DAVID BOWIE – Mr Mime Strikes Back

This may seem a funny thing for me to say, but there’s too much hate in the world. Prejudice, for example, disgusts me. Racial prejudice, prejudice against women, against the disabled, against mimes…..hmmm.. No, on reflection, prejudice against Mimes is great. Interesting how the ‘inside a box’ mime (paid tribute to by Alice In Chains’ “Man In The Box”, a horrible dirge precisely as pleasing as watching a mime do his mumming thang) includes calm hand-on-wall action and does not include the screaming, panic, desperate hammering, scraping of fingers to the bone and final choking agonising death that would ensue if you were actually to seal a mime in a box. Not that I’m suggesting you do. Obviously.

Anyway, another entirely reasonable prejudice is that against David Bowie. He is richer than you and everyone you know put together, and he has got that way by acting the arse for thirty-five long years. Though very few of his later foolery beats his winsome 1967 performance piece, “The Mime”, a story about a young man who starts to mime with the aid of a magic mask, but he misuses its powers and GETS THE SHIT BEATEN OUT OF HIM…OK, no, I’m sorry, his face becomes the mask forever or something equally cod-symbolic. I would check but I’d rather pluck out my eyes and fry them in a big pan than see it again. In more enlightened times one dredging of this performance from the video vault and Bowie’s career would have been firmly in the stocks, but alas this was the late 60s, and in a pre-videogames age miming was seen as a regrettable but acceptable use of a young man’s time.

So, to recap. Miming = hateful. Bowie = hateful. Miming plus Bowie? You do the sums.