Thinking Housewife reflects on the death of Prince and the media adulation. I have been pondering the same situation myself.
The belief that it’s wrong to speak ill of the dead is a longstanding one, not a product of our degenerate age. However it seems to have become, in the last couple of decades, an ironclad law that we must not speak ill of the dead, even if what we speak is absolutely true.
Of course this is doubly true if the deceased was a member of a legitimate Victim Group, per the established PC hierarchy. For that matter, we daren’t speak ill of such people even when they are alive and kicking, but when people die, they are automatically sainted now, apparently.
Recently I was quite surprised and somewhat baffled by the great homages to David Bowie from all quarters and all age groups. I can see how people who were young in the 1970s and 80s, having glamour-lens visions of their long-ago youth, want to preserve those memories by continuing to revere the idols of their teens. But everyone from elder Boomers (Bowie’s age) to the Tumblr teens was waxing teary, using hyperbolic language to praise Bowie and his talent.
All right: I confess I actually liked, bought, and listened to some of Bowie’s early output, but that was when he was still a fairly nondescript pop singer, who sang fairly generic teen pop songs, and rather catchy ones at that. I never liked the ‘glam rock’ thing, though I was young and listening to rock music then. When Bowie appeared in his glam incarnation, with the makeup and the new ”androgynous” persona, I found it repellent. Male is male, female is female, and never the twain shall meet — in the same person, at least. Even though I was still politically liberal maybe my old-fashioned upbringing never left me, because I thought the unisex/androgyny thing was creepy and perverted.
I felt the same when Prince Rogers Nelson emerged into public view in the early 80s, he made Bowie look normal and average by comparison. The fact that his song lyrics “pushed the envelope” with hints at incest, speculations about his parents’ sex life, and other such shocking topics — shocking for that time, anyway, further turned me off. I used to watch MTV then, when they still played music, but when Prince appeared, I changed the channel.
What was shocking in the 1980s is now old hat, and raises not one eyebrow today. The young are more sexually ‘wise’ than their parents, who were in turn more ‘sophisticated’ than their parents. On it goes. Prince is now being spoken of in deferential tones even by gray-haired elders, establishment people. As was/is Bowie.
When Madonna Ciccone dies (as when Michael Jackson died) she will be honored as a great musical ‘groundbreaker’ and social influence. People will remember the sentimental significance her songs had for them when they were teens. She will be declared an “icon.”
Of Prince, a commenter on a certain right-wing blog said
‘Like him or not, he lived life on his terms. Have to respect that.’
That’s a rather poor defense of someone; the same could be said of almost anyone, of a moral reprobate or of a hero. Living life on one’s own terms doth not a hero make.
People who deliberately rebel against social constraints and mores almost always use the excuse that ‘I gotta live my life on my own terms‘, meaning they will flout morality or law or public opinion, or worse, even provoke people to attain notoriety or fame or a reputation as ”edgy”, a “free spirit” who won’t be constrained by law, either civil law or moral law. Is this a message we want our young to absorb? That’s exactly what the entertainment/propaganda complex has been pushing on the young for decades now. And the effects are glaringly visible.
There is a line of progression (or regression) from these sexually ”edgy” celebrity idols to our present situation, what with same-sex ‘marriage’ forced on us, transsexualism, sexual confusion in general, promiscuity, illegitimacy, STD epidemics, and now with miscegeny. Madonna, Bowie, Prince, all had a big part to play in engineering these social changes over the last few decades, along with other lesser names. Is that something we wish to honor?
Nonetheless there are people on the ‘right’ who idolize such a celebrity (they will say they don’t idolize them, but if they defend them vociferously, that’s a mark of excessive devotion to me) because ‘he was a great musician’ or ‘a huge talent’ — I just don’t buy that their ‘talent’ was so indispensable to us and our society to compensate for the harm done.
Besides, talent is in the eye of the beholder. It all depends on one’s tastes. Your idea of musical genius may be the next man’s noise pollution.
These people made today’s degenerate world possible by making deviance appear commonplace and ‘hip’; they are the means by which the Powers-that-be change public opinion, a generation at a time. An attractive (at least by someone’s standards) celebrity can provide an appealing face for deviance and social rebellion. They make the world safe for deviance. They help advance social rebellion and decadence. There’s a reason why these people were hyped to stardom by the entertainment/propaganda complex.