Tuesday, January 12, 2016

David Bowie and the Lighthouse of the Different

It was amazing to see so many people all over the world saying the same thing yesterday.

Oh no. I didn't even know he was ill. Not the soundtrack of my life.

Not Ziggy Stardust. 

Not David Bowie.

David Bowie, the iconic and shape-shifting musician, actor and performer who profoundly shaped popular culture and fashion in a career spanning five decades, has died after an 18-month cancer battle.

And what a shock it was, just three days after releasing his new album, which turned out to be his last.

He was such a great artist, he influenced so many others. 

He was so creative, so brave, so colourfully enigmatic.

He spanned the generations...

He wasn't the soundtrack of my life, but when I needed him he was there for me.

Like the time when as a young teenager I discovered that I would have to fight for the right to be myself.

When Bowie was for me, as he was for so man others, a lighthouse for the different.

And I would pound or kick a punching bag with this song banging in my ears...

And later when those battles were behind me, in the dark years of the Harper regime, I would strum my guitar and sing this song to cheer me up, and inspire me.

In the belief that if we got our act together, we could defeat the tyrant.

And we could all be heroes...

Woo hoo !!  Woo hoo !!

And tonight I'm humming that song for these heroes. 

At least three trucks bringing food and medicine to the besieged Syrian town of Madaya, near the Lebanese border, have entered the town. The humanitarian aid is part of a large-scale UN-supported aid operation in the war-ravaged country. 

And David Bowie is still inspiring me.

Still helping me dream of a better future.

Move over you dull boring stars.

There's a new Starman out there, shining brightly in the heavens...

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  1. Simon, you must have seen the Québec film C.R.A.Z.Y. and the importance David Bowie had for Zacharie, the teenager who is coming out as gay in what is still a conservative, homophobic society dominated by the Church.

    1. hi lagatta...I have seen the film C.R.A.Z.Y. and yes I remember Zachary, and what a movie it is. I didn't get into what Bowie meant for LGBT kids, but it was huge. He called himself a "closet heterosexual" but he managed to do a little bit of everything, and in the process empowered us all gay, straight, bisexual, and transexual, to break down the rigid barriers between us...

  2. Anonymous9:43 AM

    Watched Netflix doc on The Pixies over holidays, and in it Bowie was interviewed. Such a great artist and gracious human being. Words cannot express. I realize looking back on my teens how he helped some of my guy friends with their mixed feelings of sexuality and alienation. Last video is great gift to us all.


    1. hi TS...yes as I was telling lagatta, he was a huge force for sexual liberation, and as I said in my post, a lighthouse for the lonely and the marginalized...

  3. Anonymous10:34 AM

    I was 8 years old in 1969 when I first heard Space Oddity crackling over the AM radio and have been a fan ever since. The profound loss I'm experiencing over this hasn't been felt since we lost John Lennon and before him, Elvis.
    Rest in peace David.

    1. hi JD...I understand how you feel that way, you and about a billion others all over the world. He was a very special artist, and it is a huge loss...

  4. Space Oddity - Commander Chris Hadfield




  5. One more...

    David Bowie, dead at 69

    1. hi David...thanks for those links. If watched so many videos of his since he died, and his body of work is simply stunning. Even Jason Kenney tweeted a tribute to him, and included a clip from the movie Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence.
      So you know that his influence was huge...

  6. People tend to forget that before the mega commercial success of 1983s Lets Dance, being a Bowie fan left you tangling out there somewhat on the fringe. And if you were an Iggy *and* a Bowie fan (as I was), double trouble! I came on board as a 15 year old with Lodger and Scary Monsters respectively. The latter being my favourite Bowie record. After the Lets Dance record, *everyone* was a fan. And to tell you the truth, that sort of sucked. Goodbye, David. Rest in peace.

    1. hi Omar...yes I agree with you. Although he was consistent excellent, I think his 70s songs were the best, and the most daring. And as a member of The Brotherhood, I also like Moonage Daydream a lot...


      The lyrics are great, I love the "monkey bird" and Mick Ronson during my brief electric guitar period, was one of my models. i.e. when I realized I could never sound like him, I went acoustic... ;)

  7. Bowie, I liked it