In 1999, David Bowie said of the internet, in part, “I think we’re on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying.”
David Bowie: cultural icon, musical legend, and – clairvoyant?
Bowie gave a famous interview on BBC Newsnight in 1999, and made some pronouncements about the internet, which was then a burgeoning technology. Some of his views seemed to foreshadow the social disruptions and chaos catalyzed by the internet in the 2010s and early 2020s;
At the time, Bowie told BBC interviewer Jeremy Paxman that the Internet seemed subversive to him, because a society that worshiped power and influence did not yet have a monopoly on it.
I don’t think we’ve even seen the tip of the iceberg. I think the potential that the internet is going to do to society, both good and bad, is unimaginable. I think we are on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying.
I’m talking about the actual situation and the state of the content being so different to everything that we can really consider a moment where the interaction between the user and the provider will be so friendly that it overwhelms us. ideas that are central to everything.
The aforementioned inspiration from Bowie is true, but in January 2022, a parody of this interview went viral in which comedian Michael Spicer refined Bowie’s 1999 comments with hindsight-is-20/20 spiel about the state of technology and its multiple effects on society. personal time and people management;
“In the future, we’re going to have to spend hours and hours of our lives watching cats and dogs look adorable,” Spicer said, before criticizing how far right-wing political figures are using the anti-immigration drumbeat. the sense of the stranger as a carrier for virtue.
Evan, Dan. “Did David Bowie Predict Social Media in ‘Newsnight’ 1999 Clip?” Snopeson the 10th of Jan. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/david-bowie-newsnight-1999/.
“Anti-immigrant Movement in the US,” Anti-Defamation League, Nov. 28. 2018, p. https://www.adl.org/the-anti-immigrant-movement-in-the-us. Accessed on Nov. 17 2022