The campaign to save Bukowski's De Longpre bungalow (1 Viewer)

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Hintinwood,
See? This is what I warned you about. Your goal is to preserve LA's cultural heritage, seemingly without regard to the damage this it can do to a persons lasting reputation. This measure of theirs will work. They will win and the place will be turned into a Starbucks and because of all of this hubbub, Bukowski's name will be forever associated with Naziism because of one man's story and your inability to back out of a battle that you cannot win.

I know that it is not true, but the masses will not know and you will do serious damage to a man's reputation that you say you appreciate. Don't believe me? In ten years do me a favor and visit the Starbucks. Order a Latte and open your laptop and Google search Bukowski and see how nearly every major story about Bukowski will mention that he was rumored to be a Nazi.

Bill
 
Bill,
I strongly disagree with you, and I find your attitude defeatist.
The motion went through today, and the commission practically laughed that lawyer out of the room. Before he even spoke I had already discredited Pleasants thoroughly, and since that was all he had it was unconvincing to say the least. The president made it abundantly clear that she didn't believe a word of the Nazi angle. A reporter from the AP, the LA Weekly, and KNX was there, ensuring that the verdict will be out on the allegations.

"Your goal is to preserve LA's cultural heritage, seemingly without regard to the damage this it can do to a persons lasting reputation."

Bukowski doesn't have the greatest reputation as it is, but anyone with half a brain can see that this is nonsense.

I think ultimately Bukowski's words speak for themselves, as they did today.

-Lauren
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
I think everyone would be happy to know that the Nazi angle was pretty much universally scoffed at, and the commission blatently stated that they didn't believe it.

And yet CNN picked up the story and ran with the NAZI angle? Frankly I'm most surprised that someone from LA wold not know that the truth does not matter. Whatever sells papers is the angle that they will take. The NAZI angle will always come up. The fact that the 8 person commission "scoffed at it" will not kill this story that now be believed by many, many people.

Did anyone hear about Richard Gere and the gerbil? If he had evidence that proved it 100%, it would still live on forever. The truth does not matter. The good story is all that is important.

Bill
 
Excuse me, I'm at work right now.

Reporters from the LA Weekly, The Associated Press, and KNX Radio attended the hearing today. Having observed the proceedings, they will report back to their respective media outlets as to the outcome and content of the meeting.

And in case you missed it, the motion went through.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
The president made it abundantly clear that she didn't believe a word of the Nazi angle. A reporter from the AP, the LA Weekly, and KNX was there, ensuring that the verdict will be out on the allegations.

Lauren,
My attitude is not defeatest. I just know what I know. That being said, I would LOVE to be wrong on this and would love to have to eat crow in front of everyone if I am wrong. Sadly, I don't think that I am. Let's see how AP, La Times & KNX cover it. So far CNN has played the NAZI angle. Will the others?

Bill
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
A.D. Winans just sent me this. Seems that the AP picked up the story and ran it (The CNN.com article was actually from the AP, which means that many, many, many news organizations will run the story verbatim.) Tomorrow this story will be big news.

I thought that they were at that meeting where the allegations were "scoffed at". will they run a retraction tomorrow? I think not, instead this very same article will appear in no less than 50 newspapers...

Bill



> http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/articles/11909411.html
>
> L.A. move to recognize poet's home opposed
>
> Charles Bukowski lived at east Hollywood bungalow, writing "the great
> books that really started him on his career," a supporter says. Co-owner
> of property says he was a Nazi sympathizer. He later lived in San Pedro.
>
> By Jacob Adelman
>
> The Associated Press
>
> Hard-drinking, foul-mouthed writer Charles Bukowski once described himself
> as a guy who wouldn't walk away from a brawl.
>
> Now it's up to fans of the gutter poet to take up the fight to have his
> bungalow turned into a civic monument over the objections of the
> property's owners, who claim he was a Nazi sympathizer.
>
> Backers say the east Hollywood abode deserves recognition and the
> restoration that would go with it because it's where Bukowski banged out
> stories and poems that transformed him from a working stiff with a
> literary streak into an internationally celebrated author.
>
> "The great books that really started him on his career - that all happened
> on De Longpre," said Neeli Cherkovski, author of "Bukowski: A Life" and a
> friend of the writer. "It was where Charles Bukowski became the voice of
> Los Angeles."
>
> But the owners, who tried to sell the bungalow court as tear-down for $1.3
> million, are poised to fight the proposal before a city commission today
> based on allegations that Bukowski had Nazi leanings.
>
> Co-owner Victoria Gureyeva refused to discuss the issue on her lawyer's
> advice, but previously said she would enlist local Jewish activists in her
> campaign against landmarking.
>
> "This man loved Hitler," Gureyeva, who is Jewish, told the alternative
> newspaper LA Weekly. "This is my house, not Bukowski's. I will never allow
> the city of Los Angeles to turn it into a monument for this man."
>
> The city's preservationist community is lining up behind the proposal,
> although some were bemused that a man known best for boozy excesses might
> have the place he once lived given the same landmark designation as City
> Hall and the Hollywood sign.
>
> Bukowski, who later lived in San Pedro and died of leukemia in 1994 at 73,
> has a cultish following around the world and the esteem of critics and
> fellow literati.
>
> Sean Penn, Tom Waits and Bono have professed their admiration for the
> writer. The movies "Barfly" and "Factotum" were based on his books and his
> papers join manuscripts and rare volumes from Shakespeare and Chaucer at
> the Huntington Library in San Marino.
>
> But he is as well-known for his image as a down-at-the-heels drunk and for
> pronouncements like, "Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink."
>
> The impulse to make Bukowski's home a monument comes from a feeling that
> he was a more accurate chronicler of the city than other writers, said
> David Fine, author of "Imagining Los Angeles: A City in Fiction."
>
> Raymond Chandler, Aldous Huxley, Nathanael West and F. Scott Fitzgerald
> are far brighter literary lights, along with others who came here to toil
> as screenwriters. But they tended to portray an apocalyptic landscape of
> crime noir and empty celebrity. Bukowski grew up here and saw it from a
> less cynical, more authentic down-to-earth vantage.
>
>
>
 
The CNN story is dated today at 9:22 AM EST, and so far, all the other stories (from other outlets) I've seen are dated yesterday evening. The daily News appears to have pulled their story, as the webpage is not found. Let's see what happens in the next several hours.

And Bill, I take your point. The falsehood that turns heads is always bigger than the clarification of truth. Probably because the clarification, if any, always seems to appear on page 47 of a roll of toilet paper.

Edited to add: I called it a clarification rather than a retraction, because, technically, the story itself was not inaccurate, just the allegations behind why it became a story.
 
Look, I see what you're saying, I really do, but all it ever says is that the owners (who obviously have their own motives) are accusing him of being a Nazi. It doesn't site a single other source, or attempt to authenticate the claim in any other way.
The hearing was today, and this story went out either last night or earlier today, so I'm sure there will be a follow-up. However there can't be a retraction because the author is just stating the owner's position. Frankly, including the "second Hitler" quote makes the woman sound a bit mad already.
If nothing else, think of it this way. Maybe people all over the country who read this will wonder who this guy is to stir up all this controversy, and they'll start reading his work. I know I would...
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
No. I don't think it is. Many will probably look him up on the internet and read a few of his poems and realize that they do not care for poetry.

Infamy is not the way that Bukowski became a success. If the goal was simply to become known for anything (the Holllywood mentality), he could have killed someone famous. Maybe shot Picasso? Then people would look him up as a curiosity when they found out that he also wrote. Just like Valerie Solanis... Everyone has seen John Wayne Gacy's artwork. That does not make him a good artist, just a curiosity. I would hate to think that many people on this forum would be happy with Bukowski being considered a curiosity.

Again... Getting famous (on infamous) is VERY, VERY easy. Getting famous based on doing something better than others is much harder.


Bill
 
What I ment by that is that it may make some people aware of his name who otherwise would not have been. Some will check it out and decide it's not for them, and some will wonder how they lived without it for so long.
I mean come on, he's an incredibly prolific writer. I would hardly compare him to Valerie Solanas (sp?).
 

mjp

Founding member
...all it ever says is that the owners (who obviously have their own motives) are accusing him of being a Nazi. It doesn't site a single other source, or attempt to authenticate the claim in any other way.
You're not listening. They don't have to authenticate it. It's like calling someone a pedophile. If you do that, most of the people who read it will say to themselves, "I hate pedophiles! I hate that guy!" (ask the McMartins how that works.)

Nazi is the same kind of emotionally charged buzzword as pedophile.

Maybe people all over the country who read this will wonder who this guy is to stir up all this controversy, and they'll start reading his work. I know I would...
Yeah, and maybe they'll pick up Mein Kampf too, and skinheads will start posting here about how awesome Bukowski was. When they do, I'll be sure to recommend the Esotouric bus to them.



Or maybe nothing will happen.



I'm just waiting for the phone call from someone in my family; "You like that Bukowski, don't you? Did you know he was a Nazi?!" If I get that call, I'll know for sure that we're past the tipping point.
 
The bottom line is, the situation is what it is. The owners have choosen to play this (unexpected) card, and now we (or I) have to deal with it in the best way possible. Engaging in "should've, would've, could've" is not productive right now.
I see what you're saying. It's just that all the fretting in the world is still not dealing with the problem.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
yes. most people have the "where there's smoke, there's fire" attitude. even is nothing is proven, there will always be a lingering doubt. especially , as mjp has pointed out, to certain allegations.
and it saddens and angers me that the whiff of nazi will always be up peoples noses whenever they hear Bukowski. and nothing can ever get rid of that stink.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
I'm just waiting for the phone call from someone in my family; "You like that Bukowski, don't you? Did you know he was a Nazi?!" If I get that call, I'll know for sure that we're past the tipping point.

mjp,
Expect that call within the next few days once the AP story is picked up all over the globe. If not, then over X-Mas dinner for sure.

Lauren,
Even though we completely disagree on this property issue, I respect your dedication (not that you asked for my blessing or that what I think means more than a pile of poo). I hope that you are right. If so, I'll publicly proclaim my error and will do a snoopy dance. Hell, maybe I'll do a snoopy dance and post it on youtube. Of course, that is only if you are right. It would be a small price for me to pay to not have to read this untruth every time we are lucky enough to actually get major press coverage of an author who's work we admire... Sound fair?

Best,
Bill

p.s. This is a kinder and gentler Bill, no? Looks like I'm back on my meds....
 
Actually, what can get rid of that stink is showing, with research and evidence, that the claim is wrong. Which is what I'm trying to do. Thanks to those in this forum who have helped.
 

chronic

old and in the way
...he could have killed someone famous. Maybe shot Picasso?

Now you've done it Bill... everyone's gonna think that Bukowski shot Picasso.

Really, I think this will blow over quickly and end up as (barely) a footnote. Bukowski was an apolitical writer who won't be remembered for his politics. Anyone who reads much of his work (especially Ham On Rye) will realize that his so-called Nazi leanings were merely a tool he used for shock value. He wrote enough on the subject to show that he never took it very seriously.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
Actually, what can get rid of that stink is showing, with research and evidence, that the claim is wrong. Which is what I'm trying to do. Thanks to those in this forum who have helped.

hey, I'm on your side here, mostly.
the sad fact is that most people (including me) are stupid and stubborn and more willing to believe the worst about somebody, even if there is a large amount of evidence to prove otherwise.
hence the large amount of hate crimes and outward and passive prejudices being perpetrated against blacks, gays, jews, native americans, women, dwarfs, any immigrant nationality, overweight people, poor people....hell, almost anything you can name.
it takes generations of education to scour predjudice.
anyway, well done with the victory. and I wish I still had your optimism (and I mean that without any condenscension).
all the best,
steve.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
As Hindenwood said, the property owner's tried to play this 'card'. If the campaigners had given up at this point the charge would still be there hanging in the air and with perhaps more undeserved credibility.

There will be people who will not think about this at all, they'll hear 'Bukowski' and 'Nazi' and just accept that the media always tells the truth. I'm sure a follow up story will appear, but I'm not sure how much coverage it will get. But at this point I don't know that this has been a big story outside of a few syndicated news sites on the web.

Most likely it will just drift away into the ether.

Sure, mjp or Bill may get that phone call "You like that Bukowski, don't you? Did you know..." but that's perhaps because of their own infamy rather than Bukowski's :D

I don't know if the campaign to try to preserve De Longpre is good or bad for Bukowski's legacy or his admirers. But as it seems that these spurious claims have been rightly ignored by the commissioner in the case, I am glad that someone stood up to refute them.



And hopefully, no one will buy that book about sniping by that other guy.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
It's quite common for the state to expropriate historical buildings to prevent them from being teared down and then pay the owner the market price. I wonder if L.A. finds Buk's house worthy of preservation. It's exiting what will happen. When will the final verdict come down?
 
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I'm not sure when the city council meeting will happen, but I really doubt that the city would put any money towards it. First of all, the price the owners are asking really isn't the market price (as evidenced by it's lack of buyers). They are asking too much. I just read on a blog that a developer paid $450,000 for a larger plot of land in Echo Park, which is a "hotter" neighborhood than East Hollywood. The owners are dreaming if they think they're getting 1.3M, especially in this market.
Hopefully a forward thinking person will come forth and make them a reasonable offer, and they'll see it as a way out of this situation.
The only way city money could possibly enter the equation is if funds from the affordable housing bond were allocated for it's purchase, and it was turned into low-income housing. I'm not sure who would broker that deal though...
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Really, I think this will blow over quickly and end up as (barely) a footnote. Bukowski was an apolitical writer who won't be remembered for his politics. Anyone who reads much of his work (especially Ham On Rye) will realize that his so-called Nazi leanings were merely a tool he used for shock value. He wrote enough on the subject to show that he never took it very seriously.

Exactly! It will blow over. I don't think that Buk will be labeled a nazi for all time because of this. It's obvious that the owner is playing the nazi card to protect her property. Maybe some newspaper readers will believe it but they hardly matter because it's so easy for anybody interested to check out the facts. More likely, Buk will be remembered for the booze-hound womanizing image he created...

The whole thing is unfortunate, but the genie is out of the bottle on this one, so pretending the accusation isn't out there won't do us any good. Refuting it probably won't do any good either (you can see that even posters in this forum believe Pleasants' story without question because, hey, it's on the internet!), but if we here are the only ones who attempt to point out the idiocy of Pleasants' poison pen diatribe, then we're doing something positive.

Exactly! We can't just ignore it. If us Buk readers won't point out the idiocy of Pleasants nazi accusation, then nobody will!
 
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mjp

Founding member
Actually, what can get rid of that stink is showing, with research and evidence, that the claim is wrong.
Hmm. Your behavior here would seem to suggest otherwise.

Many people have explained and demonstrated that facts have little to do with most people's opinions and gut feelings, yet you continue to cling to your preconceived notion that you can educate all the stupidity out of the world. You are a prime example of why that is not possible. You have your idea and nothing anyone here says is going to change it.

Ironical, ain't it! As Bugs Bunny would say.

The bottom line is, the situation is what it is.
Right. And why is the situation the way it is? Because someone got between the owners and their big American Dream paycheck.

---

Honestly, that the owner's lawyer would cry Nazi is not the first thing that I would have expected. It may not have occurred to me at all, since I discount everything Pleasants says, types or thinks, and he is the only person who holds that view. So I don't blame that, specifically, on the preservation effort.

But - and this is where you screwed the pooch, kid - it should have been obvious that the owners would feel as if their $,$$$,$$$ was being threatened, and would put up a fight. And considering that, more thought, planning and evil strategy should have been put into the whole procedure before it was begun.

You know, if you think it was worth doing.

But I know I am talking to an empty room on this, so I'll stop.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
mjp,
What about changing the word NAZI to NNNN or something like that to keep the googlebots from picking this up in their searches and helping spread the bullshit? Or is it better to get both sides?

Bill
 
Hmm. Your behavior here would seem to suggest otherwise.

Many people have explained and demonstrated that facts have little to do with most people's opinions and gut feelings, yet you continue to cling to your preconceived notion that you can educate all the stupidity out of the world. You are a prime example of why that is not possible. You have your idea and nothing anyone here says is going to change it.

Ironical, ain't it! As Bugs Bunny would say.

I'm not here to defend the actions of anyone on either side of this issue. I suppose I would prefer that the world get Buk's legacy right, but if they don't, and choose to believe the media, who the fuck really cares?

I mean, as Buk said:

"I feel gypped by dunces
as if reality were the property
of little men..."

So if the media fucks it up, and
no one gets the truth, would
Buk be surprised?

Doubtful.

It may suck
but it's just the
way
things
go.

I'd feel worse for Linda Lee,
but she probably said
"Fuck this"
too.

Take the truth
to yourselves.
Dig a hole and
bury it.
 
Nazi is the same kind of emotionally charged buzzword as pedophile.

i think that depends on your point of view
to a jewish parent they may both be highly emotionally charged words
but to someone like myself
who is a non-jewish parent
the word nazi carries very little emotional charge
and pedophile gets a great deal

no...i'm not a nazi sympathizer
 

Father Luke

Founding member
mjp,
What about changing the word NAZI to NNNN or something like that to keep the googlebots from picking this up in their searches and helping spread the bullshit? Or is it better to get both sides?
If I may?

This was discussed among the moderators, and the administrator.

The thought was that if people actually do google this subject, and should this forum come up, then it would actually serve to inform and enlighten.

An informed discussion among some of the most knowledgeable minds on the subject may be a way to sift through the madness, to coin a phrase... .

But let's say we censor the topic. Delete it even. So what happens when people google about this? They will see what? CNN?

Let's leave it. Maybe, as fans we are "cultist", there are other words to express admiration, but use the CNN jingoism, or use the word "nitwits" as has been used to describe fans of Henry Charles Bukowski by others. This rag-tag group of fans are among the brightest, most well informed individuals on the topic. And, I believe, the discussion would best serve left as is.

If it causes one bad thought, burn the whole fucking thing to the ground. But I feel strongly that it serves best left as it is.

Ya think?
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Good points, Father Luke! I agree. Don't censor or delete it!
 
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mjp

Founding member
i think that depends on your point of view
Fair enough. But it certainly has connotations for everyone, whether they have an emotional reaction or not.

Hopefully a forward thinking person will come forth and make them a reasonable offer, and they'll see it as a way out of this situation.
How can a city designate something as a landmark and not offer the owners a way to get out from under it? What if they don't want to be the caretakers of a landmark?

I don't understand what purpose this landmark status has. Does it only prevent the owner from tearing a place down?

Seems to me that a hostile owner in such a case might just open up the doors and windows and let it rot in protest.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
I think the lowlife lawyers are satisfied every time the word is mentioned.
It is very much a war of connotations.
Gotta learn from Bill Clinton: "I did not have sexual relations and I did not inhale!" :D

Also: the CNN article was fairly objective, wasn't it? But then again, they only covered the story because of the N-word, I'm sure.

Locklin & Cherkovski do a good job of cooling things down.

And the text does have positive connotations such as:
Raymond Chandler, Aldous Huxley, Nathanael West and F. Scott Fitzgerald are far brighter literary lights, along with others who came here to toil as screenwriters. But they tended to portray an apocalyptic landscape of crime noir and empty celebrity. Bukowski grew up here and saw it from a less cynical, more authentic down-to-earth vantage.

That phrase "less cynical" surprised me. Fine has an interesting point, I think. And that on CNN to boot!

Oh and I'm not worried about this whole thing the least bit. The bad review of Pleasures ... does more damage in my opinion. Its the words that count.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
That article will appear on a few more news sites I'm sure over the next week. Hopefully a follow up will er, follow.
 
Here is my concern
The impact of the Nazi label may never been known.
Perhpas a movie, a documentary may not get funded becasue of the label or perhaps, as MJP suggested, skin heads will adopt him since they seem to need to adopt someone as their leader.
Perhaps someone on this site or someone who should be on this site will have a proposal rejected because of the label
and to put it in historical perspective the "swiftboat ad" was made to influence opinion.
I don't know if it did, but I know who is president now.



Holy Crap!!!!!!!
I just went to the CNN hompage. Friday Nov. 28
The Bukowski story is right there!!
There is no digging to find it.
 
you're right mjp, bospress and others, that the media always makes their own truth (and most often THE truth).
You're right, the Nazi-card is as hard to conter as any emotional card (like the ped - wow, we're creating one hell of keywords here!).
All this is no reason to give up the fight.

First:
maybe in the US the discussion started only now, because of the actions to preserve the building. But in Germany the discussion started earlier, it came up, right when Pleasants posted his article (even before his book). Maybe because we're over-sensible on this subject here. There was a hard-and-heavy discussion at one of our symposiums, how to treat these accusations or how to interpret/verify/falsify Pleasants' sources. As mjp said in the other thread (the renamed one): the subject is on the table now, we cannot act as if it wasn't. We have to deal with it. (not verbatim)

If it wasn't for the preservation of the building, the Nazi-accusation would've come out someday later anyway. It's out there and there's no escaping it. So it isn't Hindinwoods fault, that we have to deal with it.

second:
I don't see the article by CNN to be pro the Nazi-claim. I see more of the other 'image' of Buk's, that I've been fighting against for years: the stupid boozer. But then, they also tell he's at the Huntington, they also tell that Bono is a fan of him (and good ol Bono is out of any suspect to be pro-Nazi, right?) - let them write!
It brings Bukowski into the media, into discussion, into public. I agree with Hindi, that this might bring people to hear his name for the first time, who otherwise wouldn't be able to discover him.
They can't do him serious harm. They will Never kill him for good, because quality lasts. (Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice isn't exactly what one would consider pro-Jewish, still Shakey has a good reputation.)

3rd:
sorry for bringing in the Nietzsche-parallel (again): it's a little like that - Nietzsche was abused by the Nazis and still a lot of people out there see a connection. But you wouldn't be crucified for admiring Nietzsche or buying his works, you wouldn't get phone-calls like "You like that Nazi-guy..." etc.
The main image of N isn't the Nazi thing. And it will not be the main issue on Buk. It will vanish come time - and what will last is the image of a great writer and a remarkable person. THIS is what makes him immortal.


It cannot really touch him, that from now on, there will always be discussions about "Was Buk a Nazi?", as well as there already are discussions like "Was Buk homosexual?" - "Was Buk a misogynist?" - "Was Bukowski lefthanded?" ...
All this is secondary and will not last (in the sense that it would constitute the main part of his image).
What will last ist Bukowski the writer, the poet, the man.



forgive me this way too long statement.
 
In this case appealing for the landmark status was to temporarily prevent them from tearing it down. However, if it does go through, there are many benefits to be reaped, in the form of tax breaks, etc. Hopefully these things will make the property attractive to potential buyers, and there will be an offer on the table BEFORE the city council meeting. Or, maybe the owners will just decide that the investment is looking better to them (the commission architect told them point blank that it's worth more standing) and they will just renovate it.
In a way, the owners are in a fortunate position. They have a totally vacant property with a notable background, and possible tax breaks. Many landlords in this city would love to find themselves in such a position. The trick is getting THEM to realize it and stop with the Nazi crap. I am hoping that the LA Conservancy will reach out to them with a summery of their options. This is what I'm going to be working on next.

Well said Roni! You put it better than me...
Here's the follow up;

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/29/arts/NA-A-E-BKS-US-Bukowski-House.php#end_copy

...yet you continue to cling to your preconceived notion that you can educate all the stupidity out of the world...
What I'm trying to say is you put the truth out there, and those who are intelligent or intuitive enough will pick it up. For those who don't, who cares?? Bukowski isn't running for president.

And please don't put words in my mouth.
 
Hindinwood said:

So early yesterday, the story was "Bukowski accused of being a Nazi," replete with sensationalist comments from the landlord, with exclamation points and all that. Today, the story is: "city commission recommends designation as a historic cultural monument." So what should/would the general public infer? The City Commission has Nazi leanings???:eek:
 

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