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The blog is a series of ideas, some short thoughts some are more like essays. Others are just tips. 

  • jones-allen

Should David Bowie be cancelled?

Updated: Apr 8




If someone is dead, who are we hurting by cancelling them? I personally do not like playing Rolf Harris songs, but then I never did like that. I do not play Elvis Costello's Oliver's Army, because it has the line "one less White Nigger." Its unfortunate, because I think it is his best song. But should I cancel the whole Costello songlist, because of that? By White NIgger, he is making a comment on the low status of British soldiers, but not everyone in the audience will appreciate that subtlety. Never change the lyrics to avoid a scandal because that is a dis-service to the artist. So, no criticism of Elvis, but I can't play it. I can certainly play anything else of his.


Getting back to Bowie, there is just too much great music, which now exists independently of him. How many people have recorded Life on Mars? Do we refuse to listen to them? Do we reject Nirvana's version of the Man Who Sold the World? The whole cancellation movement is like self flagellation. If we cancelled every artist who ever did something wrong, we would have a pretty barren culture. Punish the sin, not the sinner, unless of course that sinner is Rolf Harris.

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