Blogography Logo



Posted on Friday, September 24th, 2010

Dave!"We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful" —Morrissey

As I was exiting from high school in 1984, I thought that all the wisdom in the world could be found in lyrics of songs by The Smiths. When their second album, Meat is Murder, was released, I was sure of it. I found disturbing truths in their music and, even though they sang from a perspective of being British, the underlying messages were universal and transcended any single nationality...

The Smiths

Back in those heady post-punk movement days, there was a growing concern over teen suicide as the music they listened to grew darker and darker. I remember an episode of some teen-based drama television show (probably 21 Jump Street) had a storyline specifically saying that listening to music by The Smiths was a warning sign that your kid could be suicidal. I had a good laugh over it at the time, because I was of the opposite opinion. I was firmly in the "truth will set you free" camp, thinking that the revelations in their music were a beacon of light in the darkness. But I was young, stupid, and drunk most of the time so what did I know?

In 1987, The Smiths broke up. At the time, it felt like my world was ending. But the tragedy was short-lived, because lead singer Morrissey released a solo album (the magnificient Viva Hate) just months later. Far from "going commercial" and dumbing down his music for the sake of selling records, Morrissey instead turned things up a notch. And continued to turn things up a notch in his follow-up albums like Kill Uncle, Your Arsenal, and Vauxhall and I).

Morrissey is still alive, kicking, and making music... his latest album, Years of Refusal, was released just last year. But, even though he's just as brilliant and relevant as he's always been, it's his past efforts that have had the most impact on my life.

And continues to do so.

This morning I was privy to an email conversation where somebody was bemoaning the fact that one of their best friends has gone on to be successful while they've been mired in failure within the same profession. It started as an observation but, as things progressed, became a rant of not-so-veiled jealousy. You see this type of thing all the time. And whenever I do, I can't help to be taken back to 1992 when Morrissey's Your Arsenal dropped with the insightful track We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful...

We hate it when our friends become successful.
And if they're northern, that makes it even worse.
And if we can destroy them, you bet your life we will destroy them.
If we can hurt them well, we might as well, it's really laughable.

You see, it should've been me.
It could have been me.

Everybody knows...
Everybody says so.

Pretty much what everybody thinks in those kind of situations, but rarely says. At least not out aloud. And yet Morrissey does. Because he can. And because it's the true.

When I first started studying Buddhism back in 1998, one of the first things you learn is how wishing bad things upon others only ever harms yourself. I honestly believe this to be true. Which is why I really don't hate it when my friends (or even enemies) become successful*. And yet experience has taught me that this kind of thinking will offer little comfort to most people.

Which is why, thanks to Morrissey, I know exactly how to respond when the occasion arises...

"They must be destroyed, of course. It should have been you."


*Unless they become successful at my expense, of course.

Tags: , , ,
Categories: DaveLife 2010Click To It: Permalink


  1. RW says:

    Oh yes being jealous is such a bore. I myself am in no way ever jealous when people I know do better than me, mostly because I’ve had Zo mUCh daMn pRacticE…!

  2. Sybil Law says:

    I completely agree. Some people get sooo jealous that it starts to eat at their very being. Their self esteem gets so trashed, which leads to bitterness and generally someone who really DOES start living their own self fulfilled philosophy of sucking. It’s an ugly cycle.
    Not that I don’t get jealous from time to time. I do. At those times, i really have to a) look at how I AM and how I have it pretty good; and b) how in other ways, their lives kinda suck. But I am happy for my friends when they succeed.

    • Dave2 says:

      It’s a downward spiral that’s really hard to escape from. Kind of difficult to not go there in the first place, but once you start it gets easier in time.

  3. Göran says:

    I´ve chosen the middle of the road on this topic meaning both bitter envy and happiness for other peoples success at the same time 😀

    The Smiths were amazing. Still listening to them frequently. Later in life Morrissey has been too much of a goofball to pass imho.

  4. Dan says:

    Those damn northeners!

  5. josh says:

    I only know one The Smiths’ song…”Asleep.” I listen to it whenever I’m sad and desperately alone…YAY!

    “Sing me to sleep, I’m tired and I want to go to bed. Don’t try to wake me in the morning, cuz I will be gone.”


  6. The Smiths were pretty much the soundtrack to my teenage years. I had all the albums on vinyl, posters on my wall, t-shirts. You name it. To this very day they’re one of my favorite bands of all time. Good lord I would probably have a heart attack if they reformed to do a reunion tour.

    • Dave2 says:

      Despite everything ever said by everybody involved in The Smiths that it probably will never happen… I secretly hope and pray for a reunion tour on almost a daily basis!

  7. martymankins says:

    The Smiths were part of my mid-80’s music fandom. The clever, but very insightful lyrics were easily memorized. Only saw them once in concert (1986), but between all of the cassettes I had of their’s, it was the studio music that kept me going.

Add a Comment


I love comments! However, all comments are moderated, and won't appear until approved. Are you an abusive troll with nothing to contribute? Don't bother. Selling something? Don't bother. Spam linking? Don't bother.
PLEASE NOTE: My comment-spam protection requires JavaScript... if you have it turned off or are using a mobile device without JavaScript, commenting won't work. Sorry.



Your personal information is optional. Email addresses are never shown, and are only used by me if a public reply would be too personal or inappropriate here. The URL link to your web site or blog will be provided, so only fill this in if you want people to visit!



Blogography is a place to learn and grow by exposing yourself to the mind of David Simmer II, a brilliant commentator on world events and popular culture (or so he claims).
Dave FAQ:
Frequently Asked Questions
Dave Contact:
Blogography Webfeeds:
Atom Entries Feed
Comments Feed
translate me
flags of the world!
lost & found
Search Blogography:
thrice fiction
Thrice Fiction Magazine - March, 2011 - THE END
I'm co-founder of Thrice Fiction magazine. Come check us out!
hard rock moment
Visit DaveCafe for my Hard Rock Cafe travel journal!
travel picto-gram
Visit my travel map to see where I have been in this world!
Blogography Badge
Atom Syndicate Badge
Comments Syndicate Badge
Apple Safari Badge
Pirate's Booty Badge
Macintosh Badge
All content copyright ©2003-2022
by David Simmer II
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under
a Creative Commons License.
ssl security