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Author Topic: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick  (Read 8428 times)

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momitsnowme

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Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« on: January 12, 2016, 08:37:07 AM »
Everyone is going nuts. I only know a few of his songs and admittedly, really like them a lot.

But everything I am reading about him makes him seem like he was kind of an asshole and not the huge god-like role model people are making him out to be. Accused of three sexual assaults /rapes including a 15 year old and a 13 year old. Admitted to just lying about being queer for shock value. Made statements supporting fascism and Hitler and then later retracted them. I dunno man.

I get that his music was incredibly influential and life changing for a lot of people but he can be an incredible artist and still an asshole and it seems like people are idolizing him.

manmagic

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2016, 11:05:27 AM »
I've had other friends say this. I don't know enough about him to comment.

While I don't consider myself a huge fan, I always liked the Bowie episode of Flight of Conchords and the movie Labyrinth.

BlakeK

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2016, 11:37:06 AM »
Everyone is going nuts. I only know a few of his songs and admittedly, really like them a lot.

But everything I am reading about him makes him seem like he was kind of an asshole and not the huge god-like role model people are making him out to be. Accused of three sexual assaults /rapes including a 15 year old and a 13 year old. Admitted to just lying about being queer for shock value. Made statements supporting fascism and Hitler and then later retracted them. I dunno man.

I get that his music was incredibly influential and life changing for a lot of people but he can be an incredible artist and still an asshole and it seems like people are idolizing him.
I can't speak on the sexual assaults as I don't know anything about them I do have an opinion about the other stuff (I'd never heard of the assaults but will look it up).

Bowie seemed very confused about his sexuality from what I've read from his interviews and from other people's interviews in which they reference it. I think he considered himself bisexual but didn't want to be defined by that. In terms of a marketing tool he did say something to the effect of his declaration being good for business. He later said he wished he hasn't said anything about his sexuality because he didn't want to be defined by that.

The Hitler stuff was said in character and while on a lot of cocaine so I'm not going to judge him on that since he later attributed the comments to a poor mental state and heavy drug use.

David Bowie probably was an asshole. It seems that anyone who is put on that high of a pedestal eventually develops a huge ego and a tendency to be an asshole. If he sexually assaulted anyone, that takes it to another level and you enter the "David Bowie was a dangerous, terrible day person" territory.
Having said that, I'd rather listen to Papa Roach than GG Allin

momitsnowme

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2016, 01:20:06 PM »
I think being in character is one thing. If you're a public figure I think you're still responsible for things you say when you're on drugs. If it was just an in character thing, why retract it?

And I'm pretty sure he stated later that he had always been a "closet heterosexual" or something.

He was cleared of the charges that were officially brought against him, which I'm guessing is why people dismiss it? I don't really think that means he didn't do it though, especially since at least one of the victims still says it happened far after the statute of limitations. She was 13 and says it was consensual. I'm glad it wasn't traumatic for her, but as an adult, and a famous one, that still makes him a predatory creep.

BlakeK

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2016, 01:57:41 PM »
I think being in character is one thing. If you're a public figure I think you're still responsible for things you say when you're on drugs. If it was just an in character thing, why retract it?

And I'm pretty sure he stated later that he had always been a "closet heterosexual" or something.

He was cleared of the charges that were officially brought against him, which I'm guessing is why people dismiss it? I don't really think that means he didn't do it though, especially since at least one of the victims still says it happened far after the statute of limitations. She was 13 and says it was consensual. I'm glad it wasn't traumatic for her, but as an adult, and a famous one, that still makes him a predatory creep.

Im not saying that being on drugs excuses what people say but it does somewhat explain it and should be taken way less seriously than if the person said it sober. I think I'm biased there since I would not want to be judged on some of the things I said while strung out on drugs. When I said "in character" I meant one of the weird alter ego things he used. The shit he's saying is not something written for him and the character is one he created which means to me that the shit he said should be taken more seriously than if Leonardo DiCaprio was acting racist while on set but off camera for Django Unchained or something like that. I think that's why he probably apologized (side note is that I'm sure good ol' Leo would apologize too after the movie was over).

The sexual stuff is disturbing. I wish people wouldn't deify anyone but I'd hope the bar would be higher if people were going to do so.
Having said that, I'd rather listen to Papa Roach than GG Allin

momitsnowme

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2016, 03:38:23 PM »
I know what you meant by in character and I agree they probably weren't his likw..actual beliefs. Im not saying like "whoa guys, this guy you like is a nazi." More like "guys, this guy you're treating as basically a god is someone who got coked up and said he was a nazi. Calm down about him." I don't know if that distinction makes sense.

And yeah, exactly. People can like him. His art was amazing. He changed and influenced a lot of things. I get it. But he was a conplicated, not all good person, just like everyone. He wasn't as amazing as a person as people are acting like he was. I dunno.

I know it is a weird comparison maybe but it bugs me that people can call bowie a prince and totally condemn bill Cosby in the same breath.

momitsnowme

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2016, 03:45:09 PM »
http://imgur.com/YpLwZ8c
Like..this came up in my feed who posts anti rape culture stuff all the time and posted about bill Cosby being a dick. Just because you personally like someones art doesn't mean they're excused from your values

skateandannoy

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2016, 03:57:34 PM »
Drugs don't magically make people say pro-fascist things against their will.

I've never really listened to Bowie other than his stuff in skate videos which admittedly I do like those songs, but I've never listened to him outside of that. I really don't know much about him but I see him on the same plane as as Morrissey who makes music lots of people love, but he's said and done some terrible shit.
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Anna Karina

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2016, 04:53:11 PM »
While I in no way condone it, the allegations I'd always read regarding David Bowie were statutory rape with consenting minors. It seems incredibly disingenuous to me to compare him with Bill Cosby.

momitsnowme

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2016, 05:15:30 PM »
I dunno. 13. I don't think a 13 year old really can consent to sex with an adult, really. Especially someone who is famous or has additional power differences. In terms of quantity, what he did doesn't compare to Cosby, but quality wise, it's the same shit. His fame led him to think he was entitled to tske advantage of people, whether it was by force or by preying on people who he knew couldn't say no.

BlakeK

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2016, 05:24:57 PM »
I know what you meant by in character and I agree they probably weren't his likw..actual beliefs. Im not saying like "whoa guys, this guy you like is a nazi." More like "guys, this guy you're treating as basically a god is someone who got coked up and said he was a nazi. Calm down about him." I don't know if that distinction makes sense.

And yeah, exactly. People can like him. His art was amazing. He changed and influenced a lot of things. I get it. But he was a conplicated, not all good person, just like everyone. He wasn't as amazing as a person as people are acting like he was. I dunno.

I know it is a weird comparison maybe but it bugs me that people can call bowie a prince and totally condemn bill Cosby in the same breath.
I'm sorry. I wasn't suggesting you don't understand what being in character means I was just saying that it's not a good excuse for Bowie since he created the character and how it wouldn't be as bad if it were an actual actor who took a role someone else created. I still think that he could get lost in his persona especially when mass quantities of cocaine are involved and the comments I read seemed somewhat tongue and cheek.

I agree with Brett that while I get the comparison you're making to Cosby, I think consent matters and distinguishes the two. That being said, can a 13 year old really give consent? Maybe it is just as bad as Cosby though the large number of victims puts Cosby in a different class.

Someone who I don't think gets enough negative attention is Roman Polanski. He and Cosby are in the same league in my book but yet Hollywood big shots go to France to be in movies with Polanski and he won an Oscar while hiding in France. It's ridiculous. This may be controversial but it seems to me that many black people (at least to a greater extent than white people) are supporting Cosby. I don't have a point or idea I'm trying to push there, just an observation as I am confused as to why that seems to be the case.

EDIT: While I was writing, Becca made the great point about consent.

« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 05:36:35 PM by BlakeK »
Having said that, I'd rather listen to Papa Roach than GG Allin

momitsnowme

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2016, 05:32:29 PM »
Don't worry! I didn't take it badly when you were explaining the in character thing.

momitsnowme

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2016, 05:35:50 PM »
And I can see why black people would want to support him. He was incredibly important for the black community. The same way Bowie was incredibly important for the queer community. I see the urge in both cases to support that, and I think that's ok. I think we can acknowledge contributions without deifying people. People are complicated and situations are complicated. Honestly, it's how I felt about the whole Conor Oberst thing too. Just appreciate the good without acting like they are a god.

BlakeK

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2016, 05:41:12 PM »
And I can see why black people would want to support him. He was incredibly important for the black community. The same way Bowie was incredibly important for the queer community. I see the urge in both cases to support that, and I think that's ok. I think we can acknowledge contributions without deifying people. People are complicated and situations are complicated. Honestly, it's how I felt about the whole Conor Oberst thing too. Just appreciate the good without acting like they are a god.
You're right, I do understand that to accept that such a beloved role model is capable of such terrible things would be hard. I just would think that denial would start to fade once over 40 people came forward. I heard Eddie Griffin talk about it being a conspiracy to destroy Bill Cosby and what he represented. A lot of people seemed to agree with him.
Having said that, I'd rather listen to Papa Roach than GG Allin

BlakeK

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2016, 05:44:24 PM »
Back to Bowie. I never quite understood why he was so revered. I enjoy some of his songs but damn people do go nuts for him. I also think that the verdict is in: guilty of being an asshole at the very least.
Having said that, I'd rather listen to Papa Roach than GG Allin

skateandannoy

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2016, 09:12:57 PM »
Polanski is another one for sure. He sucks. I'm ridiculously disappointed in Criterion as a business for doing a release of Rosemary's Baby. Important film or not, Polanski is still alive and profiting from them and Netflix carrying his work. It's not like DW Griffith is still alive to make money off DVD sales of Birth of A Nation.
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jer

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2016, 12:44:23 PM »
While I in no way condone it, the allegations I'd always read regarding David Bowie were statutory rape with consenting minors. It seems incredibly disingenuous to me to compare him with Bill Cosby.

There was at least one case of non-consenting, non-statutory rape that went to trial. Not on par with the 3,000 or so Cosby rapes, but not all statutory incidents.

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1345&dat=19871119&id=xg8TAAAAIBAJ&sjid=6foDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6582,856145&hl=en
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lindsey

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2016, 12:28:21 PM »
I have been processing this discussion for a few days (here and on other social media) and remaining silent because i honestly feel SO conflicted. I do think it is important to not pretend like these things never happened, and I also have this ongoing struggle between thinking that the underage thing is such a grey area, especially since the girl was 15 - and i want to make sure everyone understands that there was only ONE girl that has come forward to say that they had sex when she was underage, there wasn't a "15 year old and a 13 year old" it is the same girl who has been mis-reported as being 13 at the time, and was actually 15. She recalls the experience very positively and said that it was "beautiful" or some shit. this is not to say that that makes it okay, but i think leaping to calling him a PREDATOR is a bit strong. I don't think that makes it OKAY to have sex with someone who is under the age of consent, but i do think that she is entitled to her own narrative and it is unfair for the public to insist that she was victimized when she didn't feel that way.

As for the article Jer posted, I'm also having a really hard time forming an opinion because based on that article it DOES kind of sound like a false allegation (The AIDS thing?? It is clear that he never had AIDS) It makes him sound like a dick for sure, but he did offer to take a test to prove his innocence. There is also NO OTHER SOURCE except that single newspaper clipping, and other stories that reference it. It's not exactly the damming evidence of several isolated accusations like Cosby or other serial abusers like John Lennon.

But then again, I love him so much as an artist that my perspective is very clouded, and the argument can certainly be made that I am too biased, which is why I have mostly opted to stay out of the discussion.

lindsey

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2016, 12:33:05 PM »
this is the article where Lori Mattix, the underage girl in question, first came forward about their encounter and talks about how it happened when she was 15

https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/i-lost-my-virginity-to-david-bowie

THRILLIST: Still, you were a 15-year-old kid and he was an adult man with a lot of experience, and power, and drugs. You don’t see any problem with that now?

Lori: I was an innocent girl, but the way it happened was so beautiful. I remember him looking like God and having me over a table. Who wouldn’t want to lose their virginity to David Bowie?

lindsey

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2016, 12:38:09 PM »
I dunno, I just... i don't know how to not be justifying it but also view it within the context of the time/personal experience of Lori

momitsnowme

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2016, 01:51:05 PM »
She said it was beautiful but I'm pretty sure she also said she didn't want to disappoint him at some point. I don't know..I feel like even if she didn't feel victimized, it doesn't mean it wasn't sketchy on his side, if that makes sense.

momitsnowme

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2016, 01:54:37 PM »
Like...imagine an adult man musician you know from this scene. Imagine if you found out they had sex with a teenage fan and she consented and had been quoted as saying it was beautiful and she didnt want to disappoint him. Maybe it isn't like...illegal or the worst thing, but they'd also be a creep and probably not someone I'd idolize.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 01:56:20 PM by momitsnowme »

lindsey

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2016, 02:40:47 PM »
Yeah I definitely think it's skeevy and gross and wrong but I am glad that the girl didn't have her life ruined by it and I think it's a far cry from the "serial rapist, abuser and pedophile" labels I've seen people throwing around. I don't think the feeling of wanting to have sex with a famous rock star is going to go away between the ages of 15 and 16 or 18, whatever the age of consent may be. I mean that was basically the dynamic of every sexual encounter of his entire life. It's definitely changed my view of him, but I think it's unfair that sone people are jumping to this huge extreme of basically comparing him to a man who used his position to drug and rape dozens of women and throwing on the pedophile label as well... (Not you becca, but posts I've seen on tumblr and stuff)

But again, I'm trying to be fair to every side of the story but also feel like a huge fucking hypocrite. I am so conflicted I feel like I shouldn't even be adding to the conversation, but I felt like it would be shitty to say nothing since I was pretty much exactly like the person you mentioned in your original post

momitsnowme

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2016, 04:59:03 PM »
Sorry. You're right. I don't think it is quite the same. I guess what I'm reacting to more is people reaction to it. Like...if someone being skeezy completely changes your respect for one person and not the other, you know?

And I really am not even saying not to like him or his art or his music. I'm just saying he's not the huge hero people are making him out to be.

momitsnowme

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2016, 05:20:58 PM »
I'm also really not sure I agree about the ability to consent. I don't think there's some like..magical change when you turn 18 but I also don't think a 15 year old can consent in the same way a 21 year old can. I don't know how we like...codify thay though. I do know that when I was 15 I "consented" to sex with an 18 year old and I was absolutely being assaulted or raped or whatever you want to call it looking back. I can't imagine if he had been even older or famous. But you're right that 18 year olds will want to bang rock stars too. But really, if he was in his 40s or 30s I would think that was gross too,on his part. I dunno. Maybe I am just projecting my own shit.