So, today going to work - it was different. Everyone was so gray-faced and shaken. I have not seen anything like this, covering so many people. It was like it was the morning after a terrible terrorist attack or natural disaster. And like those things, there was wall-to-wall media coverage, social media crashing under the weight of comment, and TV and radio channels changing their listings at the last minute and interrupting planned shows to bring more information on what had happened. And that thing, was unfortunately, the death of one of the most influential figures to British culture in the 20th and 21st century, David Bowie.
It's hard to see anything culture related that we take for advantage in the UK, music, fashion, art, films, the fact that it's acceptable to publicly say you're whatever sexuality you want to be - and not see the tendrils of his influence.
My personal relationship with his music started when I was in uni. I was aware, and liked it right from when I first heard it, and owned a few albums, but really - he was just like any other artist that I kinda liked. But then, during those years, anyone who knows me, knows that I went through some very difficult times. And through those times I became somewhat of a recluse. I drank more than I should, alone. But then, I fell into the embrace of three musical artists that changed my outlook on myself and life in general. Those three artists were Radiohead, The Cure, and David Bowie.
Suddenly there was music that was speaking to me. It was like someone had written stuff for my own mindset. Suddenly there was this *thing* saying "Hey, it's OK to be weird, to be different - actually it's really fucking cool.". Bowie just did him. He was weird, confusing, ambiguous - but he was just him. And that was such a powerful message to me back then. I realise now, that likely, the two other artists I mentioned would not exist - or at least would sound very different without their own influences from Bowie. He himself was just a celebration of imagination, and I love that.
I feel a little today like some one has shown me the strings on a puppet show, or how a magic trick works. He had always felt a little immortal and otherworldly, and it sounds silly - but one of the most shocking parts of his death was accepting that he was just a normal human and not some immortal alien. I find it hard to imagine that there will ever be another that will have such a wide-ranging influence in such a short time, to such a high number of different cultural waypoints - but I'm sure there will.
But, yeah, I suppose I just wanted to use the journal for what it was intended for, for once, and share to those who don't live in the UK - why the whole UK seems to be so shellshocked at the news of the death of a pop star.
There's a famous saying about rock stars - "Never outlive your cool" - but it's very rare that one lives to 69 and still has plenty of cool to spare.