“I don’t hate people, I just feel better when they aren’t around.”
Before everyone and their mothers labeled themselves cynical “introverts”, there was Bukowski. The OG introvert. His quotes are continually reblogged by angsty teenagers on Tumblr. Yet, Bukowski died in 1994, before most of those kids were even conceived, Listen…this is not a bad thing. Not bad at all. Although there is no shortage of relevant authors, Bukowski’s words resonate strongly with today’s generation.
Some of Bukowski’s works were published in the midst of the “Leave it to beaver era”. But, he mostly remained an outcast in the literary world. It was a time when the only correct way to be American was to secure a good office job, buy a manicured suburban home and put a ring on a demure dame and pop out two kids-to all this Bukowski said, fuck that! (or something similar.) Oh, wait…this is what he said:
“You lose what individualism you have, if you have enough of course, you retain some of it, but most don’t have enough, so they become watchers of game shows, y’know, things like that. Then you work the 8 hour job with almost a feeling of goodness, like you’re doing something, and you get married, like marriage is a victory and you have children like having children is a victory, but most things people do are a total grind, marriage, birth, children, it’s something they HAVE to do because they have nothing else to do. There is no glory in it, no esteem, no fire, their lives are flat and the earth is full of them. Sorry, but thats the way I see it. I could not accept the snail’s pace 8-5, Johnnie Carson, merry christmas, happy new year, to me it’s the sickest of all sick things.”
His ability to be an authentic introvert enabled him to observe society as a whole, and unmask the facade. Bukowski’s perspective was not welcome in the mainstream arena. The youth of today (Millenials as they/we are called) have seen a system failure, not one promised to them, but to their parents and grandparents. One can’t help but find solace in Bukowski’s liquor-laden-word-smithery. Modernity can’t help but relate to him.
What if Bukowski had the internet during his youth? Would he even bothered with social media? If so, would he have been a Facebook guy? maybe a regular on Reddit? Who knows…There are enough Bukowski memes on the internet to compensate for it.
Here are some of my favorites:
(some of these quotes may be…a little…loose)
If you are ever having a bad day, Mr. Bukowski has advice, “Something else is hurting you-that’s why you need pot, or whiskey or screaming music turned so fucking loud you can’t think.”
If you love him. Wear him. Let him scream at the world for you, through you. Offend the masses by wearing this gem. The Meowkowski shirt. .
until next time…