David Bowie, who died on Sunday at age 69, can be counted as one of the most influential forces in pop culture in the last century. His bold contributions to music, fashion, and showbiz are unquantifiable. Among Bowie's many screen credits, the rock star also lent his voice to a 2007 episode of SpongeBob Squarepants, titled "Atlantis SquarePantis," a 45-minute musical special.
The Thin White Duke voiced Lord Royal Highness, the emperor of the Atlanteans of Atlantis: keeper and protector of riches, power, the arts, scientific achievement... and the world's oldest bubble.
Like Bowie, his character appears to have one blue eye. And like Ziggy Stardust, Lord Royal Highness is one freaky, colorful alien.
Despite this episode featuring an ocean's worth of tunes, Bowie's character does not sing. However, he lands the best line, for SpongeBob and Patrick: "I'm just going to leave you two friendly strangers alone with our most beloved ancient and fragile Atlantean relic." (You can imagine how that all plays out.)
But LRH also poses an important question, "What is art?", to his underwater visitors.
He answers: "Art is what happens when you learn to dream."
So as David Bowie -- er, Lord Royal Highness urged -- go ahead. Dream a little.