Burroughs, Bukowski and Thompson, Hunter S. that is. These men, these writers have and continue to inspire and influence me more than any other element on Earth. Sure there are countless other authors, musicians and artists that contribute to my philosophy and decision making, but these three take the cake and eat it whole. Consuming all remaining logic I own, even now in death they still scream at me.
Burroughs with his surreal interpretation of reality. Bukowski with his care free, passion fueled ability to appreciate and decipher the mundane. Thompson’s wild and unrestrained approach to diving head first into life and the world around him with a fervour unbridled, armed to the teeth with educated ignorance… and all of this is without reference to the relentless consummation of a stash of drugs and alcohol so enormous and varied as to bring a tear to the eye of even the most hungry and devoted of addicts.
Burroughs started it all for me. His nasal drawl still sings in the back of mind. Cynical and confused yet curious and certain. He explored literature, sexuality and drug culture like a mountain climber determined to reach the highest peak. An adventure that took him not only to the heavens, but one that also lead him to the deepest of valleys.
I guess you could say the same of Thompson as well. Maybe trade the exploration of sexuality for an autopsy of politics and Americana and you have yourself another journeyman painting with his pen and his words, revealing and unravelling truths hidden behind the conservative blanket of a purposefully blind society.
These men deserve medals of the highest order. Astronauts of literature.
When it comes to identifying with any of these artists though, for me it’s Bukowski through and through. Any man that loves booze and pussy should eat this mans words with a smile and a broken heart. Sure I could care less for gambling with anything bar my own life, and I’ve never held a job long enough to put on a resume, but his ability to wax poetic about this standard existence speaks louder than a primal scream.
Angst. Something even the most religious must understand, even if they do suppress, smother and drown it with an irrational God of any name.
As a student of life and literature, as I always have and will be, this leaves me with idols dead that still breathe through their writings. How I approach and document this next phase of my life lays on the shoulders of corpses. Dead men mummified with alcohol and illicit substances now feeding this next generation of artists surrounded not so much by journeymen and real life encounters, but by technology and interwebbed social distortions and networks. The artists of today communicate through a digital medium void of responsibility. Void of eye contact, a place where the conniving run free to manipulate. And this is not to admit my own guilt, my own house within the irrelevant. My videos, words, business and conversation litter the internets. My vile abruptness blooms within a cloud of servers and optical wires, but my reality is external. It lives and breathes on stage in pubs and clubs up and down this East Coast of Australia. My own madness inspired by the masters is splattered through the stories and life instances I have acquired, shared and ruined with others. Be them friends or family, be them audience or stranger. My journey begins again and again.
As each day I awake.
As each day I travel and create.
My wife and I, along with the lovers and the fuckers will consume this planet like a plague. Our actions will inspire the generations that follow, and on our dead shoulders will sit the harvest of what we have sewn.
So please, I beg of you… go forth and devour like the king gluttonous pigs before us.