Here at All Shook Down, we know all about stupid jobs. But, this week, to our absolute astonishment, we found out that there are careers infinitely sillier than music blogging. Leading the way is the strange man you see in the photo above, who has taken it upon himself to pretend that dressing up like David Bowie for a year, is somehow furthering the world of academia.
No, really. This is actually happening.
Look back up at that photo for a moment, examine the golden forehead circle in all its glory, then ponder in confused wonderment how this man convinced the faculty of a respected British University that wearing his favorite Halloween costumes year round was somehow worthy of a paycheck. We don't know whether we want to high five him for pulling this off, or lock him in his car and tell him he's now living in the first two verses of “Space Oddity.”
Professor Will Brooker — of England's Kingston University — is telling the world that: “The idea is to inhabit Bowie's headspace at points in his life and career to understand his work from an original angle, while retaining a critical and objective perspective at the same time.” Because all it takes to understand the creative genius and infinitely adaptable brain of David Bowie is putting some clothes on.
To make this endeavor even more limiting and pointless, Brooker will be indulging in absolutely none of the risky business Bowie was infamous for in his earlier career. “It is possible to engage with and get a feel for his experiences,” Brooker has said, “without immersing oneself to a dangerous extent.” No. It isn't, Will. It really, really isn't.
So, basically, this is like that amazing Bowie-themed episode of Flight of the Concords (click HERE if you missed that little slice of comedic genius) only not actually intentionally funny. Which is ironic because this whole experiment is the height of fucking hilarity, thanks in part to the fact that Brooker is pretending he's not having a good time. One of his photo captions on Twitter reads: “Much as I hate to have Ziggy make up with Thomas Newton hair. Sometimes I'm afraid it's necessary.”
Necessary? Necessary?! Food and water are fucking necessary, mate. This is, quite obviously, the opposite of that. (Also, Will, please get some help with the ol' make-up and wig stylings):
From what we can gather from his bio on the Kingston University website, Professor Brooker is actually a specialist in television and film, rather than music, which goes some way to explaining why this man thinks understanding the roots of Bowie's musical creativity can be done based on clothing, rather than, oh, you know, actual life experiences and raw talent… that sort of thing.
So, God speed, Will Brooker, you crazy motherfucker, you. We only hope you can make it to the end of the year without being repeatedly beaten up by High School children.