9 replies

  1. Ground Control to Major Tom, Ziggy Played Guitar, Heroes, Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes… too many of them that I liked. Also, all of Labyrinth.

    I’m quite surprised by how sad I was to hear he had died. I mostly listen to classical music and opera, but somehow, he had become part of my consciousness.

  2. Labyrinth is a favourite for me. It came out when I was roughly the age of the main protagonist, and also an awkward tèen given too much over to fantasy. I have never really liked the end though. I would have chosen Jareth over the real world anytime, flobbly pants or no. I still would…

  3. I can’t listen to Bowie because of the child rape (“allegations” is the word I think I’m meant to put here).

    Maybe if stories on him included the bad side of him as well I could listen again. I can read Charles Dickens even though he abused his wife, because it’s been acknowledged, because no-one is pretending he was an entirely great man. The MSM is censoring an important aspect of Bowie’s life and in doing so are silencing survivors and denying child abuse.


    • It is a tricky one. The girl involved says to this day that she was an enthusiastic participant, but that doesn’t change the fact that Bowie was an adult who should have known better.

      This is a particularly good article I thought, as is the one it cites: https://goodbyelittlefox.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/david-bowie-lori-lightning-and-power/

    • According to Lori’s own account, Bowie at least respected her initial refusals, and it wasn’t until he returned to LA at least 6 months later that she felt ready and willing to agree to go back to his hotel room happily anticipating all that implied. The lyrics to his song “Scary Monsters” also suggest that in later years he viewed such exploitation of young girls by older men as repugnant and shame-worthy.

      Much as we would like to think that grown men should have known better back then, the fact is that so long as there was no violence and the girl could pass for 18 in nightclub lighting, hardly anybody except a vocal but contemptuously ignored group of radical feminists cared; that girl’s mother happily compared her to Priscilla Presley during the years Lori was hidden away from the world by Jimmy Page, and Iggy Pop nonchalantly wrote and recorded a song about his girlfriend (Lori’s BFF) being 14. I am unaware of any police officers knocking on Iggy Pop’s door as a result.

      As Amanda Marcotte points out on FB, over the past few decades feminists have actually managed to change the culture around this casual shruggitude that existed towards older men seducing underage girls (and don’t some segments of the MRA movement love to howl about that), and that’s a significant achievement. It’s still worth noting, as they age and pass, how many male celebrities revelled in seducing dazzled teens back then (often in packs) but also noting that some of them were far more exploitative/predatory about it than others, and crucially that most of them did move with the culture and stop this behaviour sometime in the 80s, even though most of them still could have continued if they’d still felt that it was OK.

      Times change and people change, some of them not enough, but some of them more than enough. It’s good to make informed choices about the culture we consume based on what we know about its creators, but I’m not about to cut myself off entirely from problematic creative output based on zealous purity politics.

  4. I think this article is particularly good on the Bowie issue:


    The author validates the victims lived experience while affirming that the perpetrators choice to exploit children for sex was wrong.

    I don’t think that if male musicians choose to cease abusing children it’s is a reason to congratulate them.

    I don’t know what ‘zealous purity politics’ are but it’s true that if you were to stop consuming the music of all the modern male musicians who abused children and women you would be left with very little music by men left in your collection.

    • I don’t think that if male musicians choose to cease abusing children it’s is a reason to congratulate them.

      I don’t think pointing out that as the culture changed the male musicians’ behaviour changed is the same as “congratulating” the male musicians. It’s acknowledging the relevance and power of working to change the culture.

    • P.S.

      I don’t know what ‘zealous purity politics’ are but…

      This perhaps means that you have not thus far ranged widely enough upon the wild and windy steppes of the internet, if you truly have not yet encountered various destructive interactions wherein putative ideological allies take sides wherein one accuses the other of being insufficiently right-thinking about the issue du jour (and often receives a return serve of “it’s you not us”). I often think that such “sides” would be better served by taking a nuanced both/and view of issues rather than falling into the trap of the simplistic either/or view.

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