she’s crouched down with a cat in a hedge. I’m exactly the same way. I’m fascinated by them.” — “Morrissey on… privacy, the Queen and The Smiths”, The Daily Telegraph, 17vi11
• Moz Mit Mog #1
At last… it’s OFFICIAL!
MORRISEY IS A TWAT
Cult pop singer Morrisey — hailed as hero by his fanatical fans — is a twat, according to experts. And that will come as bad news to his many admirers who have worshipped the pop idol since he came to fame as lead singer of The Smiths.
Professor Ivan Sogorski of Barrow-in-Furness University’s Department of Advanced Human Behavioural Studies came to his dramatic conclusion about the star after listening to many of his records and watching video footage of his TV appearances. And he summed up his professional opinion in a few short words.
“The man is an absolute twat,” he told us.
Professor Sogorski cited examples of behaviour which had lead him to his controversial conclusion. “Take for example Mr Morrisey’s appearance on Top Of The Pops in the early eighties when he wore oversized shirts, National Health glasses, a hearing aid, and flailed about the stage with daffodils sticking out of his back pocket. Clearly, even the most casual analysis could only conclude this to be the behaviour of an arsehole,” said the Professor.
As a part of his painstaking research, Professor Sogorski consulted a colleague to obtain a second independent opinion. “I submitted manuscipts and recordings of many Morrissey songs to a leading Professor of Composition at the Royal College of Music, and he says they are crap.”
The Professor quoted examples of Morrisey’s song titles as further evidence to support his views. “Girl In A Coma. Big Mouth Strikes Again. Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now. These are all bullshit,” said Professor Sogorski.
During his career Morrisey has endeared himself to a huge cult following of pop fans, among them many students, and has also won artistic acclaim for his work.
But Professor Sogorski’s comments are bound to fuel speculation that whilst some of his songs might be quite good, the man is, quite frankly, a bit of an arsehole. “I am convinced Morrisey is a twat, and anyone who says otherwise is a wanker,” said the Professor yesterday.
Professor Sogorski last hit the headlines in 1988 when he claimed that page three model Samantha Fox was a “boiler”.
• From Viz
Morrissey ‘Still a Twat in Parallel Universe’ — Hawking
PHYSICS boffin Professor STEPHEN HAWKING has confirmed that pop singer MORRISSEY would remain a bell-end in every conceivable alternate universe.
Hawking, 73, was delivering a lecture at the Sydney Opera House last night when he made the startling announcement regarding the ex-Smiths frontman.
The Cambridge egghead told attendees: “Theoretical physics may one day be able to prove the existence of multiple universes outside our own. We can predict very little about what these parallel universes would be like, but we do know one thing: Morrissey would still be a twat in them.”
Hawking went on to explain his revelation with a series of complex equations.
He said: “Multiple universes would probably differ from our own in almost every way. They would be made up of different chemical elements which themselves would be made of fundamental particles different from the ones we have identified. They may even be governed by completely differnt laws of physics. The only constant would be Morrissey behaving like an arse and saying twattish things.”
The Brief History of Time author continued: “The possibilities in a parallel universe are genuinely limitless: the sky could be purple, the moon could be made of Styrofoam, cats could talk. Absolutely anything is feasible — except Morrissey not being a dick.”
“He still would be one, I’m afraid,” he added. “Nothing so sure.” Hawking has announced plans for a follow-up lecture next week at the Royal Albert Hall, in which he will hypothesise that Sting could still get on everybody’s tits in a black hole.
• From Viz
A passionately socialist Anglican priest and proud member of the LGBTQ+ Community no longer approves of Moz:
The song I can no longer listen to
“This Charming Man”. Much as I like the song, Morrissey has ceased to be charming for me.
• ‘No Jacket Required would be the soundtrack of hell’: the Rev Richard Coles’s honest playlist, The Guardian, 10i22
• For much more Moz Mit Mog, please visit Morrissey with Cats
Papyrocentric Performativity Presents:
• Clarke’s Sparks – The Collected Stories, Arthur C. Clarke (Victor Gollancz 2000)
• Deeper and Down – Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth, James M. Tabor (Random House 2010)
• Manchester’s Mozzerabilist Messiah – Morrissey: The Pageant of His Bleeding Heart, Gavin Hopps (Continuum Books 2012)
• Or Read a Review at Random: RaRaR
Coke, booze, earsplitting volume. Not a combination you associate with the Smiths. But it was there, as you’ll learn from this book. Towards the end, they were almost turning into Guns’n’Gladioli. Morrissey, of course, was the odd one out: he wasn’t battering his brain-cells with drink and drugs on their final American tour. But back home his Lichtmusik was also lout-music: the Smiths didn’t just appeal to bedsit miserabilists in rain-hammered humdrum towns. No, they appealed to some football hooligans too, including a Chelsea fan who didn’t mind being asked, “You still wanking off over that miserable northern poof?” as he travelled north by train to do battle with Manchester United and Manchester City, who also supplied hoolifans to the Smiths (pp. 509-10). So did football clubs in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Smiths are easy to caricature, but the caricatures don’t capture their complexity.
Tony Fletcher does capture it: the band, their music, their fans, friends, producers, studio-engineers and record-labels. He’s definitely a Guardianista, but his prose is plodding rather than painful and he does a good job of putting the poof and his partners into context. The 1980s is one important part of that context. So are Irish Catholicism and Manchester. When you look at pictures of the Smiths, you can see two clear divisions. One of them separates the singer, guitarist and drummer from the bassist: the dark-haired, bushy-browed, strong-faced Morrissey, Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke clearly belong to one race and the light-haired, lesser-browed, milder-faced Mike Joyce to another. They’re Irish and he’s English: the British Isles are rich in language and rich in biology too. But Morrissey’s height and handsomeness also separate him from Marr, Rourke and Joyce, like his polysyllabic name. Both must be related to his intelligence, his creativity and his ability to turn himself into the Pope of Mope and become much more famous than any of the other three. Fletcher doesn’t talk about this biology – as I said, he’s a Guardianista – but it’s implicit in his descriptions of Irish settlement in Manchester and of Morrissey’s genius.
Is that too strong a word? Maybe. Morrissey is certainly the interesting and original one in this book and it ends with his story only just beginning. You can feel the tug of his later career throughout the book: it’s not discussed, but you know it’s there. But Fletcher isn’t concentrating on Morrissey and doesn’t seem very interested in Carry On and Brit-film in the 1960s, so he’s less good on what might be called the Smythos: the world created by Morrissey in his lyrics and interviews. Morrissey’s influences are better explained in Simon Goddard’s Mozipedia (2009), which isn’t just about the New York Dolls, the Cockney Rejects and vegetarianism. It has also entries for everyone from Hawtrey and Housman to Williams and Wilde by way of Sandy Shaw, Shelagh Delaney and Jobriath. No-one will ever devote an encyclopaedia to Marr like that: music doesn’t have as much meaning and metaphor in it. It has emotion and beauty instead and Fletcher is good at describing how Marr created a lot of both on albums like Meat Is Murder and Strangeways Here We Come.
I’ve never liked him much, though. I like what he did with the guitar and in the studio, but I don’t like what he did to his body and mind. Or what he put on his body: he didn’t have Mozza’s way with weeds either. In the photos, you can clearly see Morrissey’s narcissism and Marr’s weediness. It’s no surprise that Marr smoked a lot of marijuana, preferred working at night and didn’t eat properly. But he’s weedy in more ways than the physical: there’s also a photo of him with Billy Bragg, the committed socialist behind Red Wedge. This was a collective of musicians and bands who wanted to make the world a better place by fighting Fatcher, fascism and free speech with their fantastic music. Morrissey had his lefty opinions too, but he didn’t like collectives and he didn’t scorn just Margaret Thatcher and the Queen: Bob Geldof and Live Aid got the sharp side of his tongue too. Which is good. Mozza is worshipped by Guardianistas, but he’s not a Guardianista himself.
Or not wholly. The hive-mind hasn’t been able to hum him fully into line, unlike Marr and Bragg. As for Rourke and Joyce: their politics don’t matter and the most interesting thing one of them does in this book is get stung by a sting-ray (pp. 539-40). They were competent musicians, but they weren’t essential to the Smiths. Joyce is most important for causing trouble, not for strumming his bass: first there was the heroin addiction, then the 21st-century court-case in which he sued for more money and earnt Morrissey’s undying enmity. Fletcher barely mentions the court-case and ends the book in the 1980s, with the Smiths exhausted, antagonistic and unfulfilled. They never achieved their full potential and though few bands do, few bands have had more to offer than the Smiths. The Beatles were one and managed to offer it from the nearby northern city of Liverpool. They were Irish Catholic too. But, like the Smiths, they achieved success in England, not Ireland. That’s important and the younger band captured it in their name. “Smiths” is an Anglo-Saxon word with ancient roots and difficult phonetics. It seems simple, but it isn’t. Rather like light.
I enjoyed Simon Goddard’s Mozipedia – The Encyclopedia of Morrissey and The Smiths a lot. And learnt a lot from it too. But I haven’t bothered finishing Simon Goddard’s Songs that Saved Your Life: The Art of The Smiths 1982-87 (an updated edition of The Smiths: Songs That Saved Your Life, 2002). There’s too much rock-writer rhetoric, too many mixed metaphors, too few pictures. None, in fact, apart from the band-photo on the front cover and the tickets on the back. Part of the problem is that The Smiths were only Act One in Mozza’s career. Johnny Marr played guitar well and wrote some beautiful tunes. But Morrissey was the interesting, eclectic and original one in The Smiths: the Mogpie didn’t need Marr a quarter as much as Marr needed the Mogpie. That’s part of why Mozipedia is better. Use this book as a supplement, because it’s got a lot of disc-o-detail and the appendices are good, covering The Smiths on record, in concert and on TV and radio. Goddard doesn’t have room to get rock-o-rhetorical there.