Bukowski and homosexuals - 1972 interview (1 Viewer)

Quite a disturbing read, but then I can't say I'm surprised. At least he has the sense about him to admit he's wrong, even if he doesn't seem particularly clued up on why. I'm glad I'm not touching on the more controversial side of his writing in my dissertation...

But good find. Thank you.
Is that real? I have no doubts that Buk felt this way, especially when he was younger. It was a different time. It just does not seem like it is in Buk's "voice".

Is that real?
C'mon, Bill, this has been discussed :cool: I'm not making this up, I'm just putting the pieces together. If you ever find a copy of Stonecloud #1, you'll see these words verbatim.

This was a time when B. kept saying in interviews that there was a lot of Puritan in him, which kind of would fit with this statement. But You should ask Phil Taylor if this is for real or not.
I did not ask you if you made this up. I never accused you of that and would not ever accuse you of that. I was agreeing that the sentiments and feelings are likely true. No argument there. I was just saying that it did not sound like Bukowski's "voice". Was this a written interview, or a verbal one? Was it edited for content?

I do not know Phil Taylor and have no reason to not believe him.
I'm letting this gel a bit before I fully comment. In fact I just started typing further comments, then deleted them.

Very interesting piece though. Very interesting indeed.
Sorry, Bill, I didn't notice you were questioning B's voice only. My bad.

This was published in Stonecloud #1 (1972). It seems to me this was a verbal interview later transcribed to paper. I didn't see any comment that would indicate that the interview was edited for content.

I think Bukowski said those words as per attached file. He also said a few things to shock the audience in his Hustler interview. Whether this is Bukowski's "voice" or not, I have no idea, but I would say it is. The rest of the interview seems to be pure Bukowski all the way through, and I see no reason for Phil Taylor to specifically edit that part of the interview.

Hmm, both interviews -Stonecloud and Hustler- were not included in Sunlight Here I Am. Interesting.
Sorry, Bill, I didn't notice you were questioning B's voice only. My bad.

No problem. Yeah it is not surprising that he thought this way and had no qualms about expressing it. That generation was not as tolerant as they are today. It is interesting to note that he mentions that homosexuality is a choice. That it the old school way of thought that you still see in older folks and the religious right..... They see homosexuality as something that can be "cured"....

well, bukowski has a really small-minded, old-fashioned, and basically immature viewpoint, but i do give him credit for recognizing it as such and not spouting it off like it's fact. in fact, if i was going to pick something to be offended by in that article, it would be the followup question by the interviewer, rather than bukowski's tirade.

in his defense (and this is really a hot-button issue for me, so i'm not dying to come to his defense somehow), if it were a man giving a woman a ride, and he continued to reach over to grope her as she pushed him away, and then sleazily suggested they touch each other, not many people would fault her for kicking him in the balls and running away.
Interesting piece. I can't say I'm surprised when I think about how he usually talked about f-a-a-g-s. At least he's honest. I'll give him that.
Thanks for sharing...
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When Bill says it doesn't sound like Bukowski's voice I can agree. That might be because he sounds like he doesn't want to tell you what you don't want to hear. In other words 10 years before that gays were in the closet and it was OK to bash them. As time went on many people started to be more accepting to them. So it wasn't accepted to be anti-gay. Being on the spot about it, so to say, would make anyone sound a bit different. I am glad I never had that much trouble with gays that hit on me when I was a teenager hitchhiking. They would even offer money.
Jordan is right if it was a man hiiting, forcefully on a woman..........Nice article very enlightening.
The entire STONECLOUD interview is in the "Words" section now.

Interestingly, the "homo" part cirerita quoted is his longest answer to any of the questions.

I always talk about context of the times being important, but Bukowski seems to "protest too much" about gay issues sometimes, which is always a red flag that you're dealing with a closet case (which has also been discussed at length here).

But then I wonder how my own father (who I'm pretty sure is not a closet case) would have talked about a similar experience 36 years ago. Probably the same way. And he probably would have had the same view of blacks and "Chinamen." Though, like Bukowski, he worked with people of all kinds in manual labor jobs, so these generational biases are ugly, but come on, man, idiocy is idiocy.

For example, my father would use the word "nigger" when I was a kid, and I would say, "You're not supposed to say nigger!" and he would say, "Well, I don't mean it in a bad way...that's just what we called them."

Okay, but once you know it's backward and retarded, why not stop doing it? The generational bias thing kind of falls apart if you live long enough, and it can't be used as an excuse. Behaving like an asshole in a certain time when everyone else around you is behaving like an asshole is one thing. Still doing it decades later is just ignorance. Sorry dad. I love you anyway.

Bukowski talks in the interview as if he has changed his mind, but he hasn't, he just wonders what the "politically correct" response to an unwelcome homosexual overture should be.

A lot of people still have these irrational fear of "the other," but you can see in just the past generation or two that it is getting better.

Well, if you don't count any religious fundamentalists...
No offense to anyone but I see people get upset here when it seems Buk had Nazi appreciation(probably unlikely) or prejudice against gays (which is likely) but really I don't care and I don't know why anyone else should.

I've long accepted that my artistic heroes are such because of the work they created and not because they were prefect human beings-usually far from it.

I see it at hero worship on the silliest basis. So, I feel it's okay to question the validity of information but to take it so to heart, I don't understand.
I quoted that part of the interview because B. hardly ever talks about homosexuals at length in interviews. There might be a couple of passing remarks in other interviews, but that's all. This one is really unusual.
In "The Gut-Wrenching Machine" from Erections ..., Bukowski writes about a machine that drains the spirit and makes people into automatons. One character puts the other through the machine. After being in the machine, Bagley wants to watch Danforth (the other guy) have sex with his wife. And as they drive over to see the wife, Bagley gives Danforth a blowjob.

I guess my point is that, at least for this story, Buk seemed to be saying that it was demeaning and less than "manly" to be homosexual, because the whole point of "The Gut-Wrenching Machine" is that the machine drains the good and spirited.
No offense to anyone but I see people get upset here when it seems Buk had Nazi appreciation(probably unlikely) or prejudice against gays (which is likely) but really I don't care and I don't know why anyone else should.
I did not get upset. I agreed that it was likely his feelings. I have no doubt that he felt that way. I was only asking if the words were written by Bukowski or were transcribed from a phone conversation or similar. Somehow that did not come across.

"...Now Ginsberg bothered me a long time, and then somebody told me, Burroughs got a regular check from the Burroughs-adding-machine co. and some of the floss fell away, let alone the homo bit wich DOES bother no matter how humanitarian you try to get..."

(letter to the Webbs, Oct 1, 1963 - collected in 'Screams', p. 90)

did anybody else find it strange, that Buk claimed "I didn't know it was a trap" just after that guy tried TWO times to touch his thing? Would anybody be so naive?
"during my great anti-homosexual period." :p

i can hardly see the bukowski interview as anything other than an extension of his art. that's it!
No offense to anyone but I see people get upset here [...] but really I don't care and I don't know why anyone else should.
I agree completely S-dog. I've noticed this trend of late as well.
F. ex. somebody in this thread wrote:
Quite a disturbing read...
And I thought "Come on!" Disturbing read? The daily newspaper disturbs me a whole lot more, that's for sure. Buk is voicing an extreme opinion held by many people of his generation (my own mother included, if not quite as explicit), OK, but this IS Bukowski we're talking about here, give me a break. And, as usual, he analyzes his own opinions quite lucidly. This is what he does, he picks up dirt and has a good unabashed look at it.
As far as the anecdote goes: drunks sometimes tend to get aggressive. That's one of the drawbacks of alcohol. Quite disturbing.;)
did anybody else find it strange, that Buk claimed "I didn't know it was a trap" just after that guy tried TWO times to touch his thing? Would anybody be so naive?

Yes, I found it strange too. He should have known what it was all about by then.

(Btw, As for the letter to the Webbs, Burroughs did'nt get a regular check from the adding-machine company, but he did get a regular check from his parents who had sold their stock in the adding-machine company a long time ago, during the depression years, I believe..)
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There are a few issues that Buk has spoken and/or written about that make me feel a bit disturbed. The sofa kicking scene with Linda, the Nazi days at LA City College, the time he went into a bar, clocked his shack-job upside the head and asked if anyone there has a problem with what he just did, and this interview response.

I'll just say this: I agree with some of the things Buk seems to have believed, and I do not agree with some of the others. Regardless, he was just a man, but a fantastic writer. In fact, he is probably the only writer I can disagree with and still be unable not to read. In other words, I needn't agree with him nor even respect his actions to enjoy his work and state that he is the best writer I have read.

It's not like he's my father, uncle, son or dentist; and I need to defend his actions because of some social more. Nor need I defend my admiration for his ability to put word to paper despite what he may or may not have done or believed in his personal life. Unlike most writers, I do not necessarily read Buk because I agree with the nature of the subject matter (again, I may or may not).

He the best writer I've ever read, and that's really all that matters to me.
did anybody else find it strange, that Buk claimed "I didn't know it was a trap" just after that guy tried TWO times to touch his thing? Would anybody be so naive?

Yes. I found it very strange and my own gut feeling is that he was making up the story on the spot. Why ? I don't know. Maybe he just had a few drinks in him and felt like spinning tales, or maybe he thought the anecdote could help justify his anti-gay feelings. But again, I only have suspicions and no proof.
or maybe instead of punching the guy out, he got a blowjob from the driver. Or sucked his dick. Only two people really know what happened (or if it happened), and I know at least one of them is dead.

No one even cares anymore, but the interview was done in 1972, when people still did care. A lot. And you could get badly beaten or arrested for things we accept and take for granted now.

He was a homophobe - yawn - we already knew that. What it means is kind of unimportant, since he wasn't a crusader for or against.

I think him banging his friend in the ass one hungover morning or getting a blowjob from some guy in a Santa Monica alley are more interesting stories than the denial or dismissal they received. But if he had been born a little later he may have talked about such things more openly.

Or maybe everything he said about the incidents was true.

I don't know.
... my own gut feeling is that he was making up the story on the spot...


another possy: I seem to remember a story (fictional prose, not claimed to be autobiographical), where the main character is picked up by a truck driver who wants something from him, and he punches him and gets out. (Later the driver picks him up again and offers him a job.) Don't recall exactly where it's from and won't look it up now.

But this let's me think, there MIGHT have been an experience like that. He just couldn't remember exactly and was making up the details.
That story was 'A Couple Of Winos' (South of No North).
This one?

Interesting bit and I can't wait to read the linked Hustler interview, thanks!

I think it's pretty standard Bukowski, he relates what happened in an interesting, possibly fictionalized way, but doesn't tell you it's correct or good. The same with women, no? He speaks of and treats them rather poorly at times but doesn't advocate this as any sort of philosophy, he's just telling you the story. If you think he's a shit, you can think he's a shit, he sometimes says as much...

Others have touched on a similar theme, but for me, reading Bukowski is one of the first times I came to terms with pretty much worshipping something yet feeling a bit uneasy about putting it up on pedestal since it's nothing I wish to emulate or often even consider good. I also know a few people like this in real life, really smart creative interesting people who I deeply value my relationship with yet who often drive me up a fucking wall to the point that I think I'd be better off not associating with them. Somehow thinking it out and recognizing that seems to help. You have a lot of good, and a lot of bad, so I like you, and also recognize in many ways you're an asshole. More beer.

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