The American Ideal pt 2

Charles Bubowski!

I’m watching the charles bubowski tapes

A director he’s working with asks him where they can film in East Hollywood

Where’s the romance?

here’s what the ol’ guy spouts about realll livin’!


The bars are shut down, the big 20 is covered with plywood…

closed down like it was a malaria joint

And that whole neighborhood is very very dead I mean

We used to walk around there and we’d see pimps and whores hanging around the corners eating hot dogs with mustard dripping down their chins

There’s nothing; there’s nobody there anymore

There’s no place to film anything anymore

I get the feeling the world is more and more drying up

I don’t know where the whores are going, where the black pimps are going, where the music is going

But my idea in life is

where the black pimps are, where the whores are, where the music is playing… where the jukeboxes are playing in the bars, where the lights are on,

That’s where life is

That may seem to be a terrible type of life to most people

But you listen to that music and you walk into that bar sometime

and you walk in and try to find a barstool

and you sit down and a bartender comes up and serves you a drink

You’re glad to get it

Cause you’re in a lively joint where something is happening

I think degradation, black pimps, prostitution are the flowers of the earth

I think in those joints where this is going on,

I think there’s great happiness, and terror and horror too,

But that all counts in adding up, when you walk into a place to get a drink

It’s the liveliness,

When you clean up a city you kill it

There’s no place to film around Hollywood…

It’s dead, dead dead

It stinks of death

The puritans, the christians, have cleaned it up

They’ve dried it up, like no rose will ever grow there again”


So, obviously, that’s some powerful stuff and there’s a lot there to cover

I’ll save a lot of that for another day

probably another day when I wanna talk about Kerouac

for now, I want to discuss where all the excess human baggage is going

When you clean a city

When you dry it up


It’s likely that there will be less pimping

Less sex slavery seems like a good idea

And I know there’s a distinction between the two but they go together, generally speaking

Less littering, less fighting, less openly decrepit behavior

But here’s what I know cleaning up a city cannot do

It cannot change people into what they are not

And a town with no rowdy

is a town with no spirit

Romance is a rose, but roses aren’t flowers

This sort of old Western American spirit

The adventures that ease the soul of the poor worker

Look like a blight on civilization to a prim man

I certainly wouldn’t call it good

But if I’ve learned anything,

It’s that good isn’t always right

So here’s my question:

That Spirit, that romantic aesthetic which manifested in East Hollywood all those years ago,

the action and stimulation of the soul and her taste buds

the adrenaline of vivacious and blatantly free community

the love of another man’s curse & spit & fist

the love of a man’s own curse & spit & fist

the love of a woman’s freedom with her flesh

the love of a woman’s freedom to drink & curse & spit & fight

It incorporated the restlessness and wildness of man into the culture of the city beautifully

It was the lifeblood of living, corporate productivity and the love of community,

so in a clean city,

Where does the vice go?

Corruption used to be easy to see


It festers in every suburban home

In the homeless and the hard-working tech developers alike

the fast-food workers and the CEO’s alike

It’s bubbling under the surface,


for an opportunity

waiting for a rift in the bond of lifetime love

to justify the tyranny of a lifetime of suppressed lust

waiting for a wretched proud man to ground the face of an innocent unarmed man into the asphalt until he dies

to justify the mad destruction of many bitter souls suffering from lifetimes of self-revenge & fuming internal deterioration

Evil used to grow in the streets and the government

Now it slithers under the pavement,

festers in the kid’s room,

hides in the oxygen

and mesmerizes the eye from the wide-reaching facilitator of entertainment

in a world of clean cities that masquerades as having advanced beyond the influence of the fundamental depravity of man

All I see is the destitution of moonless nights

in every single person I meet

and every single thing I see

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