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I didn’t want to be on the internet yesterday. Not after Alan Rickman died. We had not even the opportunity to mourn the passing of the Goblin King when the light on another one of Britain’s Suns extinguished a mere 48 hours later. While I cannot call myself a Bowie fan, I cannot deny his influence on me. Alan Rickman, on the other hand, became my Dark Knight in Gleaming Armani when I was 7. At 13, he taught me the advantages of spoons over axes against your adversary. At 15, I was desperate to learn what I had to do to endeavor to deserve him. At 18, I wanted to get drunk on tequila (sans the spitting) because I was out of ideas on how to proceed with my university major. At 21, he seduced me with the potency and importance of knowing one’s Potions. At 25, he provided me with a strange insight into the cynicism of a hyper-intelligent, manically depressed robot.

You get the idea: how do you say good-bye to what you grew up with?

You don’t. In a much more eloquent manner than I could ever express, here’s why:

1.15.16 Tweet Capture

[NOTE: I acknowledge the possibility that I am not interpreting the context of Mr. Miranda’s tweet accurately. That being said, I do find comfort in his words].

Here’s what I’m actually thinking:

We miss artists as much as we do because of how much they give to those of us who feel like we have nothing connecting us to the rest of humanity or the world. We grew up, or at least I grew up, watching them not watching me, but somehow knowing that someone like me was out there, and that I would be forever changed by the art that they made.

Bowie made art for 40+ years; Rickman didn’t start making art until he was in his 40s. And they never half-assed anything that they did, which is how we came to love them so dearly. They died in private, intimate settings: surrounded by loved ones who kept their own counsel in and the paparazzi out. It is said that the company that you keep is a partial reflection of yourself. So it should be of no surprise to us that Bowie and Rickman left this world in the same manner at which they entered: fiercely, proudly, gracefully and full of class.

On top of being great artists, these were also men who were not afraid to use their privilege to speak up for those of us who had none. From boldly knocking down whitesplainers on MTV to bluntly discussing the universal benefits of feminism, they were forces to be reckoned with and allies who will be sorely missed.

[SECOND NOTE: I am fully aware of David Bowie’s problematic past, so my failure to mention it is not the same as ignoring it]. 

Truth be told, I don’t believe that there is a lot that white cis men can teach us that involves improvement of ourselves and of our world. That is why I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to exist at the same time as these gentlemen so that I would be proven wrong [from time to time].

I’m a Skeptic, remember? I go where the evidence takes me.

On that note, I’m going to continue to mourn until I have completed my personal grieving process. I am also going to take a cue from these icons and attempt to give my art my everything. I owe it to not only those of you who graciously consume it, but to myself.

This has been a helluva beginning for 2016, but what was it that he said again? Oh, right.

Yippee Ki-yay, Motherfucker.


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