I Didn’t Care About Bowie or Williams

grim-largeI got into an interesting conversation on Sunday with friends as we were winding down TBRU. The topic of celebrity deaths came up when someone mentioned David Bowie. I said that I was surprised at the tremendous outpouring of sadness because personally I had no emotional tie to him and therefore I didn’t really care. There were some surprised reactions because I was clearly in the minority within the room. I had to explain that while I had respect for David Bowie’s career I’ve never followed his music or film work that closely. I wasn’t happy about his death but he was just another celebrity that I had no opinion toward. I really just didn’t care beyond the the basis regard for the death of another human. The conversation progressed and I let it slip that I had a similar apathetic reaction to the death of Robin Williams. That got a huge gasp from the room. Yes it was sad that he killed himself and his comedy will always be remembered but the news of his death didn’t effect me because again I had no emotional tie to him. I never connected with Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin on a deep level and I never found inspiration in Williams the man. Apathy not hate.

I had to do some more explaining to convince the room that my opinion shouldn’t effect theirs. I pointed out that just because I didn’t care didn’t mean they should stop caring and it also didn’t mean it’s not worth caring about. I was reminded in that moment that although we were very similar in some ways we had very different pop culture touchstones. They were sad for Bowie and Williams and I was sad for Alexander McQueen and Joan Rivers.

As I mentioned this discussion was at a bear run and therefore all of the bears in the room had a lot in common. I knew from years of friendship that most of the guys had a preference toward nerd culture. Margaret Cho had an old joke that said you’ll see the same guys at a Renaissance fair, a bear run, and a leather party.  I’d add to that a comic book convention and action fantasy movie. These are all things that I care nothing about yet I always seem to find friends who are. Ever since I was in college I’ve always gravitated toward and found wonderful friends in nerds. Since then I’ve been aware that while I had a deep emotional connection to Alexander McQueen’s The Horn of Plenty fall/winter 2009 show the majority of my dearest friends didn’t even know it existed. The lesson was that just because we ended in the same place doesn’t mean we took similar paths to get here.

It’s a funny experience to be the lone soldier who doesn’t feel the same way as everyone else but it provides perspective. What inspires one person is forgettable to the next. Just because I dislike something doesn’t mean you should too. If I print “The Beatles suck!” on a shirt it doesn’t automatically negate all of their success and impact on our culture. It just means my opinion doesn’t match yours. It also means eggs will probably be thrown at my head.

There are other common pop culture favorites that I don’t care about and many that I love which you may not. The beauty is that you don’t need to care about my list and I don’t have to give a shit about yours. For the record, here are some examples:

I don’t care about:

  • Star Wars
  • Video games
  • Bands I’ve never heard of
  • Reading books
  • Zombies in anything
  • Marvel vs DC
  • The Simpsons

I adore:

  • RuPaul
  • Karl Largefeld
  • Joan Rivers
  • Tory Amos music (pre-2005)
  • Madonna
  • Dianna Ross and the Supremes
  • Push It by Salt N Pepa
  • The movie Big Business

 

 

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