Just in case you’re starting to get into that sloppy, Hallmark Christmas spirit, this should bring you to your senses. Charles Bukowski’s ‘The Genius of The Crowd’ is a bleak and brilliant insight into the darker sides of  human nature.

there is enough treachery, hatred, violence, absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art

He was also one of the finest stage performers of his own work out there, and the gravelly rendition of the same piece included below is superbly delivered. His work is very accessible, so give it a listen even if you don’t usually like poetry, and if you’ve been good all year Santa might deliver another poetry gift later. Beats a tangerine in a sock, hands down.

Is his view a little warped, and the view presented by ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ closer to the message we should be clutching close to our warmed hearts at Xmas? I think  Bukowski may be closer to the truth, and the Depressive Realist  Hypothesis seems to have lots of support, even if ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is more in line with the way retailers would like us to see the world at Christmas time, so they can cash in on our happiness. Genius.

Holidays are coming

Coca Cola Holidays are Coming ad
Christmas Coke Ireland ad from

Ho ho ho

That time of year is coming around again. It’s been on its way since Halloween, actually, when Penneys decided it was fine to put some Christmas-themed stuff beside their Halloween displays, to get us in the mood early. They walk a fine line, because too much Xmas too early and we all get very cranky. Like that time back in July when I started shouting at a Christmas ad on telly, and it was pointed out to me that I was in fact watching an ad from the previous Christmas on a pre-recorded programme.


Christmas has now been replaced by John Lewis good cheer, as we are encouraged to get excited about the number of sleeps ’till the marketing magic turns us all teary-eyed and sentimental, the way Santa used to do.


Santa’s a bit more of a drag than he used to be when we were kids, too. Posters of him adorn the no. 16 bus, on his knees praying, instead of getting on with delivering our presents like he’s supposed to be doing, and he’s looking a lot more dishevelled, with his beard badly in need of a trim, since he’s started being sponsored by the Christian Centre on the south side. I reckon the selling-out to Mamon has started him drinking.

Santa praying