David Bowie is getting a lashing from a leading Catholic advocacy group over his "mess" of a video for "The Next Day," released late last night with Vatican stereotypes like corrupt cardinals, philandering priests and a Christ-like crooner played by the artist himself.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, issued a statement on the group's website just hours after the video debuted. He classily top-loads his rant by lamenting that the "switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London has resurfaced."
Donohue, 65, then gives a general summary of the video, which takes place in a "nightclub dump frequented by priests, cardinals and half-naked women" where eyeballs are served to eat, self-flagellation is practiced and a "dancing gal" played by Marion Cotillard has stigmata issues.
"The lyrics refer to the 'priest stiff in hate' and 'women dressed as men for the pleasure of that priest,'" Donohue writes. "In short, the video reflects the artist -- it is a mess."
The rest of Donohue's column doesn't so much address the "Next Day" video, instead the conservative activist ponders on what the singer's belief system may be.
Bowie is nothing if not confused about religion. He once made a public confession: "I was young, fancy free, and Tibetan Buddhism appealed to me at that time. I thought, 'There’s salvation.' It didn’t really work. Then I went through Nietzsche, Satanism, Christianity…pottery, and ended up singing. It’s been a long road." Too bad the pottery didn’t work.
Bowie wrote and starred in the video for "The Next Day." Floria Sigismondi directed and Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard also appear. YouTube briefly pulled down the video, claiming it violated the site's Terms of Service, however it quickly reversed its position. "With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call," a spokesperson told Billboard.
This isn't the Catholic League's first brush with Bowie. In 1997 he called out the singer for "obviously posing as Christ" in an ad for Pulse magazine. "If this is supposed to be cute, it fails," he said at the time.
Over the years, Donohue has rarely passed on the chance to criticize celebrities he believes are hostile to Catholicism. His targets have included Joan Osborne, Jenny McCarthy, Lindsay Lohan, Penn & Teller, Kathy Griffin, Jennifer Lopez and his favorite puching bag, Bill Maher.
A rep for Bowie did not respond to a request for comment at press time.
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