Friday, June 30, 2006

Stop Me If You Heard This One Before

I just discovered an article in The Believer written around the release "You Are the Quarry" that suggests that Morrissey is "blurring the lines between what it means to be a pop icon and a religious icon". On the whole the article has some interesting points, but there were a few things that annoyed me as the author went about her own ritual of Morrissey worship. Notably, this line got my attention:
Arriving on the pop scene at a time when the charts were dominated by boys with synthesizers, asymmetric hairstyles and all the emotional depth and intellectual insight of the ZX Spectrum, Morrissey's genius was simply to transfer the obsessions of his bedroom on to the stage.

: It's a given that Morrissey has always been on his own path, but given that article's author was 13 when The Smiths broke up (full disclosure: I was younger) it's a bit odd to give the 80's such a dismissal for not simply charting tracks from bands with rockist values. That an article in a serious publication would paint a decade's worth of music with such a broad brush to say that it had "all the emotional depth and intellectual insight" of an antique computer is simply mind numbing.
Then there is the article's occasional shaky reasoning. How is it that a 1992 concert gimmick that was misinterpreted by the Brit press left our hero:
Ostracized and pushed further into the margins, Morrissey became a pariah in his home country, eventually excommunicating himself to Los Angeles in 1998 where he has lived alone ever since.

: If a 1992 incident had such an effect to isolate Morrissey from his countrymen why did it take six years to make the move? Becoming a "pariah" didn't stop him from having a number one UK album in 1994. Perhaps it was the British public's indifference to Morrissey on the heels of confused efforts that motivated the move. It made me want to move on as well.

No comments: