11 January, 2016

Ashes to Ashes

The concept of David Bowie dying, at its core, is total bullshit. It's literally incomprehensible to me.

I discovered David Bowie late in my life. I don't think I ever listened to him beyond the rare bits of "Rebel Rebel" that came on the radio. For a long time, he was one of these artists I had heard about that faded into the white noise that was the American classic rock catalog. Bowie was something dinosaurs and weirdos talked about. Now Zeppelin, there was a band. . .

That was wrong of me.

The Venture Bros. changed that. Wes Anderson helped, too.

Actually, now that I think about it, Zoolander might have been the first time I ever consciously thought "Oh, that's David Bowie."


Looking at how packed my iPod is, how many albums I've bought, how many references I've made in my writings, or the things I've been inspired by, it's hard for me to think that there was a world where David Bowie wasn't in my life. And now there is.

Calling the man a talent or an icon or whatever seems to sell short what he did. It packages up too neat for me, and besides, there are plenty of smarter people out there doing a better job of that than me. I just look at the man and his work, flaws and all, and I have to marvel at them. After all, how many world heroes are there running around that successfully went through a phase as a Nazi?

That's the power of Bowie. At least it is to me. 

As an artist, as a kook, as a fascist, as an actor, as a collection of all of these things. While he might be dead, David Bowie will stay with us. As we all mourn the man that was, we can mourn him together. We can remember the moments he enlightened, the parts where he inspired us. It's a cliche, but you don't know what you have until its gone and there was so very much David Bowie left for us. People like this don't come around very often and as terrible as it is for somebody, even somebody that we have never met, to leave us, they never truly go away. There's a piece of them inside of us that can't ever go away, that death can't ever take from us.

They have left us with so very much.

And without being glib, without being cute-- Let's end this on a high note. Glum is not what Bowie brought to the table.