Thoughts and memories about the legacy and influence of David Bowie and Alan Rickman.
I've never known a world without David Bowie in it. I think I heard Space Oddity
in the cradle. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
defined my youth. After I saw The Hunger
, I spent a decade in love with vampires. Such was the power of Bowie. Even now, it's like he's not really gone. Beck Pano, @glassspiider
I named my dog David Bowie because of his eyes. Call it crazy if you will, but that Australian Shepherd was in a tizzy for days starting on January 10. Maybe it was the complete focus on the man we'd named him after, maybe it was just a dog being a dog. I know what I believe.
David Bowie was and will forever be The Goblin King.
David Bowie is also an amazing musician and person whose music I didn't experience enough of while he still shared this world with us. His creations are unique, often challenging, and deeper than a few passes will reveal. Blackstar is a beautiful goodbye letter, both heavy and soothing, as Michael C.Hall said in a recent interview. I only wish I'd paid more attention much, much sooner. -- Lloyd Woodall, @frogwart
I first saw Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, terrorist extraordinaire, foiled not by the superheroic cowboy in Bruce Willis, but by the failure of his Eurotrash clan of thieves. More's the pity. Gruber is just the first of many immaculate performances I've loved by Alan Rickman, and I've many more to catch up on and enjoy. -- Lloyd Woodall, @frogwart
Alan Rickman was the only man who could make a movie with Kevin Costner as Robin Hood, a good movie. By being the only one who knew the casting and situation was comedy gold. -- Ryan Guthrie, @GeekStranger
Alan Rickman first cam to my attention with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Every year my mom would take me to the Christmas Pantomime. A proud British tradition, with fairy tales full of songs, men in dresses and sexual innuendo that flew over my head. But it was the villain that I loved the most. Melodramatic, over the top, you were supposd to boo him. He would frequently yell back at the audience. It was delightful.
So when Rickman stepped onto the screen yelling things like "Cancel Christmas!" I was home. So thank you, Alan, for bringing that panto villain to the big screen. -- Deanna Toxopeus, @ubalstecha
Alan Rickman made me love a slimy semi-terrorist / semi-excellent thief Eurotrash bad guy. And if I watched Die Hard for the very first time ever today I would be cheering for Hans Gruber to crush Bruce Willis. That's my ultimate tribute to Alan Rickman. -- Van Allen Plexico, @vanallenplexico
Alan Rickman had the peculiar talent of occupying a role so completely, I could not imagine another actor playing it. Whether romantic rival, comic foil or mustache-twirling villain, he brought pathos and wit and humor and relatability to every character, in a way that was as ageless and timeless as he himself seemed to be, right up until he bid the world farewell. -- Beck Pano, @glassspiider
I knew of Alan Rickman from Die Hard, Robin Hood, and Galaxy Quest, and while each of those performances were phenomenal -- I mean, it was Alan Rickman, so how could they not be? -- to this Potterhead, he will always be Snape. His demeanor in his other roles, that mixture of sharp wit and snark with an edge of cutting empathy, came to bear in a delightful chemistry experiment that lifted the character from Rowling's prose and delivered it to the screen with near perfection.
-- Michael Falkner, @womprat99
Snape Was a Bowie Fan
by Beck Pano
I've been brewing up this headcanon all day, that is by turns amusing and deeply sad: Severus Snape was a closet Bowie fan."
He first heard Space Oddity the summer he met Lily, and the two loves were forever intertwined."
In the winter before he would enter Hogwarts he heard The Man Who Sold the World and became fascinated with Muggle poets and philosophers. Lacking context and experience, his youthful consumption of Aleister Crowley's and Nietzsche's writing formed the early seeds of his attraction to Dark Arts and Death Eaters.
The prolific Bowie had a new album out for every year of Snape's schooling at Hogwarts, and while he did not obsess over every one, Snape always felt like less of a freak with every fresh cut. But the summer of '72 brought him Ziggy Stardust, and stoked the feelings he'd harbored for Lily into a fierce inferno he feared would end him. He was particularly fixated on Five Years, and end-of-the-world stories, consuming them with an awkward twelve-year-old's singular fervor.
When Station to Station came out and he found no particular track on it moved him, he was never sure if it was because the album was weak, or because it was the first one he could not share with Lily."
After that, each new Bowie release was bittersweet, for though he remained a fan, it never failed to remind him of Lily's rebuke, and refresh the loss of her friendship. He'd sing along to "Heroes" and tell himself he had nothing to be ashamed of, though he knew it was a lie. He memorized Teenage Wildlife and turned it into a kind of anthem.
After Lily died, Snape never enjoyed Bowie in the same way. She was gone, music had gone to rot and everything tasted like ashes. Sometimes, though, a lyric or phrase would pop into his head and he'd remember her voice and her laugh, and be struck with a vertiginous, giddy sort of grief that felt like madness.
There was a time, many years later, when Crabbe, eager to be the tattletale, described to him Longbottom's Riddukulus charm. Snape thought to himself, “I suppose that is what's meant by a “bipperty-bopperty hat”,” and began to laugh. At first Crabbe felt put out, not sure if he was somehow the butt of a joke that went over his head; so many jokes did, after all. But as Snape's laughter continued, even Crabbe couldn't ignore the edge of hysteria to it, and excused himself with not a little bit of terror. None too soon for Snape's dignity and reputation, as his hysterical giggles were already melting into loud sobs which took him considerable time and effort to cease.
Even as he breathed his last, looking into Lily's eyes staring at him out of James' face, knowing he'd given his life to protect their only scion, Snape's final thought was someone else's words: "nothing will keep us together. We could steal time, just for one day. We can be Heroes, forever, and ever."