Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Compare, if you're so inclined, the Bowie of 1974 (previous post) with the Bowie of 2002 (below).

 The clip is from Parkinson,  a chat show on English TV. Perhaps the closest US comparison with Parkinson might be Charlie Rose, though it's fair to say that Parkinson was more celebrity/populist driven. What the two shows share, however, is an interview format based on more than just sales promotion and sound-bite - they each attempt to dig beneath the surface a little. But, I digress...

Of course, we are all different people eighteen years between visits. Some though, more than others. Here, it's not just the difference in Bowie's dentistry that stands out. Here is a man whose life and persona is unrecognizable from his previous incarnation. The distance between the two is enormous. How I wonder, does one reconcile such disparity within oneself?

For myself, the obvious example of how I've shifted (self-) expectation, created 'new' selves, sought to enlarge the canvas, has been in shifting geographic location - from England, to Los Angeles, to New York, etc. etc Any time I've felt that I had a clear sense of what my life moving forward would be, any time it's become too predictable, I've upped stakes. And yet I've done so while carrying with me a sharp nostalgia for those past lives, past selves. I've always been reluctant to let them go. It is, as the professional observers might say, 'a conflict.'

To use another extreme example, I've often wondered how someone like Lou Reed absorbs a life experience that covers such range. Troubled young poet, downtown hipster, heroin addict, psychotic, etc, etc, on through whatever he is today - survivor, surly partner of avant-garde artist, etc etc.

Thought for the day then: Perhaps 'self' is the through-line that connects the off-shooting limbs of experience.

 It's a shitty metaphor, but anyway.

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