Today marks the 55th birthday of one Steven Patrick Morrissey, better known to you as Morrissey, the patron saint of all sadboys/sadgirls/Mexicans. And we will avoid the totally obvious unhappy birthday joke—oh wait, what just happened there?—and just point out something: Moz is 55 today. In the U.S., where he now lives, he could get his AARP card. Whoa. Morrissey could be your dad, LOL.
Still, this is something to celebrate (along with the fact that he’s currently touring the U.S. extensively, and actually showing up to perform). Morrissey is the god of all people who think too much—deciding upon your Smiths/Morrissey fandom is like getting your card into the pale and interesting club, for life.
Anyways, who knows how the real Morrissey celebrates his birthday, since he prefers to remain shrouded in so much moody mystery. Why not just celebrate some of the best gifts he’s given us instead? Like these:
The most manipulative but awesome love song ever
“There is a Light That Never Goes Out” is totally the favorite song of those types of exes who threaten to kill themselves so you won’t break up with them. But never has there ever been such a perfect mixture of morbidity and romance wrapped up into one anthem, amirite?
A lesson in Italian film
Think of how many kids have been driven to google “Pasolini” because of “the Moz solo song “You Have Killed Me.”
Constant reminders that animals often > humans
We all know Morrissey ain’t about all that dead animal flesh—hello, Meat is Murder; hello, forcing McDonald’s vendors to shut down in the venues he plays. But look, how pleased does he look to be with this cat?
The pesky pronunciation of Keats vs. Yeats
If you didn’t already know, thanks to a fancy liberal arts degree, “Cemetr’y Gates” should clear that up for you.
A sense of constant anticipation
Will he actually show up for a show? Or will he get a “mystery illness?” what sort of uncomfortable thing will he say next to the press? That’s part of the fun of being a Morrissey fan in 2014!
A rallying messiah for sadboys and sadgirls the world over
Even if you hate someone, if you find out The Queen is Dead is their favorite album, your opinion will soften a little, right? Being a Morrissey/Smiths fan becomes shorthand for an entire set of consumer choices and world views.
Like in this (very shallow) scene from 500 Days of Summer, main sadboy Joseph Gordon-Levitt decides he should absolutely lust after Zooey Deschanel’s character, just because she likes one Smiths song, even though he knows nothing about her and reduces her to a flattened, idealized version of a woman.
Whateva, at least you’ll know you have a few favorite songs in common with a fellow Moz acolyte.
If you haven’t read this—what are you doing with your life? Morrissey’s autobiography—the real, U.K. version, not the sanitized U.S. one—is amazing. For example, here he is discussing the possibility of fathering a child with a platonic female friend:
“Tina and I discuss the unthinkable act of producing a mewling miniature monster.”
“Mewling, miniature monster.” Morrissey, you are such a gift. Happy birthday!
Arielle Castillo is Fusion's culture editor, reporting on arts, music, culture, and subcultures from the streets on up. She's also a connoisseur of weird Florida, weightlifting, and cats.