Being a David Bowie fan in this modern world has meant being subjected to all forms of mental and physical torture from the outside world. Granted, there was a time from about 1972 to 1974 when you could walk proudly down the high street in your best Ziggy garb, with your siren red hair flowing in the breeze. You could even get away with blue eyeshadow then! And there was that two year period during the Let's Dance/Modern Love era where you could call yourself a Bowie fan without fear of retribution from the masses. But that has been about it. When you consider that some of us have been fans since the 60's, (okay, maybe only a handful, but anyway...) it becomes clear that some sort of self defence class is in order. At least if you want to wear your DB T-shirt in public, anyway. Hence this is a guide to help you verbally defend your right to be Bowie fan.

We shall illustrate why Bowie is far and away more talented than any other musician in the modern world, and effectively shut the gobs of people who continue to insist on giving us Bowie fans a miserable time of it. In this article, you shall be given examples of different types of people in the world who shall try to undermine Bowie, ridicule your lifestyle, and promote some other artist who they think is better than Bowie. Follow the simple guideline for each of the different types of fans out there, and you should be just fine... Let's begin.

A good place to start is with the Grateful Deadheads, as they are quite probably the easiest to outwit. The first step in defending yourself from attack is to realise that they are the ones with the problem. Face it, anyone who goes travelling around the country, never taking showers and living in VW vans all for the sake of the Grateful Dead has a problem. If accosted by a Deadhead, your best approach is actually to agree with everything he says, buy him a pint and excuse yourself. Chances are the Deadhead is already so burnt out, he'll forget the matter in the time it takes you to go to the bathroom, do your thing, and come back.

The other alternative would be to nail him with the SuperVixen patented "Jerry's Dead, and I'm grateful" speech. However, studies show that while hippies preach peace, love and understanding, if you mess with Jerry Garcia you end up fighting a losing battle with an angry acid flashback.

(Caveat Emptor: The author does not recommend trying the advanced tactics until you have either armed yourself, or mastered this entire course).

Another dastardly form of enemy is the Bob Dylan fanatic. (Author's note: I have not said this man's name aloud in over two years, you don't know how much it pains me to even type it). These insidious freaks of nature insist that Dylan is the greatest lyricist known to man. How they come to that conclusion is a mystery, as scientists have spent many years trying to decipher just what the poor man is saying, only to come up with one line of hard evidence: "Don't chew gum." At any rate, Dylan fans will try to sway you with arguments such as "Bowie never made a social commentary like Dylan." Counterpoint: "Dylan never predicted the future like Bowie did with such works as Diamond Dogs and 1.Outside, so therefore, while your Mr. Dylan may have made some minor social commentary on some ancient, irrelevant hippie issues, Bowie is a prophet."

And just remember, Dylan couldn't sing, Dylan couldn't put on a stage show to save his ass, and Dylan's hippie fans all ran out on him once they realised being a hippie didn't put food on the table. So, if you can bear all of that in mind when approached by Dylan fans, you should do fine.

Another pesky fan is the dreaded Elvis fan. This one is actually an easier victory than you might think, as most Elvis fans are either under-educated, middle aged, or living in West Virginia. Sometimes all of the above. However, should your run across an Elvis fan in your travels, start gently. Assure them that you are not out to harm "The Kang". Let them know you understand their pain. Should they continue to barrage you with Elvis-love to the point you can no longer patronize them, point out to the fan the ELVIS IS ACTUALLY DEAD. This usually stuns them long enough for you to counter with such comments as: "Elvis, Live In Hawaii!," and "Elvis In Clambake!," and "Elvis The Black Belt!". All of these statements prove in four words or less why Elvis was a blight on musical culture. Then you must proceed to run as fast as you can away from the Elvis fan, as he might form a posse to lynch you.

Also found in the truly obsessed category is the Stones fans. Now the Stones as a unit are pretty damn good. However, we all know Mick is no Bowie, and Keef... well, Keef is just Keef. Two things shall survive nuclear holocaust, cockroaches and Keith Richards. At any rate, Bowie fans' and Stones fans' can live in harmony. However should you run across some poor misguided Stones fan who insists that Jagger is better than Bowie, alert the fan that unlike the Stones, Bowie has indeed changed his stage set several times since 1981. Remind the person that Bowie has even changed musical styles since 1981 as well. Bring up Mick Jagger's current choice in onstage pants wear. Mention that none of the Stones have been able to properly dress themselves since Beatle Suits went out of style, whereas Bowie has always been the epitome of fashion's cutting edge. Also remind the fan that while the Stones will be singing "Start Me Up" long after it's possible to actually do that to any of them, Bowie retired all his old boring songs. Once they see the error of their ways, shake hands peaceably and retire to your corner like a good sportsman.

Unfortunately in life there are always obstacles in the way to a good time. Often, you'll find that country and western music fans are obstacles on your way to the bar. Country fans are a whole different breed of music fan than you may be accustomed to debating. For information's sake, they are commonly known as "rednecks." You must always remember, rednecks are rabid and usually have shotguns in their pick-up trucks. On a positive note, rednecks aren't the brightest spark, and one can get around them fairly easily. Being that the redneck is a simple minded creature, he will probably first try to attack Bowie's sexuality. A quick retort, if you are feeling brave, would be "At least Bowie never shagged a goat." If you survive that, you can go on to let the cowboy know that there is more to life than songs about broken hearts, broken lives and broken beer bottles.

By the way, did you know that if you play a country song backwards, the guy gets his house back, his wife back and his dog back? Don't waste your breath telling that to a country and western fan. He won't get it. In the end, if you're feeling out numbered and about to get beaten up, just yell "Drinks are on me!" and head out the door once you've paid up. Having thought about it though, if you are a Bowie fan, you wouldn't be caught dead in any place calling itself a "saloon" to begin with, so this must be a trick question.

Of course you can never be one hundred percent safe from anything in life, so watch out for headbangers. These people don't dabble with words at all. They are completely unable to form sentences that do not begin with the word "dude". Sometimes they even bite the heads off of small animals. If you see some guy that looks like Lemmy from Motorhead in a bar or club somewhere and he's heading towards you, the best thing you can do is leave the building at once. Run like the wind. Do not engage the headbanger in conversation. Consider yourself warned: moshing hurts. And if you try to reason with your your average headbanger, you're only going to end up a rag doll in a mosh pit. As much as David Bowie means to you, you should not end up in traction for any reason whatsoever.

With so many different types of fanatic out there, this guide couldn't possibly cover them all in one go round. However you should find that with these basic steps, and a little practise, you will be well on your way to defending your rights as a fan of the greatest modern musician in the world. Finally you shall have the freedom to wear your Earthling Tour shirts in public, and feel secure knowing you can use your brain to make a stand with an uncaring, unknowing world. Walk proudly young fan! Make your verbal skills the sharp stick in the eye of the masses. Remember, the keys to self defence and winning the war are: style, wit and a keen sense of timing. Without the latter, you may get beaten up in that mosh pit.

If you feel you need further assistance in self defence situations, feel free to email the author for handy tips. If necessary, further segments of the "Bowie Fans Guide To Self Defence" may be published. Otherwise, good luck and god speed beautiful Bowie fan!

By KelMarSuperVixen
January 2001.

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