For any Smiths or Morrissey fans out there, I wrote a short piece published today by Ethos Review about how Morrissey’s lyrics capture the inherent pain of the human condition. An excerpt:
What Morrissey captures is not the pain of being a teenager; he captures—with constant wit and humor that is often overlooked—the underlying struggle of human life, which existential psychology summarizes in four “givens of existence”: (i) our coming to terms with the fact that we must die; (ii) the difficulty of taking responsibility for our ultimate freedom to lead authentic lives; (iii) our isolation from others; and (iv) the search for meaning in a world where none is antecedently given. Morrissey knows how hard these things are to do and has made that his subject matter. In this sense, Morrissey is a classic existential hero—he knows what nothing means and keeps on playing—and, in a Nietzschean spirit, his art brings us back from our difficulties to a fuller acceptance of life. As J.D. Salinger once said, “God have mercy on the lonely bastard.”
You can read the rest courtesy of the fine folks at Ethos.