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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Wallowing in their own crapulence 

Image hosted by Photobucket.comMy old branch is in a neighborhood infested with self labeled poets and artist types who use their artistic identity as a license for drunken excess and moral turpitude. Because of their immature philosophies about the kind of life an artist should lead, they feel outside the boundaries of common decency and believe that to be an artist is to be drunken layabout who engages in self destructive behavior, has self-indulgent, theatrical mental breakdowns and just generally wallows in his own crapulence. In other words, they all fancy themselves Bukowski.

Hey – to each his own, but they were a source of constant irritation to me because of the way they were always slinking into the branch and rattling their cup, trying to wheedle huge sums of money out of my manager to perform whatever doggerel their shitty muse had inspired. Every once in a while in a weak moment or to amuse himself my manager would agree to arrange a performance. On the night of the reading, the audience would be comprised soley of other neighborhood artists. Of course they all despise each other and are gossipier, pettier and more jealous than seventh grade girls, so the audience would heckle and shout obscenities and destroy any possibility of the event being remotely a culturally enriching experience.

So, I was quite amused myself to learn that one of them is now serving jail time for charging into a bar wildly brandishing a machete at an artistic rival over some perceived slight to his work. He seems to actually be thriving in the structured environment of prison, however, and is teaching his fellow inmates yoga, of which he is an ardent practioner. In fact, he was featured prominently in the big book of naked yoga. I hope that he’s not teaching the naked style there, which I think would be dangerous in men's prison. Another ‘artist,’ who is celebrated as a major communist poet in, (oh, Lord where else) France, was recently committed involuntarily and spent one entire week strapped naked to a chair in a padded cell, foaming at the mouth and screaming. He is out now but lost 10 pounds in the mental hospital and looks great. “Apparently,” my boss reported, “a week tied naked to a chair works better than the South Beach Diet.”

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