Mary-Lou stands with the refrigerator door propped open, pouring a glass of water, “You’re really a freak,” she says to Thomas, “I don’t mean that unkindly. I like freaks. That’s why I like you.” This scene from the 1976 movie underscores how in so many ways David Bowie wasn’t just playing Thomas, The Man Who Fell to Earth—David Bowie was the man who fell to Earth.
We have made it our mission and our passion to draw attention to all that inspires us. Thus, we would be remiss not to reflect on the life and work of David Bowie. With each passing day since his death it seems more and more people have stories about his influential reach, including but not limited to how he left his mark on Wall Street, how he helped Chuck Palahniuk sell ‘Fight Club’, and yes, how he even helped create the Yankees website.
As news of his death spread across the Internet, this GIF—a rapid series of Bowie’s many looks, as drawn by Helen Green—became an immediate tribute to the late icon. Across the all of the internet the breadth of his reach was felt as tributes poured in from astronauts to cardinals.
There is honestly not much that we can add to the conversation about David Bowie’s legacy except to say, we agree with the overwhelming consensus that what he taught us was how to be comfortable in our own skin; as perfectly highlighted by this tweet and this tweet and this tweet. There’s this article by Eric Renner Brown about David Bowie and Cameron Crowe, and this article by Brian Merchant, and this article by Tatiana Grace Simonian.
There are those of us who were introduced to Bowie by way of Labyrinth, those of us who first heard his voice alongside Freddie Mercury’s on Under Pressure, there are those of us who first heard Nirvana’s cover of Man Who Sold the World, or those who have heard any rendition of Space Oddity, Life On Mars, or Ziggy Stardust, there are even those who first heard him with Trent Reznor on I’m Afraid of Americans. Suffice it to say David Bowie’s impact has stretched across many generations since his self-titled debut album in 1967.
If you have yet to discover David Bowie—if you are reading this with even a hint of perplexity, if you have any question about who we are discussing—get to listening, get to reading. Because so much of pop culture—our culture as a whole—has been shaped by the existence of David Bowie.
Should you feel it alarming or odd to grieve for a person you have never met, you should read this article by Caroline Framke.
Many of us feel as Anis Mojgani felt, that “he’d be here maybe until we watched him, all us together watched him, get on a star or become one & return home.” Though the stars look very different today… the best we can do is honor him by holding on to everything we learned from him, the king of the outcasts, and continuing to find solace and inspiration in his unwavering ability to be himself.