If you’ve seen the latest video offering from David Bowie for his most recent single The Next Day, you’ll fully understand why The Catholic League would be wanting to throw their 2 cents into the mix. The clip relies heavily on religious references but, on account of the way they’re portrayed, The League ain’t happy.
A post on the organisation’s website seems to be a little bit anti-David Bowie. Informing their readers that the icon is back, but “hopefully not for long”, they begin by describing Bowie as “the switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London”, taking aim at his portrayal as a Jesus-like figure in the clip.
The perceived affront stop there; the short clip is also populated by sleazy priests, one of whom beats up a homeless dude, half-naked gals making stigmata statements, and it all goes down in a seedy dive of a bar where Bowie takes the stage. As against the song as they seem to be, the post makes specific mention of lyrics from the track, so they’ve clearly pumped it a few times. Is that allowed?
The League really got their nose out of joint with this one, made all the worse by the fact that their argument doesn’t really lead anywhere, only leaving room for personal attacks on Bowie’s own beliefs, as they claimi that anyone who calls themselves “not quite an atheist” is obviously NOT an atheist, which means that “clearly he can’t stop thinking about the Cadillac of all religions, namely Roman Catholicism”. Right.
YouTube also seemed to have a similar problems with the clip recently – removing it for violating its content guidelines soon after it was posted, only for it to re-emerge with a content warning soon after – though a spokesman for the video streaming service told the BBC it was all a big misunderstanding:
“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”
The Church Of England seem to have the right idea, with the Archbishop of Canterbury making a point of taking the high road to avoid “the mess”. Talking to The Telegraph, he said, “Frankly, I don’t get offended by such juvenilia – Christians should have the courage to rise above offensive language although I hope Bowie will recognise that he may be upsetting some people.” Fair call.
Seems like it will take more than The Catholic League to dampen this long-awaited comeback. In fact, all the hoo-ha is probably only helping his cause. He’s a smart man, that Bowie.
WATCH: David Bowie – The Next Day