Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Laura Perrins: Baby boomers have hysterics over Bowie’s death as they confront their own mortality


Is it safe to come out yet? Have we all calmed down? It is day three now so I am hoping the candles have burnt out, the groupies have packed up their guitars and headed home.

The reaction to the death of David Bowie has been the usual totally over blown, over the top, mournfest we have come to expect from the BBC and the Baby Boomers.

We even had the unedifying experience of Tony Blair displaying his ‘right-on’ credentials to the full with this piece of how he went weak at the knees in Bowie’s presence at Chequers (that is paid for by you and me – chumps that we are).

“He came to dinner once at Chequers with Iman. I was genuinely star-struck, but he was great company and didn’t in the least mind me spraying him with questions about various songs, their genesis and what it was like to be him.”

How undignified can you get – using the office of Prime Minister to meet your heroes and suck up to them. What is it like to be you David? Well I get up in the morning Tone, have some breakfast and a cup of tea. No biggie really, mate.

The passing of Bowie was private and dignified. The reaction, as usual by the now Italian-esque like British, was not. So I was left wondering why?

I am no expert on popular culture and as a child of the 1980s (had to get that in there) I was left asking myself what is it about David Bowie that I just do not get?

Surely this reaction is disproportionate hysterics. I am sure he was a fantastic artist, although he did not believe in much other than ‘pushing the boundaries.’ So I was grateful to David Keighley, who explained the real reason behind the BBC’s canonisation of the singer, that “Bowie is above all a drugs and gay icon – and that’s all that matters.”

There is no doubt that Bowie’s death at the relatively young age of 69 has hit the baby boomer generation hard.

They who have dedicated their lives to destroying so many great traditions, especially modest sexual morality and marriage, now have to come to terms with the fact that there is one reality they cannot break: their own mortality.

There is no escaping death, no matter how much you want to get the Grim Reaper on to the Today programme to explain how unfair the whole thing is, and that we should have more ‘life equality.’

The worst part is that this is only the beginning. There is already of talk of a concert, of course, by lots of other ageing pop stars who refuse, literally, to leave the stage. Heaven help us.

And, as one by one, the Heroes of the Boomers check out expect the same reaction each time. Because no one of immense talent ever died before – it is just so hard for the special snowflakes of the 1960s. Their grief is unique. They can’t just keep it to themselves; all must know about it.


(Image Courtesy kuruantigenic, Flickr)

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