Monday, May 02, 2022

Reading Charles Bukowski

Lately there has been a few YouTube documentaries on the life and career of author Charles Bukowski.  I found him intriguing so ordered three books of his works.

The first was “Post Office,” his first successful publication.  The common advice to young authors is “write what you know.”  Bukowski worked for the Post Office as both a mailman delivering mail and later as a clerk sorting mail in the office.  His character Chinowski reprises that role in this seemingly autobiographical novel.  The writing is entertaining but there is no plot per se, no denouement, no epiphany.  The same is somewhat true for his novel “Pulp.”  However, the latter shows some interesting flights of fancy.  

In “Pulp" Bukowski is a private detective (named Nick) in Los Angeles.  One of his clients is a beautiful woman called “Lady Death.”  She is the feminine version of the Grim Reaper.  She wants Nick to track down a man named Celine, who in previous decades was a buddy of Ernest Hemingway and his literary entourage in Paris. Everyone of the members of the group have long since died except for Celine, who has fled and hid and escaped death.   

Another client claims he is being harassed by an alien from outer space, and it turns out to be true.  

My biggest gripe about “Pulp” is its ending.  It appears to be a rushed and arbitrary ending just to finish the book and get on to other things.

The third book I bought is a collection of Bukowski’s short stories.  Some are pretty good, like “The Most Beautiful Woman In Town.” Others are crude and pointless, like “The Gut-Wringing Machine.”

If you like a gritty protagonist, a hard drinking, rough looking, cigar smoking and anti-social hero who gets into lots of fights but occasionally gets laid, you’ll like these figments of Bukowski’s imagination.  I do so I’ll keep reading.

Charles Bukowski
1920 - 1994

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Resting and Refreshing

The tax season has ended and I’m home trying to rejuvenate and lose this feeling of fatigue and angst.  It was a brutal tax season. 

The good things for today is that I have a remaining cigar, the company of my dog and cat, and it looks like rain.  I like rain.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Rainy Weather

Today the sky is filled with big dark fluffy clouds, portentous of rain.  I am working on tax returns but this coming Tuesday I will be able to sit on my couch and watch YouTube videos while cuddling with my dog and cat. 

I can hardly wait.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Fear of Death

When I was young, the fear of death bothered me a great deal.  I remember taking my first business course at West Valley Junior College, when classes were still being held on the former campus of Campbell Junior High School, before it moved to a permanent campus in Saratoga, California.  During a break, I stood outside the classroom drinking vending machine coffee.  I was filled with horror and dread at the knowledge that I would someday die, that the world would go on without me.  Traffic would still fill the streets, people would still go to work, students would still attend classes but I wouldn’t be there.  

As the years passed, the dread and horror lessened and now, in old age, they have ceased completely.  So many friends and family members have preceded me in death that I feel somewhat guilty at having survived them.  Why am I still here?  Am I being punished?

A subject that interests me greatly is the near death experience, a common phenomenon among those who have flatlined but still survived.  A common characteristic is that the experiencers have felt enveloped in a bright light and immersed in feelings of great love, i.e., that they feel loved beyond all prior experience.  They meet loved ones who died before, and are even reunited with deceased pets like dogs and cats.  Most do not want to come back but are told they have no choice, that their time is not yet.  

An original researcher into the phenomenon is Raymond Moody, whose book “Life After Life” introduced the subject to millions.  Moody reported that after studying thousands of NDEs since, he finally just accepted it for what it seems, that there is an afterlife and that we survive physical death.

I hope so.  I would like to rejoin departed friends, family and especially my dogs, in another dimension, in a better world than this.  Is it true?  Hope costs nothing and I will find out in not too many more years.  

Saturday, April 09, 2022

One More Week of Tax Season

Only one more week of labor in the tax office.  I will be glad when it’s over.  

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Will Smith’s Nervous Breakdown: the Cure

Will Smith’s pugilistic demonstration at the Academy Awards was really a nervous breakdown.  The man is deeply grieving the end of his marriage, which is not so much an open marriage as an open wound.   For that there is only one cure:  dump the bitch.  Only then can the wound begin to heal.

Friday, April 01, 2022

Will Smith the Cuckold Husband

The Real Reason Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock

Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett, likes to have sex with other men than her husband.  Will Smith says he’s okay with that but his outburst at the Oscars says something else, when he slapped Chris Rock for telling a mild joke about his wife. 

In my opinion, Will Smith is is very chagrined that he is not enough for his wife in bed. He alone cannot satisfy her.  

Smith’s over the top anger at the Oscars was really a frenetic attempt to assert a masculinity that he does not feel, an attempt to prove his macho bonafides to his cheating wife.  

If so, it didn’t work.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

When Life’s Major Goals Are Complete

Life seems most worth living when one has important goals to accomplish.  However, when all those goals are accomplished, what further purpose is one’s life?

Important life goals include:
1.  Getting an education; graduation
2.  Achievement of expertise or professional designation, MD, Attorney, CPA.
3.  Establishment of a career or occupation
4.  Finding a true love, marriage
5.  Buying a home
6.  Having children
7. Retirement
8. Travel

And other specific items for one’s “bucket list.”

Striving for goals makes life worth living.  With no goals a person becomes an object with no purpose.  If you no longer have a purpose, is life worth living? 

Maybe.  If you have a good stash of cigars and a dog, then it might be worthwhile to stick around for a little longer.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Another Death of a Friend: Life Sucks and Then You Die

Questions About Death

When you’re my age your friends and family members die at an increasing rate.  Yes, I know my own departure awaits out there within time and circumstance.  This week I learned a friend since 1969 passed away from cancer, one Danny Bassler.  He was younger than I am and I never thought he would die before me.

When my older brother Ted died on Aptil 5, 2019, Danny observed “He was my best friend.”  Now perhaps they are reunited.

I have so many unanswerable questions about death.  When you’re dead do you know you are dead?  Do all of your memories and personality disappear like smoke in the wind?  Does your essence somehow survive and continue on?

Also, how does your body know when to die?  How does your heart know when to stop beating?

Monday, March 14, 2022

Russian Trolls Infest Gettr

When I first went on Gettr, a social platform similar to Twitter, I feared I would be bored.  Gettr is a conservative site and there would be little in the way of debate.  I was wrong.

Lately there have been a number of Russian supporters there, trashing Ukraine and President Zelensky and even posting official Putin propaganda claiming the Ukrainian leaders are Nazis.  I challenge them whenever I find them.