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Monday prompt: Degree of Freedom


"It's a godawful small affair," is the opening line from David Bowie's song, "Life On Mars?", which I was strongly reminded of when it was used as the theme song for the mysterious TV series of the same name - the one about the cop who is injured in a car accident and wakes up back in the '70s, with all the 70's TV tropes of tough cops and car chases around him. This had a rotten resolution, but was followed with another series with a David Bowie title, Ashes to Ashes, in which a cop was shot and woke up in the 80's with the same police captain as the first one had met. The resolution to this second series made much more sense, if not exactly giving us a happy ending. Life On Mars had both a British and an American version. The British version was very intense. It took a while to warm to the American version, but it developed its own style and I grew to like it for its own sake eventually.

All of which leads me back to the David Bowie song with its lyrics of small things that add up to big questions: a girl has an argument with her parents, slams out of the house and goes to a friend's place, but the friend isn't home, so she goes to the movies and watches the cliches unfold. They weary her, but I like her attitude: "Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow." The empires of her day have not lived up to their promise, and life has grown sordid around her.

David Bowie's lyrics often fascinate me. Once, a lecturer put them down as psuedo intellectual. This gave me pause for thought, but over time I've concluded that the lecturer was wrong. Bowie's lyrics seem like a pastiche, but they add up to something. Amazingly, they can even mean exactly what he intended them to. If you find that a strange comment, consider how often readers get something far different from the text than the writer meant them to.

However, let's now turn to a new prompt: "One degree of freedom."

Cheers