The passing of David Bowie, I know the world hasn’t stopped spinning on its axis. I know that time hasn’t stopped. The things that cause world leaders to lie awake at night, they were frightening and alarming yesterday and they are just as frightening and alarming, probably more so, today. We all know that but, still, we, millions of us, some more than others, do feel that we have come to a bit of a stop, as if we have just slammed on the brakes at a red light. The lights will change to green soon enough and we’ll carry on moving but just for a few moments, I feel like we’ve come to a halt.
I think the last time I turned the tele on in the morning and similarly froze was when I was thumped with the news that Michael Jackson had died. Of course, I ‘freeze’ when I watch news coverage of terrorist atrocities and devastating natural disasters etc but I’m talking now about the passing of ‘artists’ (in the widest sense of the word, musicians, dancers, actors, photographers, painters, writers etc etc). So, I’m thinking of this morning as a Michael Jackson ‘moment’. I guess for others people, for many, it’ll be a John Lennon moment and/or an Elvis moment (I remember where I was when I learnt of Frank Sinatra’s passing but I hadn’t yet fallen under his spell and I was only 11 when Elvis died).
There’ll be people who’ll tell us not to get carried away, that a ‘song and dance’ man (he was much more, of course!!), a celebrity, has passed away and that we should focus on today’s big issues and not lose ourselves in the frippery of fame and celebrity. No one will argue that David Bowie’s passing is ‘more important’ than, say, the crises that are rampaging extremism, world poverty and homelessness and environmental damage….it isn’t but we are entitled to lose ourselves in the sadness of such losses, we are entitled to focus and spend time celebrating the lives of Bowie, Michael Jackson, John Lennon, George Harrison, Freddie Mercury, Frank Sinatra and Elvis because these people and the thousands of other entertainers who sprinkled their fairy dust over our lives and glued smiles to our faces, they are part of the fabric of our lives, the fabric that we want to hold onto, the fabric that is so hated by the likes of IS, the fabric that the likes of IS wants to rip up and destroy, the fabric that is threatened by global warming.
These legends and icons give us enjoyment, pleasure and happiness. We have so very much to thank them for and when they pass away, although they leave great memories and wonderful legacies, we are entitled to spend time focusing on their lives and mourning their passing.
RIP, David Bowie.