So David Bowie is dead from cancer in 18 months. His latest album was highly original, as usual. What I view as Bowie’s best piece of music, “Heroes” (with Brian Eno) was recorded in Berlin, where Bowie lived before of the fall of the Wall. The State of Germany noticed:
Patrice Ayme Retweeted from:
Bowie had rigged speakers during concerts in Berlin, so that they directed music over the Wall. But the connections with Germany are deeper than that: Friedrich Nietzsche inspired Bowie:
“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” (Friedrich Nietzsche.)
Rock rocked the Wall, because it changed the mood. It changed the mood by breaking down a lot of conventions in the West. So rock installed a rocky mood: if convictions could be brought down that easily there, why not here?
The first rock artists to have played on the other side of the Iron Curtain where the Rolling Stones, in Poland, 1967 (just before Bowie started his career). Tickets to the concerts were given out by the Communist Party, much to the bands’ dismay. An unamused Keith Richard complained about it during a concert. Visiting Soviet officials were not pleased. “They thought the show was so awful, so decadent, that they said this would never happen in Moscow,”— Mick Jagger.
Bowie, an English native, was also a formal Canton de Vaud resident, for more than 5 years, and married (Somali top model Iman) in Switzerland in 1992 (they have a daughter, and Iman became foster mother to Bowie’s son from his previous marriage).
Asked why he kept on innovating, David Bowie said:”Elitism”.
“I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human.
I felt very puny as a human. I thought,
“Fuck that. I want to be a superhuman.”
Nietzsche had written this earlier, and Bowie had read him. But, of course, this is the metaprinicple of humanity. Humanity would never have evolved, if our (pre) human ancestors had not said: Fuck that. I want to be a superhuman.
Some say the generations have to flow, because youth and creativity will replace the old gizzards. But David Bowie said he stayed stuck at the age of twenty, and, one day, was told he was in his fifties. Relative to the flow of centuries, a human life, whether destroyed after four years, or eight decades, is just a flick of time.
A 15-year-old refugee just attacked a Jewish professor in France: youth does not have necessarily more brains than the elders. The son of Turkish refugees of Kurdish origin, the adolescent youth was a good student in high school. He attacked the teacher in the street in Marseilles, with a 50 centimeter hatchet.
The victim protected himself with the Torah, which got cut up badly. Witnesses intervened and a biker pursued the attacker until a police patrol could nab him. He was found with still another lethal knife hidden on him (something unlawful in France). The crazily vicious youth declared to the police that the knife was to kill police officers. He also declared he self-radicalized on the Internet, by reading about the Islamist State, and he engaged in all these murderous rampage for Allah (as if Allah, should He exist, needed help from demoniac morons!)
This is one more potentially lethal attack by Muslim refugee rendered insane by the Qur’an. The preceding one was on David Bowie’s birthday, last Friday, an assault against police. French detectives found a German chip in the phone of the assaillant, and the (now safely dead) “refugee” was tracked down to Germany, where he had taken refuge, indeed.
Our ancestors were humans. It did not matter if their wisdom was only human: what could they do that would go really wrong? Eat each others? Well, the cooks would survive, and they did. It was the eternal return of the same old evolution. But now evolution has been all too successful: it has evolved god.
No, not the one in the Bible and Qur’an. Not just a figment of the imaginations of some primitives, 3,000 years ago. No, real gods, this time, and they are not kidding. Some are even insane, dedicated to the Cult of Death.
We, now, are not simple cannibals. We can cause a lot of damage. We are gods: we propose and dispose upon the greatest gift in the Universe: life on Earth.
Indeed, the greatest gift: I argued that not only Earth is in the habitable, water rich zone, it’s also equipped with a powerful radioactive core, which enables very long-term life evolution, hence the rise of sentience.
Earlier philosophers, starting with G. Bruno, following Buridan, argued conscious life was all around the cosmos; nowadays, forsaken physicists argue universes full of conscious life are all over; I disagree. Although habitable planets are obviously in the hundreds of billions, in this galaxy alone, sentience may well be on this planet alone.
Now we have the powers of the gods. We can use it to construct and improve, ad vitam eternam, again and again. We can also use it for utter destruction. Just once.
And there would be no tomorrow. We thus need huge intelligence to move forward and progress, the intelligence of the gods, just as we have the power of the gods.
Intelligence, creative intelligence is rare. Not as rare as live on Earth, of course, but still, it cannot be replaced by the hordes and the herds. Replacing David Bowie will be difficult, for civilization itself, and one more reason to push for life extension.
To extend intelligence, we need to extend life, it’s a simple as that. Just contemplate the lives of cephalopods: they are very clever, but cannot establish a culture: they live too short for that. Do we live long enough to establish a sustainable culture?
The jury is out, and it does not look good.
As we mourn David Bowie, we have to remember that intelligence is not just about being kind. Intelligence is also about cutting through naivety, not to say the crap. Following his elders the Who, Stones, Beatles, Bowie pushed a bit further to stab the beast. Yet the beast, and the mark of the beast, are more vigorous than ever. Don’t ask who brandishes the knife, ask why it is brandished. This is as far as pacifism can realistically go.