SIDESHOW OF THE (Absurdly) DAMNED!

by Joe Buonfiglio

STEP RIGHT UP, ONE AND ALL. WELCOME TO UNCLE JOE’S CARNIVAL MIDWAY FREAK SHOW! Be astounded by all our delightfully horrific oddities and aberrations of God’s plan as they place before you the absurd and the bizarre for your amazement, your amusement and your bemusement by things most unnatural.

Behold and witness the wonder of the man who can make you cry (and bend forks) with the power of his ass.

See the toddler who can turn a potato into French fries with nothing more than his tantrums.

Witness the 500-pound woman who can shop a 24-hour Walmart donning nothing more than her inadequately sized undergarments soiled to the point of modern art.

Marvel at the orange man; able to dominate an entire country with nothing more than the sheer bellicosity of his narcissism.

Cringe at the soft-serve ice cream cone that can recite the entire Bible before melting into a puddle of its own sugary self-righteousness.

Be amazed by the pile of dog poo with its doctorate in advanced nanotechnology as it redefines the Theory of Relativity’s parameters all within the confines of city and county littering ordinances.

Explore the magnificence of the incredible shrinking newspaper industry.

Shiver to be in the presence of the snow cone of doom as it lays to waste the hope and promise of modern dentistry.

Quake at the sight of the House of Wax Condoms.

Laugh as the senior senators from each state fling their own feces at each other whilst riding seatless tricycles wearing nothing but diapers and “Make America Great Again” ball caps.

… and, of course, there is the obligatory dancing bear.

IT’S ALL FOR YOU HERE AT UNCLE JOE’S SIDESHOW OF THE (absurdly) DAMNED! All for the low cost of one Bitcoin bathed in the broken dreams of the forgotten man…

… and a day-old Dunkin’ jelly-filled.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

 

I CAN’T TOP THAT!

EVERY ABSURDIST HAS HIS LIMITS

by Joe Buonfiglio

Russian espionage and collusion. Deep State leaking. Sexual deviancy. Special Counsel. Nuclear saber-rattling. Violent protests. White supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan….

NAZIS, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!

All dancing in the Tiki torchlight with the freakin’ President of the United States?

Are you fucking kidding me?!

How the hell is a humble Literary Absurdist such as myself supposed to compete with that insanity, that level of absolute and all-consuming absurdity?

The answer is simple: I CAN’T! I just cannot. It isn’t possible. And so, I won’t even try. Until the denizens of these United States decide to jump off the Trump Train to Crazytown, I’m on sabbatical. Because when politicians and the “common man” start getting better at the meaningless and random nature of existence than the professional and practiced artisans in the field of the philosophically bizarre, it’s time to hang up one’s mantle of farcicality.

Yes, my compatriots in the realm of surreality, until that time when I can resume my place as an apprentice of the great Albert Camus and can once more embrace the absurd essence of the human condition in a manner befitting a practitioner of the existentially ludicrous, I leave you with this:

I’m afraid that’s all I can muster these days.

Besides.

Everybody loves The Stooges.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

 

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.

JOE’S BAR (blog)

by Joe Buonfiglio

My Potpourri of the Damned blog started off as a simple idea. It was to be a weird forum for releasing upon an unsuspecting world the Absurdist tidbits of darkly humorous mayhem theretofore buried in the deeper recesses of my warped little brain; somewhere between a lark and a malady.

AND THEN ALONG COMES DONALD TRUMP.

This con-man simpleton overtakes my soul generating a combination of bemusement, fear and intense anger driven to the point of seditious hatred. Watching this orange-tinged putz and his idiot-convention entourage systematically clog America’s collective toilet by shoving all that’s good about this country down it with the plunger of his narcissistic Trumpian ego sends my fingers tap-tap-tapping furiously upon my computer’s keyboard to the point of rendering the action on the typewriter-esque buttons nearly unresponsive.

TRANSLATION: Our dumbass POTUS makes me more than a little crazy.

Next thing I know, I’ve endangered the absurdist-humor brand of my Potpourri of the Damned blog with numerous anti-45 rants.

In my last blog-post, I teased that this — my JoeBuonfiglio.com (AKA LiteraryAbsurdist.com) site — would be evolving into “Something absurdly wonderful. Something wonderfully absurd,” and Potpourri of the Damned will MOST DEFINITELY be a part of that. However, if my head is not to blow clean off my shoulders in a blood-pressure rush that could launch a ballistic missile armed with the most nuclear of warheads, I will still need to find a home, some suitable outlet, for all my anti-Trump, anti-societal-injustice, anti-anything-that-really-pisses-me-off-to-the-point-of-vigilantism rants. And so, welcome to…

When introduced into the new website coming within the next month or two, Joe’s Bar Blog will be the new home for me to … well … get things off my chest.

Joe’s Bar Blog will be written while I’m sitting at my bar (Yes, at the time of this writing, I own a bar.), and will feature whatever beverage I am imbibing at the time of the given literary endeavor.  For example, at this moment, I am sipping upon the cool libation that is a 12-year-old special reserve Jameson Irish whiskey on the rocks. Additionally, while Potpourri of the Damned comes out (for the most part) every Wednesday, Joe’s Bar Blog is written “as the spirit … and spirits … move me.” This creative process will most likely lead to such commentary as:

Hey, Alt-Right. Looks like your boy Trump is kicking you and Bannon to the back of the bus.

How’s it feel?

Ironic?

And…

You can’t even organize an Easter egg event? How the hell are you going to organize foreign policy … or a war?

And…

What are Trump’s plans for America? Follow the money. Slash the State Department’s budget; raise the military’s by billions.

Any questions?

As well as…

Listening to Donald Trump speak, I now realize that George W. Bush was relatively an outright intellectual.

And…

It’s 12:24 a.m.

… and Trump just dropped in to see what condition my sedition was in.

Not to mention…

The Right is devolving into Theatre of the Absurd. They believe in the Rapture, so get on with it; God can have them all ASAP.

Or…

Donald Trump criticizing Chuck Todd’s appearance is like the Alien calling the Predator ugly.

And…

“Remnants of treasonous criminality” refers to:
A) Trump
B) His administration
C) Me on the toilet the morning after 20-alarm chili night

Or perhaps even…

AGENT: “You’re ruining your writer’s brand with all this Trump shit!”

PEER: “Wait. You have an agent?”

WIFE: “Wait. You’re a writer?”

So keep your eye out for Joe’s Bar Blog in the new JoeBuonfiglio.com that is on its way to this space. As Potpourri of the Damned again reverts back to content designed to engulf your grey cells in that which is madly absurd, Joe’s Bar Blog will delve into that which will make you absurdly mad.

What’s your pleasure?

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

All photos, art and logos are © 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.

In Support of the MARCH FOR SCIENCE

by Joe Buonfiglio

I’m going to be taking a couple weeks off from my absurdist blog, Potpourri of the Damned, to work on my post-Apocalyptic absurdist book (in which I am woefully behind at the moment). However, as I go on my blog-posting hiatus in order to dive into this literary endeavor, I’d like to leave you with this thought:

After reading an Associated Press report that the Arctic sea ice has hit a record low for winter (http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Even-during-winter-Arctic-sets-a-record-for-low-sea-ice-level/id-4b7f43b7a1624db8b13738c8b3d5383b), I want to continue enthusiastically rallying support for the April 22 Earth DayMarch for Science 2017.” In a nutshell, Global Climate Change science deniers such as Donald Trump and his ilk must be stopped before they send humanity beyond the point of no return.

Here are some links where you can learn more:

https://www.marchforscience.com/ to find a march in your local area and sign up for updates.

Go to Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ with the hashtag #marchforscience.

Follow great advocates of science such as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on Twitter at @neiltyson and Bill Nye “the science guy” on Twitter at @BillNye.

As for me, I’ll be looking for a march in my local area, as well as getting the word out via various creative projects. For example, I’m a lyricist for a wonderful UK band called Unintentional Martyrs™ featuring musician, composer and performer, Paul Austin Kelly. Here’s the group’s song Science Denier now posted on my YouTube channel:

So join the pro-science movement; let Trump and all the science deniers out there know that science is NOT just some political pawn the denial of which to be used to pander to an ignorant base. This is critically important work on which the survival of the human race itself is dependent.

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All music and music videos © 2016-2017 Unintentional Martyrs™ with All Rights Reserved.

A Day Without Absurdist Humor

One Man’s (Lame?) Attempt to Support Women
YOU GO, SISTERS!

by Joe Buonfiglio

At the time of this writing, it is International Women’s Day 2017. And in recognition of the coinciding strikes, walkouts, closings and Anti-Trump demonstrations labelled “A Day Without a Woman,” in solidarity with the sisters-in-womanhood protests here in America, I will be shutting down my Absurdist-humor literary efforts normally scheduled for release on Wednesdays. Thus, there will be no Potpourri of the Damned blog-post being released today or this week in an effort to show my support.

You know.

Other than this Potpourri of the Damned blog-post announcing that there will be no Potpourri of the Damned blog-post being … well … posted.

Wait.

Did I just inadvertently release an Absurdist-humor blog-post by announcing I would not be releasing an Absurdist-humor blog-post?

Damn.

Anyway, no more writing today.

Now, am I truly being socially conscious or just a lazy sack of shit? I guess that depends on which “fact vs. alternative fact” side of the political spectrum you call home. Either way, you go, sisters! Give ’em hell!

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

Padded Room for One, Please

DONALD TRUMP AND HIS SUPPORTERS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY … LITERALLY!

by Joe Buonfiglio

It is with sincere regret that I must inform my friends, family and loved ones et al that I have officially crossed the line from being merely one who sounds as if a madman to an actual card-carrying member of the Padded Room Society … and Donald J. Trump is to blame!

Mostly.

I don’t know how it is that I could have let it get this far. I was always a Liberal-leaning moderate Independent; at least for most of the time since the 1980s when I was making my way through the world as a freelance journalist. Then American politics changed so dramatically, it thus rendered me unto the creature before you now, the foaming-at-the-mouth rabid Far Left insurrectionary banging away at his computer keyboard with literarily seditious intent. I have just lost all perspective; simply put, I have lost my mind. It has gone so far for me that I will no longer even entertain a wisp of a thought of momentarily considering the viewpoints of political adversaries; finding said perspectives so overwhelmingly repugnant. The rise of the racist, homophobic, misogynistic Alt-Right has me spending m kid’s college fund money in order to buy mass quantities of champagne to chill at the ready in the hopes that Trump’s ties to Russia are exposed and Putin has to launch his new “Really Smart Bomb” that only destroys the Trump Administration, the Tea Party, and the white supremacist Alt-Right Ultra-Conservatives, but leaves the rest of us alive to celebrate in a South Dakota that Liberals have turned into the world’s largest beer garden!

Yes, I know that’s a massive run-on sentence; fuck you. Lunatics tend to think in a stream of consciousness, so get used to it.

… or is that Theatre of the Absurd?

FUCK YOU!

See what I mean.

It wasn’t always like this. The fairly consistent sway of the political pendulum in the U.S. saw the governmental volleyball go back and forth between Democrats and Republicans in a manner that was a testament to the world’s most amazing form of self-governance. Americans would almost systematically grow their ire toward whatever party was in power as they gradually fucked things up over time, and then vote to give the other side the same opportunity to build and build and build their case until it fucked things up as well, and the pendulum would swing back again.

Beautiful.

Perfect.

It was a system of gauging comfort levels with incompetency and keeping a balance between Conservative and Liberal, Republican and Democrat that worked wonderfully for decade after decade, century after century.

And then three events occurred that went and fucked everything up, sending me — and America — down the path to madness:

FOX NEWS, CITIZENS UNITED v. FEC, and the election of DONALD J. TRUMP as President of the United States of America.

I’ll never forget the day I was finishing up a news story in the writers’ room of an independent newspaper in Tampa, Florida, when the publisher came in all excited about a conference he had just returned from on “The Future of Journalism.” Seems that the journalistic powers that be were all buzzing about what was then being termed “public journalism” or “advocacy journalism.” It was journalism with a point of view, journalism with a bias, the unholy meld of journalism and public relations … aka propaganda.

Some saw it as an opportunity to not just report, but make a difference. I saw it as the end of the press and its watchdog function. So, I immediately switched from investigative journalism to commentary, commentary to fiction, and ultimately from fiction to Absurdist-humor dark fiction. Because as the Republican-Right promotional machine known as Fox “News” burst onto the scene, it became obvious that the difference between news and entertainment would become negligible at best, so I may as well try to go where the money was.

Watching people gobble up Fox News as if it was “real” journalism, watching “real” news outlets being forced to do the same damn thing on whatever side of the political spectrum they now aligned in order to survive the Fox onslaught, and watching the press itself become an absolute reviled joke began my slide down the slippery slope of insanity. As the American people stopped wanting the press to protect them from abuse by the powerful and the corrupt, stopped wanting the press to inform them so that they could make critical decisions affecting their lives, and merely wanted the “news” to reinforce that which they already believed, I began to descend into madness.

Next, the United States Supreme Court sealed the fate of my mental instability with its decision in the Citizens United case. By the Court’s decision to toss out the ban on corporations making independent expenditures toward and financing the communications of elections, it signaled the death knell of American democracy. It made it so that corporations were to be considered “people, too,” but without any limits on the sums they could spend on elections. In essence, corporations and the billionaires that own them can buy elections. They could buy the country for their own, personal plaything. And somehow, SOMEHOW, the trailer park set and their working-poor comrades think this is a good thing for them.

What. The ever-lovin’. Fuck.

Now, the stage is set. Riding the Tea Party’s coattails, Mr. Donald J. Trump rallies his Army of the Angry Whites, leading the “whitelash” Charge of the White Brigade all the way into the Oval Office with the most hateful “Rise of the Fourth Reich” approach this country has ever seen. The more racist he is, the more they love him. The more homophobic and misogynistic he is, the more they cheer. The more he and his toady Steve Bannon step on the Constitution, the happier his Alt-Right Asylum erupts with glee. He and his All-American Axis of Evil will control all branches of government soon. And even though der Trumpenführer lost the election by nearly 3 million votes, the faulty Electoral College system gave him the White House where he and the no-integrity Republicans continue roll over the— GODDAMN FUCKING RACIST CON MAN BULLSHITTING FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU, YOU PIG-FUCKING SONS A BITCH—

See what I mean? I’m totally off the rails. My trolley has not only slid off the tracks, it’s plummeting down the hillside in a fireball of horror.

There’s no turning back for me. So, just let me know when you’re all ready to start the revolution to overthrow tyranny; I’m sharpening my pitchfork as soon as I’ve finished posted this. See, it’s important to remember that in these times of—

Yes, doctor, I took my pills. No, I’m not hiding them under my tongue again. No. No, stop. STOP! NOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahaaaaaa….….

 

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

JOEKU #2

Haiku with an Absurdist Twist

JOEKU #2: “Tricky Dick is Laughing”

by Joe Buonfiglio

Looking for Haiku with an Absurdist kick?  Welcome to “Joeku™.”  Episode #2, “Tricky Dick is Laughing,” features der Trumpenführer, so … … … enjoy?

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

JOEKU

Haiku with an Absurdist Twist

JOEKU #1: “The Donald’s Big Day”

by Joe Buonfiglio

Looking for Haiku with an Absurdist kick?  Welcome to “Joeku.”  This inaugural episode features … well … an inauguration!  Enjoy my first Joeku, “”The Donald’s Big Day.”

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

“But I’m Trying, Ringo.”

When Did I Become Such a Mean Son of a Bitch?

by Joe Buonfiglio

“You really need to be a nicer person in 2017, Joe.” These words came across my phone’s speaker from one of my brothers today. “You’re way too angry.”

A scant few days earlier, my own beloved wife said, “Just give them the facts and let those facts speak for themselves. You can’t go around calling all of our Trump-supporting family and friends ‘Fascists’ and ‘dumbasses’ just because they voted for Trump.”

Can’t I?

If I see Trump as much of a danger as Hitler and the Republicans as responsible for him as the Nazi Party was for Adolf in the ’30s and ’40s, don’t I have a responsibility to rail against them? Isn’t my anger justified?

So after blowing up with a few choice FUCK-based expletive interjections along the way that found me sleeping on the couch (yet again), I calmed my rather rotund ass down and pondered her point.

Had my “When they go low, I’m going lower!” approach rendered myself an ineffectual debater? Was I merely preaching to the proverbial choir; that may make me feel better, but it doesn’t really forward my cause by changing the “hearts and minds” of rural white America in the “flyover states.” Am I being as dismissive of their concerns as they are of the (majority of) Americans who voted against Trump?

Yes. I believe I am.

I do need to be a “kinder, gentler” Joe in 2017. I need to persuade my Trumpian opponents with cogent, alternative points that appeal to their intelligence, not attack the combed-over corporeal representation of their concerns in a contemptuous manner.

I need to be … well …. NICER.

There are a lot of angry white men out there. I should understand that. I’m an angry white man. I might just be the ANGRIEST white man of all. Although, I was smart enough to see through a P. T. Barnum con man like Donald Trump and not vote for the fucking sleaze-bucket! What kind of fucking moron do you have to be to be taken in by this fucking piece of shit?! Wasn’t the fact that every white supremacist group supported the same candidate as you any kind of a fucking red flag that maybe you were backing a fucking bigoted Fascist?! Or is that just the kind of wink-and-a-nod dog whistle you were looking for to join the other crackers in their Army of the Dumbasses’ coalition to bring American democracy to its knees in an all-out war against decency, you fucking—

Sigh.

Yeah.  I know.

Not good.

O-kay. Well, this “nicer” thing is going to be a liiiiiiiiiiittle bit harder than I thought. But to quote Samuel L. Motherfucker Jackson in Pulp Fiction, “But I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.”

 

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