Bowie’s Requiem   (2016Jan12)


Tuesday, January 12, 2016                                               12:51 PM

Yesterday when I heard that Bowie had died, my sadness was mixed with intrigue—the newspeople put it as “…died just days after the release of his last album, ‘Blackstar’”. That seemed the result of either overly-coincidental providence or macabre planning on David Bowie’s part—more likely the latter, I figured, when I also learned he had battled cancer for eighteen months prior to his end. But that begs the question—what was the plan, exactly? Was Bowie’s creative spirit so intense that he had to give us one more offering—or was he writing his own funeral score?

Bowie once said in an interview something to the affect that he was lucky to have been permitted to reach middle age without ever having to stop being a twenty-year-old. Artistry demands self-involvement—ego always threatens to overwhelm ability—but giving up ego, even for something worthwhile, like a satisfying but settled-down sort of life, leaves an artist creatively paralyzed. Self-expression requires a surplus of self-respect—enough to make one get up on stage before a mob to share one’s inner self. As we mature, we learn to respect cooperation, responsibility, and patience—and so much respect for all these things other than ourselves leaves us wondering if we ‘dare to eat a peach’. Bowie gorged on them.

But he wasn’t lost in his ego—he was fully aware of it—in fact, he ‘rode’ it in a way few people have the confidence to do. And, as an ‘ego-rider’, it would have been strange had he not left us with his own requiem. For someone like me, it would seem infinitely overweening—but for Bowie, it must have seemed virtually obligatory. Over and out, Major Tom—you Peter Pan of Glam—this is Ground Control ceasing transmission.

NOTE: Later on today, I sat at the piano and, with the above musings in mind, decided to try to be completely unconcerned with anything but my own experiences—not wondering if it was real music, not wondering how others might hear it—it was a liberating thought and, whether for that reason or not, today’s recording came out satisfactory to me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016                                                1:20 PM

I have an embarrassment of riches today: $100 credit on my Amazon account, just waiting for me to spend on whatever my heart desires; Three new movies of promising qualifications on my VOD menu—“A Walk in The Woods” with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, Woody Allen’s latest, “Irrational Man”, and Matt Damon in “The Martian” ( I read the book—fantastic book!); and I’ve made a breakthrough with my Android tablet—I’ve figured out how to use it as a Kindle while my Kindle is charging –and- I’ve figured out how to use OneDrive to move photos, docs, etc. from the tablet to my PC. I also found the button that changes its built-in camera from the front lens to the back lens (so now I can photograph something other than my own ugly face). It’s a small victory—but important to us old folks, who sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the new tech.

But now I’m just confused—I do better with one thing at a time—a bunch of stuff all at once—even good stuff—tends to push my ‘tilt’ button. So now I’m just sitting here, a little dazed, talking about movies I haven’t watched yet. I’ll be back, much later, writing reviews of the movies—I’ve started to enjoy reviewing movies (a bad sign) so I’m probably enjoying the anticipation right now more than I’ll enjoy the actual watching of the movies—we’ll see.

I turn sixty in three weeks—which is a problem for my Amazon shopping—I mean, who gets to sixty and doesn’t already own pretty much whatever they really need to own? I’ll probably end up looking at stuff that I can’t afford—I’ll almost certain spend more than the $100, so it’s really just unnecessary expense, in the end. I miss the early days of the Sharper Image catalogs—remember them? Page after page of strange new gadgets and devices—it all seems a little tawdry now—now that we’ve seen many new gadgets break, or not work as advertised, or become forgotten on a shelf after the first blush of interest in something, ultimately, useless. We’re still waiting for the real thing—jet packs and immersive-VR harnesses and hot-coffee spigots in every room.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016                                                7:43 PM

Well, there’s another day gone and nothing much got done by me—I’m not concerned—I have to take the long view of ‘getting stuff done’ these days. I’ll be off to watch President Obama’s final State of the Union Address in an hour or so—typically, the GOP spent the day front-loading their pooh-poohing, claiming the speech will be crap, that Obama’s last year will be crap—hey, if these guys could predict the future, our political landscape would look a whole lot different—but that doesn’t stop’em. I spent half the day playing Candy Crush and I feel more mature than those—oh, words escape me, profanity fails me—I yearn to insult them because they insult my mind—and they insult the whole country. The Childish Party? Isn’t that more representative than the enigmatic ‘Tea Party’? Come to think of it, GOP—Grand Old Party—is a pretty childish monicker—kind of like The He-Man Woman-Hater’s Club.

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