Monday, 10 March 2014

I am no longer a Morrissey fan

I started to write a review of his autobiography just after the book came into my hands. But then... but then things happened and I realised I was no longer a fan.

Notes for a Review (based on the first 21 pages)

I'm going to write a review of it when I've finished reading it, but even though I'm only on page 21 at the moment, I can give a list of reasons why it's annoying me:

1. These are lyrics, not prose. Go on Youtube, search for "Peter Serafinowicz Morrissey" and watch as your sides split while Pete *sings* the first page of the book. It's hilarious. It does however make it very hard to read. For me, too, it's a problem, because I've written songs. I start reading his "lyrical prose" and I'm thinking, "Ooooh, I could do a nice intro for this on my 12-string!" and I can hear the drums, and I've got a string section warming up over here, nice baseline, pleasant distortion on my semi-acoustic - ARRRGH NO THIS IS DISTRACTING ME ARRRGGHHHH!!!!


2. The first paragraph is four and half pages long. It doesn't need to be. There are natural breaks in it. But alas, no, he plunges on (sorry for the potentially unpleasant image that may give you). 

3. He seems to be using the wrong word sometimes. You know how when you're talking or writing and you mean to say "indignant" but you say something else instead like "indigent" instead - not as a typo, but a kind of brain-typo? He does this *all* the time. Not long after the world's longest paragraph this side of Molly Bloom's monologue (perhaps that was the point?), he talks about the early 70s ("it was the 70s; Buckaroo!") when he starts developing his musical tastes. We get "By this he means my merging musical obsessions." I would suggest he means "emerging". It annoyed me so much, I reached for my pen and underlined the offending word. Maybe he does mean "merging", maybe I'm wrong - I'm sure plenty of his acolytes will tell me it is not the Mighty Moz who is wrong, but pathetic provincial librarian over here, but... it doesn't sound right, does it?

4. The need for an editor. Really following on from point 3, and sort of point 2, and yes, let's be honest, point 1 as well. An editor would have asked if he meant "emerging" (I'm sure he did, I stake my claim). There are sentences where he hasn't put in a verb, so you end up reading them three times to make sense of them (and then still can't). And I would suggest that the very obvious lack of an editor is linked with the fact it's a Penguin Classic, like it's Homer or something - because no one wanted to criticise him. They knew that if they did, he'd bugger off. Think how many copies this book must've sold by now. Penguin are having an ace time, even with the surprising discount. Think how many copies they've sold to the US too because there's no American publisher (at the moment... no doubt that will change when they see the sales figures) where his fans are the least critical of all.

The thing is, it's a shame, because it detracts from what is otherwise rather entertaining and interesting. I haven't a clue what Irish family life was like in Manchester in the late 50s and 60s. But it's very hard to read when I am forced to wade through unedited, overwritten porridge.

That was then, this is March

I didn't get any further than page 106. I just can't bear it. The whole tone of this book is a relentless "poor me" which has me reaching for my Steve-Buscemi-in-Reservoir-Dogs-"smallest-violin-in-the-world". Added to this are moments of, what seem to me, casual misogyny, and the constant feeling that I am David Bellamy rummaging my way through near-impenetrable forest, and I just couldn't go on. There's so many books in the world - so many - which are a darned sight more interesting and pleasurable to read than this self-serving wank.

And since then, too, Morrissey, who was rapidly diminishing in my estimation, has managed to fall off the scale completely. To the point where I can now take a deep breath, and hand on heart declare - I am no longer a Morrissey fan. 


His tedious emissions shot across True To You manage, with astonishing ability, to make him seem ever more odious with each verbal spew. 


[trigger warning for casual mention of sexual assault] 


I don't really know where to start with which comments of his rile me the most.... The underlying misogyny of his comments regarding morning sickness, his constant, tedious and utterly pointless and VERY dull waffle about the royal family and David Beckham, his comparisons of meat-eating with sexual abuse, his complete inability to consider the lives of human beings - struggling human beings. Apparently we all hate David Cameron because he likes to go fox hunting. What? Really? (then again, if he ever did talk about the disgraceful number of people reliant on Food Banks, he'd just moan because you can get tins of corned beef from them)... I mean... I just... I just despair. Each ranting, spittle-frothing missive is more bile-ridden than the next, and seem to be aimed with one thing in mind - exposure. Up until recently he didn't have a record deal and how can someone keep in the public eye these days without recourse to murder or Strictly Celebrity Ballroom in the Jungle? Being offensive online, it would seem. 


Let's be clear - there are fans of Morrissey's who have been sexually abused and who have found solace from the ensuing pyschological and emotional torment in his music. To then see him compare it with meat-eating is disgusting and offensive and so fucking glib that I would willing stamp on his toe rather than wish him good morning. It is completely unwarranted and childish to compare such things - to even mention it - there are such things as triggers, and for Morrissey to just fling words about like that, without thinking through the consequences on survivors and victims, just to get himself in the papers, reeks of a repellently selfish brand of pathetic desperation.


Perhaps now that he has a record deal and a forthcoming tour, he will calm down a bit. I know he's always been one for being *controversial* in the press, but I feel that his most recent pronouncements have been downright offensive and upsetting. I can only imagine his slightly unhinged obsession with the royals (perhaps he really will break in with a sponge and rusty hammer, Brenda - I'd watch out!) is partly because he lives in the US where the only news you ever see on mainstream telly about the UK is about the royals (Prince Harry in a helicopter!), and it must've been very tedious to hear about Kate's morning sickness - but you know what, as a female, I'm *not* down with a bloke telling a woman to, essentially, stop moaning about her morning sickness. Severe morning sickness can kill, Morrissey. Just so you know. I've never given a toss about the royal wedding and the royal baby and all that, but when he made that declaration, I actually came down on Kate's side instead of Morrissey's. You did that to me, Morrissey. Really.


And need I even comment on the Daily Mail-style views he expresses about the racial make-up of the UK? And how hypocritical it is from the lips of a man who is an immigrant in the US?


I don't care about his new album. I don't care about his new tour. There was a point where his music was enough that I really wasn't that fussed with what he said (and that what he said wasn't too horrific), but his last couple of albums have been forgettable, and I can only suspect that the next one will be too. I'm not going to a gig and risk being crushed by the selfish dicks who call himself his fans, who he encourages to act like dildos so that they can touch his hand, only to be subjected to the boring rock-dirge of his new stuff. I've had enough. I really have. He can shove his poorly-written autobiography and his doubtlessly dreadful album and his bilious, offensive rants up his fundament, and my life shall be all the richer for it. 

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Packing review #2

They asked me for a review: I obliged. Again.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Marks & Spencers - Magic & Sparkle, my arse

Remember my post about my coat, back in October? No reply from M&S, so I've left the following on their Facebook page. Let's see if some public shaming gets their arses into gear.

I would like to complain about your customer service. Back in September, I bought your very lovely bouclĂ© winter coat and was really quite peeved when I got it home and found out that one of the buttons was loose and the spare button bag was torn, so I had no spares. I didn't have time to sew the button on, and it fell off. A further 3 fell off, and some I have managed to reattach, but others I have lost (I commute on foot, 6 miles a day, and they fell off while I was walking). At the moment, I'm down two and this is a double-breasted coat, so I've had to move buttons from the 'decorative' side so that I can actually fasten my £85 coat.

At the time, (this could be slightly incorrect, but it's been a while) I sent a message through your website and I rang to complain, and was told that someone would get back to me. They didn't. I got very upset and sent an angry message through your website which no one has replied to, but I also rang *again*.

I was told that you don't have any spare buttons in the UK - THIS IS RIDICULOUS - and that you would have to contact your "clothing technologists" (I think that was the rather odd turn of phrase that you used) to ask if they had a replacement. I said I wanted you to phone me and I was told that someone would get in touch to let me know if there were any spares or not. I haven't heard a thing back, and that last phone call I made was in October. Nearly two months ago.

I am, firstly, disgusted, that I spent £85 on a coat, only to have 3 buttons fall off. I am enraged that you don't have spare buttons, either in this country or abroad. Even on this planet? Anywhere? And to make it worse, I think you customer service is pathetic. I *should not* have to keep ringing you up to find out what's happening about this.

It's ridiculous because the coat is really nice and I could've been easily placated by being sent the 3 spares buttons and a £10 voucher to make up for my time wasted by having to deal with a faulty product that I have to mend myself. But no. I am left feeling as if you are quite merrily ripping me off and I am very, VERY unlikely to make further large purchases like this again because the quality of your products is just not up to snuff, and your customer service is next to useless.

And if you don't have any spares, then you should provide me with the money that replacing 8 buttons would cost - the cost of the buttons and my time in sewing the damn things on.

You're not Primark - I expect a better level of service and product from you, and you're just not delivering it. 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Egad, no! Not Ripper Street!

Gracious Sirs (and madams) of the B. B. C., my acquaintances and I dropped our monocles in horror, sirs - yes, HORROR, when we discovered the news today that your most distinguished and plaidy crime drama serial "Ripper Street" is to return no more to our screens. "What the dickens is this?" we cried, looking up blearily from a hookah pipe (and a hooker) in an opium den, as we realised the full horror of our most unfortunate predicament. No more plaid on our screens. No more unlikely Cockney accents. No more tension caused partly by the thought that Drake might burst into song at an inopportune moment. No more plaid stretched manfully over manly thigh as our merry band of crime-wranglers head off through the mist and murk of Victorian London to go toe-to-toe with a ne'er-do-well. No more figures from history pirouetting through the plot. No more leaping out of a speeding barouch to deck a baddy with a glass eye!

Alas, and alack! We wonder for what we pay our TV licence, we fans of woollen-blend fabrics and felt hats! Must the B. B. C. schedules be nothing but terrible talent shows featuring people with spray-tans? No, B. B. C. - no! WE SHALL NOT ALLOW THIS! 

If the B. B. C. continue with this abject folly, we shall have no choice - no choice, d'y'hear? - but to arrive at your offices with several hundred rolls of finest Harris tweed and woollen plaids, and lay siege, thus, until we can convince you to reconsider this most disheartening decision.

Yrs plaidly,
Helen.

PS: The boxset is on my Christmas list. 


Saturday, 2 November 2013

Packaging review

Every time I buy something from Amazon*, I get an email asking me to leave packaging feedback. Usually I never leave any, but today... today is a different day. Today, I felt inspired.




*yes, I know about the tax-dodging and I am considering alternatives (but only if their packaging measures up, of course). Sadly, the bookshop right next to where I work (where I bought my books, honest), has closed, so I have no choice now but to get books from these fellas, unless I can get into the city centre. So judge me or not, I no longer care.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Needless to say, I had the last laugh

Morrissey's autobiography is out today. I've pre-ordered mine from Amazon, but god knows it probably won't arrive until the middle of next week.

Like all good Moz fans, I'm excited about his book, but simultaneously rather dreading it. I suspect he will be as evasive as ever, though it'll be a joy to dig through his words. Hopefully.

Anyway, now that the day of reckoning has come, this blog can exclusively reveal the original title and rejected artwork for said autobiography. I'm looking forward to him performing a cover of "Windmills of Your Mind" on Jools Holland tomorrow.


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Curse you, M&S! CURSE YOU AND YOUR LACK OF SPARE BUTTONS!

Dilemma. I treated myself to a new winter coat from Marks & Spencer's. You all know how much I love that shop, and so I spent £85 on a coat (I hadn't had a new winter coat for 2 years, and my old one is now too big for me thanks to my weight loss).



I love this coat - the cut is lovely, the fabric is lovely, the fit is lovely, it flows in a dramatic fashion when I run across the road pretending that I'm Sherlock Holmes (sadly, yes...), the lining is a beautiful buttery soft satin, the Peter Pan collar and double-breasted front gives it a slightly Regency feel.... BUT!!!! The buttons keep falling off.

It's got 8 buttons down the front, and it's double-breasted (so 4 are functional and 4 are decoration). Two of the functionals have fallen off (1 has got lost, the other I have somewhere safe until I get round to sewing it back on), and yesterday a 3rd button fell off (a decorative one). The spares packet inside the coat was ripped apart so I can't replace the missing buttons myself. I am now into week 3 of having a cold, and to be quite honest, having a coat I can't properly fasten (the internal button isn't too bad but still) while commuting on foot 6 miles a day while having a cold is really, really shit.

I contacted M&S by email on 25th September to ask for spare buttons and was told they would have to contact their "technologists" who aren't in the country - presumably this means M&S doesn't have any spare buttons in the UK. Really. I didn't hear back, got upset, and last week phoned them, so they said they'd chase it up. When the third button fell off yesterday, steam was about to erupt from my ears, so I rang them again this morning. "We're chased the technologists and we'll let you know if there's any spares."

Now... this is my dilemma. I love this coat, apart from the buttons. I don't like any of their other winter coats half as much. At one point they told me I could have a refund if I went to my local M&S and they didn't have my size in stock anymore. But I don't want a refund, I just want three poxy bloody coat buttons! If they don't have the buttons, what am I going to do? Do you think I could buy eight replacement buttons from somewhere else and send them the bill?

And do you know what else I think? I think that as I've been royally inconvenienced by the crappy buttons, freezing my arse off because I can't fasten my coat, and having to chase them to sort this out, if the spares do by some miracle materialise, I want some kind of financial recompense for the trouble I've been put to. I do not expect to spend £85 on a coat, only to be dicked about. I bought my coat from M&S, not poxy Primark! It pisses me off because I've run a clothes shop myself since 2007, and every time anyone's had a quality issue with a product, I've sorted it out as fast as I can. I think it's a pretty poor show by M&S to rely on overseas manufacturers to the point where they can't sort you out with a fucking spare button.

Yes, I said "fuck". I'm annoyed.

PS: Have just realised that "poxy" makes me sound like an 18th century gent. That's no bad thing. *flips wig* *plays cards naked with a courtesan*