Sick. Drugged. Fuck germs. Thought it might be time to watch The Man Who Fell To Earth, since I am obviously not going to be moving or thinking very many concrete things for a while.

I have already viewed this film on a number of occasions. I remember none of them well, mainly because it was in college, and I was stoned every single time. I may figure out what the thing is about this time around, but given that it's a 1976 adaptation of a nihilistic 1963 science-fiction novel, starring David Bowie as essentially himself if you substitute "literally extraterrestrial" for "insufflating such vast quantities of cocaine he might as well be from outer space," I doubt it.

I must have absorbed some of it subliminally; I did pretty much this to my bangs not long afterward, and kept it that way until I got tired of giving money to the hairdresser. It looked perhaps slightly less natural on me, which is hilarious, because my real hair color is about as close as you can get to that orange without involving the kind of industrial chemicals that created the Joker. I'm thinking of doing it again. That's a lie, I just checked the bathroom cabinet to see if we had any hydrogen peroxide. Clearly I have decided to go through with it. Watch this space to find out if I can successfully bleach my own hair. I don't think I can fuck it up too badly with 3% H2O2 solution, especially since I want it brassy.

[You can watch the movie if you want. It's long, and it's more interesting as an example of artistic trends in film than it is entertaining. I do warn you that there is an unexpectedly high number of naked people -- porno chic was a thing back then. It would easily hit NC-17 today solely from the full-frontal nudity, let alone the sexual content. The leads are not exempt from this. It is less thrilling than you'd think. Bowie is painfully thin, and not all the bouts of thousand-yard-stare are acting. The women are probably easy enough on the eyes, if you're a fan of the body type that was popular at the time.]

If I'd realized where I got the idea the first time, I probably would have stopped myself. My mother spent my entire childhood telling me that only mindless, contemptible sheep did things to be "like" someone else. Things installed by your parents that early on in your life are difficult to chip out again.

I would love to say I realized in a blinding flash of epiphanic light that desperately trying to separate yourself from everyone else all the time is a terrible way to live your life, but really, I just got tired. If a proper adult was one who went out of their way to disdain all trends that ever were, then I resigned myself to being a terrible one. It was exhausting to continually have to search for something I liked which no one else had ever done before, and give things up if I ever discovered that someone else had thought of it first. Willpower is draining. There were other things I had to use it on.

I never did figure out where my mother got that notion in the first place. I assume she thought she was helping something by passing it along to me. She did not understand, I think, the difference between trying to make yourself into someone else because you liked who they were better than you liked yourself, and picking things up from other people to use as tools.

Bowie considered himself a collector of people and ideas. Didn't realize that until recently -- the last time I nosed around his history was at least a decade ago, before I'd properly refined the art of trying to stare into someone's soul via clips I find on YouTube. He was forever talking about nicking things he liked from other artists, so he could play around with them. It was particularly pronounced when he borrowed voices and accents. Fair's fair, I suppose; I do much the same. His voice is actually my mental model for Brixton, hence why that one involves so many teeth and ten-dollar words.

I find myself getting irritated these days at those who bleat 'appropriation!' at anyone who dares find inspiration in a culture outside their own. They wish to put a stop to the very process that allowed humans to develop civilization in the first place. Some single person somewhere came up with the idea of planting food instead of foraging for the wild stuff. Where would we be if the second guy shied away from doing the same, because the idea didn't "belong" to him? It makes me sad and angry in the same way it made me sad and angry to realize that being an iconoclast involved continual, intentional rejection of all of the commonalities that underlie human connection, and that this was the ideal my mother wanted me to grow into.

I don't have the money to give to a salon this time around, so I'm going to try putting the streak back into my hair on my own. And this time, I am doing it specifically because I like it on someone else.


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