Michael Beinhorn: Let’s use David Bowie’s influence to find unity in the things that truly matter


Michael Beinhorn writes on Facebook:

What an absolutely colossal loss – it just towers over everything else to the extent of blocking out the noise of the encroaching day. The magnitude of David Bowie’s influence is incomprehensibly grand and he leaves behind a gaping hole in the fabric of this world that cannot be filled. His life gave meaning to our lives and nowhere is this more evident than in the fact that for at least a brief instant- all our bickering over politics, social issues and religion seems to have evaporated. Perhaps his passing also serves as a reminder that we are not so different from one another as we believe and that if we are willing, we can find unity in the things that truly matter.


Bowie by Beinhorn

The gaping hole that Bowie has left is a reminder that great talent is a a precious resource and one that we have been taking for granted for far too long. Great talent is also the absolute and only source of great art and great art is both a reflection and an emanation of the society it inhabits. Great art is a feedback mechanism- a from within a society that expresses and enriches it and is consequently fed by that society and its people. And it exists this way as a reflection- a love letter to itself- in order to perpetuate that absolutely vital and beautiful feedback. A David Bowie could only exist as we knew him because he evolved in a society (and a music business) that was both conducive to, and supportive of great art and great artists. If those conditions had not existed for him, it is likely we would never have known him as we do. We presently exist in a society that is neither conducive to or accepting of great art, great artists or any form of artistic expression. We also co-exist with a music business that rejects art- has no conception of it and no awareness of music as being anything other than a commodity. Although art is gradually marginalized around us moreso every day, we- as individuals and as a society- can exist it without it no more than a prisoner in solitary confinement can exist without human contact. In both cases, a human being exhibits all the functional aspects of being a living organism, but his humanity gradually dies inside of him. Instead of ignoring this reality, instead of pretending it will pass or buying into the fallacious notion that everything is cyclical (and that all you need do is sit passively and wait for the cycle you’re in to come back around), it is imperative to take this moment- the passing of this great, great man- and use it as a means to aspire to be the pinnacle of what you came here to do. There has to- there must be- a positive upshot to this experience, otherwise Bowie’s existence will have been meaningless. If you ever loved his work- if it ever touched you or changed you- he gave you a gift that is imprinted within you forever. You are therefore, both honor and duty-bound to be brave and make your difference in this world. Right now. Bowie was an innovator but he was courageous as fuck- especially in the face of immense adversity. I’m seeing so many people lovingly eulogizing him- honoring his career and his intrepid brilliance- but there is little said regarding how his process of constant reinvention was infused with career- threatening risk and it often repulsed his fans. No one has mentioned how reviled he was in the rock community when he did a complete 180 from glam to disco. The point is, he never did anything safe, he never plateaued and he never took the easy route. He took numerous extraordinary risks and he followed his intuition without concern for the consequences. That- all of it- is what an artist does. If you consider yourself an artist, you have a responsibility to not cower- to stop permitting people who don’t know anything about you (or about music) to dictate how and what you create. Remember- often, what is truly great is neither safe nor easy. Your responsibility is to the gift inside you- to honor your voice and to do what you love the very most. Do that and in some small way, you’ll make David Bowie’s life and death in this life meaningful. Let the passing of his life illuminate, invigorate and accelerate the necessity of yours.

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