Don’t ask me why. I am an intellectual kind of person, with a fair few academic credentials…heck, I even enjoy Question Time and never miss The Culture Show. However, like many people I love a bit of dirt and you can’t get more shameless and grubby than the hopeless, fame hungry reality TV stars and glamour models that seem to pop out autobiographies like I eat Chocolate Hobnobs. To make sure they are in the public consciousness it needs to be shocking and luckily for scandal whores like me, that makes for a cracking read.
The thing which really makes me laugh though, is the when you see people releasing autobiographies in their late teens and twenties. Surely one has to have lived a longer life to have something interesting to say or some kind of wisdom to impart? When I was younger, like most people, I thought I knew it all. But I can honestly say that if I had written an autobiography at that age, I would have had to embellish a lot to make it of interest to anyone other than my Mum- who would’ve loved to know what I was up to. Somehow, I don’t think puking into the gutter of a night and eating Super Noodles and watching 'Diagnosis Murder' during the day would see it rocket to the top of the best seller list.
In some ways, there are some things that would be better not to see the light of day; personal facts, such as sex lives or previous relationships are surely sacred? This is why you could have knocked me down with a feather when my heart-throb and idol, Morrissey, recently released his autobiography. Evidently, it goes without saying that this was eagerly anticipated by his legions of fans. There is something about Morrissey which seems to inspire total devotion. Readers of this column will know of my adoration – which has even resulted in me indelibly decorating my arm with his face and homages to The Smiths’ songs. Like many a super-fan I have read pretty much every un-official biography of the band and Morrissey but due to how intensely private he has always been, have always longed to know the man himself, in his own words. It will come as a surprise then, for me to admit that I haven’t yet purchased the book.
I’ve enjoyed the flapping of literary types, watching in amusement at their freaking out over its status as a ‘Penguin Classic’ and seen practically every person on my friend’s list curled up, poring over its every page. I have even endured feeling like an outcast as its revelations are referred to in a knowing way by those who have read it. I would like to say I just haven’t had time or that I have asked for it for Christmas or some other such tosh. But the simple fact is that I have another very annoying part of my personality, as well as being very nosey: The inability to confirm or do anything that may be perceived as popular. Basically, if other people are doing it, I won’t. Of course, this is a crap attitude to have and I have missed out on all sorts of excellent things because of this debilitating personality defect. The whole Harry Potter series is probably a prime example of this!
In addition, Morrissey has always been somewhat of an enigma. I liked that I didn’t know his sexuality or what really went on in his childhood. It feels like if I read his autobiography, he will just become another celebrity…his life laid bare for people like me to dissect and make judgement on. It will no longer be about the vivid lyrics which paint a picture of what life as a Northern, working-class teen was like but instead about when he lost his virginity or what really went on between him and Mike Joyce. It makes him seem too human, too tangible, when he has always been somewhat of a God-like Genius. That’s how I want him to stay and if the book does contain the shocking revelations I would expect, I’d rather not know. Nosey bugger or not.