Having thought about it some more - and that's all I've been doing this last few days - I've come up with an alternative explanation for the Drake/De Burgh and Bowie/Krankies collaborations.
Obviously it's still supernatural. Such an occurence is too weird not to have cosmic significance. But maybe, just maybe, it's not about the triumph of lizard-run global totalitarianism. I now suspect that the stage at Marlborough that day was, in effect, a metaphysical filmset.
In the afterlife, whether it's the vengeant wrath of the Abrahamic God or some fluffier eastern deity giving you things to ponder for a couple of aeons before your next incarnation, I think there's a room where certain people have to watch these baffling collaborative perfomances constantly.
People like Mohammed Atta and the pilots of 9/11.
People like Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister who killed his six children just before his suicide.
People like that American bomber pilot on CNN just after the war started. She was asked if it bothered her that there were people down there where she was dropping tons of explosives. 'I have a strong faith,' she said, 'and I figure I'm doing the work God put me here to do'. Mr Atta couldn't have put it better himself.
They get led into the room by St Peter, who removes their eyelids. Then he says, 'you people! You really think one person can be entirely good or evil? The world is straighforward moral absolutes and in this infantile dualistic vision the two sides are always represented by opposed individual personifications? Eh?'
'Why is it you vicious simpletons who believe in this shit always think it's you that's Good?
Turning to the projection booth he says, 'roll the film, Azrael'. The image of the Krankies doing Starman fills every wall, the soundtrack thunderously loud. The audience react as we all did when we first saw it - shocked, stunned, confused, frightened, their lower jaws dangling making ubububub noises. Only unlike us, these poor wretches have nowhere to look, they are compelled to watch.
'What do you make of that then? And that's nothing - check this out', Peter declares. 'Show the main feature, Az...'
And there it is: Nick Drake and Chris De Fuckin Burgh, voluntarily singing together, on a loop, indefinitely.
'Always good versus evil?' Peter chuckles to himself on the way out. 'Right, sure'
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.
- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
I'm doing a two-week run at the Edinburgh Fringe
1 month ago