He is the Light that never goes out

Ιn further analyzing the correlation between Mozes and the Latinosraelites we can pay particular attention to the intersection of history and their lives, which results in the condition of their present state. For St. Moz it can be said that a sequential series of events and happenings both within his life and around him as well as his reaction to those happenings has led to the writing of his songs. As he developed into the artist that Latinos have come to love, in understanding their affinity for him, his experience may well be comparable to that of the Latinos in the United States. In setting the foundation and framework of what we may note as happening with fans in O.C. I shall try to thematically look at Morrissey’s life and work as compared to his Irish bruvas.

 

Similarly to how Stephen Dedalus, the protagonist of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, undergoes changes in his life in James Joyce’s bildungsroman or küntslerroman, we can see how Morrissey’s songs  demonstrate a development amidst identity, transformation, youth, dissatisfaction, religion, spirituality, sin and the home, and finally tie them into the Latino fandom. We shall focus on a few so as to create a general gist of what is meant. Starting with Joyce, his book states, “I can’t understand you, said Davin. One time I hear you talk against English literature. Now you talk against the Irish informers. What with your name and your ideas – Are you Irish at all?” Here we can see how the character of Stephen is pondering his identity regarding his English oppression and Irish self. In the same way, Morrissey’s “Irish Blood, English Heart” he says “I’ve been dreaming of a time when to be English is not to be baneful, to be standing by the flag not feeling shameful, racist or partial”. In a third examination we can place the concept of Mexicanos having Mexican blood and an American heart. It is in this manner where we see a parallel in experiences of borderland being neither from here nor there. “His father’s whistle, his mother’s mutterings, the screech of an unseen maniac were to him now so many voices offending and threatening to humble the pride of his youth”. In this we see that Joyce finds Stephen Dedalus to have lost a pride he had for his youth in need to grow up, this shares similar resemblance to Morrissey’s Used to be a Sweet Boy where he says, “Used to be a sweet boy holding so tightly to daddy`s hand but that was all in some distant land, blazer and tie”. I think that for Latinos, childhoods may be somewhat complicated when acknowledging the issues of race and racism they face in U.S. schools. Finally, there is the idea of home, and in this particular case it is a source of instability and a desire to flee from it, as Stephen Dedalus says, “What birds were they? He thought that they must be swallows who had come back from the south. Then he was to go away for they were birds ever going and coming, building an unlasting home under the eaves of men’s houses and ever leaving the homes they had built to wander”.  In There is a Light That Never Goes Out, Morrissey writes “I want to see people and I want to see life, driving in your car oh, please don’t drop me home because it’s not my home, it’s their home, and I’m welcome no more”. If there were a particular home to which the majority of Morrissey’s Latino fans felt a connection to it would not be visible in terms of their place in America where they currently reside, they are forced into barrios to which they carve out their own space.

 

James Joyce
 
 
 

The Moz

 Just as comparatively poetic we can see how the themes presented in the Irish poet W.B. Yeats, we see in the Irish poet Morrissey. In The Song of Wandering Aengus by Yeats, the narrator talks about wandering through the land searching for a girl he longs to kiss. In Morrissey’s I Know It’s Going to Happen Someday we can see a similar theme of experiencing chimera although “the day just never arrives”. This aspect of Moz’s songs is the emotional appeal and understanding of individuals longing for love, seeking it and hoping to one day obtain it. Yeat’s poem The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water

W.B. Yeats

which talks about old age says “‘ All that’s beautiful drifts away like the waters’”. There is similarity to the song You Were Good in Your Time and it brings about this idea that although Latinos are a fairly young population one day we shall be like the waters. In the poem Presences Yeats writes “This night has been so strange…All I had rhymed of that monstrous thing returned and yet unrequited love”. Unrequited love is a theme very common in Morrissey’s work such as in Last Night dreamt That Somebody Loved Me and it is a tune that Latinos can attest to :-(.

 

Notice the manner in which fans show their love for Morrissey, and in particular it’s mostly MALES…..Possibly another aspect of fandom in need of analysis 🙂

“Je Suis Morrissey”

quotes for both Joyce’s text and Yeats’ poems provided by:
http://www.shmoop.com/portrait-of-the-artist-as-a-young-man/quotes.html
http://www.poetry-archive.com/y/yeats_w_b.html
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About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

One response »

  1. Walter V says:

    Being someone that identifies as a Xicano, Chapicano, and Smiths fan I felt this article raised more questions about why Latinos/Mexicanos are fans instead of answering them. The work of The Smiths and Morrissey is distinct and should be addressed as so. To credit the entire work of the Smiths without including Andre Rourke, Johnny Marr, and Mike Joyce is like a canvass with no paints; it doesn’t illustrate the depth or the vision of the entire painting-the lyrics are enhanced by the intense melancholy and cynicism present in most of The Smiths work. Using the theme of borderlands and then describing it using a dichotomy such as Mexican Blood/American Heart fails to address Anzaldua’s dualities of a cultura rather than a nationality. Ignoring the Indigenista underpinnings of her work leaves much to be desired when attempting to use borderlands as a way to parallel two flags and citizenships. To use the label Latino throughout the article then use the term Mexican forces a conscious reader to ask: What defines a Latino/a? Are they speaking of Ethnic Mexicans living in the U.S., Mexican nationals living in the U.S. or Mexican-Americans? To address these concerns; paralleling the misery of being an oppressed people under an imperial power. Including the work of Octavio Paz Labyrinth of Solitude,Carey McWilliams work of North from Mexico, or even crediting Gloria Anzaldua for the use of the borderlands theory would have added cultural parallel literature to compare with Yeats and Joyce. From an artistic perspective paralleling the Smith with Cafe Tacvba or Caifanes or Morrissey and Saul Hernandez could also have effectively linked parallels between fans of both and how they may relate to eachother. Another suggestion to avoid over-generalizations about Latino/Mexicano fandom would be to incorporate ethnographies or interviews of Smiths fans self identify with being Latino/Mexicano/Hispanic/Xican@ etc. I do feel this is a great topic to cover-just felt overall that it could have been completed with more depth and more inclusion of Chican@/Latin@/Mexican@ artists and authors to parallel the European artists included in the piece.

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