Friday 25 March 2011

Charles Bukowski

I finished off Bukowski's Post Office yesterday. It's as near flawless a book as I've ever read and I greatly enjoyed rereading it. Aside from Bukowski's signature simplicity which in some ways is close to Orwell's loathing of unnecessary complex words the commentary is very much one of mechanized, process driven 'scientific process' America. Where clocking in and clocking out, and how to stand during coffee breaks leads to an extraordinary goverment agency regulating the most trivial of tasks through nauseous bureaucracy.

I'm always struck how bureaucrats are never fingered for having no other option than to create more rules to justify their existence. The only option as I see it, is to fire them not keep them busy. Indeed their job function should include a larger bonus the quicker they can achieve their goal and lose their jobs. In an ideal world bureaucrats would be a free floating army like the Chinese migrant workers assembling as swat teams when anything became so dysfunctional that change was needed without the commitment to regulating that change ad infinitum.

I laughed loud more than once rereading the following passage where he is reminded of the awesome security benefits in working for the Post Office

Security? You could get security in jail. Three squares and no rent to pay, no utilities, no income tax, no child support. No license plate fees. No traffic tickets. No drunk driving raps. No losses at the race track. Free medical attention. Comradeship with those with similar interests. Church. Roundeye. Free burial.