News of David Bowie’s death Sunday night took most people by surprise. But that didn’t stop millions of fans with an Internet connection and a tinkle in their heart from quickly bashing out a status update to express their loss, surprise, a video link, listicle, insightful article or animated GIF of Bowie’s many looks over the decades to share in the Internet’s collective grieving process. Besides voicing said grief or surprise, it’s important to post something that also reflects your own inner coolness, in hopes that some of that precious Bowie stardust will rub off on you. Here’s a list of ways to publicly mourn David Bowie’s death and how you can improve upon it.
* Express your loss in a way that makes people know Bowie’s death is way more earth-shattering and important to you than the loss of a cast member from Celebrity Rehab, a family member or pet. Hint: Instead of RIP, use vague phrases or words like “speechless,” “no words” or even better “gutted,” since it sounds more British.
* Post a video of a Bowie song or interview where he chastises an MTV host for not playing enough black artists. The deeper the cut, the better. Sure, “Let’s Dance” and “Modern Love” might be when Bowie first hit your LG73 listening radar, but the more obscure the song, the more of a true fan you are. Basically anything off Lodger and you’re gold. You can gain cred points for posting Bowie’s cameo in Ricky Gervais’s Extras TV show, the Christmas duet with Bing Crosby or ironically posting that redubbed “Dancing in the Streets” video with Mick Jagger, because it tells people you don’t take holding Bowie in high regard too seriously, which really means you totally hold Bowie in high regard.
* Post a quote from Bowie or another person’s quote about Bowie to show people you have a deep understanding of Bowie’s cultural significance. If you have the time, really go down the Internet rabbit hole and find some long lost quote where Bowie praises the complexity of nachos, the musical contributions of Degrassi High’s in-house band the Zit Remedy, or how he once subsisted on gourds and a thimble of Lou Reed’s blood for five months. We’ve never seen such quotes, but we’re sure they’re out there.
* Change your Facebook photo to a picture of David Bowie from a distinct era in his career. Ziggy Stardust, for example, or the Thin White Duke, or even his role as Jareth the Goblin King from the movie Labyrinth. Bonus points for going to work in face paint a la his Aladdin Sane album cover. It will creep everyone out and you won’t get that promotion, but it will be awesome.
* Make sure to mention to coworkers, friends (Facebook or otherwise), your barista, and strangers on public transit that you’ve been listening to your Bowie albums all week. Stress albums over MP3s or Spotify playlists. Once again, big ups if you mention Lodger, even if the only reason you heard about it in the first place was when Built to Spill referenced it in a song.
* Listen to your Bowie albums all week. Most of them really are fantastic. Even Lodger. But do so privately, while smugly judging everyone else for doing so publicly. How crass. You might even want to write a blog post or short article about it because in some, small, petty way it feels good. Or at least better. And it helps you ignore the fact that you are not good with expressing your feelings and woefully out of touch with your emotions.
* But what if you’re more of a self-described “Dylan person”? Rest assured. Your time will come. And sooner than you think. Nooooooooooo!