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Infowars: David Bowie’s “death is the capstone on the pyramid of necrotic Anglo-American mass culture”

David Bowie has left us with some big pants to fill
David Bowie has left us with some big pants to fill

Like a lot of people out there, I’m going to miss the magnificent weirdo that was David Bowie. While the rest of us listen to our favorite Bowie songs on repeat, the not-so-good folks at Infowars — conspiracy theory central — are actually celebrating the musician and cultural icon’s death.

In a post titled DAVID BOWIE: A NON-APPRECIATION, Darrell Y. Hamamoto suggests that Bowie, who died of cancer, was himself a symptom of “civilizational cancer.”

After several paragraphs of mostly incoherent throat-clearing, which sort of suggest (among other things) that Bowie was responsible not only for Gary Glitter’s fashion sense but also his sexual abuse and exploitation of children, Hamamoto presents us with his thesis, declaring that Bowie’s

death is the capstone on the pyramid of necrotic Anglo-American mass culture spanning a half-century of civilizational cancer away so fantastic and unreal that leads one to suspect that “Bowie” (Born David Robert Jones) sprang from the twisted, fervid minds of social psychologists residing at the Tavistock Institute.

That was all one sentence.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Tavistock Institute is a nearly 70-year-old British think-tank that does work in psychology and the social sciences; it’s a favorite bugbear of assorted conspiracy theorists, who blame it for, among other things, the brainwashing of American prisoners of war in Korea, the CIA’s MK Ultra program, and The Beatles.

Anyway, Hamamoto is pretty stoked by the news of Bowie’s passing, declaring that

the Death of David Bowie might presage a new era of spiritual regeneration that is the precondition of civilizational health and advancement.

Skimming through the more than one thousand comments left on Hamamoto’s post so far, it appears that there are not a lot of Bowie fans in the house.

Someone called daf declares that

Bowie was an agent of the NWO, forging acceptance for gender identity politics re: transvestites, transgender, gays… Not to mention furtherance of the ET/ Alien meme that the NWO sought to advance. Listen to the music: is it really that good? Nah.

“The Hebrew Institute,” meanwhile, argues that

David Bowie can kiss my ass… he was a fuckin satanistic edomite who is rotting in the pit for his homosexual acts and overtones to accept that behavior not of God and he is now paying for it….may he keep rotting in the pit of hell to which he deserves AMEN.

Blahblahblah is clearly not a big fan of Bowie’s unique style:

He was a Luciferian puppet, spreading NWO agenda through music like so many others. Look at the lightning bolt on his face.

But not everyone in the comments is quite so enamored of Hamamoto’s analysis. Indeed, one longtime Infowars listener was so appalled by the post, and the responses to it, that they decided to become a former listener:

After years of being a dedicated listener, observer and supporter of this program I just cut ties with you all together. … I’ve stuck up for your articles and it’s caused me a lot of social consternation … your OPINIONS and ASSUMPTIONS in this matter are so far off base it makes me want to vomit on my computer screen. Then reading the hateful comments on this page about homosexuals and FREAKS makes me want to jump this boat and join the illuminated manipulators … The fact of the matter is that this was a talented human being with much love and talent to offer the world and the author ties this in to some “homosexual illuminati occult agenda” … [T]hat I have supported such a bigoted support base here is something I am ashamed of after all these years. 

Good for you.

In case you’re not familiar with Infowars, here’s Alex Jones, the dude who runs the place. And yes, the tantrum in the video is a real one. He’s got some anger issues.

And here are a couple of videos of Bowie performing in 1972.

Yesterday, I put together a little playlist of some of my favorite Bowie songs on Spotify.

Sorry, Alex Jones; you will be remembered, if at all, as an embarrassment to humanity. Bowie will be remembered as a musical and cultural legend, albeit a far from perfect human being.

EDIT: I reworded the ending to take into account Bowie’s reported rape of underage “groupie” Laurie Maddox, which I didn’t know about when I originally wrote the piece. (I say “reported,” because I wasn’t there and he wasn’t charged much less convicted for it, but Maddox’s account is all-too-plausible; I believe her.)

 

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authorialAlchemy
authorialAlchemy
6 years ago

I don’t know what to think of Bowie yet, but I really like this comment section and what everyone has said so far. I have a lot of things to consider and reconsider before diving into David Bowie’s body of work.

Owen McLovely
Owen McLovely
6 years ago

http://theleopardcoat.blogspot.ie/2010/08/new-generation-of-groupies.html

Back in the day 12-16yo groupies even had their own magazine.

Fred_the_Dog
6 years ago

Dear Lester, that is not something that only men do — 20 years or so ago, I dated a guy who was also reticent about having sex and pretty much talked him into it (and yes, I likely did some pouting as well) — we were both in our 40s. It was a shitty thing to do, but even though the romantic relationship didn’t work out, to this day we are still good friends. Though I was aware that asexuality was a real thing then, it took awhile to understand that’s his orientation. He has no regrets about our relationship, so I regard it as one of those life lessons and took it to heart. Enthusiastic yes, or it’s a no-go.

LG
LG
6 years ago

Fred_the_Dog

Oh, yeah. Women pressuring men into sex is hugely culturally condoned and normalized as an extension of the idea that men should never lose an opportunity to prove their manhood through fucking.

As women, we get dangerous and damaging mixed messages about when and whether we should want sex, but men pretty much get, “Do it or you’re not a man.”

Gotta love it when our social contract is a setup for misery.

History Nerd
History Nerd
6 years ago

For what it’s worth, many psychologists in the 70s thought adults having sex with minors was rare and it was at worst minimally harmful. But that was before people were aware of grooming and long term trauma caused by abuse.

Freemage
Freemage
6 years ago

Consider the Tea Cosy (one of the FtB blogs) is having this convo as well, and I liked one commenter’s description–violating AoC laws is kind of like shooting a gun without really knowing what’s in front of you. Sure, you might get lucky and not do any harm (as seems to be the case with Bowie), but you might just seriously harm someone, and that’s why we make it against the law to do that thing.

And I noticed that one of the key difficulties in the discussion, even beyond the baseline issue that there is a range of reasonable opinions that still passionately disagree (those who want to just have a little time to mourn Bowie and let his misdeeds be buried with him, focusing on the good he did in life, versus those who want to ensure those who believe that we should never just ignore those sorts of misdeeds even in death, because it reinforces the trend to do so in life as well), is that there’s a number of bad actors who are hopping into the discussion to push completely unrelated and abhorrent positions.

On the side of the forgive and forget crowd, of course, are those individuals who just want to be able to fuck thirteen year old girls without consequence. So they’ll hop around talking about the arbitrary nature of age of consent laws and bring up completely unrelated hypotheticals involving a two-year spread and often lie about the age of the girl at the time Bowie raped her. (I’m taking one hard line–I refuse to say, “Had sex with,” at least with regard to Bowie. She may have had sex with him; he raped her, and seems to have regretted it and reformed later in life, to the extent this can be gleaned from indirect analysis.)

Meanwhile, slipping in with the folks criticizing Bowie are anti-feminists and sexual puritans who are looking for a ‘gotcha’, accusing ‘the left’ of hypocrisy for not condemning him with the ire we have, say, Cosby (and never mind the vast, vast differences in how the cases have been presented or events that took place).

These bad actors are clouding the waters immeasurably; I’ve been grateful that this blog has had very little of that sort of thing in the discussion.

LG
LG
6 years ago

“This is the best thing that’s been said all day. Thank you, LG.”

Thank you.

It gets better: there’s actually a music video for “As The World Falls Down.” It’s…pretty lackluster as a music video, to be honest, but interesting to this discussion. It depicts a teenage girl watching Labyrinth and fantasizing about Bowie while obsessively printing out picture after picture of him until her printer runs dry. Bowie appears as a black-and-white 1950s-style crooner in her fantasy and the video ends on a close-up of the spent printer flashing the red circle “NO” sign.

Doesn’t exactly seem subtle to me.

nparker
nparker
6 years ago

I absolutely agree that while we should not treat the man who has just died as a pariah will not help anyone, and would not have helped the man himself, while noting that, like a lot of you have too, we must never excuse what he did.

It really, really annoys me that some anti-feminists and the like will try and use this to prove some imaginary double standard, never mind that the stated facts and evidence point to an utterly different event and person than, say, Cosby.

I like that we’re able here to both mourn David Bowie, and share stories of how great he was, while also being able to (with only a few exceptions) politely and thoughtfully evaluate the inexcusable actions that he did.

I’m confident that I can both hail David Bowie as a decent person, worth of respect and an inspiration while also being appalled at his actions towards Maddox, but never by declaring him to be something worse than he likely was, and that comfort comes down to people here.

L.G’s point resonated with me in particular, and I think sums up better what I was just trying to get across:

“It always seems to me that it’s men and especially, anti-feminist men, who take this hard line of believing that a rapist (of any variety, including statutory)=inhuman monster worthy of hellish punishment and death. Not hard to see why: this has the effect of doing lip service to the idea that rape is bad while silencing victims anytime a perpetrator is clearly NOT an inhuman monster. Which is, you know, most of the time.

Meanwhile, of course, any man who rapes and then regrets it can’t actually *say* so without facing this same dehumanizing hatred. Even murderers don’t face such stigma. Can you imagine what a blow it would be against rape culture if someone like David Bowie could actually say, “I did this in my youth. It was wrong,” in a place where young men could hear him?”

Well done all for a thoughtful and respectful discussion. While there is, I believe, nothing wrong with my view that really it should have been a bit more than just two days after his death to begin talking about this kind of stuff (wait for people to grieve first, then ask questions is my sort of attitude to it) the discussions here have still put me more at ease with it. Thankyou!

Chris O
Chris O
6 years ago

Fuck Infowars.
Fuck Darrell Hamamoto.
And especially fuck Alex Jones.

Neon Vincent
6 years ago

Dear Infowars,

If I want to read conspiracy theories involving David Bowie and pyramids, I’ll read Vigilant Citizen. Those, at least, will be better written and researched, even if the sources are themselves suspect.

Nick Gotts
Nick Gotts
6 years ago

While he did make clear later that he regretted it (although never, AFAIK, apologised for it), I find Bowie’s endorsement of fascism in an interview with Playboy in September 1976 (mentioned just in one comment here) just as problematic as his abuse of an underage girl, Lori Maddox*. This was at a time when fascists were beating up black people and Jews in the streets of Britain, and the fascist “National Front” was the UK’s fourth largest political party. Bowie’s pro-fascist statements, together with a revolting racist diatribe from Eric Clapton (who was still an unrepentant racist at least in 2007), were significant factors in the formation of “Rock Against Racism”. Bowie later blamed his pro-fascist phase on cocaine. I’m not in the least censorious about drug use – but you’re just as responsible for what you do under the influence as sober, provided you took the drugs voluntarily.

*Who was 15 at the time, not 13 or 14 as some have said here. That doesn’t excuse Bowie, but accuracy matters.

Orion
Orion
6 years ago

So I’ve been thinking more about Lori Maddox, and I still think her opinion is relevant, but I think I made a mistake calling it a “mitigating factor.” That sounds like a defense / endorsement of the choices Bowie made at the time, which isn’t my intent.

The question I’m most interested in is not whether what Bowie did was wrong, but whether it’s forgivable. We all, I hope, agree that he did something very bad. As fans and admirers the question is how much that has to change our overall impression of him; how much it taints his legacy; whether our disgust with that statutory rape should outweigh everything else we admire about him.

That’s where I think Lori Maddox’ vote is really important. The way I see it, if someone’s victims forgive them, it’s okay for us to forgive them also. We’re not required to. It happens all the time that a victim forgives or claims to forgive someone who we find unforgivable, and we’re not required to acquiesce to their judgment. But, in this particular case, because Lori, who interacted with him many times since that night, remembers him as a good man, I’m a lot more comfortable celebrating his life overall than I would be otherwise.

James Hutchings
6 years ago

Everyone knows that the the pyramid of necrotic Anglo-American mass culture was built by aliens.

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