I didn't anticipate the death of David Bowie as I've studied and written about social responses to celebrity death for the past couple of decades. His loss to contemporary culture and society is potent.
This response from Ijeoma Oluo resonates.
The influencer of my "friends" is my influencer - in which, for me, friends describes the way we (I) feel about both individuals we know and care about directly and some key celebrities in our lives. I've enjoyed Bowie's music and persona and easily recognize his fundamental, far-reaching sculpting of the sounds, images, and spirit of rock from the late 20th-century, through third and fourth generation touches today. Even more, I associate him (personae, oeuvre) with values and concepts manifest in other artists well-known to (by) me. For me, this is succinctly embodied in memories of attending U2 concerts, when opening seconds of "Space Oddity" triggered cheers because we in-the-know friends of U2 knew they'd emerge on stage in a moment.
Bowie is, we see, brilliance, change, weirdness, fashion, confidence, diversity, integrity, and accessibility. Immediate, first day responses from a wide-range of voices on Twitter illustrate the profundity of his life and loss.
and, in mysterious ways, Family
Our response to David Bowie and his death will be expansive.
Today, we watch and share, in the loss and the (mysterious, mediated, concentric, up-close and paradoxically distanced) social grief.
For less meta-ish perspectives, explore the social media expressions of artists, writers, designers, weirdos and fans in your networks (and their networks). If you're inclined, share some responses with me:
Via Google Form