Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie - Lazarus... and some thoughts on his death

It's hard to look at Bowie at times during this video. Upon the release of the Black Star video/short film last month I found myself slightly unsettled at how he looked as though he had aged 30 years in the three years since we'd last since him in the videos released for The Next Day. After news of his death first thing this morning I learned of the release of another video after Black Star just a few days ago on the 7th of this month. Lazarus is, as this AV Club article so succinctly posits, a farewell.

The wherewithal and sheer force of will to complete make an album as a final statement, knowing you are dying, is unbelievable. I'm reminded of author Jay Lake, how he blogged his own death realtime, narrating his battle with cancer. As horrible as this is it is also amazing, as death is most inevitably a part of life, and a part that we know little about- emotionally, mentally - because it is private, and hard, and difficult to discuss, even with ourselves. Finally David Bowie died as he lived - bold, up front and totally owning his situation, converting it to Art.

If that's not one of the best ways to go I've ever heard I don't know what is. We often look to musicians and artists as inspiration, role models for how to live. Knowing that I will one day die I hope I can do so with at least a modicum of the dignity and creative force that Bowie died with. It's truly magnificent.

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