‘Five Years’


This I’m posting in connection with the scary news item from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. The nuclear weapons situation last year looked so grim — everybody has them! — that the scientists reset the Doomsday Clock a minute closer to midnight. We’re within minutes of Armageddon, which might work out to five years in Bowie-time.

Which is good in a way. I’ve got a lot of writing to do and deadlines help me get down to business, and the fact that there won’t be any readers left is beside the point.

Then again, Bowie wrote the song around 1972, when he was doing his Ziggy Stardust thing. He turned 65 on Jan. 8. It’s safe to not take the song literally.

But keep your eye on that Doomsday Clock.

Footnote: In the Guardian, Alexis Petridis explains why it’s fitting that Bowie keeps such a low profile these days:

Bowie was an early adopter of the internet, but he didn’t really fit with the notion of a star in the 21st century, an era when the manufacturing of pop music has been laid bare on the TV and where stars are perpetually available on Twitter and Tumblr. Rock music currently exists in a world of 360 degree connectivity that’s supposed to bring the artist and the fan closer and reveal the real person behind the myth. But as the best of his umpteen biographers David Buckley pointed out, with Bowie, revealing the real person behind the myth is missing the point: “the myth has far greater resonance and is far more intriguing than stolid attempts to identify a ‘true’ essence … his appeal has lain in the generation of myths.” Those myths look likely to remain intact forever, which seems perfectly fitting.

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