Monday, January 11, 2016

Sentimentalizing Ziggy Stardust?

Okay, so someone needs to ask these questions . . .

. . . but because there are so many tributes to one of the ‘elder statemen’ of rock –n-roll, someone should ask the tough questions about David Bowie and his impact on our culture. 

Again – these are questions – not necessarily statements, help me if you can to see things more clearly.

First off: I too mourn the loss of David Bowie – although I was probably more enamored with his more highly produced Nile Rodgers album of work “Let’s Dance.” 

But, just who is it that we are mourning?

I mean, Bowie popped onto the seen (pun intended) in a manner that had most parents worrying about his influence over their children.  Much of his lyrics and persona dealt with drug-filled androgynously sexualized imagery.  Is that something worth celebrating as having influenced our culture?

Yes, I realized this was the 70’s . . .

But ‘glam rock’ – though a very profitable genre – contributed to a decades-long unhealthy outlook of sexuality and intergenerational relationships.  Imagine Madonna with a touch of Marilyn Manson and you have the idea.  Imagine that reaching the heart of your 12 year old in her iPod this year.

Is that the kind of thing that we want to mourn?

Now of course the guy matured and changed and the end does not look like the beginning in David Bowie’s case.  But perhaps we should be talking about his transformation as an artist over the years rather than looking misty eyed back at Ziggy Stardust.

Time has a way of sentimentalizing the past and the things that in the moment were not good for us.

Something to remember in the present as we seek to have lives that are healthy tomorrow. 

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