I had the delightful experience last night of dropping off some Swifties for her Saturday night Tampa concert.
With hours to fill before picking them up, I chose to attend a nearby cinema, partaking of its finest offering, The Super Mario Brothers Movie. Explosive romantic action film is how I can best describe it. Plus mushroom power ups. I cannot give it enough stars to do it justice.
After the dénouement, I wandered off to a nearby bookstore - yes, they still have those! - to further extend the night’s artistic amusements. Gravitating towards the poetry section in hopes of fooling browsers I don’t know into thinking I’m smart, I grabbed a copy of Charles Bukowski’s The Pleasures of the Damned, Poems, 1951-1993. Opening to a page at random, I was hit by Charles who reminded me at once that he was certainly very smart, searingly so.
something’s knocking at the door
a great white light dawns across the continent as we fawn over our failed traditions, often kill to preserve them or sometimes kill just to kill. it doesn't seem to matter: the answers dangle just out of reach, out of hand, out of mind. the leaders of the past were insufficient, the leaders of the present are unprepared. we curl up tightly in our beds at night and wait. it is a waiting without hope, more like a prayer for unmerited grace. it all looks more and more like the same old movie. the actors are different but the plot's the same: senseless. we should have known, watching our fathers. we should have known, watching our mothers. they did not know, they too were not prepared to teach. we were too naive to ignore their counsel and now we have embraced their ignorance as our own. we are them, multiplied. we are their unpaid debs. we are bankrupt in money and in spirit. there are a few exceptions, of course, but these teeter on the edge and will at any moment tumble down to join the rest of us, the raving, the battered, the blind and the sadly corrupt. a great white light dawns across the continent, the flowers open blindly in the stinking wind, as grotesque and ultimately unlivable our 21st century struggles to be born.
You’d have thought Bukowski was a time traveler to Biden’s America.
Fortunately, as I was waiting outside the stadium for my Swifties to emerge among tens of thousands of their kind, I received in loud, amphitheater-scale live musical echoes, the modern Swifterian rebuttal to Bukoswki’s grim diagnosis: Shake it off! Uh uh - Shake it off!
I hear you, Taylor, I hear you, as I slouch my way down the crumbling slopes of Golgotha, beset on all sides by deliberate ignorance and blatant censorship, propped up by the same tiny minority who have throughout human history buoyed the spirits of the rational against the desires of despots everywhere.
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Bukowski as a soldier of free ideas. He isn’t bothered by a contrary point of view - the cacophony is the rhythmic vamp for his prolonged improvisation. In a time signature filled with accidentals. Listen carefully and enjoy the ride.
... the Post Office as a subversive medium for delivery of ideas.