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Monday, 11 December 2017

Day 2379 - Oesophagus found

Yesterday I wrote that 'Jon the Con' had left a couple of comments on FTM, the first one informing us that an old MorrisseysWorld blog entry had made mention of Mozzer getting his band to dance in turquoise - as they are in the new Jacky video - and the second comment mentioning that Barrett's oesophagus was mentioned in an old MW blog article before the condition had ever been made public.

As yet, I haven't managed to find the 'turquoise' reference, but Our Heather has managed to find the article that mentioned the oesophagus, albeit that there is no mention of old Barrett.

It was January 31st 2013 that Morrissey first made it public that his oesophagus was being treated, but 'coincidentally', there was an MW article nine days earlier (January 22nd 2013) titled, 'Why I Love 'Years of Refusal' by Broken' which mentioned 'oesophagus' in the opening sentence. I wrote about this 'coincidence' on FTM Day 510 (February 5th 2013), but I had completely forgotten about it until Jon the Con mentioned it.... well, it was nearly five years ago. We forget so much, but then again, SO MUCH happens around here, it is easy to forget.

The 'Why I love YOR' article wasn't reproduced in full on Day 510, but I have found a full copy in my secret drawers, so here it is (sorry about the light type, but it was white writing on the MorrisseysWorld blog):


Why I love Years of Refusal

Why I love 'Years of Refusal' by Broken

Some albums help you through a particular period; some push hay down your oesophagus; others slip away like dusky green needles from tall, wispy Scots pines. Years of Refusal helped me through.

2009 was a desperate time. I had nothing except obligations and no one but myself. The Sadness I felt was beyond melancholy, despair, or apathy, and it was beyond mere medical assistance. I was a walking coma with a smile on my face. The Sadness squeezed my spirit into one small corner of my mind, like a needle of conscious unwilling, and warped everything I touched and everything I held, which was nothing at all. 

Music was the one escape; the 'get out of jail free' card for my restless, screaming heart. Those cold mornings, when the breeze ate into my cheeks and sucked the life out of my lungs, never gave way to the candle of the afternoon. I walked, and I walked, and I walked. I walked to the tube station and sat on a bench. I breathed like a man with broken ribs. Tears fell but no one could see them, no one could smell them, and no one - not even I - could taste them until my eyes were cracked windows of safety glass

North London was grey and concreted with pitiless efficiency. The skies seemed barely to offer the hope of rain, let alone a beautiful ray of sunshine; they seemed to be little more than an extension of local planning regulations. Cars beeped. Trains whirred and rattled. The human spirit forgot itself and acquiesced.

Years of Refusal was injected directly into my ears, bypassing the usual acoustic filters. The first moment was vital: something is squeezing my skull, something I cannot describe, there is no hope in modern life. A cat stalked a starling and pounced on thin air. The sentiment awoke me. It made me smile. Finally a truthful song.

Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed floored me. The spite in Morrissey's voice reassured me just as the doomed romance frightened me. This was love MY WAY. Bailiffs with bad breath, I will slit their throats for you. Life is nothing much to lose. It was clear to me already that this album was more than a collection of songs: it was a home for the emotionally bankrupt, impoverished and disabled; it was a love letter from a man with no heart to persons hoping quite soon to join him; it was a suicide note written in blue ball-point pen as a tasteless joke during another drunken birthday afternoon alone. It seemed just then that the perfect album had been born. It was, of course, far from perfect; however it kept me company during those sad nights and listless days without forcing me, like most music these days does, to forget precisely who and what I am.

It dawned on me quite suddenly that no other artist in pop history could have opened an album with these two songs. 

Black Cloud tested my patience and the final two songs drained away my joy, such that I quite soon stopped the album after track ten, where God probably intended it to end. But the first ten songs are an album of shocking truth, romantic, loveless, hopeless optimism and flower-like simplicity. Only - the flower got sprayed with black ink (or was it blue?). 

When I listened in the dead of night in my festering bedroom, I sighed and wished to be anyone else but who I was. I felt a void, which filled my heart and emptied my mind and took me to that emotional tenement block called togetherness, for many of us are quite hideously alone, and togetherness is something tall and high in the sky, without charm or freedom. Many of us have nobody and will never have anybody or any body. We few beautiful-ugly cripples hide from the light of the Sun and pray for the pouring rain. We are Morrissey's Home Crowd. 

We cheered and sang his name and watched him storm off stage in Liverpool and we were glad. We were glad that Morrissey was brave enough to be Morrissey. 

I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris was that camomile smile rippling like distant thunder under nicotine eyes: it drove us through the city of Paris at between 3 am and 4 am on a scooter. We saw the stone, the steel, the mad poets and the sullen prostitutes. 

It's Not Your Birthday Anymore and You Were Good In Your Time sighed like an unexpected kiss in that long tunnel (do you remember?) and contained a Gulag of loneliness. It's Not Your Birthday was that little red light I used to see in my childhood bedroom when I played the songs I loved in the dark-smothering-dark of an early night in the bottom bunk. The words comforted me and they seemed to caress me with an empty hand. 

Soon I was transported to a northern village, just walking round and around. I listened still. I walked in the snow and wondered what would become of me.

Without Years of Refusal, 2009 would have been the worst year of my life. Instead, the album helped me find a certain beauty in my predicament and taught me that suffering can be lifelong. We need to kiss it and seduce it and learn to adore the intimacy ofhaving ourselves. It is, after all, a miracle that we are anything at all; why, then, does it often feel like a curse?

I apologise from the bottom of my heart for this stream-of-consciousness rant. I just wanted to say to Morrissey that WE STILL LOVE YOU, WE STILL NEED YOU, WE STILL CARE. SOME OF US HAD NO PARENTS, NO FRIENDS AND NO HOPE. YOU GAVE US SOME HOPE.

Years of Refusal is my favourite Morrissey or Smiths album. It stands with The Queen is Dead, Viva Hate and You are the Quarry as his most beautiful work.

May I just say that I want to hold someone's hand tonight? 



Thank you to Broken who submitted this short review on 20.01.2013 at 4.21 pm.

In other news, this morning I watched the first episode in the four part series, The Promise, which I wrote about yesterday. I was totally gripped from the very start, and sobbing within ten minutes. I can't wait to watch the second episode either later this evening or tomorrow.
I am sure that Morrissey has pointed me towards The Promise because it was the influence for one or more of the songs on Low In High School, and when I tweeted words to this extent earlier today, Morrissey (as Morfessa) favourited my tweet. If nothing else, The Promise is helping me understand more about the history and complexities of Israel.

In other, other news, Morrissey has taken to Facebook to make a statement about his recent interview with Der Spiegel:

Tomorrow I shall publish my concert lists.


  1. On a personal level I am rather taken aback by the timing of republishing this beauty by Broken. And it has certainly unlocked a few tears for me. Earlier today I was reflecting on how LIHS has been a tower of strength to me over the past few weeks, in particular, In Your Lap & Home Is A Question Mark.
    A timely reminder of how Morrissey offers music & words which allow us
    to find courage & affirmation in emotions which can feel so overwhelming & raw.
    Never, underestimate the value of music & art.

    I sign out wondering if the statement by Moz today will hit a chord with any of the fans who so ferociously attacked him.


  2. The 'oesophagus' appearance might seem rather randomly coincidental on its own, but the earlier mentions of reflux on the blog seem to suggest that it's probably more than just a coincidence. Now if only we could find the MW piece that mentions the lads wearing turquoise. I had forgotten just how beautifully moving Broken's review was - thanks for posting it in its entirety.

  3. you know I feel for our old moz, one day people will wake up, some already have but not nearly enough, as for broken, missing him and his acid tongue, broken do come back, we need cheering up.. psst!!! colonel thanks for publishing the facebook statement, I don't engage

  4. A good response to Derek Speigel.

    Funny that Broken finds It's Not Your Birthday Anymore comforting, because I alwaysfound it quite disturbing.


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