When I decided on the name, “Misfit Virtue,” the first thing that came to mind was David Bowie. I have been a Bowie fan since birth, my favorite song growing up was “Starman.” (I was particularly fond of the lyric, “Let all the children boogie”). Bowie opened my eyes to nonconformity, individuality, sexual fluidity, and my love for the cosmos and all things strange and unusual. I admire the way he unapologetically expressed himself. He never followed trends, he set them.
During winter break, I woke up to a series of tweets regarding Bowie’s passing. I was in a state of utter shock and disbelief. I did not expect this to happen, at least not for a long while. I read a seemingly endless amount of stories from celebrities who had some sort of connection to Bowie. It seemed as if everyone claimed a piece of him. It began to seem as if every tribute piece was just a regurgitation of the thesaurus results for “hero” and “legend” which just made me feel that no tribute would do him justice. I realized, however, that no one should ever discredit another person’s method of coping with a loss.
I completely lost it during Gary Oldman’s tribute at the Brit Awards two nights ago. Oldman quoted Bowie, stating, “Music has given me over 40 years of extraordinary experiences. I can’t say that life’s pains or more tragic episodes have been diminished because of it, but it has allowed me so many moments of companionship when I have been lonely and sublime means of communications when I have wanted to touch people. It has been my doorway of perception and the house that I live in.” Bowie is a true representation of the impact music can have on our lives.
This semester, I’m taking an honors seminar on fame and celebrity culture. We have to write a term paper on a celebrity of our choosing. My first choice, of course, was David Bowie. I am looking forward to researching more about the lasting impression he has made on our world. He truly was a transcendent figure and I look forward to exploring further into his life.
Bowie once said, “I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human.” That statement couldn’t be more true. I am fortunate to have been able to look to him for inspiration for the past twenty one years I have been alive. I cannot find the right words to do him any justice. All I know is I wake up every morning and ask myself, “Are you being the person David Bowie wants you to be?” then I adjust my life accordingly.
Thank you, David.