We break out the BME red phone to get to the bottom of the Bukowski meme

redphoneWe’ve been plagued by an annoying meme regarding the title of our EP for some time now.  We’ve always maintained that it’s from Kinky Friedman because well, first and foremost, he told it to me.  Not only that, but we even asked him for permission to quote him and he obliged.  Despite this, it appears the self-referential nature of the internet is more powerful than any direct confirmation and so people still think it’s a quote from Charles Bukowski.  

This Bukowski meme is everywhere and you’ve likely seen it on Facebook or Goodreads but nobody can cite a poem, prose piece, interview,  or letter with those words that does not derive from the internet.   No matter how hard I tried I could not find where this thing got its start but it was everywhere.   If you need proof of the insane power of slapping a picture of someone with some words typed over it and then posting it on facebook, look no further than musician James Rhodes who used the quote as a jump-off point for an article in the Guardian (James Rhodes: ‘Find what you love and let it kill you’).  The curious thing is that his source for the quote – what he links to in his article – is a discussion on a Bukowski forum discussing the quote’s origin that concludes it’s utter bunk.  This made me throw our hands up in the air in frustration.   Despite this lack of a real source, there it is everywhere on the internet -178,000 results for the quote and Bukowski on Google alone and yet, not a single vierfied source for it.

Undeterred (or just with a lot of time on my hands), I did a lot of searching, asked Kinky’s publicist to unequivocally confirm that it’s Kinky’s quote (it is), and, as a final desperate measure, I even used the red phone that we keep under glass to call former Black Math Experiment/Ghost of Cliff Burton mastermind (and Houston Press writer) Jef with one F to help us out.  From his secret location inside a volcano island somewhere in the Pacific, he promptly fired-up the Black Math Experiment’s supercomputer and took to the meme with a geeky ferocity that can only be described as sedulous.  His conclusion – it’s bunk.  

You can read his results here at the Houston Press:

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