I'm relatively new here, and I'm just wondering what some of your (the community's) thoughts are about this.
I don't meet too many Smiths/Morrissey fans, at least not knowingly. My general experience is that those who I do meet are former fans, and I sometimes hear something to the effect that these lost souls "grew out of it". No tears for them.
But once as an undergrad, a few years ago, I was walking across campus, wearing my "The Queen Is Dead" shirt. One guy, who was pushing corporate merchandise, commented on my attire and quipped, "Hey, I can relate!" I smiled and said nothing, though I wanted to spit. The comment was harmless, but I thought it was silly to assume that enjoying a certain kind of music implies having particular experiences or a perspective. You just can't sum someone up and suppose that you know how a person feels based on a T-shirt. It's simple audacity.
Yet, it happens all the time. Not literally *all* the time, of course. But I idealistically believe that there is something unique about the music that draws certain individuals, to whom I can meaningfully relate--that they have common longings, beliefs, etc. So I guess that I'm guilty of making assumptions as well. As far as personal encounters with fans, I've only been correct in this once. Maybe it means nothing, but I still hope that the appreciation of the music goes further than the ears on those rare occasions.
Has anyone had similar thoughts? Perhaps you met someone on the street who appeared to fit the bill, who seemed to be interesting, but you soon found that this person was totally vapid? Are Smiths conventions disappointing, or what?