David Bowie died during the evening of January 10, 2016 in New York City, but much of the world was sleeping, and so woke to the news on the 11th, the news traveling like a cross-continental comet.
He was cremated, according to the death certificate filed with his will, on January 12 in New Jersey; the will directed that if it were not possible to cremate his body in Bali “in accordance with the Buddhist rituals,“* his executor should scatter his ashes off the island’s coast.
Smoke rising; ashes falling.
Philip Hoare notes in RisingTideFallingStar that Guglielmo Marconi believed that his transAtlantic radio transmitters “might also pick up the cries of sailors long since drowned in the Atlantic” (39). Thomas Jerome Newton, the alien in The Man Who Fell to Earth, recorded an LP, The Visitor, in hopes of radio play that would allow his wife, if she were alive, to receive a message from him on their home planet. He wouldn’t be making the journey home.
My feeds have been nearly all Bowie for the past three days and will continue into tomorrow.
I wonder if all these transmissions, bouncing between towers, betwist satellites, are being received by the starman, as Hoare calls him.
*I imagine that international air rules would require embalming, making the rites awkard at best; George Harrison was cremated in the US before being scattered in the Ganges.