365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

T-shirt #269 - DAVID BOWIE - HEATHEN - Teaching featured musical artists of the day

T-shirt #269 - DAVID BOWIE - HEATHEN - Teaching featured musical artists of the day

The same people who wondered why it was 266 days before I featured Firefly, especially those who know me, will wonder why it took equally 269 days to feature the one musical artist who is arguably my favorite and about whom I am most passionate: DAVID BOWIE.
This shirt is from the Heathen tour, obviously

But some subjects are so large, so important, that it does not seem like something easy to tackle, so I put it off. DAVID BOWIE is such a subject. I must own at least a dozen books devoted to David Bowie. I have all the albums on CD and LP. I have listened to everything for many years and obsessively. I have favorites, lists of favorites, and facts to share. I have Bowie stories to tell. I came to love Bowie so much, when I first discovered him in college, that I would randomly shout "BOWIE!" to emphasize my love for the Thin White Duke, Ziggy Stardust, Halloween Jack.

And it did not escape me that Bowie's 25th studio album, promised in 2006, finally came out in early 2013: The Next Day.

Luckily, at least for my ability to generate content, I have more than one DAVID BOWIE shirt, and so I can spread out my David Bowie love over several entries before my BLOG YEAR expires. Though it is a tough choice, I will present my favorite David Bowie song before I depart for the day. But the main content will consist of my my DAVID BOWIE POWER POINT PRESENTATION that I created for my Women's Studies Media and the Sexes Class at Western Michigan University.

I taught the media course for ten years. During the course, since our focus was media, I developed the FEATURED MUSICAL ARTIST of the day. Since the class met once weekly, this meant one a week. I would share some basic information about each artist (occasionally I would do two in one class) and then extract facts about the artist for bonus questions on my weekly quizzes. There was some controversy stirred up about my creation of such questions, but they were considered BONUS questions and hence extra credit and thus I did not feel badly if students did not know the answers. After all, they could guess. They had a 50-50 chance on the standard True-False bonus question and at worst a 20% chance on the standard multiple choice question.

These pictures come from my last full, regular length semester in the Winter of 2008 in the Women's Studies Media and the Sexes Class at Western Michigan University.

The purpose of the featured artist was simply to allow me to play music, show pictures, and talk about my favorite musical artists once a week. I did not spend much time on these features, on average about five minutes. The choices were motivated not just by my favorites, but in selecting artists that the students may not know or may not know well. My goal was to inspire and possibly turn on the students to some new music.

During these sessions I featured the following artists: Ani DiFranco, Brian Eno, Cocteau Twins, Stereolab, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Joy Division, Kate Bush, Kraftwerk, Laurie Anderson, MIA, Erykah Badu, Patti Smith, the Pixies, Public Enemy, Robert Fripp, Suzanne Vega, the Clash, The Jam, and Velvet Underground.

I saved DAVID BOWIE for the final week of the semester, and eventually, I prepared a power point presentation to share what I wanted to share about David Bowie in my Women's Studies Media and the Sexes Class at Western Michigan University.

Today, I would like to share the slides from that power point. Because there are forty-four slides, I added a page break, so you will need to click on it to see the entire show. I made a few notes. But first, arguably my favorite Bowie song and video, and some pictures of my dear friends and teaching associates: Abigail "Crabby" Nappier and Erin Bauchan (now Erin Bauchan-Caprara).

David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes

 COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE BLOG YEAR - 96 shirts remaining

- chris tower - 1312.15 - 13:46

HERE'S THE POWER POINT (note the page break)

this picture is from the Black Tie White Noise album

picture from Heathen

Madame Tussaud's wax depiction of Bowie left

Other wax dummies?
Bowie's various characters

Vanity Fair feature

Note in the classroom pictures
I have this on the document camera
while running the power point on the other screens;
the classroom contained four screens which could be set in pairs

Various shots of Bowie being androgynous

I tell a story about the demise
of the far too ambitious
Diamond Dogs stage show
which he junked to do Young Americans

The Thin White Duke

I talk a bit about Eno, but I am saving that for
another t-shirt

Arguably, my favorite album

When I was supposed to be writing
a paper on Moby Dick for American Literature
in my Sophomore year of college
I wrote an essay on David Bowie
My teacher said I started with a Bowie bang
but ended with a Pip (character in Moby Dick)

I saw both Detroit shows
on this tour

Under appreciated great album

Heathen was the best thing
since Outside or maybe even
since Let's Dance.

Bowie with wife Iman.

Bowie's 50th birthday party
in 1997 at MSG

from Bowie's boxed set