The State of the Church of Bowie in 2525 by K. A. Laity

My beloved in Ziggy—transplendent be his name!—there are some troubling trends of late in our nation. Despite the ubiquity of our faith—it’s rare to see anyone not wearing a lightning bolt, admittedly, whether on a chain around their neck or in a discreet lapel pin—I am hearing reports from the periphery of our great lands that give me pause. Not since the great Pope of Pop laid his head down for the interval of rest has there been such dissension, or at least not since the great Reformation when we reconciled the Duke with the Starman and all was hunky dory once more from Colorado’s coast to the great basin of Beijing, cool as the ocean that is our heart.

Nonetheless, reports come to me of a rising group of dissemblers who claim that the final words of the beloved saint outweigh all the other wisdom imparted. Yes, you have heard of the Black Star gang and their disruptive aggressions across this great bisected continentination. They deceive with belief. From the pain and suffering of our savouir’s final days they have misread an apocalyptic gospel that ignores the greater wisdom distilled within the whole of the glorious catalogue and its divine symmetry.

Let me be clear: the Black Star gospel istelf is not only canonical but supremely important. It is the capstone to the promise, as the Man Who Sold the World put it, that ‘I’m living on.’ Only through his death can we see life and know its purpose and importance. As the gospel tells us, ‘Knowledge comes with death’s release.’ Before he laid his head down in the darkness of sleep, before his prophesied return, did he not tell us, ‘Oh, I’ll be free.’

Oh, I’ll be free. And you will be, too. That is his golden promise.

But think now. Lazarus: in the old books before the time of now, the healer-that-was raised a man thought dead. This was what the people then accorded a miracle, a healing of unexpected proportions, long before cryogenics. It matters not that we think the people of the past ignorant: such is the luxury of the present. The parable our saviour takes on for his own lesson is all: Lazarus lived again and flourished. So will he. So will we all when the Legend returns. We must believe.

But the Black Star legion want you to give up. These Lollards preach a dark nihilism. You have seen them on the news links. They dress alike and in such drab colours. They have learned nothing of fashion. I have seen a few that combine the black star with the bolt but it is anathema. The star is suitable only for mourning. They wear it all the time, as if in mourning. Did not our guiding light tell us to be the prettiest star?

Deluded fools! What are they trying to prove? These sad-eyed mermen misread the text. Scroll through it yourself. You doubtless know the line of which they make so much: ‘Dropped my cell phone down below.’ If you’re not an historian you may not be aware that once people had external comm machines that linked their minds via crude technology before uni-thought was perfected. They read this line as a rejection of technology. That’s why these poor souls rip off their masks and all ‘lectrix and dive into the abyss. They take

whole families, all the parents and children together, climbing to the top of the blocks to plunge off ledges to destruction. They want you to join their suicidal fear.

This ain’t rock-n-roll; it’s genocide!

It’s true that this planet was once lush and green. But it’s also true that dinosaurs once ruled the earth. Those giant lizards would have killed us. That green world killed our saviour. We cannot live in a fantasy of the past. That is why we have art. That is why we sing and dance and paint. In our creations, the past, present and future live as one. We have moved beyond the era of the green into the golden future. Do not paint it black. We do not need apocalypse. The shame is on their side, not ours. We can talk with our eyes. We can steal time. We can be heroes. Gaze the gazeless gaze. Because he was alright and the song does go on forever and tomorrow is full of rich surprise. You and I will rise up all the way.

May the Ziggy be ever within you.

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