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More Thoughts About David Bowie’s Death

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I may have spent a large part of my day reading thoughts and comments about David Bowie… the entire world was still in disbelieve and Facebook had become an immense world-wide homage to Ziggy, The Thin White Duke, the Man who fell to Earth… it was a collective mourning and it was heartbreaking. I must have checked too many times my Facebook and Twitter feeds, at time and places where I should not have, as I was working all day… But it was not an ordinary day and it was a somewhat comforting way to go through this sadness.

There’s nothing left to say, most publications have 4 or 5 articles about Bowie, exploring in details each layer of his prolific career,… But I have realized that the best testimony of Bowie’s heroic side is his last album. There’s no doubt that he created it with the thought it would be his last one, that it was his goodbye to all of us, but he managed to finish it anyway, despite the several heart attacks he suffered from during its conception — 6 according to the Daily Mail… he could have rested during his last days, he could easily have been satisfied by all he had already created, but he chose the fight through art and his close friends report he ‘kept writing like a lion through it all’. He even made a public apparition last month at the premiere of Lazarus, the musical based on his songs.

The beauty of all this is that Bowie kept everything secret, sparing us of the pity and this sort of whimpering feelings which are not good for a true appreciation of art. Someone said he turned his death into art and there’s no other way to put it, this last album is deeply intertwined with his death, but we only discover it now, afterward the fact. Bowie is one rare artist who managed to sublime even his own death. How many people feel sorry for themselves when facing a terminal illness and eventually death? A lot,… but not Bowie, he made one of his masterpieces to confront the ultimate ending, pushing away the voyeurism and refusing the narcissism that applies too often in our society. When today’s rock-popstars document each one of their trivial moves to attract more followers on their cortege of social media and money in their bank account, Bowie chose a difficult path with non-commercial music, and an attitude which only reflects humility and dignity. In my mind, he is still standing with his secret, brandishing his Blackstar book like a threat, continuing his personal struggle, whose weight he only put on his shoulders for a last space oddity.

 

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