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Chris Cornell sings “Lady Stardust” and the Colorado nightclub shooting

The biggest news story of the day is a hideous one— a mass shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado. At some point there were news reports that the shooter’s motives were being investigated, but it seems likely that this was another terrible hate crime.

I’m posting this song as a whisper-in-the-night gesture of solidarity. Bowie, of course, was among other things, a gay icon. Though he would distance himself from that role later in his life, especially as he projected the image as Iman’s happily married husband (as well as doting father). But he never disowned his past. Among his catalogue are several songs with gay themes, including this one. Perhaps, along with “Queen Bitch,” it is as appropriate a song as I could come up with in a discussion about a nightclub catering to the LGBTQ community.

I’m posting this version from Chris Cornell in part for variety and in part as a sign of how LGBTQ themes have become more mainstream since Bowie was singing the song in the guise of a space alien. Unfortunately, difference is still trigger for the hateful. I also suspect that there are those who suspect that “the other” is a threat to “trace over.” In this case, “the others” are LGBTQ people, but I can’t help but thinking of the growing “great replacement theory” that motivated the killer responsible for the anti-black May 14th massacre in Buffalo. And while we’re at it, I am thinking of the hammer attack against Nancy Pelosi’s husband—- just today I saw an editorial cartoon showing a gavel, labeled, “Midterms,” crushing someone wearing high heel shoes, ala the Wicket Witch of the East. The meaning of the cartoon is clear— the Republican takeover of the house smashed the speakership of Nancy Pelosi. I can’t be the only one who finds the imagery outrageous considering the hammer attack against her husband, am I? It all adds up to too much hate and too much violence.

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