Morrissey – My Early Burglary Years – Review


My Early Burglary Years (Reprise)
by Nik Rainey

The Adventures of Nik Rainey

Semi-Hemi-Demi-Professional Critic
Episode Two: “Use Your Allusion”

Intro: Next Exposition, Please

“All right, we’re just about out of space – I mean, time. Here is the last CD in the stack, Morrissey, My Early Burglary Years (Reprise). May God have mercy on our souls.”

“Jesus. Rarely has a record label been so aptly named. Another collection of stray singles tracks, album scrapings and suchlike from the Mancunian mope-meat? Who’da thunk that when he railed against record company repackagings on the last Smiths album – ‘double pack with a photograph, extra track and a tacky badge’ – it was less bitter satire than a statement of intent? How much longer will his dwindling cult put up with this cynical reconfiguration of songs that all of them already purchased before the light finally goes out? Does this not qualify as the rankest sort of exploitation? Has Mr. Shelfhair no sense of decency or shame? Do you, um, have an extra copy of this?”

“Okay, I think I’ve heard enough. I don’t often do this – as a member of the psychiatric profession, actual curative measures that necessitate the cessation of payment are frowned upon – but it’s pretty obvious to me what the root of your problem is and how it can be solved, simply and efficaciously. All you need to do is…”

“Sudden if predictable interruption!”

“Exclamation!” Dr. McAqueaque leapt up from his chair. “What’s that?”

“I’m not sure, but I think it’s what the Latins call culminatus interruptus. The classic means of delaying gratification, practiced most famously by Norman Mailer at the end of Harlot’s Ghost. It’s a great way of setting up your readers to expect great things at the end of some overlong piece of ponderosa only to frustrate and infuriate them, often in as few as three words.”

“Hmmm, intriguing. And what might those three words be?”

To be continued.