Something that has always intrigued me about brilliant people is that often their quotes can transcend time and remain applicable to society no matter what the era. Like many people, I’m a fan of Bukowski and the quote above is a perfect illustration of transcending time.
The other night I went to dinner at a local sports bar with my wife and two of our children. While sitting at the table, I watched my daughters incessantly texting and checking their Facebook accounts. Then I realized my wife and I were also entranced by our IPhones. I looked around at the rest of the people in the restaurant and same exact scene; even the elderly were electronically engaged.
I then looked around the restaurant and couldn’t decide which of the 100 televisions to gaze at. SENSORY OVERLOAD. We all took about a 10 second break to order our drinks and meals, then right back to our electronics. Holy Shit, what has happened?
“We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.” Brilliant Mr. Bukowski, pure brilliance. In the time span of one dinner sitting, I was literally eaten up by nothing. I was consumed by everything unimportant, by everything that really doesn’t mean shit in the grand scheme of life. A 100 televisions all blabbering about nothing, absolutely nothing. Status updates, checking in and texts about absolutely nothing.
I understand that I am part of the problem. Instant gratification is intoxicating and I love it. I love to get an email that tells me the exact moment when someone likes or comments on one of my posts. I can’t get enough of it. I enjoy being loved and appreciated just like the next wandering fool looking for an audience.
Life has always been a circus, but right now that circus is delivered to individuals instantly into the palm of their hand. I know what the Kardashians shit smells like before it falls out of their powdered assholes. I know about a politician’s dirty secret before he fucks the intern. I know about the wardrobe malfunction before the nipple is exposed.
We all are going to die and it should make us love each other, but guess what? It doesn’t. Most of us are so consumed and blinded by trivialities and nothingness that we can’t see through the fog. We can’t see what’s actually real in this world. And this my friend, is why Bukowski was a genius and why China will probably win.
We are drunk from our sadistic need to know everything about everyone instantly. And we will pay the price. I think Bukowski was on to something. Get drunk, write, fuck, repeat. What else is there really?