Under Pressure

Like most of the world, I was shocked to wake up to the sad news that David Bowie passed away yesterday from cancer.  I was unaware he was even ill.  My journey with David Bowie began a decade after his classic hits.

Queen released their greatest hits album in the fall of 1981.  I had never heard of David Bowie before, but when he did “Under Pressure” with Queen it was a voice I would never forget.  That song is probably one of a very few that has never left my playlist.  It is a song I can never get sick of, no matter what.

Bowie’s huge hit, “Let’s Dance”, is another one of those songs from a year that holds a special place for me in music.  1983.  Together with “China Girl” and “Modern Love”, 1983 was a huge year for Bowie.  I will fully admit, some of his later material in the 1980’s didn’t do it for me.  But watching Bowie and Mick Jagger’s video for “Dancing In The Streets”, which debuted at Live Aid in 1985, was a definite highlight.

It wasn’t until 1987 that I finally caught up with Bowie’s older material from the 1970’s.  I remember hanging out on the “front lawn” at my high school with some friends and someone had a radio.  “Young Americans” came on.  Embarrassingly, I asked someone who sang this new song.  They explained to me how Bowie’s classic stuff was much better than his 80’s material.  A couple months into the summer, I looked for a David Bowie greatest hits album but I couldn’t find anything.  I stopped looking after awhile.  But in 1990, “Changesbowie” was released, and I never looked back.

I went into Bowie mode in a big way back in 2009.  The TV show “Life On Mars” recaptured my love for all things 70’s Bowie.

For me, the height of David Bowie was his music released between 1969 to 1983.  With the announcement of his death, I find myself wanting to take another listen to his material after that.  A friend of mine posted his last video, for the song “Lazarus”, from his last album called “Blackstar”.  It was released two days ago.  The video is very powerful given what we now know Bowie was going through the past year and a half.

Bowie was part of the “glam rock” era of rock.  When you are a pioneer in these types of eras, it is very hard for anyone to live up to that pinnacle.  Bowie represents that side of music where anyone can be different and still be a success as long as you put your heart in it.  He opened the door for so many that followed.  Whether he was playing the very odd FBI agent named Phillip in a Twin Peaks movie, or talking about Ground Control to Major Tom, we were mesmerized by Bowie, even now.  But I will never forget where it all began for me:

‘Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure

RIP David Bowie…


Red Clay Education Association Officially Supporting House Bill 50 Veto Override!!! And More!

While it isn’t the DSEA, the Red Clay Education Association officially voted tonight to support the House Bill 50 Veto Override.  Thank you the members of the RCEA for doing this.  The Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education passed a board policy honoring opt-out a couple months ago, so it looks like Red Clay supports opt-out all over the district.

Mike Matthews, the President of RCEA, just posted this on Facebook:

At tonight’s Representative Council, the Red Clay Education Association took an official position of support for the legislature to override Gov. Jack Markell‘s veto of HB 50, the Parent Opt Out Bill.

The rally the Delaware PTA is sponsoring will be held on Thursday, 1/14, at 1pm on the steps of Legislative Hall in Dover.  All parents and students are encouraged to attend to lend support.  As well, the Delaware PTA petition is still live:


State Rep. John Kowalko will be asking for a suspension of rules when the Delaware House of Representatives meets in legislative session on Thursday.  A suspension of rules, which would prevent House Bill 50 from going back to the House Education Committee led by State Rep. Earl Jaques, would open up House Bill 50 for a vote by the State Representatives.  If the suspension of rules doesn’t go through, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost.  It would be up to Jaques to allow the bill to be heard in the House Education Committee.  It would go through the same process as last Spring if it progresses from there: House Education Committee to Full House Vote to Senate Education Committee to full Senate vote, assuming it passed each step along the way.

This has been a very long journey for many of us supporting this bill, and probably for those who oppose it as well.  While some may question the importance of it, and why it is such a big deal, I would hope those people understand this bill is about student and parent rights.  I have heard someone say it is a waste of “political capital”.  I wouldn’t say that at all.  Every bill in the General Assembly is important to someone.  To myself, there are certainly matters (like the state budget) that take on more public importance than House Bill 50, but this one that hits very close to home for a lot of parents.