There’s nothing quite like the pleasure of a great EUREKA! moment, and yours truly experienced it today while reading a review of the new autobiography from Morrissey, the achingly-literate British pop-singer and songwriter and former front-man of the Smiths.
Apparently, in an aside while writing about his pop-cultural likes and dislikes during his teenage years in the 1960s, Morrissey refers to the television show “Lost in Space,” and specifically to the wonderfully-dastardly character Dr. Zachary Smith. Watching Dr. Smith’s interplay with Major West and Commander Robinson seemingly led him to the following conclusion: “Effeminate men are very witty, whereas macho men are duller than death.”
Of-course! Why didn’t I see it before? Morrissey is the Dr. Smith of rock’n’roll. It is all so very clear now. Dr. Smith: constantly complaining, perennially nursing grudges and hatching plots … but with oh-such-a-gorgeous vocabulary.
And just to nail it down further, later on in the autobiography Morrissey writes of a time when he was considering becoming a father; or, as he puts it, he was weighing “the unthinkable act of producing a mewling miniature monster.” That’s exactly how Dr. Smith would describe a baby!
So, here’s to the great actor Jonathan Harris, and to Steven Patrick Morrissey. It just goes to show that you can never know how you’re going to influence somebody.
I looked for a Dr. Smith clip on YouTube, but believe it or not found nothing apt at the present moment. There are lots of full episodes on Hulu, should anyone be unfamiliar with this classic show. As for Morrissey, I shall be utterly unable anymore to look at him without imagining the robot and Will Robinson nearby.
Addendum: What a dunderhead I am. What a no-brained, numb-skulled ninny! I wrote all of the above, and missed making a connection with the most completely obvious thing of all: the name of Morrissey’s band in the 1980s, with guitarist Johnny Marr, i.e.: THE SMITHS. Did Morrissey actually insist on this name in homage to Dr. Smith himself? According to Wikipedia, “Morrissey said that he chose The Smiths ‘because it was the most ordinary name’ and because he thought that it was ‘time that the ordinary folk of the world showed their faces.'” Ordinary, indeed!