Of concern to those who care about such things, we don’t I’m afraid to say and again keeping with recent broadcasts via BBC Radio 4, you may have been aware of the hullabaloo concerning Morrissey’s autobiography entitled er – ’autobiography’. now aside rumour of bullying various publishing executives so that the tome was afforded the rare honour of being turned out as a ’penguin classic’. seems that this inflamed the ire of the home counties and classicist lecturers the nation through, there has been talk in townships whose names are unpronounceable and invisible on road maps where ritual practices such as cheese rolling, market bartering and the ducking of witches are still considered cheery village events, of masses of personage striding to local village post offices with missives in hand thoughtfully dedicated by nibs of gold dipped in Indian ink waiting for the postal collection service that never come Ah, such is the middle class revolt. What the buggering hell be he on about you may all ask as you huddle around the communal lit match rationed mind to five a day in these grim days of profiteering market forces, I weep as I hear the news that Barclays pre-tax profits are down, just a mere £4.2bn – how will they survive, we will vote to have the funds raised from Saturday’s bric n’ brac sale at the local church hall sent to them forthwith to assist in their hour of need. And so after several detours and a minor one way up a cul de sac back with Stephen Patrick. ’autobiography’ his promised warts n’ all was soundly rounded upon by the assembled cast of Radio 4’s ‘Saturday review’ – the criticism was poetic, eloquent, constructive and constructed – it brought a tear to my eye, was there nothing redeeming about said tome – it appears not, one by one the critics took aim, there were gasps in the gallery – this surely was blasphemy, people scurried about expecting massed storms signifying the world at an end, such talk out of turn was tantamount to standing up amid a crowd of fevered religious fanatics and stating calmly that God didn’t exist or like being from Liverpool and announcing the Beatles are shite – indeed I have the bruises and scars as proof to such utterances. Alas it seems poetic, eloquent, constructive and constructed are not words that readily apply to ’autobiography’ neither are thoughtful, understanding or forgiving for I’m assuming that show host Tom Sutcliffe and guests all live in triple walled concrete bunkers in fear of hordes of tens of Morrissey look-a-likes descending upon them to swat them with daffodils whilst exchanging insults thieved from Oscar Wilde tomes and called their own. ‘worst written book I’ve read in years’ utters one critic, the most damning moment is his put down of Julie Burchill he berates her constant moaning and attention seeking – a case one would think of kettle and pots, his insistence of talking in the third person whilst criticising Thatcher’s famous ’we are a grandmother’ is served up with a deal of tut tut scorn, in short it’s a score settling exercise wherein everyone who has crossed him is cast aside beneath a barrage of venom where everyone else is to blame except him and where as an autobiography no one reaches the end knowing who Morrissey is. These are afterall other people’s criticisms and not mine for on a personal level I lost interest with Morrissey following his return from exile after the union jack waving debacle, the Smiths were the finest of their generation and that unique body of work perfectly documents a band of its time operating ahead of the curve, apart from the occasional flash Morrissey as a solo artist to me has sadly found himself entrenched in a past that he is failing miserably to rewrite, in many respects its sad but there’s a distinct difference in knowing your good and thinking your good and I’d like to think that the Morrissey of ’83 would at this moment be weeping and horrified at the Morrissey of ’13. And no I won’t be seeking out local book shops in the hope of purchasing the book any day soon.

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