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Artists are of a piece: they are as different from ordinary humans as professional athletes are. Science might as well declare a separate species. So I was charmed by this observation written for and now republished in the latest issue of the LA Weekly by Charles Bukowski:

Los Angeles is full of very odd people, believe me. There are many out there who have never been on a 7:30 a.m. freeway or punched a time clock or even had a job and don't intend to, can't, won't, will die first rather than live the common way. In a sense, each of them is a genius in his or her way, fighting against the obvious, swimming upstream, going mad, getting on pot, wine, whiskey, art, suicide, anything but the common equation. It will be some time before they even us out and make us say quits.

When you see that City Hall downtown and all those proper, precious people, don't get melancholy. There is a whole tide, a whole race of mad people, starving, drunk, goofy and miraculous. I have seen many of them. I am one of them. There will be more. This city has not yet been taken. Death before death is sickening.

The strange ones will hold, the war will continue.

And in retrospect, it’s still nice to be Bukowski. I find that a comforting thought.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 9th, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
Brilliant. Thank you for sharing that. Something I really needed to read today, and I feel warmer inside for it.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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