David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” is one of my favorite Bowie songs from the Ziggy Stardust years.
Now, I tend to be one for the Young Americans or Lodger Bowie, but Moonage Daydream just truly rocks. Especially salient in 2017 is the chorus:
Keep your ‘lectric eye on me babe
Put your ray gun to my head
Press your space face close to mine, love
Freak out in a moonage daydream oh yeah
I look at these lyrics as a statement on how we relate to one another in a technological age. Keep your ‘lectric eye on me–not a glimpse or glance, but a prolonged, purposeful staging of the camera’s lens on the subject. It makes me think of my students whose sole connection to greater humanity is their social media presence.
The ray gun is another metaphor for Facebook Live or Instagram–social media as a tool or as a weapon?
The third line reminds me of FaceTime, where people move from the observer and the observed to a more even exchange–people relating to one another instead of performing. Or perhaps they are both performing.
Freaking out in this moonage daydream…experiencing reality as either surreal or hyperreal and barely being able to control one’s nature while doing so.
I’m not saying Bowie was a prophet…but I’m not NOT saying it, either.