Not sure what your plans are for the rest of the day, but I'd recommend you take a minute to kneel, look toward the west, and bow your head for a moment of silence, in acknowledgement of the first-ever Morrissey Day in Los Angeles.
You read that correctly. Today, Nov. 10 is Morrissey Day.
Why is an American metropolis going to all the trouble of dedicating a day to a Brit with a big mouth, an acid tongue, and a dislike of American political demagoguery matched only by his distaste for the political shenanigans taking place in his native land?
Well, if you have to ask, you might never understand. But we'll give it a try.
"Morrissey Day honors the man who put the 'M' in Moz Angeles, an icon whose music continues to touch and uplift countless people across the globe," said Los Angeles Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez in a news release. "Morrissey uses his voice to raise awareness for many social issues while 'in his own strange way,' always staying true to his fans."
And good lord, do those fans ever adore him.
A good portion of that fan base is made up of Mexican Americans living in East L.A., who have found in Morrissey's extremely intelligent and often snarky outsider anthems a voice and a perspective that resonates in their own lives. Morrissey has often name-checked Los Angeles and the city's Mexican American populous in his songs, among them, the irresistibly melodramatic "The First of the Gang to Die."
The feeling is mutual, as a 2014 piece in the Washington Post pointed out. Writer Javier Cabral recalls a friend who "connected me with her good friend in Mexico, Joséde Jesús Valderrama, a 36-year-old doctor in León, Guanajuato, who has seen Morrissey perform 43 times. He says the fact that Mexicans are obsessed with Morrissey has something to do with having grown up heavily oppressed by their government, Catholicism and unwavering machismo patriarchal standards. 'It’s mesmerizing to watch such a grandiose male artist express intensely emotional sentiments with such ease and detachment,' Valderrama said."
Yes. It most certainly is.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on who you believe deserves such an honor in Buffalo.
Morrissey's latest, "Low In High School," is out on Friday, Nov. 17.