Monday, January 11, 2016


I've been trying to put how I feel about David Bowie's death in words since I woke up and saw the shocking news of David Bowie's death all over Facebook. But I kept failing. I've seen a lot of articles, tributes, memes, and comments today, but most felt empty to me. I didn't see anything rude or disrespectful, a bunch were cute, but nothing epitomized how I feel. There was something missing.

Then I watched the Lazarus video (for the hundredth time) and it just suddenly hit me. You can't memorize death.

That's half the problem of what's missing. In this day and age, where almost half the world's population is connected to the Internet, everyone's dependent on Wikipedia, and idiotic top ten lists are considered good conversation instead of using your own experience, the incredibly sad announcement of David Bowie's death is being chewed up and spat out like another online forgettable trend. You just can't memorize death. You experience death.

For those of us who grew up in 70's and 80's underground subcultures, Bowie made everything okay. You didn't have to love him. You didn't have to like him. It didn't matter. There was, and still is, no possible way anyone could be weirder than Bowie. He set the bar high. No one could fail. Perhaps not as successful, but not a failure. So many of us have been using our influences in our own art while battling the politically correct 21st century tidal wave of mindless trolls threatening to devour us whole for daring to share art with the world. Maybe none of us are creative geniuses in the same way Bowie was, but, dammit, it's worth trying. It's worth the effort. The bar was already set.

The other half of the problem is this. Although it's been reported that Bowie's last album is a gift to fans, and it is, he also left a powerful message that no one seems to be getting yet. Watch the Lazarus video. He isn't just saying, accept his death or remember the gift he left to the world. He's saying, here, pass on my gift. Because that's what you do with heroes who have died.

If you happen to be someone who didn't grow up in the same personality exploding era, don't feel bad. Just know some of us are still around and we're doing our best to pass it on. Think someone's art is weird? Good. We did our job. Now pass it on.

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