Tuesday, October 30, 2012

People Simply Empty Out

In 1969, publisher John Martin offered to pay Charles Bukowski $100 each and every month for the rest of his life, on one condition: that he quit his job at the post office and become a writer. 49-year-old Bukowski did just that, and in 1971 his first novel, Post Office, was published by Martin’s Black Sparrow Press.

15 years later, Bukowski wrote the following letter to Martin and spoke of his joy at having escaped full time employment.

(Source: Reach for the Sun Vol. 3; Image: Charles Bukowski, via.)

Hello John:

Thanks for the good letter. I don’t think it hurts, sometimes, to remember where you came from. You know the places where I came from. Even the people who try to write about that or make films about it, they don’t get it right. They call it “9 to 5.” It’s never 9 to 5, there’s no free lunch break at those places, in fact, at many of them in order to keep your job you don’t take lunch. Then there’s OVERTIME and the books never seem to get the overtime right and if you complain about that, there’s another sucker to take your place.

You know my old saying, “Slavery was never abolished, it was only extended to include all the colors.”

And what hurts is the steadily diminishing humanity of those fighting to hold jobs they don’t want but fear the alternative worse. People simply empty out. They are bodies with fearful and obedient minds. The color leaves the eye. The voice becomes ugly. And the body. The hair. The fingernails. The shoes. Everything does.

As a young man I could not believe that people could give their lives over to those conditions. As an old man, I still can’t believe it. What do they do it for? Sex? TV? An automobile on monthly payments? Or children? Children who are just going to do the same things that they did?

Early on, when I was quite young and going from job to job I was foolish enough to sometimes speak to my fellow workers: “Hey, the boss can come in here at any moment and lay all of us off, just like that, don’t you realize that?”

They would just look at me. I was posing something that they didn’t want to enter their minds.

Now in industry, there are vast layoffs (steel mills dead, technical changes in other factors of the work place). They are layed off by the hundreds of thousands and their faces are stunned:

“I put in 35 years…”

“It ain’t right…”

“I don’t know what to do…”

They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work. I could see all this. Why couldn’t they? I figured the park bench was just as good or being a barfly was just as good. Why not get there first before they put me there? Why wait?

I just wrote in disgust against it all, it was a relief to get the shit out of my system. And now that I’m here, a so-called professional writer, after giving the first 50 years away, I’ve found out that there are other disgusts beyond the system.

I remember once, working as a packer in this lighting fixture company, one of the packers suddenly said: “I’ll never be free!”

One of the bosses was walking by (his name was Morrie) and he let out this delicious cackle of a laugh, enjoying the fact that this fellow was trapped for life.

So, the luck I finally had in getting out of those places, no matter how long it took, has given me a kind of joy, the jolly joy of the miracle. I now write from an old mind and an old body, long beyond the time when most men would ever think of continuing such a thing, but since I started so late I owe it to myself to continue, and when the words begin to falter and I must be helped up stairways and I can no longer tell a bluebird from a paperclip, I still feel that something in me is going to remember (no matter how far I’m gone) how I’ve come through the murder and the mess and the moil, to at least a generous way to die.

To not to have entirely wasted one’s life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself.

yr boy,


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Killing Yourself To Live - Chuck Klosterman

For 6,557 miles, Chuck Klosterman thought about dying. He drove a rental car from New York to Rhode Island to Georgia to Mississippi to Iowa to Minneapolis to Fargo to Seattle, and he chased death and rock ‘n’ roll all the way. Within the span of twenty-one days, Chuck had three relationships end — one by choice, one by chance, and one by exhaustion. He snorted cocaine in a graveyard. He walked a half-mile through a bean field. A man in Dickinson, North Dakota, explained to him why we have fewer windmills than we used to. He listened to the KISS solo albums and the Rod Stewart box set. At one point, poisonous snakes became involved. The road is hard. From the Chelsea Hotel to the swampland where Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane went down to the site where Kurt Cobain blew his head off, Chuck explored every brand of rock star demise. He wanted to know why the greatest career move any musician can make is to stop breathing…and what this means for the rest of us.
Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story by Chuck Klosterman 
I want to read this book.
"We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. It’s easy. The first girl I
ever loved was someone I knew in sixth grade. Her name was Missy; we talked about horses. The last
girl I love will be someone I haven’t even met yet, probably. They all count. But there are certain
 people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel
 like. These are the most important people in your life, and you’ll meet maybe four or five of these
 people over the span of 80 years. But there’s still one more tier to all this; there is always one person
 you love who becomes that definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but it happens eventually.
 This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other
people, even if some of these loveable qualities are self-destructive and unreasonable. The person
who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different than anyone else, and they’re often
 just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really, want to love someone. But that
 person still wins. They win, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you
 feel about everyone else."

Nerd Alert

I want this. Bobine - an  iPhone cable that also acts as a flexible tripod. Incredible.
Now we just need one compatible with the iPhone 5...

Cleveland '95 (a.k.a. F%$# Cleveland Night!)

I haven't had a chance to catch the new NFL Films piece Cleveland '95,
but what went through my head when I heard about it
is described pretty accurately by this Mike Polk video.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


If you haven't checked them out, the writing over at Dudewater is getting pretty damn good...

Monday, July 16, 2012


They really do need to stop with this song.
(Thanks to Gleas for the video)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fireworks in the U.S.

A look at how fireworks are treated across the U.S.
Have a great 4th of July!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Akron Track & Field - Willie Brown

My good friend Nick makes his acting debut in this new promo for Akron's Track & Field program.
On June 22 Willie Brown, the speedster in the video who owns the school record in the 800-
meters (1:45.91), competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Top 10 Causes of Death in the US, 1900-2010

Pretty interesting look at mortality in the US and how it has changed over the years.
The two biggest causes in the past 70 years have been Heart Disease and Cancer.
Click on the graph above to go to the interactive graph.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Peter Benchley's book on the left used to sit on my family's lakehouse bookshelf
when I was growing up. The image used to terrify me.
I've been drawn to that image used on movie posters ever since.
I think the first film is arguably the best horror movie of all time.

UPDATE: Just found an interesting article from Collectors Weekly describing the
origin/change of the painting created for the cover.

Friday, June 22, 2012

LeBron is Still LeBron

"There's never been any question that LeBron James is a great basketball player. And
even when he was coming up short in the playoffs, haters like myself just used those
 failures as an easy excuse to pile on him further, because he's a dipshit and he deserved it. The fact that he's won a championship doesn't fundamentally alter his character in any way. That's the great con of sports: the idea that winners win because they have character and losers lose because they don't. If you think LeBron is a good guy now because he won a title, then you probably had no business thinking he was a bad guy to begin with, because the outcome of a sporting event says nothing about the person within."

Drew Magary putting into words how I (and I'm sure many others) feel.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Radiohead / Crosby, Stills, & Nash

I apologize for the horrible resolution of these,
but here are some videos that I took of the
shows I've been to recently.

Agree With a HIPPIE?!?!?

These things crack me up.

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

I liked reading this book very much when I was younger.
Looking forward to seeing how the movie holds up.

Friday, May 25, 2012

On The Road

I hope this movie doesn't ruin one of my favorite books.
Not sure how I feel about Kristen Stewart cast as Marylou.

Anderson Cooper Questions Pastor Worley Supporter

As Boing Boing puts it - "this is as entertaining as it is disconcerting".
Video of Pastor Worley's comments are below.

Thursday, May 24, 2012