Tag Archives: New York Times

➤ “I’m not a rock star” Bowie often said – No, David, you were a messiah

David Bowie, death, obituaries, tributes, rock music, Man Who Fell to Earth, media, videos, films,

A humanoid alien comes to Earth with a mission… What a spooky coincidence that David Bowie played the alien Thomas Jerome Newton in the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth

David Bowie, death, obituaries, tributes, rock music, TheTimes, UK, newspapers

Today’s Times: the masks and the man behind them

◼ ALL 10 BRITISH NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS filled their front pages today with the death of David Bowie at 69 – and so did scores of newspapers overseas. The last pop star whose death justified such deification was Jacko in 2009; and the last British pop star to do likewise was John Lennon, in 1980. The Times of London dedicated 18 pages including an outer broadsheet wrapper to honouring Bowie, plus an editorial comment as blessing. The Guardian topped that with 20 pages, plus the most enlightened editorial comment of them all. Not only did this misfit megastar and cultural icon radiate consummate flair as a performer but he displayed “an instinctive affinity with his times”. He had a “way with the zeitgeist”.

All media, notably social media, captured the dominant sentiment of generations of fans suddenly plunged into mourning. Again and again they claimed: He changed my life. . . He taught me how to be myself. . . David was my inspiration. . . David was my tutor. And most could quote their own favourite song lyric expressing their faith: Oh no, love – you’re not alone. . . Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it. . . It’s only for ever, not long at all. . . All you’ve got to do is win. . . We can be heroes just for one day.

David Bowie, death, obituaries, tributes, rock music, front pages,media, newspapers

Blanket coverage: Bowie on all UK front pages… Image updated 14 Jan to include news magazines

‘THE WORLD HAS LOST AN ORIGINAL’ DECLARED THE GUARDIAN, REMINDING US THAT BOWIE’S
MUSIC WAS MERELY HIS MEDIUM

➢ From today’s main editorial in The Guardian:

His obsession was reinventing himself, not changing the world. But even with that inward focus, Bowie proved a mightily disruptive figure.

The cultural revolution known as “the 60s”, even though it largely took place during the 1970s, blended hazy hopes of a collective awakening to a post-materialist future, with a determined emphasis on the right of the individual to realise his or herself. Nobody embodied the second half of that, the only half which was to stick, like David Bowie. Not for him the protest anthems associated with Dylan or Lennon in the right mood, nor the campus class consciousness raising antics of soixante-huitards. No, almost from the beginning, as this singular stone rolled between obscure bands, dance classes and every last pocket of the avant garde, he grabbed at everything from makeup brushes to music-hall standards for the over-riding purpose of defining, and then reinventing and redefining, the boy born David Jones. . . / Continued at Guardian online

➢ The New York Times eulogises his swansong: David Bowie Allowed His Art to Deliver a Final Message

“I’m not a rock star. I’m not in rock and roll,” Bowie often maintained, and when in 1974 Dick Cavett remarked “You seem to me like a working actor” Bowie agreed, “That’s very good”

Yesterday BBC TV arts czar Will Gompertz called Bowie “the Picasso of pop in the way he was able to synthesise ideas of the modern age and make sense of them in beautiful precise pieces of art”. As is all too clear in the following clips of Bowie’s output – as an actor.

1967 — THE IMAGE

1969 — THE MASK

1969 — SPACE ODDITY

1972 — STARMAN

1973 — LIFE ON MARS

1975 — GOLDEN YEARS

1977 — HEROES

1979 — THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD

David Bowie

Click the pic to view the video in a new window – starring David Bowie with Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias


Updated 16 Jan when Saturday Night Live finally released this pristine 1979 recording of the most immaculate performance of TMWSTW by Bowie, Klaus Nomi, Joey Arias, Stacey Hayden on guitar and Jimmy Destri on keyboards, which some say was the night “he transformed live television”. Alas, this has since been marked Private at YouTube for UK viewers, presumably to comply with NBC regional reach

1980 — ASHES TO ASHES

2006 — VITTEL TV COMMERCIAL

➢ BBC London radio: Onetime Blitz Kid Robert Elms dedicated yesterday’s three-hour show to David Bowie with tributes from Gary Kemp, Chris Sullivan and Julien Temple. Online for a month

➢ Vogue online gallery: Bowie’s fashion history in pictures

➢ Update 13 Jan, Daily Mirror – David Bowie has been secretly cremated without family and friends present: The singer told his loved ones he wanted to “go without any fuss” and not have a funeral service or public memorial. A source in New York told the Mirror: “There is no public or private service or a public memorial. There is nothing. . .” / Continued at Mirror online

➢ Update 13 Jan, Rolling Stone – Bowie planned post-Blackstar album, “Thought he had few more months”: About a week before his death, with Blackstar nearing release, David Bowie called his longtime friend and producer Tony Visconti via FaceTime, and told him he wanted to make one more album. In what turned out to have been the final weeks of his life, Bowie wrote and demo-ed five fresh songs, and was anxious to return to the studio one last time. . . / Continued at Rolling Stone online

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➤ The four catastrophes Martin Luther King foresaw

Martin Luther King Jr, Memorial,Washington

The Martin Luther King Jr National Memorial was to have been dedicated on Sunday, the 48th anniversary of Dr King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Photograph by Philip Scott Andrews/The New York Times

Martin Luther King Jr is weeping from his grave, writes the philosopher and Princeton professor, Cornel West, in today’s New York Times …

❚ THE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR MEMORIAL was to be dedicated on the National Mall on Sunday — exactly 56 years after the murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi and 48 years after the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. (Because of Hurricane Irene, the ceremony has been postponed.)

On the Sunday after his assassination, in 1968, Dr King was to have preached a sermon titled “Why America May Go to Hell.”

King did not think that America ought to go to hell, but rather that it might go to hell owing to its economic injustice, cultural decay and political paralysis. He was not an American Gibbon, chronicling the decline and fall of the American empire, but a courageous and visionary Christian blues man, fighting with style and love in the face of the four catastrophes he identified…

Martin Luther King Jr, sermon,Why America May Go to Hell,

Martin Luther King: an unpreached sermon titled “Why America May Go to Hell”

1 Militarism is an imperial catastrophe that has produced a military-industrial complex and national security state and warped the country’s priorities and stature (as with the immoral drones, dropping bombs on innocent civilians).

2 Materialism is a spiritual catastrophe, promoted by a corporate media multiplex and a culture industry that have hardened the hearts of hard-core consumers and coarsened the consciences of would-be citizens. Clever gimmicks of mass distraction yield a cheap soulcraft of addicted and self-medicated narcissists.

3 Racism is a moral catastrophe, most graphically seen in the prison industrial complex and targeted police surveillance in black and brown ghettos rendered invisible in public discourse. Arbitrary uses of the law — in the name of the “war” on drugs — have produced, in the legal scholar Michelle Alexander’s apt phrase, a new Jim Crow of mass incarceration.

4 And poverty is an economic catastrophe, inseparable from the power of greedy oligarchs and avaricious plutocrats indifferent to the misery of poor children, elderly citizens and working people.

➢ Sounds familiar? Continue reading Martin Luther King Jr weeps from his grave, at the NYT

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1981 ➤ “Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals” — the world is alerted to the Aids epidemic

❚ 30 YEARS AGO TODAY, a report in The New York Times brought first confirmation to the public of the sudden and puzzling appearance of a fatal form of cancer which one year later would be termed AIDS (for acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

In May 1981, two Los Angeles doctors submitted a brief account of five of their patients to the US Centers for Disease Control’s newsletter, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Dated June 4, this was the first clinical description of the disorder. The Los Angeles Times reported under the headline, Outbreaks of Pneumonia Among Gay Males Studied: “Researchers are investigating mysterious outbreaks of pneumonia that have occurred among male homosexuals in Los Angeles and several other cities.”

A month later, the CDC ran another bulletin [linked below]. Doctors from New York and California were seeing another rare disease in gay men. “During the past 30 months, Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS), an uncommonly reported malignancy in the United States, has been diagnosed in 26 homosexual men.”

The New York Times received an advance copy of the report and ran its first article on the syndrome on July 3. It mixed together deaths from Pneumocystis pneumonia and KS and was headlined: Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals…

New York Times, Aids, first report

By Lawrence K. Altman
Published: July 3, 1981

Doctors in New York and California have diagnosed among homosexual men 41 cases of a rare and often rapidly fatal form of cancer. Eight of the victims died less than 24 months after the diagnosis was made.

The cause of the outbreak is unknown, and there is as yet no evidence of contagion. But the doctors who have made the diagnoses, mostly in New York City and the San Francisco Bay area, are alerting other physicians who treat large numbers of homosexual men to the problem in an effort to help identify more cases and to reduce the delay in offering chemotherapy treatment.

Alvin E. Friedman-Kien,New York University, Medical Center

Friedman-Kien: “rather devastating”

The sudden appearance of the cancer, called Kaposi’s Sarcoma, has prompted a medical investigation that experts say could have as much scientific as public health importance because of what it may teach about determining the causes of more common types of cancer.

In a letter alerting other physicians to the problem, Dr Alvin E. Friedman-Kien of New York University Medical Center, one of the investigators, described the appearance of the outbreak as ‘rather devastating’.

➢ Read the full “Rare Cancer” report in The New York Times, July 3, 1981

REFERENCES
➢ Pneumocystis Pneumonia — Los Angeles: MMWR 1981, June 5; 30 (21); 1-3
➢ Kaposi’s sarcoma and Pneumocystis pneumonia among homosexual men — New York City and California: Friedman-Kien A; Laubenstein L; Marmor M; et al. MMWR 1981, July 4; 30: 305 (#J0005787)
➢ Aids timeline at AVERT, an international HIV and AIDS charity, based in the UK: “In the United Kingdom it is estimated that 1 in 4 people who are living with HIV do not know they are infected as they have not been diagnosed”

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➤ 19 gay kisses in pop videos that made it past the censor

❚ CENSORSHIP! OH DEARIE ME! Digital Spy reports this weekend that the lavish video for Firework — the single currently No 4 in this week’s UK chart by American singer-songwriter Katy Perry — has been censored for British television channels. The ludicrous widescreen promo, which they say “plays out the song’s message of self-belief” (yuk), shows fireworks shooting from Perry’s chest, and from the bodies of prancing extras. More shocking, apparently, are the pyrotechnic depictions of a mugging, a cancer patient, a woman giving birth and two men kissing. The two-second “gay kiss” has been pixelated, presumably to save embarrassing the children, in a version of the video directed by Dave Meyers for delivery to TV channels under a cross-promotional deal with Deutsche Telekom. The European telecommunications group recruited fans from all over Europe to appear in the video when it was shot in Budapest.

It’s all too much. Why, this weekend too, fansites have been twittering that Katy Perry and BFF Rihanna got into an argument over Katy’s new hubby, the amoral buffoon Russell Brand (double yuk). The only good news is that Katy has at least vowed never to strip for Playboy.

Katy Perry, Firework, pop video, censorship,gay kiss,

Fireworks in Firework: British TV viewers see only a pixelated version

According to the star herself, Firework is influenced by Jack Kerouac’s novel about male bonding, On the Road. Digital Spy’s reviewer Nick Levine even accords the song the accolade of being a “straight up self-empowerment anthem”. Pass the sickbag, James.

OK, OK, boys and girls. In Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s immortal words, relax. For any TV viewers feeling deprived of the knee-trembling kiss in the Perry video, which is of course viewable in full 1080p HD on YouTube, there’s plenty more where that came from. The web is replete with more pop videos flaunting gay kisses than mum and dad might wish for. The following links round up the most notorious from both genders — four are viewable only behind age-restricted gateways. And because it’s so darn funky, Shapersofthe80s has thrown in the Pet Shop Boys’ most notorious Bruce Weber video for Being Boring, which contains naughtiness on any number of levels, but you’re going to need gimlet eyes to spot the gay kiss. You’re very welcome to propose your own favourite pop kisses. Thanks to Jobe, we’re up to 20 vidz now.

Lady Gaga, Telephone, pop video, gay kiss

Lady Gaga: a jailbird’s perk in the video for Telephone

Lady Gaga, Stephen Gately, Boyzone, Blink-182

Pop smackers: Lady Gaga in Lovegame, Stephen Gately in Boyzone’s Better, two vamps in Blink-182’s I Miss You

♫ Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful

♫ Lady Gaga’s Lovegame

♫ Lady Gaga’s Telephone

♫ Blink-182’s I Miss You

♫ Peter Doherty’s Last Of The English Roses

♫ Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling

♫ Yehonathan’s On a Hot Summer Night

♫ Adam Lambert tongue-diving in concert

♫ Tatu’s All the Things She Said

♫ George Michael’s Outside (uncut)

♫ Matt Alber’s End of the World

♫ Kylie’s All the Lovers

♫ The Strokes’ Juicebox

♫ Paul Oscar’s International

♫ Madonna’s American Pie

♫ Scissor Sisters’ Filthy/Gorgeous

♫ Boyzone’s Better

♫ Pet Shop Boys’ Being Boring — a film by Bruce Weber (below)

LATE ADDITIONs

Pink, Raise Your Glass, gay kiss, pop video
♫ In at No 19 (thanks, Rob): Pink’s Raise Your Glass — “Don’t be fancy, just get dancey”!

♫ And one more makes 20 (thanks, Jobediah Ingram): Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s Same Love

++++++

➢ Read on in the New York Times:
For Gays, New Songs of Survival

“These artists represent a new wave of young (and mostly straight) women who are providing the soundtrack for a generation of gay fans coming to terms with their identity in a time of turbulent and confusing cultural messages.”

➢ Update Nov 2011: Firework falls out of UK chart after 58 weeks

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