If there was ever a man who made being weird cool, it’s David Bowie. Thank you for making us all heroes, if just for one day…
I woke up this morning to my Facebook feed exploding with the news that David Bowie, one of my all-time favorite artists, had passed on after an 18 month battle with cancer. Suffice it to say, I’ve spent much of the day in tears. David Bowie’s music has formed a soundtrack to my life for most of my living memory. Labyrinth was my favorite movie as a kid, and my mom — a HUGE Bowie fan — had all of his albums. I remember riding in the car singing at the top of my lungs to Glass Spider and Day-In, Day Out and Young Americans (having no idea what the lyrics to many of these songs meant — not that it mattered.) I assumed in my mind that when we hit the 2000s (provided we survived Y2K) that the decade would naturally be called the Zeroes because “tonight the Zeroes were singing for you” of course.
What’s magical about David Bowie is he was an artist who created his own rules and lived by them. He made crossdressing cool.
One of Ziggy Stardust’s numerous gender-bending outfits
He made dancing with Muppets cool (and became a sex symbol in riding pants — at least for young, geeky girls like myself and most of my friends,) and in a time where an artists time is lucky to be measured in years, he’s been an international icon since the 70’s. He stood against racism, sexism, for gay rights and through his performance art, the right to choose your own gender identity. He did this by recreating himself and never being afraid to put himself out there. Not all of his albums were wild successes, but he’s a wild success because even when he was playing multiple characters on stage, he was true to himself.
To the end.
Last Friday, 1/8/16, on his 69th birthday, David Bowie released his final album, Blackstar. I didn’t know it, but he planned this album as his final exit and a final thank you to his fans.
You can watch the video of his video Lazarus from Blackstar below:
In this video, as in all of David Bowie’s work, you see a true artist. One who is not afraid to show himself as a flawed, wonderful human being. Listening to all of my favorite David Bowie tunes today, tears in my eyes at points, I am struck by the sheer massive amounts of creative work David Bowie shared with us. He started playing saxophone when he was 13 years old, and at 69, two days before his death, he produces a final, astounding album. If you look at his IMDB page, in 2015 alone, he was featured in over a dozen film and TV soundtracks.
As an artist myself, I can only be inspired and awed. And to bring it back to the topic of this site, as gamers, tabletop GMs and players both, we are also in the business of creativity. People may look at us and say, “you’re weird,” or “I don’t get why you cosplay,” or “why do you waste hours of your time pretending to be something out of a fantasy novel?” but none of those people matter so long as we live true to ourselves. We have the opportunity every time we sit down at the gaming table to make something magical. That’s also what we are aiming to do here at RollwithitRPG, not only with our with but also with the gaming videos that we’re filming and will be sharing with you in 2016.
And we are so fortunate to have a great example in David Bowie of how to live as artists, geeks, oddballs and maybe, if only for a day, heroes.
(thank you Tamaryn for this meme)
Lady Sunshine, signing off…