Bowie was fascinated by the creation of entirely new things – never going back, never repeating and always moving forward, breaking the rules
Much less challenging.
Only last week, David Bowie gave us a new body of work to think about, discuss and be inspired by, and that’s just not going to happen again.
And as a result, the world is impoverished. Much will be written about the fact that of course that’s not just in music, it’s in performance, acting, movies, video, art, life and identity.
It’s in ideas, as his influence was primarily to offer vast amounts of those – good and bad, profound and trashy, usually way ahead of their time, generating possibilities for others in their wake.
Many of his less good thoughts have been bigger and more interesting than many other successful careers.
We should study afresh all that he did and all that he achieved, so we can all see beyond the Ziggy and Aladdin Sane clichés and the shallow appropriation of images and words.
Move on and create
But then again, I don’t know if he really would have wanted us to dwell on that. He would have wanted us to move on, to create something of our own and to stop looking to him for inspiration.
Because if he was fascinated by anything, it was the creation of entirely new things.
Never going back, never repeating yourself and always moving forward, breaking the rules of the past, a past that he is now a part of. A past to be broken and beaten up to create something new.
Our response to his death should not be ‘how do I feel?’, but instead ‘what shall I do?’.
His legacy should be in creating a braver world, where all of us just get on with the business of moving things forward, no matter where you come from and whatever your interests and profession.
Because if we accept that we are all lessened by this morning’s sad news, we haven’t really understood what his life and work means.
Our response to his death should not be “how do I feel?”, but instead “what shall I do?”.