Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide

by ARIA SALVATRICE

This sudden revelation might not surprise people who have known me for the few months I used the handle Chibi Stardust, but back when I was cisgender and not gay, I used to love David Bowie. The Ziggy character, the songs, the storyteller, the artist.

One lifetime ago, I decided to seriously get into serious respectable grown-up music. After tearing off the sticker admonishing me “Don’t steal music. Ne volez pas la musique. Bitte keine Musik steblen. 音楽を盗用しないでください。”, I filled the 20 GB hard disk drive of my color iPod with stolen music an intellectual like me ought to be into.
Those were primitive times, in which 4chan had yet to chart the canon of acceptable music in conveniently shareable JPG form, so I had to trust less than reliable sources as I sampled dad rock, dad classical, dad techno, and dad rap.

It was all garbage. I could only get into fun music. Joyful songs I could whistle, were I able to whistle at all. Comforting sounds I could feel safe to.

Yes. That means a lot of instrumental game music. All those “Now That’s What I Call 473 Albums You Must Listen To Before Your Soul Is Severed From Its Skeleton” kinda classic bands, they have the legacy of centuries of Western musical tradition, the best instruments, the best studios, the best session musicians, the best arrangers, the best mastering ears, the best cocaine… and they can’t even hope to compete with an underpaid, underappreciated Japanese nerd and her JV-1080, banging out formulaic melodies to shoot cyber aliens in the core to.

I’m not sure why Ziggy was the exception. The songs aren’t colorful. The guitars have no crazy speed metal solos. The whole thing screams serious art for snobs to snob to. And I’m not naïve enough to believe he wrote Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide for me. Any other artist writing songs on this template would make me snooze.

Maybe one of my astute readers will have an epiphany, and suggest: “do you think you might have connected with the artist’s gender-bending aesthetic because you’re trans?” - and to that specific reader, I would like to say thank you, thank you for having this perspicacious insight into human nature. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that you majored in psychology.

Oh no love! You’re not alone
You’re watching yourself but you’re too unfair
You got your head all tangled up
But if I could only make you care
Oh no love! You’re not alone
No matter what or who you’ve been
No matter when or where you’ve seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain

He lived long enough for a last album. Then, he died.

I think I learned of his passing about 3 hours later, from a retweet saying “white fuckboys all now say ‘bowie was a queer icon’ fuck off lmao”.
That after sixty-nine years his life departed his body, still warm, was confirmed by a subsequent tweet, proclaiming that “Today’s a good day for blocking randos who need to excuse their their dead problematic faves”.

I went offline for a few months. Isolation was less taxing on my mental health.

I’m not sure if my tribe is lurking somewhere.
Maybe one day I’ll discover it.
Or start it.

I don’t think liking Ziggy would be that prevalent of a trait in my tribe.
But I know for certain that my tribe isn’t one where you can leverage the death of beloved icons to enforce purification rituals all about gaining social power over the less sociopathic members of the tribe.