Pencils Down, My Absurdist Friends

by Joe Buonfiglio

Time’s up, my fellow Absurdists. Time to turn in those philosophic test papers.

Didn’t finish?

Didn’t even start?

Too bad. So sad. The cosmic forces of the universe say take your “F” like a grownup and stop your whining. They couldn’t care less. Next time set your existential alarm clock or just get it over with and become a Nihilist.

Me? Oh, for me it was like “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?! YOU ACT AS IF YOU’VE NEVER SEEN A NAKED WRITER BRUSH HIS TEETH IN THE PUBLIC LIBRARY BEFORE!

Why? How did you start your day?

What’s the point to all this?

Nothing. Not a goddamn thing!

And that’s the point.

Look, consider this…

Today I watched a truly terrible little Italian film titled ABSURD released in 1981. Here is the trailer for this delightfully cheap little piece of cinematic drivel:

Now in all fairness, original tape of this film goes for big bucks and is considered an honest-to-God collectible by fans. And if you’re anything like me — unable to go to your grave without having consumed every horrifically produced B-movie in existence from the cinematic world of the bizarrely damned — and, after the trailer, you think you might possibly muster up the strength to mentally absorb the entire film in all its splendorous glory as it unabashedly attempts to rip off John Carpenter’s Halloween, I’ll place it at the bottom of this blog-post for all to… well… uh… enjoy?

Now, what drew me to ABSURD was not just its title. ABSURD was one of those films that became known in the United Kingdom as a “video nasty,” a colloquial designation for films (distributed on videocassette) that were deemed unacceptably offensive and judged utterly obscene by religious organizations, the press and various conservative commentators due to the excessively violent nature of their content. And in 1984, ABSURD was actually prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Acts.

What struck me was that when compared to today’s grisly slasher films, one has to wonder what all the ruckus was back in the 1980s; ABSURD seems somewhat tame and rather silly now.

Have we all just become desensitized to gory fictional terror when, in light of today’s real-world horrors, it seems on par with learning your A-B-Cs on Sesame Street? And if this is the case, what does that mean for the state of Absurdism today?

ABSURDISM is defined not only as “of an intentionally ridiculous or bizarre behavior or character,” but also “the belief that human beings exist in a purposeless, chaotic universe.” This is the core tenet of vocational existence for we professional Absurdists.

However, is the current state of global affairs — particularly in the Age of Trumpism — simply proving Absurdists right … or rendering us obsolete? How can anything we generate in theory or philosophy via fictional expression for the purpose of demonstration or enlightenment utilizing the literary, screen or stage media vehicles compare to the actual, seemingly random madness and irrational pandemonium being generated by the players in our world today. We Absurdists of the modern era engage in mere philosophic parlor tricks compared to the unparalleled insanity demonstrated by those “real” people who see such absolute logic in their daily exhibitions of unfounded irrationality.

And so…

Well…

I’m afraid it’s time for the metaphoric cheap gold watch and early retirement, my fellow gentry of Absurdism.  Life’s test for you is fait accompli. Or, as our Italian filmmaker friends might say, “Destino completo.”

Matite giù. Pencils down.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

MY SUNDAY BRUNCH WITH GOD

Another in My “Holy Shit, God is an Absurdist!” Series

by Joe Buonfiglio

Sunday. 11:37 a.m.

God is running late for Sunday brunch. In His defense, He has a shitload of the devout to check in on any given Sunday morning; I get that. Nevertheless, it is more than a little rude to invite somebody out to brunch and then be late. This particularly adds the proverbial “insult to injury” when you consider that I’m an Agnostic and could have been sleeping in. An Agnostic writer having “shit, showered and shaved” by 10 a.m. any day, let alone a sleepy Sunday, is a fairly big accomplishment that should not be poo-pooed upon with the discourtesy of tardiness… even by the all-powerful Alpha and Omega.

“You’re late,” I say stating the obvious with more than a little irritation in my voice.

“And now,” God says waving his hand in a brushing-off motion as He sits down, “I’m not.”

My wristwatch, along with every other timepiece in the building — and probably the world — had just rolled back 37 minutes.

“Eleven o’clock just as we agreed,” He says with an impish grin on His face.

“Of course it is,” I say shaking my head in mild contempt. “I ordered a Bloody Mary while I was waiting. Would You like one?”

“What?” he says with a scowl. “You’re kidding, right?”

“Huh? …. Oh. Right. Sorry.”

Even though the common, yet beloved cocktail — a staple of the Sunday brunch along with the Mimosa — is named after the notoriously violent, ruthless and murderous Queen Mary I who became the first-ever woman ruler of England in 1553, Mister Supposed-to-be-Omniscient seemed to think it referred to a different Mary; one much nearer and dearer to His own heart.

“So,” I say unable to suppress a yawn at that most inopportune moment, “Why does the Man Behind the Universe’s Curtain need to meet me for Sunday brunch? Couldn’t you have just sent me a Burning Bush-a-Gram or something?”

“I need you to—” It was obvious He was suppressing a laugh. “I need you to let everyone on the entire planet know that the end of the world will be here in three days, and I will only Rapture true believers who are having intercourse with a duck at the exact commencement of that End Time moment. Only duck-lovers will get a Fast Pass into Heaven.”

“Are you kidding me?” I say having seen the Oh, God! and the Bruce/Evan Almighty movies; knowing full well it doesn’t go all that great for the protagonist of the story. “How am I supposed to get the word out to the whole world in just three days. Don’t You think that’s just a little unreasona— Wait. What?! Did you just say something about sex with ducks?”

“You want to get into Heaven? Gotta be doin’ it with a duck at the moment the Apocalypse launches.”

“Duck… … … fucking. You’re talking about literally fucking ducks?”

“It sounds so vulgar when you say it.”

“Uh, yeah. It sounds a little Sodom and Gomorrah-ish when You say it, too!”

“Oh, it doesn’t have to be a Mother Goose-type domestic duck per se,” shrugging off the ribald nature of His outlandish request. “Mallards would do fine. Muscovy would be okay; any of the dabblers. Divers are nice: goldeneyes; redhead; canvasback. Oh, the red-breasted merganser is nice. I really like those….”

I slam back what remains of my drink and, while munching on the vodka-soaked celery, leave the Magic Man in the Sky hovering over eggs Benedict while continuing to ramble on about His ultimate plan to save humankind via unnatural acts with the woodland creatures of the lake. His bizarre foul fowl fetish is more than my tiny monkey-brain is able to comprehend without leaving my body and floating between quantum dimensions within the dark space of String 6 and String 7 of proper String Theory.

While I hope — and in my own way pray — that my Agnostic doubts are still intact and this is just some random madman who somehow acquired temporary mastery over space and time as if Doctor Who on cosmic steroids, my subconscious fear of burning in the flames of Hell are ever-present at the moment.

And down in the core of whatever constitutes a soul in me, I know.

Oh, how I know.

There will be duck-fucking in my future.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG

Top Ten Absurdist Reasons Why Nobody Cares About Your Blog
(or Mine)
(Which You are Currently Reading)
(So, That’s Kind of Absurd in and of Itself Right There)

by Joe Buonfiglio

Nobody cares about your blog … or mine. Unless you’re already a celebrity or at least celebrity adjacent, it’s absurd to continue to pound away on your wireless keyboard pretending that anyone other than close friends and family gives a shit about your most recent blog piece.

And BREAKING NEWS: They really don’t give a shit either. They just don’t want to hurt your feelings.

Even though it is SO painfully absurd to continue our vainglorious attempt to make a mark in the blogosphere, I’m okay with that because … well … I’M AN ABSURDIST!

I actually revel in the chaotically futile. Mindlessly blogging is simply a natural extension of all that. So with a loose hold on anything resembling reality, here are my…

Top Ten ABSURDIST Reasons Why Nobody Cares About Your Blog (or Mine)

#10: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE pepper-spraying camels is not an indication of evolutionary superiority.

#9: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE melted cheddar has not and will never cure male-pattern baldness.

#8: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE even though Ford’s Model T did come in red, the color black was preferred by viper trainers throughout Canada.

#7: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE Ponce de León couldn’t find Mrs. de León’s G-spot if his life depended on it.

#6: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE free trade shouldn’t be a matter of cucumber girth.

#5: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE the literary arts no longer take into account that pillaging is a forgotten craft.

#4: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE the Center for Disease Control is completely ambivalent in all matters concerning buttered-popcorn flavored jellybeans.

#3: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE the zipper is down on society’s collective pants.

#2: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE springtime Frappuccinos should flow freely from a Panda’s ass, not be imprisoned until transactional payment is rendered unto the Starbucks Corporation. (refer to Starbucks vs. a Panda’s Ass, Third Circuit Court of Appeals circa 1864 following Brown vs. the Zookeeper’s Fantasy)

AND THE #1 REASON NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG: The ghost of Richard Nixon tickles President Trump’s balls from the moment he falls asleep in the Lincoln bedroom!

So blog away, my fellow Absurdists; blog away as if no one is watching … because no one is.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos are © 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.

Something Absurd This Way Comes…

Something wonderfully absurd is coming….
… Something absurdly wonderful!

copyright-2016-joseph-p-buonfiglio-t1

from the mind of Joe Buonfiglio

In the coming months, JoeBuonfiglio.com (AKA LiteraryAbsurdist.com) will undergo a bizarre transformation from its currently simplistic little pupa of a website into the darkly humorous absurd butterfly it deserves to be. So don’t miss any of the delightfully weird splendor to come…

SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Go to the subscription-sidebar on this page or click on the “Follow Joe” button down in the corner and you won’t miss a second of my Bizarro Blast that’s inching its way toward this website’s reality as you read this.

See you soon!

No, really. I’m outside your bedroom window with a cellphone camera, a box of wine and some Twinkies right now.

THE END IS NEAR!
(But the beginning is nearer.)

 

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos are © 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.

*twitter-button*Sin título-1*youtubelogo-20120605T021741-6mjjuus*

Welcome to BUONFIGLIO UNIVERSITY ™

BU MEME

by Joe Buonfiglio

WELCOME TO BUONFIGLIO UNIVERSITY™.

Here at BU, the nation’s most successful— Uh, the nation’s most respected— Um, well, hmmmm… the nation’s oldest online university dedicated to developing your dream of becoming a career Absurdist, we strive to move beyond the basics of surreality.

At Buonfiglio University, you’ll take such universally esteemed courses as:

*Salvador Dali: Madman or Too Often Pantsed as a Child;

*Albert Camus: Father of Modern Absurdism or Unsavory Penguin Consort;

*Sisyphus: THIS TIME It’ll Stay Up the Goddamn Hill;

* Is an Absurdist Just a Nihilist’s Dream?

*Monkey-Fucker: Is It Better Than Cannibalism as a Lifestyle Choice?

*Are Dental Implants Ever Acceptable in the Anal Cavity?

*ABSURDISM 101 — The Absurdist’s Fallback Formula: “I wanted to be _______, but _______ were _______ in my _______.”

*The Three Things You Learn When Stuck in an Elevator with the Flatulent;

*Life Has No Inherent Value or Meaning: A Corndog’s Perspective (AKA If Satan Existed, Would He Create Mustard?)

*Time Travel: The ONLY Possible Reason Why Cotton Candy Exists;

* Søren Kierkegaard: Philosophy, Existentialism and the Pursuit of the Internal Combustion Hermaphrodite;

* Public Service: Not as Much Fun as it Sounds (AKA What Do You Mean It’s Stuck! My Husband Will Be Home at Any Minute!)

* Why the Box Office is Always Closed at the Theatre of the Absurd;

* Monday Says it All (AKA Perhaps the Nihilists are Right)

* The Meaningless State of the Universe (AKA Is This Booger God?)

* Social Media, the Downfall of Society and the Link Between Sex, Inanimate Objects and the 1984 Dodge Omni;

* Transcendentalism and the Absurdist: Looking for God in All the Wrong Places or How I Found My Spirituality in a Bowl of Gazpacho;

* Advanced Absurdity: Why Such a Thing as Los Angeles Exists;

*The Metaphilosophical Method: The Philosophy of Philosophy or de Facto Absurdism (AKA Standing Paralyzed as the Toilet Backs Up)

*The Illusion of Free Will: If Choice is Real, Then Why Does Plain Yogurt Exist?

AND MORE….

We even offer advanced degrees in Théâtre de l’Absurde for those wishing to avoid mainstream society as long as humanly possible while continuing to live in their parents’ basement next to the excruciatingly ancient washing machine that incessantly spits soap bubbles as if it were sentient and determined to undermine your self-respect … as if you had any … which you don’t … which is why you’re studying Absurdism at Buonfiglio University.

So enroll now! Operators are standing by to take your six-question application. (Name? Social Security number? Credit card number? Credit card limit? Gamer username? Gamer password?)* **

*No one with an active (non-suspended) credit card and a credit limit of at least $300.27 will be turned down…. … … unless their gamer username lacks creative flair or their password contains the numbers 1234 in sequential order.

** Even we can only handle so many dullard dumbasses per year.

 

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos/memes are © 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.

Sin título-1   twitter-button   youtubelogo-20120605T021741-6mjjuus

I GOT NUTHIN’

(And Neither Do You)

Screenshot 2015-06-10 17.02.14

by Joe Buonfiglio

In today’s fast-paced hustle-n-bustle beat-the-clock can’t-think-of-any-more clichés for needing more hours in the day — Wait. That’s one right there. — lifestyle madness, there is just not enough time to get it all done.  This goes doubly so for writers and their deadlines.

Writers need deadlines.  I get it.  Without deadlines — be they thrust upon us or self-imposed — we’d all tinker and tweak a piece forever; no literary work would ever make it to the point of actualization upon the printed or digital page.  Hell, the Bible would never have made it beyond “In the beginning,” for Christ’s sake.  Therefore, my compatriots within the literary realm, my beloved fellow littérateurs, my lesson for the day is encapsulated in the title…

HOW TO WRITE ON THE FLY

“How to Write on the Fly” is a necessary skillset for the writer on the go.  Now granted, it always turns out to be crap.  That’s just a reality when you write on the fly.  You may hope it will be something sweet, but it always ends up being a steaming pile of shit.  Just deal with it.

Besides avoidance of the flapping wings, the miniaturization process itself is also a hurdle most difficult to get over.  However, if one is to be able to “write on the fly,” it is unconditionally compulsory in order to—

That’s it.  That’s the moment when it hit me like an IBM Selectric typewriter flung into a wormhole in 1982 and belched out the other end into my face today as I polished off my last bottle of Jameson Irish…

I GOT NUTHIN’!

Yup, that’s all there is.  I’m officially out of ideas.  It’s not so much writer’s block, per se.  I just realized that I must have woke up this morning without one more thing in my brain to put down on paper ever again.  In other words, nuthin’.  Not one damn thing, not one freakin’ good idea is left.  Other than maintaining my autonomic functions and this inescapable desire I’ve had since childhood to see what humping an overripe mango might feel like, there is absolutely nothing left rolling down the waterslide attraction that collectively are my synapses.

Gone.

All gone.

I mean, oh my God.  What the holy flying fuck was I doing?  Had I actually made a conscious decision to venture down the comedic path of seeing how long my readers would go before they realized that the fly to which I referred was not meant as the act of hurrying about — being “on the fly” — but rather quite literally to pursue one’s craft on the back of the reviled and unhygienic insect?

Was it absurdist?  Absolutely.

But humor?  Humor?!

Like I said, “I got nuthin’.”  However, neither do you.

That’s right, my condescending little friend.  Don’t sit there so smugly looking down your nose at me with pity.  You’re in the same metaphysically challenged boat that I am.

Why?

Because in both our defenses, we don’t really exist.  Nothing does.  Not you.  Not me.  Not my ideas.  Not your incontinent beagle you don’t have the heart to put to sleep even though he shits under your immaculately decorated Frasier fir every Christmas.  Not the hottie your significant other has been banging every Thursday night under the guise of being in a “running group” in order to make it perfectly logical to come home drenched in sweat and needing to hop right in the shower.  Not professional competitive hot dog-eating.  Not muscle cars, muscle men, mussels in a nice white wine garlic sauce.  Not the Great Lakes, the Los Angeles Lakers or even Ricki Lake.  Not fudge, caramel apples or saltwater taffy (even though everyone wishes saltwater taffy wasn’t a real thing, anyway).  Not Uncle Louie’s incessant wet-farting at the annual Fourth of July family reunion.  (For the love of God, keep him away from the watermelon).   Not late-night porn … midday porn … breakfast porn.  NONE OF IT!  None of it exists.

Reality has taken the last train out of the universe and didn’t even give us a halfhearted kiss on the station platform before gleefully boarding.

Don’t concern yourself, though; we are guilt-free.  My lack of ideas and our mutual lack of walking through a real world is not our fault.  Quantum physicists are to blame!

You see, these egghead sons-a bitches thought it would be a good idea to conduct what is called the “Double Slit Experiment.”  I won’t bother you with the details.  You can Google it as easily as I did.  The bottom line is that when matter (particularly in motion) is measured, observed, watched, it changes how it acts.  That once only philosophical flapdoodle goes even further.  It doesn’t even exist until it is measured!

There is no reality until we consciously watch and observe it.  In other words, esse is percipi: to be is to be perceived.  It would seem that science has finally proven Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley right.  The table and chairs don’t exist without first being perceived; such items are only ideas in the minds of the perceivers.  Thus, there is no such thing as “reality.”

Fucking Irish.

So, the bottom line is that it’s not my fault.  I’m sorry, but my ideas for a blog-post don’t really exist.  My blog doesn’t really exist.  I don’t really exist in order to write them.  Hell, you don’t really exist in order to read them!

Existential crisis complete.

Hey, wait a minute.  Back up there, chief.  If this blog doesn’t really exist, what are you reading right now?

Mind.  Blown.

Well, I’ll tell you this much.  If that loaded pizza and rocky road ice cream doesn’t really exist, my diet can get fucked.  Time to eat ’til I pop like a tick.  Tonight, I’m having a Surrealist’s banquet!

 

© 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

Sin título-1              twitter-button

POT PIE FOR BREAKFAST

Pot Pie

by Joe Buonfiglio

“In a mad world, only the mad are sane.”

This quotation is attributed to Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter and editor Akira Kurosawa (March 23, 1910 – September 6, 1998).  Responsible for such influential and classic films as Seven Samurai (1954), Yojimbo (1961) and the Macbeth-based Throne of Blood (1957), Kurosawa is regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in cinematic history.  Yet this quote does not reflect his impressive, grand achievements, but is a distillation of a broad concept into absolute simplicity.  This modest quote has always given me comfort.

It’s as if watching a Slinky mechanically “walk” end-over-end down a flight of stairs, and then inexplicably stop.  After your initial knee-jerk reaction of agitation, an “aaaaaaaaah” moment overcomes you.  Yes.  Yes.  This is okay.  The universe may not like this, but it will accept it.  I don’t have a plastic bag in which to remove my dog’s surprise indiscretion on the mayor’s front lawn, officer, but I’m sure nature will let it slide this time.

I have always derived a relative composure — experienced calm’s embrace — from Kurosawa’s words.  They made me realize that you are understood; you can be forgiven for your forays into irrationality.  Yes, sure, you just emitted an ill-timed squeaker-fart at the precise instant of momentary silence when the tenor finishes belting out the dramatic finish to La donna è mobile, the Duke’s aria in Verdi’s Rigoletto.   And yes, the queen was in her loge right at the time.  And yes, unfortunately, that private theatre box exclusively reserved for Her Majesty was located directly above you.  Nevertheless, while your date stormed out bursting into tears of shame and humiliation, the universe understands.  The protocol forces of the cosmos will adapt to your ribald interruption of the natural order of things.  Though polite society will try to string you up by your genitalia, the cosmos will find a home for you (albeit in the dark recesses of its spiritual anus).

Just because you are unique, does not mean you are insane.

Just because you walk to the beat of a different drummer, does not mean you dance to the music of a serial killers’ ice cream truck.

Just because you can’t resist a good preshow all-you-can-eat taco buffet at your favorite whiskey bar, does not mean public flatulence should be declared your modus operandi.

Okay, maybe that last one is a bad example.

The fact of the antimatter is that you should chill about all this; the Deep Black of Forever gets it.

“What the fuck?!” you say.

I retort “Fuck the what.  And the who.  And the where, how and why.”

If you were to speak with those who know me at this moment, they’d probably tell you that I’m just fucking with you.  It’s kind of like when Jack Nicholson’s Joker in the 1989 Batman film says, “You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”  There’s no reason behind it; no logic in play.  He’s just messin’ with your head.

That’s what people who know me will tell you I’m doing: just fucking with you.

However, those who know me best will tell you it’s more than that.  As an Absurdist purist — as a believer in the randomly chaotic nature of the universe — it is my futile attempt within the senseless mayhem of existence to reach out and grasp what might be just one, lone thread of order swaying in the wind of collective psychosis.

The world is mad.

Only the mad are sane.

Order.

I can live with that.

And then it happened.  My semblance of order within my fragile sensibilities, teetering on the brink of the cerebral forever lost, came crashing down all thanks to my beloved progeny and dinner leftovers.

See, last night my family had pot pie for dinner.  And while not the most wholesome of comestible options from a nutritional standpoint, it occasionally serves a necessary purpose within the ridiculous realm of scheduling two working adults and one active teenager.  This in and of itself is not what led me to my existential crisis, however.  It was this sentence uttered by my son the next morning that sent me into a philosophic plunge:

“Dad, can I have the leftover pot pie for breakfast?”

What … the … FUCK?!  Pot pie?  Pot pie for breakfast?  Did I awake into some alternate reality that is the stuff of science fiction?

“No,” I calmly replied even though my soul was screaming in abject turmoil.

“Why not?” he queried with a perplexed expression on his face that masked he had immediately and cleverly recognized a weakness in my resolve.

“Because, well, because you just can’t, that’s why?”

“That’s not an answer.”

“You can have cereal or an English muffin or eggs or a bagel or pancakes—  Hell, I’ll even make you French toast.  Those are breakfast things.  You eat breakfast things for breakfast.  The leftover pot pie you can have for lunch if you want.”

“Dad, I don’t understand why it makes a difference if I eat the pot pie for lunch or have it for breakfa—”

“Look, goddamn it, I can’t in good conscience give you pot pie for breakfast, okay?!  What kind of parent would that make me?  Hey, we had sushi a couple nights ago.  Maybe you’d like it if I gave you the leftover sushi for breakfast, huh?  How about that?  You want the freakin’ sushi for breakfast?!”

“Yeah.  That’d be great.  Thanks.”

As my boy walked off to engage in his ritualistic “morning constitutional” activity, I collapsed to the kitchen floor and started mumbling something about wanting the ghost of Kurosawa to kiss my ass right about now.

Perhaps Absurdism does not go far enough.  I may have to consider that the Nihilists have it right.

Madness or sanity?  I haven’t the slightest idea, Mr. Kurosawa.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have tickets to the opera tonight; these pot pies and tacos aren’t gonna eat themselves.

 

 © 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

 Sin título-1      twitter-button