Morrissey Always Was The Jerk That Smiths Fans Deserve

My passing acquaintance with the music of 80s angst minstrels The Smiths is limited to what you would expect someone like me to have. Namely, their appearance on the Pretty In Pink soundtrack (a flawed movie given that the ending was changed at the last minute so that the rich handsome guy gets the girl instead – although Ducky getting Kirsty Swanson as consolation prize seems better to me than ending up with Molly Ringwald), and the theme song from Charmed (you definitely would expect me to watch a show about three beautiful women who happen to be witches).

In other words, The Smiths and their frontman Morrissey have had very little impact on my life.

Today I got around to watching Panic on the Streets of Springfield, a recent episode of the Simpsons which parodies Morrissey. A similar character becomes Lisa’s imaginary friend until Lisa goes to see the real live version in concert. There, as the former vegan rock star shoots hot dogs into the audience, Lisa is disillusioned about her new found idol.

Morrissey in recent years has horrified his former fans. He has made many racist utterances, encouraged skinheads, and endorsed the extreme right wing For Britain party. His comments on the Me Too movement also are quite lacking in empathy, to say the least.

All sorts of fans and former collaborators, like the far-left rock icon Billy Bragg, are horrified by the views of Morrissey now, an angry and hateful late middle aged man.

They can no longer excuse his utterances as being ironic or provocative, in the way that a young Morrissey might have been.

But if Morrissey is a jerk now, what was he like in the 80s when he was in his heyday as lead singer of The Smiths and then on his solo career:

The kind people
have a wonderful dream
Margaret on the guillotine
because people like you

make me feel so tired
when will you die?
when will you die?
when will you die?
when will you die?
when will you die?
because people like you
make me feel so old inside
please die
and kind people
do not shelter this dream
make it real
make the dream real
make the dream real
make it real

Those are the lyrics of Margaret on the Guillotine, a song on his 1988 debut solo album Viva Hate. It is about the then UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

He similarly composed another nasty song, The Queen is Dead, which lacks any of the punk charm of the Sex Pistol’s God Save The Queen.

And it is only in the past few years that Smiths fans and such folk have finally woken up that Morrissey is a jerk? He always was a jerk. It was just that they loved and lapped up his hatred when it was aimed at people like Thatcher and the Queen. Now that they realise that he is definitely not woke and is quite hateful to a lot of people and causes they care about, they are suddenly horrified.

Morrissey strikes me as a joke, a hateful joke. But the joke is mostly on his former fans. That they want to ‘cancel’ him now, rather than in 1988 when he wished death on the Maggie Thatcher whom they hated shows their inherent hypocrisy.

They are similar to a Jacobin mob intent on murder and mayhem (quite apt when their anthem is about a guillotine). Morrissey was their Robespierre. And like Robespierre with his guillotine, when the mob grew weary of him, they turned on him.

Morrissey has shown up all those hypocritical people who were his fans for the hateful totalitarian-sympathising mob that they were and are. They richly deserve him.

Published by Ernest Zanatta

Narrow minded Italian Catholic Conservative Peasant from Footscray.

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