The infinitely adapting life form known as David Bowie has been called back home

DavidBowie-portrait

There was no way that David Bowie wasn’t going to be famous. His will was too strong. As childhood friends of his have said, he was already preparing for fame at nine, aggressively moving between fads, attempting to catch the right one at the right time in order to propel him toward celebrity. He was brilliant, focused and unstoppable, constantly taking on and casting off characters, using the energy of those around him to move him in new directions, and attempting, to the best of his ability, to leverage what was going on in the world around him to his benefit.

By the time Bowie had released Space Oddity, which was his first big hit in England, he’d already been in about a dozen bands, including the Konrads, the King Bees, the Manish Boys, the Lower Third, the Buzz, and the Riot Squad, churning out one unsuccessful record after the next. When his bandmates, however, would give up and find jobs, as they invariably would, he kept at it. He kept playing the angles, recalibrating and moving forward. He was a first-class operator from a very young age, inventing ways to get himself on television [see his creation of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men at 17] and reaching out confidently to those who he thought might be in positions to help advance his career [see his letters to the likes of successful washing-machine entrepreneur John Bloom, whom he asked to be his “Brian Epstein”]. Fortunately, after years of relentless work, it all clicked with Space Oddity, which the 22-year-old Bowie quite cleverly released to coincide with the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, during which Neil Armstrong became the first human to step onto the surface of the moon… Here, if you’ve never seen it, is the video that Bowie had made at the time to promote the song. [Space Oddity, bolstered by the timelines of its subject matter, would become a Top 5 hit on the UK charts.]

That video, for those of you who have never seen it, came from a film that Bowie and his then manager, Kenneth Pitt, had made to promote his career in 1969. The 30-minute film, called Love You Till Tuesday, contained seven songs, as well as a mime piece titled The Mask. [The video for Space Oddity, which had just been written, would be added at the end of production.] Here, at the risk of causing some of you to rethink your fandom, is the video inspired by the title track. I include it here only to demonstrate how broadly Bowie, who often referred to himself at the time as “the actor,” was searching for a persona that worked before breaking through internationally as the alien rock superstar Ziggy Stardust.

Generally speaking, at least in theory, I like my heroes to be people of bold, singular vision… people who create in spite of what society wants, and not because of it. I don’t, in other words, like people who make a career of trying to ride trends. I realize, of course, that there’s some of that happening with almost anyone who “makes it” in this business. I know that Joey Ramone, before redefining rock ‘n roll with the Ramones, was in the glam band Sniper, calling himself Jeff Starship, and trying to replicate the success of the New York Dolls. And I know that Lou Reed, before the Velvet Underground, honed his skills writing knock-off dance tunes like The Ostrich. Very few artists emerge from their parents’ basements fully formed. I can accept that people have to feel their way along before becoming who they truly are. And I have no problem with he fact that most people who make it big, and have an impact with their creative work, start their lives in cover bands, attempting to be people they aren’t. [Most of Bowie’s early bands are described as being knock-offs of the Rolling Stones and The Who.] But some, it seems to me, play that game more aggressively than others. And I’d put the likes of David Bowie and Madonna in that camp. They were just going to make it regardless of the obstacles in their path, and regardless of what they had to become to see it happen.

If I didn’t love Bowie’s music as much as I do, I think I’d dislike him because of it. I think I’d probably see him as a sociopath, who, lacking a true self, just absorbed what was around him. But, because I love what Bowie created in the ’70s, I choose instead to celebrate his determination and intelligence… his ability not just to spot trends early, but to actually create them based on what he was seeing develop in society at any given time. It takes a hell of a lot of work to stay relevant for multiple decades, and Bowie was able to do it better than most. He could see what was happening, and he could articulate it, in both song and fashion, before others even knew it was happening.

With all that by way of background, I was going to spend tonight writing about the first time I heard The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, and how it changed my life. [I heard Ziggy Stardust before I heard Hunky Dory.] For the past hour, though, I’ve just been staring at the blank screen, unable to put my feelings into words. All I can think about is the fact that very few of the artists who are responsible for shaping my life are still with us, and how tired I am of writing posts about people like Kurt Vonnegut, Joey Ramone and Lou Reed. Fortunately, though, I happened to see the following note by fellow Bowie fan, Great Lakes Myth Society founder Timothy Monger, and, knowing that it was better than anything I could ever write, reached out and asked if I could share it. [He said yes.]

The best result of this morning’s sad news is the comfort of reveling in communal fandom. David Bowie was one of my earliest and biggest influences, and among my musically-inclined friends, loving him and talking about him was as commonplace as drinking water. It was a given. As a Bowie-obsessed 12-year-old, my first band was called All the Young Dudes. Of the first songs I learned how to play, most were by Bowie and the few others were probably by the Beatles. I was fortunate enough to see him play twice, fourteen years apart, and both shows were astounding rock master classes that remain tattooed in my memory.

Shell-shocked and seeking comfort this morning, I dialed up Bowie’s profile on my Spotify app, then thought better of it and turned on my local freeform station, WCBN 88.3 FM. As I’d hoped, the DJ was playing all Bowie songs and sharing his own musings and memories of the man. As I drove through the frigid Midwest morning, I was overwhelmed with joy and emotion, grateful to be worshiping at the hearth of rock ‘n’ roll radio with all of the other like-minded fans who have dedicated so much of our lives to loving, supporting, and being profoundly affected by music.

I’ve recently given a lot of thought to the concept of being a fan and realize that it is one of the greatest joys of my life. The artists I’ve loved have given me so much happiness, comfort, and confidence throughout my life and David Bowie is right there at the top of my list. Some people can go overboard and lose themselves in being a fan of something, but for most of us, it’s more of an extension of who we are and I think that giving your love and gratitude to something that makes you happy is energy well spent. From the purchase of my first used Bowie cassette to the surprise release of The Next Day and now Blackstar, I am so glad to have been on the receiving end of Bowie’s work.

But that’s not where this locally sourced tribute to David Bowie ends… As luck would have have it, a few years ago, as part of our Michigan Musicians on Vacation series, I interviewed Monger about a trip he’d taken to attend a wedding in Oregon. Well, at some point during the interview, our conversation turned to our shared love of early Bowie and I made the following proposal to Timothy. “If I could raise $25 right now,” I said, “could I commission you to record Moonage Daydream as rural pop?” [Rural pop, as you may recall, was a phrase he’d coined to describe his most recent work, which had been heavily influenced by the farm on which he was living.] Well, he accepted the challenge and we raised the modest sum in no time. And then the polar vortex hit, and I kind of forgot about it. To Timothy’s credit, though, he stayed true to his word and sent in the following version of Bowie’s Moonage Daydream. Or, to be more correct, I received the following rendition of Arnold Corns’ Moonage Daydream. [Arnold Corns, for those of you unfamiliar with the name, was another of Bowie’s bands prior to the launch of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.]

And here’s a little from the letter that accompanied the above Bowie cover, in which Timothy shares his thoughts on this “enjoyable task.”

…I didn’t really mean to take six months on this Bowie cover, but that just seems to be how I work. When I finally found time to record it, it was a fun project. As “Rural Pop” is an invented genre, I suppose it can be whatever it wants to be. To my ears, it just sounds like me having fun in the basement covering Bowie.

I used the alternate lyrics and the general arrangement of the pre-Ziggy Arnold Corns version. I started off trying to go more of a Neil Young Harvest route in tone, but it just turned into its own strange thing as I continued…

And I guess that’s it… Bowie was a complicated man, and I appreciated that about him. He made my life better, and I am eternally thankful that my time here on earth coincided with his. The world without him is certainly a less interesting place, and he will be missed.

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42 Comments

  1. Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Since I started this last night, the narrative has been shifting online about Bowie. Yesterday, it was all praise and heartbreak. Today the backlash has started, with people wanting to talk about accusations of rape (which were dropped) and his history of having sex with underage girls. He was clearly a flawed individual, as evidenced by the fact that he spent years subsisting on milk, hot peppers and cocaine, and I’d be happy to discuss those issues here, if anyone would like to do that. While I loved his early music, I do not suffer under the illusion that he was perfect.

  2. Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Here, with more on the cocaine years in LA, is a clip from the Wikipedia entry on the album Station to Station:

    Bowie, fuelled by an “astronomic” cocaine habit and subsisting on a diet of peppers and milk, spent much of 1975–76 in a state of psychic terror… seeing bodies fall past his window, having his semen stolen by witches, receiving secret messages from The Rolling Stones, and living in morbid fear of Jimmy Page.

    Who doesn’t fear their semen being stolen by witches, right?

  3. Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    As for the fear of Jimmy Page, it could have something to do with the fact that both Page and Bowie were seeing the same 15 year old groupie, Lori Mattix…. and that everyone thought Page worshipped the Devil.

  4. Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    OK, here’s more on Bowie’s cocaine-fueled paranoia in the mid ’70s.

    …Bowie told the author, “I’d stay up for weeks. Even people like Keith Richards were floored by it. And there were pieces of me all over the floor. I paid with the worst manic depression of my life. My psyche went through the roof, it just fractured into pieces. I was hallucinating 24 hours a day.” Spitz adds, “Increasingly Bowie was convinced there were witches after his semen. They were intent on using it to make a child to sacrifice to the devil, essentially the plot to Roman Polanski’s 1968 supernatural classic Rosemary’s Baby.”

    Seeing that he was in desperate need, poet and song writer Cherry Vanilla hooked Bowie up with Walli Elmlark who Spitz describes as a “Manhattan-based intellectual. . . who taught classes at the New York School of Occut Arts and sciences then located on Fourteenth Street, just north of Greenwich Village,” and which the author of this article was director of from the mid 1960s for more than a decade, promoting lectures and classes by the who’s who of paranormal and UFO experts of that era, including Cleve Backster, Stanley Krippner, Jim Moseley, John Keel – and, of course, Walli Elmlark the White Witch of New York.

    As added confirmation of the madness David was trying to cope with, ex wife Angie Bowie reveals even more details of his fascination and dabbling into the occult in her own personal remembrance, Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side With David Bowie.

    “There was a beautiful Art Deco house on six acres, an exquisite site property and a terrific value at just $300,000, but he took one look at a detail I hadn’t noticed, a hexagram painted on the floor of a circular room by the previous owner, Gypsy Rose Lee.

    “A great deal of codling and reassurance got us through that crisis, and I went and found the Doheny Drive house. Built in the late fifties or early sixties, it was a white cube surrounding an indoor swimming pool. David like the place, but I thought it was too small to meet our needs for very long, and I wasn’t crazy about the pool. In my experience, indoor pools are always a problem.

    “This one was no exception, albeit not in any of the usual ways. Its drawback was one I hadn’t encountered before and haven’t seen or heard of since: Satan lived in it. With his own eyes, David said, he’d seen HIM rising up out of the water one night.”

    Feeling demonic forces moving in, David felt strongly that he needed an exorcism and asked that his new found friend white witch Walli Elmlark be called upon to lend her assistance to remove the evil from his surroundings.

    “A Greek Orthodox Church, in LA would have done it for us (there was a priest available for such a service, the people had told me) but David wouldn’t have it. No strangers allowed, he said. So there we stood, with just Walli’s instructions and a few hundred dollars’ worth of books, talismans, and assorted items from Hollywood’s comprehensive selection of fine occult emporia.

    “There he (David Bowie) was, then, primed and ready. The proper books and doodads were arranged on a big old-fashioned lectern. The incantation began, and although I had no idea what was being said or what language it was being said in, I couldn’t stop a weird cold feeling rising up in me as David droned on and on.

    “There’s no easy or elegant way to say this, so I’ll just say it straight. At a certain point in the ritual, the pool began to bubble. It bubbled vigorously (perhaps “thrashed” is a better term) in a manner inconsistent with any explanation involving air filters or the like.”

    The rock and roll couple watched in amazement. Angie says she tried to be flippant – “’Well, dear, aren’t you clever? It seems to be working. Something’s making a move, don’t you think?’ – but I couldn’t keep it up. It was very, very strange; even after my recent experiences I was having trouble accepting what my eyes were seeing.”

    Angie insists that she would peak through the glass doors leading to the pool every so often and was dumb founded by what she saw. “On the bottom of the pool was a large shadow, or stain, which had not been there before the ritual began. It was in the shape of a beast of the underworld; it reminded me of those twisted, tormented gargoyles screaming silently from the spires of medieval cathedrals. It was ugly, shocking, malevolent; it frightened me.

    “I backed away from it feeling very strange, went through the doorway, and told David what I’d seen, trying to be nonchalant but not doing very well. He turned white but eventually became revived enough to spend the rest of the night doing coke. He wouldn’t go near the pool, though…

  5. tommy
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    And following his drugged out days in L.A., he moved on to Berlin to record Low, Heroes, and Lodger. Amazing. From Hunky Dory to Scary Monsters, I don’t know that anyone put out as much quality of work during the 70s (1980 for the latter). Then MTV happened …..

  6. anonymous
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    I refuse to believe there was really a band named Arnold Corns.

  7. Jcp2
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    I like Bowie’s more commercial stuff because that’s where I am most familiar with; in commercials.

  8. Peter Larson
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    I can’t really comment on what kind of person he was, nor do I believe it very useful. We are all awful in our own ways.

    However, I never liked his music.

  9. Steven
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I liked how, in the Bongwater song you linked to, they mentioned Bowie’s personal assistant Coco Schwab by name.

  10. Kim
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Mr. Monger, how much would it cost for a rural pop version of Love You Till Tuesday?

  11. Alex
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Like you, I noticed the “Let’s not forget that Bowie is a rapist” posts yesterday. It’s part of the game nowadays. When famous people die everyone dredges up the past, hoping that it might lead to increased clicks and ad revenue. In 1987, Bowie was accused of rape by 30-year-old Wanda Nichols in Dallas, where he had performed earlier that evening. Bowie called the claim “ridiculous,” and said it was a “ploy for attention.” He was never charged. In some instances like this where there are no charges, I assume the celebrity in question paid the woman off, as in several of the Cosby cases, or the cases involving NFL players Greg Hardy and Ben Roethlisberger. In this case, though, the woman did not recant. The grand jury refused to indict Bowie due to a lack of evidence. For that reason, I do not feel as though it should be brought up.

    The issue of statutory rape, however, is a different matter. There does not appear to be any question that Bowie had sex with at least one 15 year old, Lori Mattix of Los Angeles, who referred to herself as a “baby groopie.” She has always maintained that the relationship was consensual, but that does not make it right.

  12. Karl
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    From Mic.com:

    In the early ’70s, Bowie allegedly had a sexual relationship with Lori Mattix, who was around 15 years old at the time. Mattix was one of many so-called “baby groupies,” girls between the ages of 12 and 16 who frequently patrolled Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, a haven for musicians and entertainers in the ’70s. The age of consent in California was (and still is) 18 years of age.

    Mattix, in an in-depth interview published in November, talked with Thrillist about her years as a “baby groupie,” and the time she lost her virginity to the famed artist. “He focused his famously two-colored eyes on me and said, ‘Lori, darling, can you come with me?'” Mattix told Thrillist. “He walked me through his bedroom and into the bathroom, where he dropped his kimono. He got into the tub, already filled with water, and asked me to wash him. Of course I did.”

    “Then he escorted me into the bedroom, gently took off my clothes, and de-virginized me,” Mattix said.

  13. Lynne
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I agree that when adults in a position of power have sex with underage kids, it is a problem. However, it happened so long ago. Was he, at 69, the same man who did that? I say that it seems unlikely. Also, he is dead so while perhaps, he did deserve some scrutiny about this while he was sill alive, there is little point to it now. There is a reason we have had a taboo about speaking ill of the dead. It is because it can be hurtful to those who are grieving the person. So while I can appreciate the idea that talking about this makes it clear to others that in this day and age, rock stars having sex with underage groupies isn’t going to be ignored, I am not sure it is worth it in this case.

  14. XXX
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Bowie also came out as gay just as Hunky Dory was released, which drove press interest and sales. He’d later say that he wasn’t being quite truthful about that.

  15. Kim
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    The best thing to come from Bowie’s passing was this Facebook update from Adrian Belew…..

    In 1978 I did my first tour of Europe as “stunt” guitarist and singer for Frank Zappa’s band. The night we played in Cologne, Germany unbeknownst to me Brian Eno was in the audience. Brian knew David Bowie was looking for a new guitarist for his upcoming tour. He called David after seeing our show and told David he should come see the guitarist for Frank’s band.
    The next night we performed in Berlin. There was a part of the show where Frank took an extended guitar solo and most of the band members, including myself, left the stage for a few minutes. As I walked to the back of the stage I looked over at the monitor mixing board and saw David Bowie and Iggy Pop standing there.

    Wow! I couldn’t believe it!

    So I walked over to David Bowie, shook his hand and said, “I love what you’ve done, thank you for all the music”. And he said, “Great, how would you like to be in my band?” I motioned back towards Frank and said, “Well, I’m kind of playing with that guy.” David laughed and said, “Yes, I know, but when Frank’s tour ends my tour starts two weeks later. Shall we talk about it over dinner?”

    David said he would meet me back at our hotel and sure enough when I arrived back at the hotel David Bowie and his assistant Coco Schwab were sitting on a couch in the lobby. As I walked past them they whispered to me, “Get into the elevator, go up to your room, come back down in a few minutes, and meet us outside. we have a car waiting.”

    It was like something out of a spy film.

    When I came back down and went outside there was a black limousine waiting. The driver opened the door and I got in the back with David and Coco. David immediately launched into all this plans for his upcoming tour, the songs we would play, the staging, and so on, and how much he loved my guitar playing! It was so exciting! He said they were taking me to one of his favorite restaurants in Berlin.

    How many restaurants are there in Berlin? 25,000?

    We arrived at the restaurant, went in the front door, and who should be sitting at the very first table but Frank Zappa and the rest of the band! So the three of us sat down with Frank and the band. David, trying to be cordial, motioned to me and said, “Quite a guitar player you have here Frank.”

    And Frank said, “F••• you Captain Tom.”

    (note: Frank had demoted David from Major Tom to Captain Tom.)

    David persisted, “Oh come on now Frank, surely we can be gentleman about this?”

    Frank said, “F••• you Captain Tom.”

    By this point I was paralyzed. David said, “So you really have nothing to say?”

    Frank said. “F••• you Captain Tom.”

    David and Coco and I got up and went back out the front door. Getting in the limo David said in his wonderfully British way, “I thought that went rather nicely!”

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    It is interesting that some people, in the name of drawing attention to rape culture, will decide for a woman that she has not given consent, when she says– even as an adult– that she did with no regrets or lingering negative consequences.

    It is also interesting that the same people who decry the Bundy’s hijacking of another person’s narrative and media moment to their political ends, will do the same thing when it meets their political agenda.

    It is also interesting to watch people turn quickly to distance themselves from the immoral behavior of an artist (and addict) they admired the day before. And then repeat the stories in detail for amusement.

    I pretty much think Bowie comes out the best of anyone in all of this. He sounds tormented as an addict but not as bad as most of that lot. And he cleaned up which is extraordinarily hard and to be admired. The sins of addicts who get clean should be understood and forgiven in my book. This is the established path to redemption and remaking one’s life. We allow it for criminals of all stripes, but not famous people– especially not when there is an ideological point to be made. Given how awful humanity can be en masse, I’m surprised there aren’t more addicts. I’m glad he didn’t live to listen to all this bullshit. Although I doubt it would have surprised him.

    As a teenage girl (and survivor) growing up in rural/industrial bible belt America, his music was a gift and his non gender- or hetero- normative presence gave me permission to remake myself as I chose, as I needed to, when I could no longer feel ‘normal,’ whatever THAT is.

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Apropos of my comment above, another local (Detroit) band covering later Bowie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og3fQqku7ZQ

  18. Posted January 13, 2016 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    “It is also interesting to watch people turn quickly to distance themselves from the immoral behavior of an artist (and addict) they admired the day before. And then repeat the stories in detail for amusement.”

    I’m not sure if that was directed toward me, but, in case it was, I thought that I should respond… My intention in posting this was not to distance myself from David Bowie. As I said in the post, his music meant a great deal to me and always will. I just felt, as I was beginning to see multiple posts about statutory rape, that I should as least reference it and give people the opportunity to discuss it. And, for what it’s worth, I chose to do so in a comment, as opposed to in the post itself. The distinction may seem inconsequential, but it was purposeful. At any rate, I wanted people to know that I was aware of what was being said, and thinking about it. As for “reporting such stories for amusement,” I’ll admit that the swimming pool story has always fascinated me. I don’t know that I’d say it “amuses” me, but I certainly find it interesting. As for the links to the stories about the rape charges and his relationship with Lori Mattix, again I can assure you this wasn’t done for my “amusement.” I just wanted to acknowledge that I was aware of the discussion taking place online. And, for what it’s worth, both stories that I linked to painted Bowie in a positive light. One was about the rape case being dropped, and the other was an interview with Mattix in which she said that, in her opinion, she was not taken advantage of. So, no, I didn’t just include them for my own amusement, if that’s what was being suggested.

  19. Peter Larson
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting how quickly come out to condemn a dead entertainer for something he may or may not have done more than 40 years ago, but how happy people are to avoid scrutinizing a leftist President candidate.

    Seems that the latter is far more important.

    Don’t ask me why.

  20. anonymous
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Surely you aren’t suggesting, Peter, that people would ignore it if Bernie were “devirginizing” children.

  21. Pete Larson
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    Nothing would surprise me.

  22. Peter Larson
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Looks like Sanders is into forced sex.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/05/28/bernie_sanders_sex_article_rape_fantasy_involved_in_1972_piece.html

  23. Peter Larson
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    It’s a totally weird article.

    Shouldn’t be representative of Sanders (Ron Pauls newletters, though…..), but the article is weird.

  24. anonymous
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    You’ve just made the case against yourself, Peter. That old article written by Sanders has been discussed in the media, as evidenced by the link you shared. People are looking into his past and asking questions. For what it’s worth, his campaign has also explained that piece as a work of satire meant to draw attention to gender roles, stereotypes, etc.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/28/politics/bernie-sanders-rape-essay-1972/

  25. Peter Larson
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I merely thought it was weird. I don’t think it is representative of Sanders.

    In my opinion, his policy ideas do a sufficient job of discouraging me from voting for him.

  26. anonymous
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The point you seemed to be making was that people aren’t looking critically at Sanders. You mentioned this 40 year old article that he’d written in evidence of this fact. I responded by noting that the article had been widely discussed, disproving your point that people aren’t asking questions about his past. When this was pointed out to you, you said that it doesn’t matter anyway, as you don’t approve of his policies. Does that sum things up pretty well?

    As for the polices of his which you don’t agree with, can you offer an example?

  27. XXX
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Bowie wasn’t the only talented Brit to died this week from cancer . The great actor Alan Rickman has also passed away.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/alan-rickman-dead-harry-potter-actor-and-theatre-legend-dies-aged-69-a6811956.html

  28. Peter Larson
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t consider examination of this odd article as being particularly critical. A side show, maybe. It is strange, but ultimately meaningless. Just as Bowie’s history is equally meaningless when looking at his entire life.

    My take on Sanders, in brief:

    I disagree with this tuition free college suggestion. It’s a bad idea. This has been discussed. While I believe that cost control measures are necessary, and aid for needy students increased, I strongly believe that his “free college” idea would be ultimately damaging to US public colleges and universities. His idea of making Wall Street pay for it is simple political pandering. I don’t think that it is a good idea to be pegging funding for colleges (with it’s constant demand) to a volatile market.

    As a fan of open borders, I disagree with his positions on immigration, with the aim of protecting US labor.

    As a fan of development, job creation and investment in developing countries, I disagree with his protectionist positions to discourage overseas manufacturing.

    On foreign policy, I am not so clear. He is somewhat cagey on this topic, but his hope that the Saudis take up the role of dealing with IS, for example, is difficult for me. The Saudis need a smaller presence in the Middle East, not a larger one.

    His ideas on health care are somewhat naive, in my opinion. Obama couldn7t get health reform passed with a Democratic Senate and House. Not sure how Sanders expects his extreme ideas to pass.

    His political pandering to the far left turns me off. I realize it is all strategy to push ideology, but I just can’t get behind it. I’m a practical guy, I don’t do politics well.

  29. Peter Larson
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I realize that no one will agree with me.

    That is ok. These are just personal views.

  30. Peter Larson
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    It doesn’t matter what candidate one supports. We will all be dead soon anyway.

  31. Peter Larson
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I wish I could die during election years and then come back to life when it is all over. Or maybe not.

  32. XXX
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    By Grathbar’s hammer!

    http://i.imgur.com/qJYCReA.gif

  33. Thom Elliott
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    How I loathe the tumblr ‘social justice warrior’ attention seeker with their Victorian bourgeois moralizing. News flash cretin: all human sexuality is polymorphously perverse, there are no transgression free humans, and especially artists. That this non-issue is now at the top of the prudish, anachronistic, and worthless discussion about cleansing of the art world/media of immoral acts shows just how bankrupt your liberal reformism is.

  34. 98
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    And now he’s using his death to sell records.

    “David Bowie Heading for First No. 1 Album in U.S. on Billboard 200 Chart With ‘Blackstar’ | Billboard”

  35. Demetrius
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    We get it Pete, you don’t like Bernie Sanders.

    I’m not really sure what this has to do with the thread about the loss of David Bowie … and I don’t recall anyone else here ever claiming Bernie was an “ideal” candidate.

    What Bernie HAS done is to interject important issues into the campaign – particularly regarding income inequality, and the growing power of corporations over ordinary citizens – that I can’t imagine any of other corporate-sponsored candidates bringing forward, unprompted.

    In my view, that in itself has made his campaign laudable, and worthwhile.

  36. anonyous
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s not pandering, Peter, if it’s actually what he believes, and I’ve seen no evidence to suggest that Sanders is being anything but sincere. You could argue, I think, that he may be naive, if he thinks he can actually accomplish what he wants to, but I don’t think you can accuse him of “pandering” as that suggests that he’s only saying these things in order to garner support.

  37. A quick question
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Was the band Till Tuesday named after Love You Till Tuesday?

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Mark– I was directing my comments re rape allegations generally not specifically at your post. I appreciate you linking the first hand account which few have bothered to include in their commentary.

    Just heard an interesting interview with Bowie about his addiction. He was asked why he quit using: “You cant have relationships with anybody. You don’t know anyone else exists. You become a dreadful person. I guess I just got tired of being a dreadful person.”

    That will likely only confirm feelings of those inclined to moralize. I, personally, see the story as one of personal redemption. Change is hard. Kudos to those who survive, make their amends and salvage a good life. It ain’t easy.

  39. Mr. X
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Thant’s what he said.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnI_ko3_r_c

  40. Bob
    Posted April 6, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Merle Haggard wrote more great songs than David Bowie.

  41. Posted April 6, 2016 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Prove it.

  42. Bob
    Posted April 7, 2016 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    There’s a four disc Capitol box called Down Every Road. A hundred tracks and all the proof you need. His work since then has also been remarkably high quality. He probably had a higher batting average than any songwriter. Higher than Dylan, Neil Young, McCartney or Bowie. My real point is that the entire world stopped for Bowie’s death but I never even saw the news networks acknowledge Haggard’s passing. The guy didn’t do Taco Bell commercials or make movies with Muppets though. He just gigged nonstop for sixty years and wrote a chunk of the great American songbook. Not too sexy.

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