The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

What Futurists And Egotists Can Learn From Bowie …
January 13, 2016, 6:20 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Culture, Death, RIP, Stubborness

So as we all know Bowie died this week.

Given few people knew he was ill, the news of his death – especially given the release of his latest album and birthday – was particularly shocking.

I loved Bowie.

Not, believe it or not, because he once sang a duet with my favourite band … but because in addition to his music, I loved his commitment to reinvention.

Whereas people like Madonna seem to flock towards whatever trend can help them appear relevant, Bowie did it because he was interested in the unknown.

He never did it in the quest for sales, he did it because he was interested in it … stubborn in his resolve to always do what intrigued him, what he believed in.

Sometimes that incurred the wrath or the laughter of critics – people judging him by their standards, not his – but he didn’t care, because he believed life was about experiences, experimentation and exploration and if people didn’t understand what or why he was doing things, he didn’t really care.

Some may argue you can act that when you are rich, but the fact is he always lived that way.

He never felt he had to convince others of his choices.

He never chased others approval.

In essence, he was the embodiment of ‘his own person’ which is why whatever he did always felt authentic and – to a certain extent – effortless.

Lots of people have written lots of amazing things about him and the response he has received from society – especially in his hometown of Brixton – has been amazing, however if anything highlights how he embraced the future, especially the unknown, the untapped, the unexplored … it’s this comment he made about the music industry back in 2002.

When I look at the ambiguous twaddle so many ‘futurists’ spout, Bowie is articulate, clear and very focused.

You sense that his beliefs were born from serious consideration – never a quest to exercise his ego – which is why he was a refreshing counterpoint to the statements made by so many modern artists today.

Mr Bowie, you have left the World a less interesting place than it was before but we would be in a far worse position had you not been here at all.

The ultimate legacy.

34 Comments so far
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A post on Bowie? Days after he died? You’ve never been this topical. You’re exploiting his death more than TMZ. You wrote a better story though.

Comment by DH

I must admit I agree with you. Normally he would write about this in about a year. Seems he hasn’t managed to prewrite many posts in 2016 so far.

Comment by Pete

vice are the new tmz. they just hide it better.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’re right. The way they exploited the Paris concert terrorist attack was disgusting. At least TMZ acknowledge they’re commercial whores …

Comment by Rob

I know … I’m kind-of shocked. I guess with people outpouring their grief in social media, I got to learn more things about Bowie’s brilliance than I knew and felt compelled to write about it. I’m sure it won’t happen again until maybe Brian May passes on … but given I know everything about him already, I would imagine my eulogy would be posted 12 nanoseconds after the news of his passing hits the World.

Comment by Rob

You’re all kinds of wrong.

Comment by DH

Happy new year Rob and everyone. I’ve some posts to catch up on but this is a great one to get back in to Rob rants.

I was more a fan of his approach to life than his music but I still think he is a great loss to the world.

Similar to your story about the record industry, this is a video of him challenging MTV about their playlists. Specifically they’re reluctance to play black artists. I particularly like how he doesn’t let them off the hook with their stupid response.

Great to have you back.

Comment by Pete

If I’d known how prejudiced MTV started out being, I would have never let us work with them. Bowie was Paxman before Paxman.

Comment by George

they never fucking paid us properly either. pricks.

Comment by andy@cynic

And then there is the time Paxman met Bowie.

Comment by George

This is brilliant. And what the hell is that presenter talking about? Apart from his ridiculous attempts to justify their blatant prejudice, he just goes on and on and on.

Reminds me of the Dennis Thatcher quote that says you are better to keep your mouth shut and be thought as a fool than open it and remove all doubt.

Comment by Rob

Denis stole that from Charlie Chan!

Comment by Ian Gee

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Bowie a few times over the years at industry events. He was a fascinating person. Intelligent, informed, passionate, strong-willed and yet deeply private, which initially was a shock. I remember telling a friend he may be the most interesting man I have ever met. I still feel that way.

Comment by Lee Hill

With your history of dealing with interesting people, that is impressive. Thank goodness he lived up to the image. Few do.

Comment by George

pay me $50k a week lee or ill make sure your boss sees your comment. small notes. used.

Comment by andy@cynic

Funny you should say that, because I was talking to someone yesterday about the lack of interesting people in my industry. Of course there’s some – very good people at that – but not many.

I fear companies are slowly moulding people into being one homogenous group, where we all say and do the same thing. Become interchangable.

The thing I loved about Bowie is he created waves based on his intelligence. He wasn’t trying to be controversial for the sake of it – or egotistical – he just knew his stuff and could see where it was going to move the World. At least in subjects he was an expert on.

Better yet, he acted on his viewpoint rather than just talked about them.

Interesting for all the right reasons.

Comment by Rob

Bowie made being weird cool.

Comment by Billy Whizz

didnt work for you did it.

Comment by andy@cynic

ok campbell, answer this. whats your favourite bowie song and i bet you a slap up dinner its under fucking pressure.

Comment by andy@cynic

I owe you dinner.

Well, I don’t … but I do really love that song.

Comment by Rob

you owe me a fuckload more than dinner. but i knew i was right. i always fucking am.

Comment by andy@cynic

Poor Bowie. A lifetime of creation and you associate him with futurists. He made you write a good post though, which is really his greatest legacy.

Comment by Bazza

Now you come to mention it …

Comment by Rob

The collaboration with queen the only blot on a stellar life

Comment by Northern

Oh come on … it’s a good song, it could have been worse – just look at the shit Elton John has collaborated on in a bid to look contemporary. But it’s nice to have you back – both in terms of commenting and being miserable towards Queen.

Comment by Rob

It’s a great song, thanks to Bowie being in it.
I met him once, when I was working in a high end gym, his wife was training and he was drinking coffee – a delightful bloke

Comment by northern

There are far too few truly authentic people in the world. Bowie inspired many of us to ‘march to the beat of our own drums’ and I for one, will always be grateful!

Comment by hilltopheaven

Further proof that he knew what he was doing (and further lesson for many out there, including myself):

Comment by Ste

Yeah I saw that too … made me like him even more, but then I’ve thought Coldplay sucked for years.

Comment by Rob

Haha, nice one.

And to think that in high school I used to somehow like “Yellow”, “Yellow II” and “That Other Song That Sounds Exactly Like Yellow”, as the article calls them.

Comment by Ste

Glad to hear you’ve grown up. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Took me a while, but I’m finally here. Which, ironically, are also the lyrics of a Beyonce song, I just found out.

Comment by Ste

Rob, you like queen. You have no credibility to judge any band.

Comment by Bazza

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