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A David Bowie Story

Posted by V the K at 7:46 pm - October 22, 2017.
Filed under: Random Thoughts,Writing

A very touching story from Neil Gaiman’s tumblr. This is probably as much as I can excerpt. You’ll have to read the rest at the link.

My friend told me a story he hadn’t told anyone for years. When he used to tell it years ago people would laugh and say, ‘Who’d believe that? How can that be true? That’s daft.’ So he didn’t tell it again for ages. But for some reason, last night, he knew it would be just the kind of story I would love.

When he was a kid, he said, they didn’t use the word autism, they just said ‘shy’, or ‘isn’t very good at being around strangers or lots of people.’ But that’s what he was, and is, and he doesn’t mind telling anyone. It’s just a matter of fact with him, and sometimes it makes him sound a little and act different, but that’s okay.

Anyway, when he was a kid it was the middle of the 1980s and they were still saying ‘shy’ or ‘withdrawn’ rather than ‘autistic’. He went to London with his mother to see a special screening of a new film he really loved. He must have won a competition or something, I think. Some of the details he can’t quite remember, but he thinks it must have been London they went to, and the film…! Well, the film is one of my all-time favourites, too. It’s a dark, mysterious fantasy movie. Every single frame is crammed with puppets and goblins. There are silly songs and a goblin king who wears clingy silver tights and who kidnaps a baby and this is what kickstarts the whole adventure.

It was ‘Labyrinth’, of course, and the star was David Bowie, and he was there to meet the children who had come to see this special screening.

‘I met David Bowie once,’ was the thing that my friend said, that caught my attention.

‘You did? When was this?’ I was amazed, and surprised, too, at the casual way he brought this revelation out. Almost anyone else I know would have told the tale a million times already.

He seemed surprised I would want to know, and he told me the whole thing, all out of order, and I eked the details out of him.

He told the story as if it was he’d been on an adventure back then, and he wasn’t quite allowed to tell the story. Like there was a pact, or a magic spell surrounding it. As if something profound and peculiar would occur if he broke the confidence.

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12 Comments

  1. A delightful movie, and Ziggy was a class act.

    Comment by Sathar — October 22, 2017 @ 8:32 pm - October 22, 2017

  2. I admire the patience many people have for autism, because I don’t have that ability.

    Comment by Hanover — October 22, 2017 @ 8:36 pm - October 22, 2017

  3. I love David Bowie’s music and the man himself. I’m still trying to sort through the matters of Lori Mattix, Wanda Nichols, though. I don’t know what to think. Is anyone else having the same issue?

    Comment by CrayCrayPatriot — October 22, 2017 @ 10:07 pm - October 22, 2017

  4. I urge everyone to read the whole story at the link – very worthwhile.

    Comment by civil truth — October 22, 2017 @ 10:30 pm - October 22, 2017

  5. #3, Easy the damage he did is not outweighed by the “art” he produced. I would think anyone with a functioning moral compass would know that.

    Comment by TnnsNe1 — October 23, 2017 @ 11:00 am - October 23, 2017

  6. @3

    Strange. Considering the whole Harvey Weinstein debacle, I thought V the K would have a strong opinion on Bowie’s transgressions.

    Consistency and all that rot.

    Hmmn, strange.

    Comment by CrayCrayPatriot — October 24, 2017 @ 5:01 am - October 24, 2017

  7. So, I guess CCCP’s opinion is that we ought not to note acts of kindness if the person also has been accused of doing something awful. Yeah, let’s live like that. Let’s denigrate every small act of kindness for the sake of a ‘Gotcha!” Because that’s totally a great way to go through life.

    Comment by V the K — October 24, 2017 @ 7:29 am - October 24, 2017

  8. Hi V the K,

    Actually, no. You have it twisted. Just trying to peg down the consistency. Personally, I love Bowie, if you know how to read, just not sure how to reconcile his technical statutory rapes, when I personally hold the transgressions of other such artists against them to attempt to maintain my own consistency.

    I’m just curious as to where and how you draw your lines and boundaries when it comes to … Roman Polanski … Woody Allen … David Bowie … etc.

    You pride yourself on consistency and living by strict rules that those of us on the left apparently don’t. So, spill it. What’s your secret? What defines one of these men as a pedophile and the other not, etc.

    Cheers,
    CCP

    Comment by CrayCrayPatriot — October 24, 2017 @ 8:27 am - October 24, 2017

  9. ” maintain my own consistency”

    Delusional. A quick read of your comments shows you don’t have any consistency of morality other than to be inconsistent.

    Hollywood, which you adore, is showing its true colors and yet you continue to support them and refuse to take action against them.

    Reconcile this :

    “Within two days those numbers swelled as more than 200 additional women contacted The Times and, in emails and phone calls, recalled encounters with Toback similar to those detailed in the story. The majority of the new accounts, which have not been verified, told of Toback approaching women on the streets of Manhattan, offering them the chance at a part in an upcoming movie, and a wide range of unwanted sexual advances and behavior.”

    200 women!!!

    “The stories that former co-workers have told about David O. Russell should have been enough to render him unhireable. In fact, just glancing through a list of behaviors that Russell himself has admitted to would appear to bar the director from future employment. Instead, Amazon jumped on the Russell project, making a deal that was reportedly worth $160 million for just two seasons.”

    “Celebrity photographer Terry Richardson has been banned from working with major fashion magazines including GQ, Vogue, and Vanity Fair after previous allegations of sexual assault resurfaced.”

    And you worry about reconciling the deviant behavior of a guy who died last year? Simply more deflection.

    You have expressed sympathy for the victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape (you think they are of all equal severity). What steps are you personally taking to try and change the culture of the industry that you are enamored with? Does any of it involve time away from the keyboard? Any marches in front of movie theaters? Media outlets? Radio stations? Fashion shows? Organizing boycotts?

    Any volunteer time with women and/or children who have been victims of sexual assault?

    Comment by TnnsNe1 — October 24, 2017 @ 11:40 am - October 24, 2017

  10. @8 Really curious V the K!

    How do you criticise Polanski and Allen, but not Bowie?

    Cheers,
    CCP

    Comment by CrayCrayPatriot — October 24, 2017 @ 5:19 pm - October 24, 2017

  11. @8 V the K, no?

    Oh, come on. Give a shot!

    Or maybe you don’t have an answer?

    It’s okay, V the K.

    It’s okay to say, “You know what? I just don’t know. I love Bowie and I hate Polanski/Allen, so I’m more willing to overlook his transgressions.”

    Cheers,
    CCP

    Comment by CrayCrayPatriot — October 24, 2017 @ 9:15 pm - October 24, 2017

  12. It’s almost funny how Cas and CCCP think I even give a sh1t about their opinions in the first place. My middle son, in his early adolescent years, would try to get under my skin by throwing up personal attacks, just to see where one would land. If he saw any sign that a button had been pressed, that he had gotten to me, even in the slightest, he’d just press harder on the place where I had reacted. Over time, I developed a pretty thick skin, learned how not to react when people try and bait me. It was a most valuable experience.

    James,

    This is your answer as to why you’ll slag Polanski, Allen, but not Bowie, because …

    1) You don’t know how to answer the question which is consistent with the beliefs you actively promote on this blog
    2) You refuse to acknowledge that you can’t answer the question
    3) Because you’re afraid of exposing your moral inconsistency
    4) And you believe it’s a sign of weakness to do so

    So–despite you not caring–you liken myself (and others) to children. And, in your mind, you justify this analogy, because it’s easier than confronting reality and the truth. Not my reality and truth, but actual reality and truth. You’re nestled in your messy corner of the internet, where few people bother you, and you’re mostly supported by like-minded people who encourage you and help justify in your mind that you’re “right” to think the way you do.

    Do I give a sh!t that you don’t give a sh!t about my opinions? No, lmao. What you don’t get is that the thick skin you’ve developed is a separation from realty. Perhaps it’s a coping mechanism. You have a survival narrative that you tell yourself that gets you through the day which involves this separation from reality and refusal to acknowledge the obvious.

    But, don’t get it twisted. You ain’t fooling me and many others.

    Not a snazzy dresser? I guess CCCP hasn’t seen my new T-shirt

    You would prefer I was dead. That’s instructional. Just for the record, I do not prefer you were dead. Or, you have no qualms about joking about such a thing. I like you very much alive. And that’s just another difference between us. Yet, you’re convinced you’re morally superior to me.

    You’re not. It doesn’t matter how many time you think it.

    Cheers,
    Vince

    Comment by CrayCrayPatriot — October 25, 2017 @ 6:48 pm - October 25, 2017

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