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  • Writer's pictureMichael Mendoza

Forget Bowie

Forget David Bowie because maybe he wants us to forget him? Thats what seems to be going on right under our noses? In European Countries I am hearing that lots of people are discovering data in regard to David Bowie is being restricted or removed in accordance with the EU’s right to be forgotten laws. This European legislation gives us all the right to have our content removed from the servers of Google and any other. At the moment its effecting mainly images and it makes me wonder whats going on, after all someone has to physically implement that restriction and there are a number of explanations.

I am hoping its perhaps a wonderful artistic gesture from the man himself and in light of what we know about him it would be no surprise. One final artistic act, like a painter taking a tin of emulsion to his finest work in a fit of rage. I imagine Mr Jones would smile to himself at the idea of being erased from our digital history, with the added bonus that he could leave behind such mischief for our data masters to deal with. The sheer thought of a full-time team of Google interns frantically trying to find and remove his online presence would be a delight to us all. Think “pop up ads relevant to your recent searches” and it fills the heart with joy. The right to be forgotten law is usually applied when people wish to remove some historical misdemeanour. Being caught shoplifting when you were 14 or an unspent indecent exposure conviction (Urinating in an alley). David Robert Jones was guilty of one or two for sure, the odd dubious acting performance or maybe the Scary Monsters album? If you never made a mistake then you never achieved anything as they say, or something like that. Another explanation could be that the milk processors may be to blame? Milk processor is my name for those who may wish to make a very good living out of relatives much more talented than they will ever be, even after their demise. Selling full colour framed prints and previously unreleased recordings of them singing happy birthday and such like. The milk processors usually come out of the woodwork once a great man or woman has departed. (See Beatles, Elvis, Jesus) It doesn’t strike me that theres a desire within the Bowie estate to mar the memory of the great man with such tat, so its an unlikely explanation. There’s little chance we’ll see the release of “David Bowie answerphone recordings 1973–2016 Volume one. Incidentally if we do then I’ill buy it just so theres no gap in my collection.

Alternatively and thinking outside the box from my own experience maybe its haircuts? He sported quite a few in his day and I can only site Chris Waddle as an example. Whilst sitting round drinking one night I attempted to explain how I once had a Chris Waddle perm. When I described the monstrosity I was treated with stares of disbelief and gaping jaws. Imagine a straight side parting on top with a bunch of curls on the back of the head, yes I know. On windy days it looked like someone had attached an octopus to the back of my head. Their reaction was more than the fact Chris Waddle could sport such a head piece but that I actually had any hair at some time in my life. I decided to prove my point and Google it, only to find it had been completely wiped from the internet. Or was it Glen Hoddle I’m not sure? Either way we may one day sit around chatting in some virtual world and reminisce about the fellow with the spikey red hair that wore a frock, what was his name now? Musician, you know he did that film about falling out of the sky. Oh God It’s on the tip of my tongue. Hang on I’ll Google it. Only to find he has been de-Googled just like Chris Waddle and everyone thinks your making it up.

In all likelihood David Bowie is responsible and has made his wishes quite clear to Google being of sound mind etc. If it happens that he has decided to erase himself then surely we have the right to appeal, like you do in a last will and testament. We have a strong case too, after all he is kind of ours isn’t he? I’ve said it before but theres a whole generation who have never known life without him. And another thing, it seems he never went anywhere without a photographer ready to take a quick snap whenever the mood took him, a swoon here and a pose there. Much of it was very pre iPhone as well which meant film, cameras, chemicals and paper. Thats just a lot of hard work and effort so to suddenly now decide to deprive us of it all makes no sense. If that’s their attitude then we might as well go down to the V & A and put a match to the lot of it, and stop off at Madame Tousauds and the Imperial War Museum on the way back. Do what you will Google, change history if you like but come round to my house and ask me to handover my Ziggy Stardust poster and you’ll leave with a bloody nose and you wont forget that in a hurry sunshine.


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