David Bowie was a Faggot; the Last Prince of Edward Bernay's Twentieth Century

On January 10th, David Robert Jones was hospitalized for approaching the asymptote. 


David Bowie was a Faggot.  He was a Nazi.  He was a Mime.  He was a Coke-head.  He was James Dean. He stole black people's music, he stole white people's music, he stole the show, he thieved what we thought a Pop Artist could be in Edward Bernay's Twentieth Century and turned the whole pretty thing into a black hole.  David Bowie outlasted the half-life of stardom, and his art will outlast his time amongst the lunged and alone.  Always right there, just beyond his toes, loomed an edge and a few days ago, he dipped over it.

The gold standard for careerist musicians is often considered U2, for their longevity and stranglehold on 401k, leased-car demographic.  U2 make a safe, steady stream of palatable product easily absorbed and just as easy to shit out.  Bono is trying to save the world, one $200 ticket at a time, while Bowie was merely content to continually change his world, time and again until that world changed his time/space.  Artists cease to exist when they cease to create, not merely produce the aural equivalent of a mortgage payment, or like Morrissey and high school quarterback stars, ride a wave of the past for all the spiritual royalties it is worth.  

David Bowie left eras in his comet tail: Psychedelic folk, Glam Rock, R&B, Electro, Industrial, and what he represented could never be dated as it could never be traced.  Only through the slowly blooming lines on his once androgynous face could time be seen moving through him, making even the archetypes he inhabited in photographs mortal, human, and dying with all of us.  His music was a continuum, only braked by the inevitable slowing by times gravity.  

Celebrity has become an occupation, one devoid of any contribution but to the ache of modern life's default mediocrity.  There is no art in merely existing, the art comes when existence begins to move, make noise, cast images and aspersions upon on what we are told was birthed sacred, to present what we consider concrete as merely the hardening of a static mind and imagination.  Bowie's fluidity made nostalgia the vomit of boredom. 

I can remember, as a teen one afternoon on the brink of a Psilocybin trip, during the early onset body high that hugged my lungs and crayola'd my lens and cones' colors, struggling to put a cassette of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust into a cassette player. 

I was listening to hear “Starman” but incapable of deciphering the coded symbols on the Nakamichi tape deck, resigned myself to swim through the album as a whole from the perch of my parents roof.  As the opening drums led me into that first piano chord of “Five Years” I knew what was occurring, David Bowie was etching himself into my trip, a stowaway that mutinied around the moment of echoing voices over reverberated guitar and strings of “Moonage Daydream.”  

By the time the opening strummed guitar of “Starman” kicked in, I was in another dimension, where prayer and confession, dreams and time ate their own tail.  To this day, I am not sure what was more revelatory, Bowie writing himself into my psyche or the discovery of masturbation. 

David Bowie sang into the echo chamber that is the great lack that fills our lives. The lack that we try to fill through changing our clothes, our hair, our lovers- changing our worldviews.  His career was a costuming of these voids, a mockery of the luxury of modernity.  Leisure, he seemed to say, was the last will and testament of fear, the slow slog that is a zero sum game without a changing of the rules, a changing of the guard.  


David Bowie made life a trick that could only be performed once, and yet be different every time.  A Koan of melody, expression and metamorphosis.  There is nothing linear in selling the world, it occurs in your periphery, behind and beyond you.  This world will change you and you it, and all you must do is turn to face it.  Face to face. 

“You're not alone” said Bowie all those years ago, and though he left us, it's still true. 

Zero Fucks Given,
Ryan Johann Perry.

 

 

 

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