David Bowie was primarily a music icon. But my fondest memory of David Bowie was a viewing of a movie of his years ago. We were all ready to watch a terrifying horror movie, and my friend said he had the scariest possible movie for us to watch. We expected it to be something horrifying, we’d just watched a pretty disturbing clip from another movie. He put on Netflix, started playing ‘Labyrinth,’ we watched for many tense moments waiting for a jump-scare. Then the scene cut to a bunch of puppet goblins. I couldn’t stop laughing, we realized it was just a trippy movie not a horror movie. And Bowie’s crazy goblin king ‘Jareth,’ it was such a different movie I couldn’t tell how I felt about it as a standalone piece but it was more different than other movies I’d ever seen. I don’t think I’ve watched something quite so unique since.

Bowie was used to being different. I’m a part of a younger generation, so I didn’t watch his transition from obscurity. I know it only from articles, heresay, and his music. I can’t fully comprehend just how much of a shift a figure like David Bowie was to an ever-watching and critical public. He was so strange as his Ziggy Stardust persona. Yet he somehow made being his unique sort of strange the ‘in’ thing. He made it in a way that few others could ever hope to replicate.

And now that he’s passed, there’s something especially haunting about his last video. And something haunting in general about art made by people who knew they were about to pass. People caught in a current of uncertainty about the coming void and existence and who chose to sublimate that potent emotion into something that would persist after they were gone.

Bowie’s recent music video of him frail and on a hospital bed, it reminded me a lot of Johnny Cash’s cover of the Nine Inch Nails song ‘Hurt.’

Works like that stick with me, these pieces from tortured music legends who know their time has come. They’ve seen so much of life, and experienced it all. And they’re uniquely capable to capture something of the beauty in the darkness while they wallow in it.

Death is inevitable, and everybody faces it in their own way. But Bowie’s still alive in his music and his legacy. Like he lives on even after death.

Just like Lazarus.

May we all live to affirm life as they did, before that unceasing void.

65 thoughts on “Haunting

  1. Striking words to honour a legend.

    Labyrinth is a masterpiece of Bowies humour and depth. A lasting affirmation of that crazy, different, strange eyed guy who took on the ‘norm’ and turned it around.

    Long live Jareth, The Goblin King!

    Because pants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for seeing what I was getting at with this post!! They each said goodbye in their own way, and both songs deeply move me each time I watch these videos. And not to go on too much of a tangent but that’s a beautiful perspective within your post, about their being a silver lining in the turbulence of life, and how we shouldn’t struggle against the hard times but rather we should welcome them and find the lessons inherent within them, finding the positives and growing as a result. It’s very much so in line with my personal life philosophy of existentialism and life affirmation your post was positive vibes and I’m in a rather chaotic period in my life at the moment it was just the type of perspective I needed re-enforced thank you so much!! Happy blogging!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks, Oscar. First, I would like to add that this was my father’s name. Glad you could relate to the post. We all have trials and wherever we can find comfort and solace, we must. And yes our sacred artists (Bowie and Cash) know when they are running out of steam. We should listen! Happy blogging to you also!! Lynn

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oscar: “May we all live to affirm life as they did, before that unceasing void.” Socrates: “Should not we offer a prayer to the gods here” (Phaedrus 279B), before we are gone? It is what you have done. Bowi, that is in Spagnol, unknowingly reaffirmed writing before he left. Writing is here to stay. Thank you for your homage to Bowi and Mr. Cash.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Oscar! You are my first like on a post that was not even finished!
    I am still becoming familiar with how to use wordpress. I do not know how to privately message you so this should do. I have no idea how you came across my blog. Thank you for my first like. I have been reading through your posts and found them interesting. I will follow you and hope you do the same if you find my ridiculous thoughts interesting.

    Thanks Again!

    – V

    Liked by 1 person

    • No problem at all thanks for stopping by mine as well!! I on occasion scour the blogosphere and check out other blogs, and it’s funny you say that I don’t know how to privately message people through wordpress either haha but I’m very happy you’ve enjoyed my posts all the best to you as you start your blogging journey happy blogging!!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I love the movie Labyrinth, but yes, at the beginning it would always seem like the horror themed movie, but after awhile I really enjoyed the unique, creative movie. David Bowie did such a great job in that movie, like he usually does!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow that’s true lifelong fandom that’s really awesome.. He was a tremendous individual so much talent and he’ll live forever in his music, thank you so much for your kind comment it’s people like you who propelled Bowie to the icon he became

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, these two videos were so very powerful and moving, what incredibly courageous and deep human beings they were, to use some of their very last energy to share these depths with everyone… amazing.

    I love the movie Labyrinth! I am much older than you, and David Bowie really was a unique character when he first began, all though he was a strange one he still held us captive with his original style. My children loved that movie and now my grandchildren love it too. thank you for sharing this,our world is made better and deeper because of people like them. Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • They were incredible and courageous human beings, that Johnny Cash video always got to me and this Lazarus video is something I still repeat often, such a unique and melancholy vibe about it, and knowing he was dying it’s just beautiful art. I can believe that David Bowie took some time for people to warm up to and it really amazes me just how much he was able to modulate the public’s perception of him. Labyrinth was such a strangely entertaining film haha it just always gets me especially that crystal ball he’s always rolling along his arms in some magical way. Our world is certainly made better because of them, thank you so much for the kind comment Michelle!! Happy blogging!!


      • I have used one line from Labyrinth so many times in my life, when things have gotten out of control and suddenly I realize…”you have no power over me” and the troubles shatter like the goblin kings castle! Thank you again for posting the videos, i will save them, so inspiring and deep…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Apologies for the late reply and that is a beautiful line from the movie we do need to remember that often negative forces only have as much influence over us as we grant to them, I’ll be sure to remember the line better than Sarah did haha and no problem at all thank you once again for your kind comments!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Labyrinth was a movie from my early childhood and much loved at my house. It was my first exposure to David Bowie so while I loved his haunting voice in the songs in the movie, I didn’t realize at that time that he was already a star. I loved to learn later in life that he was such an original!

    Liked by 1 person

    • He really was such an original!! I came up in a different generation so I haven’t really been exposed to as much of his work growing up it’s great to hear from people who grew up seeing him, I can’t imagine watching Labyrinth as a child I feel like it might have freaked me out a little bit haha thank you so much for the kind comment!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved how you described “Labyrinth” as a unique movie, because that’s how I felt watching it for the first time as well. I didn’t quite know what to make of it, but after a few times, I was actually able to understand what was going on. Reflecting on the film, it almost seems like a warped Wizard of Oz, but with Bowie, how could it not be?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Warped Wizard of Oz that’s a really cool way of putting it haha I really didn’t know quite what to make of it either at the start but it was just so different it’s always stood out in my head since then thank you so much for the comment!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. When I watched that movie I was about 12 years old. For me it was scary…so scary! Then watching it years later I laughed too. It was so cool.
    And Bowie last video brought me to tears. It was haunting and so very real.
    He will be sorely missed for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That movie’s definitely got a creepy element to it but from the right perspective it’s just so strange that it’s hilarious. And that video really just hit me in some type of way I couldn’t stop watching it for a long while after he passed

      Liked by 1 person

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