ISSN 1989-4163



Get Yourself a Bowie Mirror

Coos Palmboom

I've never been quite sure whether to believe Charles Darwin or to take the enthousiasm and vigor in following His teachings to the ultimate consequence as a show of honest interest in human splendor. But let's for the sake of story telling accept this common belief and state as a free person that Human was made by Ape. The reasoning goes that at some point in weather a local habitat got disrupted by storms, draughts, climate change, things, and the poor apemen dwelling there, not knowing what to do and expecting to die (as was the traditional reaction to adversity in God's paradise), suddenly heard one of them speaking out and saying they should get away from their misery, find a new shore to live and not be afraid of the hardships involved in getting there. They all looked at each other and then everybody went crazy with happiness. Let's run away! It is likely they were a women managed world, as ape tribes mostly are, and that the leader was a woman. So they got away and crossed some fields and hid for predators and crossed more terrain and somehow a number of them made it to the shores of the Indian ocean, where they were happy to find a beach, a funny strip of nothing which allowed them to escape danger from either side, just jump into the other world, land or sea, and enjoy the pleasures of living in a warm surf. And the water changed them, in accordance with what Darwin would much later explain. It took away their body hair and gave them fat in return and it helped them learn to walk and give birth to babies with big heads, as such things are easier in the surf. And so it was that human was born out of one ape's decision to resist nature's destiny.

Soon after, human made god. They needed a story to tell them about what they didn't know, couldn't know, to fill in the voids so to speak, like the past and the future and most of the present as well. So they came up with this god who had put them on the planet, them talking schmucks amidst thousands of often dangerous but generally quite stupid animals, and of course, them being the besties, they allowed themselves to do whatever pleased them with this world. It wasn't theirs, anyway. Had it ever really felt like home? Humans were different, they didn't belong in paradise. So they reasoned. It was true, of course. Think of yourself, could you live in paradise? Well then, so it was and such was their faith. They believed there was no other way to be than they were. One best may try to minimize damages and keep all those crazy gods happy. And after human had believed in how things were long enough, for some strange reason they started believing that the great maker also was responsible for their dreams and that they as a consequence must accept any sense of humiliation they may feel (and a lot they will) as recommendable obedience to the god figure who was directly interfearing with everybody's daily life big brother style. I always thought the original understanding made much more sense. As it was, we grew three major big brother religions and then some serious factions to up the number of interpretations towards thirteen. And then they all started fighting. I don't need to tell you about that one.

In my younger years there were lots of suicide cults around the world, some of whom successfully managed to kill themselves though often the leaders survived. With the twenty-first century ever more becoming our graveyard, new spiritual and personal cults have sprung up to entertain the religiously minded who can no longer bare to accept the abismal misfunction between official explanations and what is really happening and are looking for a gentler way of feeding their spiritual needs. One who has taken advantage of this timely situation, is former musician David Bowie. Three and a half years into his death Bowie is very much alive. Ever since the original shine of his high profile demise inevitably wore off, his large fan base has been keeping Bowie's memory alive through various forms of shared and individual expression. Numerous are cloth items and other fashion statements remembering the thin white duke or whatever shape he took. There are bits of nonsense and old recordings doing the rounds, giving music fans a taste of what isn't coming anymore. There are lots of pretty good copy bands. There are people who listen to his interviews and try to find a recipe for life in them. People make art involving his effigy. People are doing the weirdest things to keep DB in their lives. I have heard of a lego puppet sized David Bowie lego puppet travelling around the world and posting selfies on social media. I know of people sniffing for Bowie trails everywhere they go on holiday, taking every find as a sign of good luck. People seem to find strength in thinking about Bowie. That is quite amazing. That is the beginning of culthood.

I am wondering, is it possible? Will modern human be able to turn one of their own into a god? Will we get to hear deification pleas? And what would a Bowie cult look like? Bowie always claimed to be nobody until at middle age he became an ordinary bloke, so one would expect a lot of room for various interpretations of his many productions to vie for attention in the devotee's mind, rather than an overall perception of what the man was actually about. We're all boosting the mood according to the song we have in mind. So if this lack of personality needed a symbol to get culty about, I would suggest a mirror which one prefers not to look into. Soon people will look into ordinary mirrors and claim they can't see themselves, like their hero mr B. It is by the way not absolutely sure that B has ever said so, or even remotely sure, but it is important to believe it may have been so. Early Bowie fans have often had this unhuman idea of their favourite entertainer, of him being a bit too smart to have all his emotions in a row. It was certainly how they wished to interpret his somewhat funkier looks and quotes from the days of drug abuse and why they allowed him to recuperate his credibility. So mirrors it must be. There will be a mirror cult. Once you believe in it, it's hard to see another storyline.

After an initial uptick the sales of mirrors will decrease, if that is of any value to you. Bowie mirrors will also create a generation of new people who are remarkably cool with their image without looking particularly dull. This style in turn may fill the fountain out of which believers drink to feel a surge in outer body awareness, in other words mingling with your fellow humans without making too much of a fuzz about it, something which has never come easy for Bowie freaks. Musical representations of his work are often gatherings of Bowie fans who prefer not to show each other they are Bowie fans. That's because Bowie fans were quite hated in their days. Later generations of fans don't seem to struggle with this ambiguity. (Can the hero be weak or was it a case of misinterpretation?) They just like his personality. They think he was a nice guy.

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