My inbox is blowing up with Bowie backlash.
And normally I would not react in print, but I’ve got two points to make.
The first is a correction.
It turns out the YouTube video of the clip has in excess of two million plays. Why the Vevo take has so few… All I can say is when I clicked on the link on Bowie’s page yesterday, Tuesday, the link didn’t work at all!
But the reason I’m invading your inbox one more time today is because I want to delineate a point about our society. Frank Rich did a good job of writing about it the other week in “New York.” It’s that we build false heroes in our society, like David Petraeus, the press looks at them uncritically and then…we find out these people are human.
Kind of like Lance Armstrong. If you follow his history, you know about that drug test that… You knew he was doping. But if you wrote that, and I did, you were attacked, look at what he’s doing for cancer research!
Bottom line, people need someone to believe in. And they defend that same person to high heaven until a sharp spike is driven into their mind proving otherwise.
The ticket fee problem is the acts’ fault, not Ticketmaster’s.
Ticketmaster would go to all-in ticketing tomorrow. It’s the acts that don’t want to do this. But the ignorant public keeps blaming Ticketmaster.
So my inbox is filling up with people saying MAYBE DAVID BOWIE WANTED TO MAKE THIS MUSIC! GET OFF HIS BACK!
Giving this ancient hero all kinds of credit and breaks he doesn’t deserve.
Maybe you believe otherwise.
Or is your life so simple and overwhelming that you’ve got heroes, that you truly think these people are better than you, with pure motives and an inability to fail.
Ever meet any of your heroes?
You’d be stunned.
So often famous people are mercurial, difficult, and they don’t give you the time of day. If you haven’t been dissed by one of your heroes, you haven’t met one.
So I take a critical approach to David Bowie’s new music and his marketing plan and the basic response is…
HOW COULD YOU? HE’S DAVID BOWIE!
This is the same kind of thinking that got the press and the nation believing there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq because the President and his minions said so. What’s going to keep this nation free is not guns, but critical thinking.
If we’re still talking about David Bowie’s new music a year from now, I’d be stunned.
BUT HE’S DAVID BOWIE! STOP TALKING RIGHT NOW!
I saw David Bowie perform “Ziggy Stardust” before most of you were born, at the Music Hall in Boston back in ’72. He was great then, he hasn’t been great in a long time.
Could he be great again?
But if you think the new track is great please don’t send me any recommendations. And good luck in this new world where good is not good enough, where you’ve got to be SPECTACULAR to succeed!
We’re truly living in an era of superstars.
And if you can’t deliver at this high level you’re forgotten or you never made it.
What did Jack Nicholson say in that movie…
YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH?
You want to believe your heroes are flawless and your music is worth listening to.
”Suckers For Superheroes,” Frank Rich on Petraeus, et al
P.S. The more e-mail that comes in, the more people agree with me. Proving once again the haters are knee-jerk reactors who attack first.
P.P.S. While I’ve got your attention, I want to tell you someone e-mailed me a solution for my iTunes search problem. The default is to search the entire library. Click on the magnifying glass on the left-hand side of the search window and select “Filter By: All” in the drop-down menu and it works the old way. Thank god for crowdsourcing, but these programs should be intuitive to the individual.