Is there life on Mars?

Today would have been David Bowie’s 73rd birthday. As I read the news this morning (Iran, inane actions by a US president whose name I don’t even want to mention on my blog anymore and his son, horrible fires in Australia exacerbated by climate change), somehow this Bowie song springs to mind…

This is not the first time I think of this when I look at the news. Of course, if we humans could escape to Mars we’d eff it all up there too with wars and greed and destroying the environment. I know it is something of all ages to worry about the state of the world but my goodness, where is the good I wonder? That’s it, that’s my blog post – just a bit of exasperation on a Wednesday morning.

A star amongst the stars

Herba’s and Pö’s monthly blogging project ‘Mach was’ is back again from a summer hiatus and the newest theme is “Mach was mit Sternen” (“do something with stars”). Basically that means I could make this post all about me, as my name, Esther, means ‘star’!

But I’d rather not make this about me, I’ve already self-indulged enough by making an Esther-video. I’m going to make this about David Bowie instead! Space and stars always make me think of him and he made a lot of songs featuring space. His first hit was Space Oddity and he made many more ‘space songs’, like Life on Mars, Moonage Daydream, Ashes to Ashes (which was a sequel to Space Oddity) or my favourite latter day spacesong of his called Spaceboy.

However, this ‘Mach Was’ is not about space but about stars, so for this post I’m showcasing some David Bowie star-songs. His most famous, breakthough alter-ego had “star” in his name and was called Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy is an alien rockstar who has come to earth to warn of the end in 5 years time (Five Years is a brilliant storytelling song, by the way, which has nothing to do with stars or space, but is worth a mention). I love so very many of Bowie’s songs, but the Ziggy Stardust album is my favourite.

Ziggy Stardust album

Without further ado, here are some cool David Bowie ‘star’ songs:

David Bowie (and Ziggy Stardust) shot to fame after performing Starman on ‘Top of the Pops’ in 1972…

From the Ziggy Stardust album we also have the Ziggy Stardust titular song…

And Lady Stardust

And Star about being a rock’n’roll star…

There were star-songs on other albums like the sweet song The Prettiest Star from the 1973 Aladdin Sane album…

In 2003 there was New Killer Star…

And in 2013 there was the brilliant The Stars are Out Tonight with the awesome Tilda Swinton co-starring in an awesome video…

And of course, right when he died so unexpectedly, he released his final Blackstar album with a 10 minute song also called Blackstar on it. It’s very depressing and I still find it difficult to watch, but also somehow fascinating and very artistic…

The man even fittingly had an own star constellation dedicated to him after his death…

If I believed in an afterlife, I’d like to think that that is where he’s hanging out right now… a star amongst the stars.

David Bowie night

On BBC Four this evening we stumbled into a Bowie night. First a documentary on his early 1970s time as Ziggy Stardust, an androgynous, alien, rock star persona he invented and adopted for a while. When Ziggy became too successful and he couldn’t separate Ziggy from David anymore, he very surprisingly pulled the plug. While he did play Ziggy songs for the rest of this career during live performances, he never revisited the actual persona again.

The documentary was followed by all sorts of clips of David Bowie performing live at the BBC, like his break-through performance that started Ziggy-mania, singing Starman so magnetically…

Or this one of him performing the fabulous Heroes…

Or performing his song Hello Spaceboy together with the Pet Shop Boys in 1996…

The man was so diverse and such an artistic genius, I will forever love watching him and listening to him! It’s late now and I’m off to bed soon… maybe David will visit my dreams? I sure wouldn’t mind…

Ch… ch… ch… ch… Changes!

The other day David Bowie’s widow Iman tweeted this image below…

David Bowie these children that you spit on

It’s a quote from Changes, which is one of my favourite Bowie songs. It was written in 1971 for a different generation, the baby boomers, who were part of a whole lot of change. That particular quote has also been used for the youth of another generation, the Gen X’ers like me, in the excellent 1985 movie The Breakfast Club (see the end of the title sequence, at about 1.45 mins into this clip)…

and now it is getting linked to another new generation, the late millenials, the young students protesting for change to gun laws in the US right now. To me it’s a perfect theme song for demanding such change! David Bowie’s words live on…

Here’s the whole song; always worth a full listen in my book!

I love what these young people are doing and sincerely hope their voices will indeed finally lead to change! I may be a liberal, stupid European who doesn’t truly understand Americans and American culture, but I’ve gotta say, I’m totally with Stephen Colbert on this one…

… and with Trevor Noah…

From where I’m standing, ch… ch… ch… ch… changes would be an excellent thing!

I feel a London trip coming on!

Richard Armitage did a Q&A in Paris today. Here are some pics of him doing publicity…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… and here is the Q&A, up on YouTube!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice little interview and there are a few things there that I am glad to have learned!

  • Mr cat still lives in Daniel Miller’s apartment, Richard thinks, and he may have a computer chip in his head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Richard wants to do a musical and play a rock star in a movie! Kinda like he once did in that ‘My Celebrity Boyfriend’ photobook many years ago, I imagine…

RA celebrity boyfriend

  • Aw, he likes David Bowie! He’s not a true fan but fan enough. And he pronounces the ‘ow’ in Bowie as the ‘ow’ in ‘how’ whereas I pronounce the ‘ow’ as in ‘low’. His fave Bowie song is ‘Ashes to Ashes’. Yep, that’s a good song! David Bowie died 2 years and one week ago and I still miss him….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Richard wants to act with Elizabeth Moss (I still need to watch The Handmaid’s Tale, I hear good things)…

Elizabeth Moss… and of course he’s looking forward to working with Julie Delpy. My Zoe is still on the cards, albeit delayed.

Julie Delpy.jpg

  • He’d like to do more phantasy like the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman (I’m not familiar with that trilogy) and he would do Tolkien again, but not sure he’d be a dwarf again.
  • ‘Paris will always be Paris’ Richard says, which reminds me of this Casablanca scene. I love Casablanca.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Richard likes “gratin dauphinois” which I agree is nice but I haven’t tasted in eons…

gratin-dauphinois

  • And most excitingly of all: he’ll be doing a play soon and we’ll find out about it in the next couple of days! I feel my next London trip coming on and quite soon at that! Woohooo!!!! 🙂

He was also promoting Berlin Station in Paris yesterday…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… and my fave picture from yesterday is this one:

RA 16-1-2018

Hair lighter, he looks a little less thin, a lovely smile on his face and crinkles around the eyes. He looks so friendly! I have read comments on Twitter that he looks tired but I’m not sure he looks any more or less tired than usual to me. In any case, I love this picture!

Haven’t gushed over Richard in a while but I am very glad to do so now. 🙂 And  I’m sure there will be more gushing in a few days, once we find out more about the play he’ll be doing. Can hardly wait!

MTA: the first picture I shared was apparently a photo manipulation by MatKhal on Twitter, I had totally missed that! She let me know what the original picture is: