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Pictured: Astronomers have given David Bowie his own constellation.

The Iona Institute attempts to keep it current with a bizarre statement on David Bowie’s death with some of their usual pontificating blabber.

Here is a summary, if you can’t be arsed reading the full article:

To Quinn, Bowie was a poster boy for modern liberalism, especially in his Ziggy Stardust days. The media coverage of his death was huge (bigger than Michael Jackson’s, apparently) which of course was only because many todays senior journalists grew up listening to him.

“Coverage of the death of David Bowie has been huge, bigger than the coverage of the death of Michael Jackson who sold far more albums. Why has the death of Bowie had a bigger impact? It’s because he had a bigger cultural impact and one reason he made a bigger cultural impact is because, in his early career, he epitomised one of modern liberalism’s biggest values, namely expressive individualism.

Modern liberalism is in large part about having the freedom to express yourself. In this view, the truly free person is the one most willing to defy norms and conventions. Few did this better than David Bowie in the early part of his career, especially in his androgynous, alien incarnation, Ziggy Stardust (pictured).

Here he was defying the limits of gender in the name of ‘freedom’, and even the limits of human nature. This made Bowie a sort of patron saint of expressive individualism. Apart from his huge musical talent this is why his death received such massive worldwide coverage this week, especially given that so many senior journalists would have become fans of Bowie in their youth.”

But alas, this “expressive individualism” was not all it was cracked up to be. Under the grip of a heavy cocaine addiction, Bowie ended up wanting to kill himself and then came back from the brink, as one friend describes “remaking himself as an ordinary man”.

As Quinn writes, he put his life back together again which of course, seen him getting married (in a church btw) and living a conventional life, much like the journalists who have been lauding him in recent days.

To Quinn, norms are good, they keep us in check, for “good norms and good conventions help protect us from behaviour that destroys us”.

So kids, what are we to make of this? Social norms and conventions are a good thing. Back in your box, don’t even bother trying to express yourself because eventually you will find yourself back standing in line with the rest of us schmucks.

Sure if Bowie had to eventually settle down and get married, what hope is there for you? While you are at it, please feel free to apply this reasoning to other social issues such as divorce, gay marraige, abortion, religion in schools etc…

This of course is the message that Quinny would like us to glean from the piece, even before the glaring holes in it are addressed.

In this instance, misleadingly or deliberately confusing cocaine psychosis with expressive individualism to try to shoe in some type of moralistic guff.

It’s all just symptomatic of a desperate organisation struggling to keep itself relevant.



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