Rusholme Ruffians

Some songs are composed on piano, some on guitar; this one was composed on a secondhand typewriter. That’s because Morrissey is not a musician and doesn’t play any instruments. He could, of course, just go around with a notepad like a normal-person, but in Morrissey’s world, it’s all about the aesthetics. And the image of the poet with his dry toast and his tea and his battered typewriter pretty much defines the aesthetic of The Smiths, and by extension, their fandom. Sad, but proud of it. Devoutly romantic but too socially useless to do anything about it. I too spent my teenage years clicking away on a thrift store typewriter. It’s wildly impractical, but the sound is very satisfying. It’s a great hobby for someone who spends too much time alone and really only sees other people as vague abstractions and doesn’t have any ambitions in life besides appearing poetic. My teenage self was not a Smiths fan. I just lived a Morrissey-approved lifestyle.

Nowhere Fast

“And if the day came when I felt a natural emotion, I’d get such a shock I’d probably jump in the ocean..

That’s a line I’ve always related to, even before my Morrissey obsession went into orbit. It’s truly rare to find yourself feeling an emotion untainted by what you’ve been told you should be feeling. It’s just everyday alienation. It hasn’t changed much since 1985. We’re all still preoccupied with mastering new household appliances. But it would be nice to feel something. I think I have no choice now but to listen to The Smiths all day. Morrissey speaks for everyone who feels that they only have their wits keeping them above the sludge. The world is bleak and other people are a nightmare; your emotions are out of tune and your social functions don’t function – but at least your wit, your tongue and your pencil are all sharp.