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Death, Art and David Bowie

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posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 01:42 AM
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I hear out of the blue “David Bowie dead”. Wow, I think to myself. Didn’t even know he was sick, and then I hear on the T.V “Bowie kept it a secret for 18 months”, and the “aah” and then the ebb, “so sad”, as I realize how sudden and unexpected this was, and young he still was (relatively speaking). An image flashes on the screen of Bowie, sick, with his face wrapped in a bandage and two buttons covering where his eyes would be. But it’s not just that: he’s so sick looking. His pallor. His sickness, read on his face, and the buttons…the image flashes in my mind “he’s representing the anonymity of his situation: one which we all face. The buttons, blinding him to what he desperately wants to know, but can’t, so must wallow in his morbid thoughts and fears.

Later on in the day I turn on the TV and put it to youtube, type in David Bowie, and watch his video Lazarus. The video starts with an armoire door opening, with a sick, pale man – representing death, most likely – lurching out. He crawls towards the bed where the sick and dying Bowie rests, contemplating what awaits him – eternal darkness? Eternal nothingness? And for a man – like Bowie – who lived and felt and experienced life at an intensity that few people are privileged to feel?

Bowie calls out with each scene. I’m more focused on his body movements than his specific sayings. I think “Lazarus”, as in “the man resurrected by Jesus”, and “aahh’, he believes – or wishes – or NEEDS – this. But Bowie isn’t making anything simple or easy. Amid the hope for resurrection or a meaningful return to knowing, there is darkness, fear, the bed, the disease, the strenuous activity of thoughts and thinking – the spasmodic movements of Davids body. Bowie strikes the heart of the reality: death is a scary, scary #ing thing.

But then he gets up, we see his face, he’s moving his body, and I can’t help wonder about the spirit of this man; sick, and no doubt enfeebled by his late-stage cancer; but up, moving, focused, eager, moving – presenting meaning in his movements and effortful assertions in his words. He dances, he shows himself, reminds himself, recalls life, recalls his joys, recalls his multiplicity of ways – laughter, play, partying, fun, but also spiritual pursuits, praying, seeking of meaning. A man who has been well educated and philosophically initiated. He wants to present his death, express his death – for art? My cynical side speaks up, but I calm it. I think the most important thought: “Who can help it”? The man is dying, and he is doing something beautiful in his dying. He could die and let it be; or, as perhaps only someone as genius as David Bowie can ponder, he can turn it into a deep and realistic portrayal of life’s final moments. In his death, with his buttons on his eyes – he is me, you, or anyone else, who experience themselves at the center of it all (of which Bowie was an exaggeration) and the utter calamity of facing death – of the dissolution of the thermodynamic organic constitution we call our body – and face….what? David Bowie is nothing and no one, just a robot – or a machine – which he intimates in his robotic-like retro-steps back towards the armoire, leaving the world of machine-like organic form, and returning to whatever he is.

Before his return to the armoire, he utters a beautiful line: first he says he wants to be free like a blue bird, and finally, he says he wants to be “like me”. And that’s the hardest truth, yet a profound truth. I’m sure Bowie died in peace, with loved ones, and with a certain gnosis that whatever he – and we too one day – returns to, is the natural way, and the natural reality, that precedes and follows existential knowing.




posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 01:52 AM
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The unfolding events, the time table, the themes - it's all so quintessentially Bowie. It's artful, it's dramatic, it's thought-provoking, it's shocking. I say well done. Even in his dying, he has pushed the envelope and the discussion. It's tragically beautiful. It hurts in an exquisite way.



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 01:53 AM
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It would seem he knew his passing was coming.

edit on 12-1-2016 by skunkape23 because: (no reason given)
The Ormen was the Norse word for "Serpent."
edit on 12-1-2016 by skunkape23 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 03:20 AM
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a reply to: skunkape23


It would seem he knew his passing was coming.


He knew he would die of cancer eventually; he chose when to make an artistic statement. (Yes, I believe he chose euthanasia. The timing can't be a coincidence.)



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 11:37 AM
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originally posted by: kosmicjack
It hurts in an exquisite way.


That right there says it all.

So talented, so far ahead of his time...
Left us with incredible works and one helluva exit strategy.
But that was Bowie, I would have been surprised even more so had he chosen a different path of dignity at the end.

I know I will miss future contributions from his genius.

RIP Mr. Bowie, and thanks for sharing your gifts with us.



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 09:55 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

His whole life was a piece of art, proven even in death. That is the quintessential value in a human being: to be an object so rare that it exists only once for a little while, that others are blessed to have seen it.



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 10:07 PM
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Nice interpretation of Bowie's farewell piece.
Very good writing,
Listening to his Black star album right now, it's an interesting mix of styles and instrumentation.
Bowie always breathed so much life in to his recordings, very rich and atmospheric at times.
Knowing he just passed makes the listening experience pretty intense so get the album soon.



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 11:28 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Haven't read anything but the title. Just stopping by to say
altho I was never as big a fan as I feel I should have been.
David Bowie was one of the classiest people I know of, that
made himself so equal to the fame he acquired. I will absolutely
miss this godly talented, outrageous, Mozart of Rock. RIP my
good friend by contribution to my life. Thank you David and RIP
my brother, you will be sorely missed.



I have tears in my friggen eyes right now.
edit on Rpm11216v46201600000010 by randyvs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 12:54 AM
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When I first saw the video for Lazarus, I thought the buttons on his eyes represented the Greek mythology of placing coins on the eyes of the deceased as payment to Charon for crossing the rivers Archeron and Styx to enter Hades.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 01:10 PM
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I am going to write something on what Bowie was doing in his video including the title.

All the clues are there...



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 03:22 PM
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a reply to: abeverage

Lots of occult overtones.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 03:47 PM
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listening to music is a very individual thing.
i have to say the more i listen to this album, the more astounding it becomes.



posted on Jan, 14 2016 @ 12:57 PM
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originally posted by: kosmicjack
a reply to: abeverage

Lots of occult overtones.


Seriously putting it mildly...



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