Life on Mars? – A Song of Influence

I would be remiss if I did not discuss those musical influences of my life and of my work. Of course, fictional novels and music are two entirely different mediums. However, I doubt much you can claim to have an appreciation of one without an appreciation of the other.

David Bowie’s, “Life on Mars?” I hear it perfectly, every time and without fail, like it’s the first time. While I have always valued the health and wealth of society over that of the few I am not without disdain for society either. As I addressed in my previous blogs, I saw too much in too few years and I know all too well what society is capable of. As an adult, not much has changed this opinion, in fact, every day only serves to confirm it. Regardless of socio-economic status, sex, age, religion, or political views – all humans are capable of garbage. Myself included. I often wondered what life on other planets might be like.

And Bowie asked:
Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man, look at those cavemen go
It’s the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man, wonder if he’ll ever know
He’s in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

When you first hear a song that sympathizes with your harder known points-of-view, you’re not likely to forget it.

I wonder just how many of us know we are all part of the freakiest show, a bestselling show at that. Eventually, there will be another story of the lawman beating up the wrong guy. Oh boy, look at us caveman go.

What I found also unique to “Life on Mars?” was Bowie’s perspective of a young woman’s difficulty. For a male musician to acknowledge women beyond the given script of sex or relationships is rare. And Bowie did ponder others outside his normative, a true artist.

The day Bowie died I felt a part of myself shrink. A voice among voices, gone.

I’m always interested to know what influences people when they’re working their craft. Share yours.
Austin, Texas