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Author Topic: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick  (Read 8455 times)

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lindsey

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2016, 05:35:02 PM »
Yeah, I definitely agree with that. I think it's important to distinguish that he is an important icon in the sense that what he represented artistically and, in some realms, socially was huge and radical and meaningful, but he - as a person - was a flawed human and obviously not that amazing. I do think it displays immense white privilege that this part of his history was never discussed publicly until now, it makes me mad because I never knew about it until after he died and I'm the kind of person who looks out for that kind of information you know? It makes me feel like I need to specifically look into every artist I love and whether they are legitimately rapists.

I hope at least that he paved the way for gender nonconformative people to be more accepted, and safer in more situations, and makes more radical weirdos love themselves and feel okay, because among those people are some true idols.


Edit: just saw your second post, and I must say I felt the same way, I really couldn't even assess the situation because I felt like I was projecting my own experience as well. There is so much more to consent than age and age differences and like, power dynamics. Until we live in a world where it is normal for all potential partners to have really clear discussions of consent before engaging, and no one is trying to shadily persuade anyone else into sleeping with them, laws like that are just treating the symptoms of the problem so to speak. It just makes me so fucking sad the more I think about it.

momitsnowme

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2016, 05:41:00 PM »
I definitely agree with how weird it is that it wasn't even talked about much.


BlakeK

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2016, 06:33:36 PM »
It's not exactly the damming evidence of several isolated accusations like Cosby or other serial abusers like John Lennon.
Not John Lennon! What did he do?
Having said that, I'd rather listen to Papa Roach than GG Allin

ian

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2016, 09:24:06 AM »
Bowie is my favorite musician of all time. Nobody took as many artistic chances as he did, nobody that big fought harder for musicians of color and his down and out friends. The second he got juice he dragged Lou Reed, Iggy, and Mott the Hoople back into the game. YOUNG AMERICANS ranks amongst the best soul records ever made, and is as tasteful an integration of white, black, and queer as you'll find. In 1975.

But an unfortunate aspect of rock music, power, and fame is ego distortion and the ability to exploit people who have no power.

I'm not here to take away Lori Maddox's agency as a sexual being in adulthood, but to denounce a systemic problem in society, culture, and music at large. Women and girls were, by modern standards, systematically chewed up and spit out by rock stars in this time. Presumably now as well. Part of the reason we have more egalitarian figures in music and art now is a reaction to culture and privilege. Bowie was incredibly promiscuous and used his privilege to take advantage of women in his youth. Or, in the parlance of the time, "pullin' a bird".

You basically can't enjoy 95% of western popular art without attempting to reconcile these complicated issues. But it's always a healthy conversation to have.

Being a part of the social norms of the time isn't an excuse. Bowie did brilliant things and I love him, but he was admittedly an destructive addict who laid waste to most of his interpersonal connections outside of his career during the 1970s. "Kooks" may have meant something when he wrote it but he sure didn't follow through. It took him years to repair his broken fatherhood of Duncan Jones. By all accounts before health issues really took him out of the game he had already decided to circle the wagons and live as a housefather for his daughter. No interviews or live appearances after 2006.

Part of growing up is realizing that your idols are still just flawed people. He wasn't really an alien messiah. He was just a beautiful, brilliant, bastardly, paradoxical artist reflecting the times.

ian

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2016, 10:41:56 AM »
A good mix of critical view and explanation of Bowie's obsession with fascist imagery in 1976:

Quote
Of course Bowie, like his old costume Ziggy, soon took it too far. When he returned to England in the summer of 1976, he gave interviews intimating that a great fascist power was coming soon to the UK, which he approved of, and called Hitler the first rock star. Rumors spread of Bowie giving a Nazi salute upon his arrival in Victoria Station (unconvincing video here), and biographers later dug up Bowie’s mother’s flirtation with the British Union of Fascists in the ’30s as evidence of original sin.

Bowie was tasting what was already in the air in Europe, a resurgence of interest in fascism and Nazism. The compromises and shames of the war, the allure of fascist imagery (often mixed with sadism), as seen in Bertolucci’s The Conformist, or Cavani’s The Night Porter, or Malle’s Lacombe Lucien, which treated Vichy collaborators with a measure of sympathy, culminating in Pasolini’s repellent fascist nightmare Salò, premiered at the same time Bowie was cutting Station. A year later, some British punks would be wearing swastikas on their clothing as a ready-made outrage.

Still, Bowie’s acts proved too outrageous even for the times (the Rock Against Racism coalition would cite Bowie as a main offender), and he spent the next few decades publicly repenting. Far from having escaped from delusions and bad magic in Los Angeles, Bowie had turned out to be an infected host, bringing his cocaine-fueled necromancy back to Europe.

https://bowiesongs.wordpress.com/category/station-to-station-1976

It's mentioned in the LOW 33 1/3rd book that Bowie was also optioned to star in a film about Goebbels (obviously not a hagiography), which I'll never decide whether that compounds or helps explain the situation.

One thing to keep in mind is that Bowie grew up essentially in the ruins of the Blitzkrieg.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2016, 10:44:59 AM by ian »

ian

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2016, 11:08:07 AM »
Look at SCARY MONSTERS. It's an album-length indictment of the incoming Thatcher/Reagan era of conservatism/racism that was infecting the western world. You hear it once the tape starts on It's No Game, to Fashion, and apexing on Scream Like a Baby. Somewhere in the middle Bowie calls out the entirety of New Wave as pretenders to the throne in Teenage Wildlife. The album is a bookend to the best run anyone or any band has ever had, to this day. The only competitor is Kanye at this point.

If you'd like to start with Bowie, I can't think of a better way than to listen to SCARY MONSTERS.


You can almost hear the *whoosh* of this going over the heads of the crowd.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2016, 11:23:01 AM by ian »

momitsnowme

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2016, 11:28:05 AM »
Thanks Ian. That's basically the conclusion I was hoping most Bowie fans would draw and you explained it really eloquently.

Since I got personal with it anyway, the thing that first made me make the Cosby comparison is that the same woman who I posted the screen shot of, a week earlier posted some thing like "someone in your friends list has been raped. Imagine how they feel when you defend Bill Cosby" and then was jumping all over people for even suggesting Bowie could have done anything wrong ever and saying things like "come on. It was the 70s" and I felt like "welp. Someone in your friends list has been sexually taken advantage of by an asshole older guy."

ian

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2016, 12:08:36 PM »
These power dynamics are real and dangerous, for every Bright Eyes thing we hear about I assume there are a million low level "let's ply this starry eyed girl or boy with drinks" anecdotes that exist only in the ether. I love the Rolling Stones and Led Zep, and we can only imagine the things we don't know. We can barely police punk. We can barely keep Boyd Rice from popping up again and again, and he's literally a white supremacist who Cold Cave booked.

There's only so much I can really throw into the pot here as a cis white male who questions his own privilege in this arena to the point where I hate dating.

I'm sorry that happened to you, but I'm glad that you grew from it and landed deftly into a good life.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2016, 12:42:04 PM by ian »

ian

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2016, 12:15:11 PM »

ian

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Re: Unpopular opinion: David Bowie seems like he was a dick
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2016, 07:04:15 PM »