The other day, a glorious fella quoted Bukowski at me.
It’s not every day you get Bukowski quoted at you. Or any day. But I’m very glad to be reminded of the excellent bad-assery of such a rampant, truth-telling writer of lines like, “Sex is kicking death in the ass while singing” and also: “sometimes you just have to pee in the sink.”
He also wrote my favourite love poem ‘Raw With Love’ which contains the lines: “the feel of you / the light in the window / your records / your books / our morning coffee / our noons and nights / our bodies spilled together / sleeping…”
Ah, I’d forgotten how restorative he is. Whatever your personal pleasure or pain, he’s written about it. His characters are often broken souls, living in cheap hotels as he did in his youth, getting shat on by The Man while trying not to care about The Man coz The Man don’t care about you.
For me, The Man is currently being played by Jacob Rees-Mogg MP.
Poor Rees-Mogg can’t help being The Man. He was born into an incredibly wealthy family who sent him to Eton and then Oxford which inevitably leads a fella to take on one of only two roles in British public life: 1. An actor who does disproportionately well in America; 2. A Tory.
I don’t think I’m being too unkind when I say that considering his appearance is exactly how Harry Potter would look if he were playing the part of a sex-pest, and his tone-of-voice is permanently that of a public-school headmaster who cannot abide the ignorance of youth, a career in Hollywood was never on the cards for Moggy.
So he went into politics where he could vote against things like gay marriage and make sure the poor were properly oppressed by things like the bedroom tax and denied luxuries like fire alarms and the hope of not dying in their beds.
Essential measures because, remember, There. Is. No. Magic. Money. Tree.
Unless your wife’s 350 room ancestral home (the largest private home in England) is in a state of disrepair, in which case the Money Tree will be miraculously found blossoming in the back garden of number 10 and will happily give you £7.6m of tax-payers money for renovations.
If you find that particular set of circumstances a bit…icky, you will be branded naive or idealistic in an effort to shut you up and stop drawing attention to the Money Tree.
We are also naive and idealistic if we find the emerging facts about the conditions in Grenfell Tower to be not just a bit icky, but a massive dereliction of moral duty, seemingly all in service to The Man.
There Moggy and his pals sit, not with an actual lit match, but with the power to vote against safety measures for the undeserving poor so they can maintain the wealth of the deserving rich whilst also making sure that when they look out of their expensive windows, they aren’t faced with ghastly-looking tower blocks filled with the great unwashed.
Six months ago, Moggy called for a slash in environmental and safety standards, saying that regulations that are “good enough for India” should be good enough for the UK. Post-Brexit, he wants to see us go “a very long way” to rolling back high EU standards. He added, “I accept that we’re not going to allow dangerous toys to come in from China. We don’t want to see those kind of risks”… because he cares about the safety of his children’s toys from John Lewis, but a bit of flammable cladding on social housing flats should be welcomed with open, tweed-clad arms.
Those poor souls of Grenfell Tower whose noons and nights spent sleeping, their bodies spilled together amongst records and books and left-over morning coffees, are all lost forever.
Those poor souls of Grenfell Tower who pleaded for £8.7m to be spent NOT on refurbishing the outside, but on providing a basic standard of living on the inside.
Those poor souls of Grenfell Tower who, six months ago, around the time Moggy’s missis got her £7.6m, were predicting that only a catastrophic event leading to serious loss of life would finally force The Man to make a change.
Bukowski said, “If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose.”
I think we can assume Moggy lost his by the time he left Eton.
Perhaps he’ll have cause to rediscover it soon, because it’s all fun and games until one’s non-EU regulated, direct-from-China paint, causes one’s wife’s mansion to go up in smoke…