Bloated corpse of English rock music Morrissey has been rendered apoplectic by a recent Simpsons episode featuring a character named Willoughby, an obvious send-up of the former Smiths crooner. In this episode, he is depicted as an arrogant, self-indulgent racist who eats a pastrami sub to denounce his former veganism as “foreigners invented it.” Barely seconds after the episode had aired, Morrissey’s manager jumped into the fray, making a Facebook post trembling with righteous indignation, accusing the Simpsons writers of being the “real hurtful, racist group”. I didn’t know fey, floppy-haired proto-goths were considered a race, but I’m here to learn.
Morrissey’s political views have been more forthcoming in recent years, but the signs were always there. From his 2019 decision to wear a badge with the logo of English far-right group For Britain on a Fallon appearance, going all the way back to a 1986 interview where he called reggae racist, said artists like Stevie Wonder had nothing to say and alluded to a black pop conspiracy to keep white indie groups down, Morrissey has been active on the old racism. He despises immigrants, bemoans the loss of British identity etc. etc. and generally seems set about destroying his legacy, which was already built like a Morrissey fan, so it’s going down easy. These viewpoints have been jarring to the majority of Smiths fans who grew up on the band, particularly those of ethnic minorities in England. A man who had been a hero to many was now telling these fans he didn’t want them in “his country.” This seething resentment is typical in narcissists who believe they are a shining beacon of intellectualism in a writhing sea of cretins, and he is lowering himself to communicate with anyone. These are also common traits in disenfranchised teenagers, but you would think 61 years on Earth would help you move past that, though I suppose his “song-writing” never did.
After the rant from Morrissey’s manager, the man himself joined the fracas, attacking the keyboard with his clawed fingers to produce a post rife with lazy metaphors, self-pity and toothless threats. “I’d sue you if I could afford it” is not a toe-trembler. He paints himself as a rogue genius and fearless truth-teller in a world that can’t handle his debonair attitude, subtly inferring that his is the only music capable of activating human emotion. He predictably plays the victim, at one point proclaiming “I’ve had enough horror thrown at me that would kill off a bison.” Isn’t this guy supposed to be a writer?
Yes, he is. A published author in fact. To provide some context on the level of talent balanced against Morrissey’s god complex, I henceforthly provide an excerpt of a sex scene from one of his novels.
“At this, Eliza and Ezra rolled together into one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone.”
This scene reads like it was written by someone whose only experience of sex was the lyrics of songs he would listen to on the record player, written by people who had never had sex. Such was its hilarious ineptitude, it won him the exalted Bad Sex Award. The truth of the matter is that Morrissey, despite his self-deification, is treated as a joke, and justly so. This is at the core of his anger. His idiotic patriotism is widespread among a certain confused generation who still mourn the loss of the British Empire, which was apparently a key part of white identity. Thus, Morrissey follows Johnny Rotten in another disappointing swerve to the right from an artist presumed to be right-on.
The episode itself is pretty funny, better than a lot of Simpsons output in recent years. Morrissey’s character is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch and the songs are written by Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie, a pool of talent far outweighing anything that could be conjured up by this pathetic flailing seal of a man. Ironically, the depictions in the episode of Morrissey as an irrelevant hack who has outstayed his welcome have also been levelled at the Simpsons for a while. Indeed, this was the first time I had watched the Simpsons in some time. It was also the first time I had thought about Morrissey in some time. Everyone won in this exchange except me. Furore is clearly fantastic publicity, and now I feel like a sucker for getting reeled in. Damn these sophisticated promotion techniques.