Music is good. I’m not into it the way some people seem to be. So I declined from sharing my David Bowie story in the days after his death.
My most memorable David Bowie moment had nothing to do with music.
My step dad is a huge David Bowie fan.
I was about 8 or 9 years old.
It was a typical boring Sunday in our house. Nothing going on outside. Nothing on inside except a movie that my step dad was watching. I couldn’t make sense of the film. At first I thought it was an army movie. I liked those. But then it seemed to focus on this guy and elevate him to godlike status. I felt repelled by this glorification of one lone individual. I’ve always been repelled by hero worship.
As I’m watching the film, I’m trying to decide if I’m going to sit through the whole thing or put on my roller skates and go outside.
The scene shows a man laying in a bed. He has a bandage over his forehead. A man is near him and a woman stands over him. The camera zooms in on his face.
I see what looks like a red flash in one eye and get up close to the TV. The scene cuts to the woman. Boring. So I sit back. Then it shows the man laying in bed and there’s a brief showing of his face.
Excited, I tell my step dad “Hey! That guy has one big pupil and one little pupil.”
My step dad looks at me like I’m all kinds of stupid. “What do you mean one big pupil and one little pupil? He’d be dead if he had that.” Then my step dad launches into an explanation about how David Bowie has one brown eye and one blue eye. He explains that it’s a genetic trait.
I know I’m right. I just don’t know how to explain that I’m right.
I insist that if he were to look closely he would see some blue at the bottom of the colored part of the eye. “It’s his pupil that makes his eye look dark,” I explained.
My step dad told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and that I shouldn’t try to think so much on my own. Other people knew better and I should listen to them.
Only, I was right and he was wrong.
The memory of that stuck with me. I’d like to think that David Bowie is the type of person who would tell my step dad to shut his pie hole and thank me for being astute.
I’ll never understand why people who are wrong refuse to learn. Why they are content to stagnate in their ignorance. What motivates such people to stay stuck on stupid and tear other people down in the process?
I lost all interest in the movie after that.
The distaste that my step dad left with me wasn’t for David Bowie. Though it did set an unpleasant memory in my mind, which I would recall, every time I saw a David Bowie music video.
So after many years down the road. I came across an article discussing David Bowie’s eye condition and how he came to have it. I learned that I was right and my step dad was wrong.
I also learned that some people will blow a lot of smoke and make a lot of bluster when they think they’re right. I also learned that some people can make a lie sound very convincing and use unrelated facts to bolster their belief in their correctness.
I learned not to doubt myself.
An environment of learning is something I’ve always cultivated. If I’m wrong, I want to know why. How did I come to this conclusion erroneously? I’m not doubting you. I’m learning.
David Bowie has not been, to my knowledge, a bicycle person. So the story about my step dad, me, and a David Bowie film have nothing to do with bikes.
But there is a correlation and that correlation has to do with education.
There have been a lot of people over the years telling cyclists to hug the edge of a road for safety. Or that to be in keeping with the law we have to ride hugging the edge.
We don’t have to hug the edge. The law doesn’t require it.
We don’t have to hug the edge. It isn’t safe.
I will continue to explain why I’m right and they are wrong. I won’t always convince you with my limited explanations, but time will tell that I’m right and one day I will have a broader range of evidence to be able to explain it to you in a way that you will understand.
Until then put on your red shoes and ride a bicycle.