Posts Tagged: Charles Kruger

The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #25: Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, a Success?

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In America, everybody, it seems, wants to be a success. Me, too.

Recently, I confided to a family member that sometimes, in moments of deep despair (fortunately they are fairly uncommon), I find myself contemplating suicide as the most sensible retirement plan.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #24: Must I Be an Angry April Fool?

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When I attended professional acting school back in 1986 (the MFA program at UC Irvine, I proudly remark), I had a teacher ask me once, “Charles, are you able to feel any authentic emotion other than anger?” I paused for a bit and considered the question, before answering, truthfully, “No.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #22: Poverty Is Never “Genteel”

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Poverty may have been beloved of St. Francis, but not so much by the rest of us. Nobody likes to look at advanced poverty, toothless and drooling, clutching the hands of children who have running sores on their filthy legs. Poverty is a crackhead who pisses on the pavement, and sleeps with fleas and stray dogs.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #21: Not Yesterday’s Demonstrations

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1972: War was waging in Vietnam and kids were coming home in boxes. Hippes and yippies went clean for Gene McCarthy, but George McGovern won the democratic nomination. Tricky Dick Nixon was the one for the Republicans and the so-called Silent Majority.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #19: Are YOU My Hero?

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This week, I’ve found myself thinking about heroism. What makes a hero, anyway? Who should we choose for our heroes?

When I was around fourteen, I developed a hero crush on W. C. Fields, of all people! I was delighted when I read about the time he and John Barrymore gave a ride to a hitchhiker on a country road, and then threw the poor man out of the moving car when he began preaching at them for being drunk.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #18: Keeping Our Balance in a Time of Turkeys

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Yesterday, walking home along the wet pavement twinkling under the sunshine, I spied a flock of no fewer than twenty-four wild turkeys parading down the street, mostly chicks.

I don’t see them today, as the rain has returned, and all is gray.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #17: Oppression, Ownership, Turkeys, and Roses

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Politics has become a bloated balloon on the horizon of our days, marked with the face of the Pr*sident, grinning under his orange corona like a demented sun-god, a raucous Ra. It burns.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #16: The Game Is On

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Today is the day that Pr*sident Trump shut down the American borders to refugees, green card holders, and non-citizens with paid for and improved visas—if they were from certain “Muslim majority” countries… It is also the day his administration made it clear that, going forward, “Christian” refugees would be given priority over all other refugees—and then denied the existence of a religious test.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #15: Contemplation + Politics

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Thomas Merton, the most prominent Catholic monk of the 20th century, famously left the world to live a cloistered life at the Cistercian Abbey of Gethsemini in rural Kentucky, taking vows and becoming Father Louis. As many will recall, he described his journey to the cloister in one of the century’s masterpieces of memoir, The Seven Story Mountain.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #14: Altered States?

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In my last column, the Muse inspired me to write about dreams. And since then, I’ve been thinking about other types of altered consciousness. As a guy who often hangs out with Catholic monks, and who practices “Will Rogers spirituality”—that is, I’ve never met a religion I didn’t like—I take an interest in miracles and myths of all sorts, and the season of Christmas, Chanukah, and the winter solstice (the pagan Yule), which all speak of the miraculous arrival of light in darkness, is a good time to reflect on such matters.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #13: Such Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

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Do you keep a dream journal?

I started as a teenager, and continue on-and-off.

Sometimes I can’t tell the difference between a dream and a memory. Does this happen to you? Or am I confessing to something strange and pathological? Where is the line between pathology and creativity?

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Notable San Francisco: 12/28–1/3

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notable-san-francisco

Wednesday 12/28: Back in the day, when Isaac Fitzgerald used to host the monthly Rumpus variety show at The Make-Out Room, comedian Nato Green was a frequent and popular guest. Tonight, he’ll be headlining at The Punch Line. That’s a good bet for a good time.

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Notable San Francisco: 12/21–12/27

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notable-san-francisco

It is year’s end and a time for holidays.

Some folks will leave town, some will stay home and drink egg nog while others abstain, some will exchange gifts, some will get happy, some will get depressed. But few will schedule or attend literary events in the SF Bay Area, and we have little to list until after 12/25 has passed, and then, but one event.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #12: What Is Safety?

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Oh better far to live and die
Under the brave black flag I fly
Then play a sanctimonious part
With a pirate head and a pirate heart!!

The Pirates of Penzance

At fifteen years old, I was a runaway. It was perhaps 9:30 at night, my first night out, having hitchhiked a couple of hundred miles north towards Tallahassee, when they rushed me to the emergency room from the teen center where I’d gone to look for a crash pad.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #11: Politics, Madness, and Sanity

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My family was always political, but I have a love/hate relationship with politics.

Today, I can feel the country swinging towards madness. And make no mistake, a country can go mad. It is familiar territory, exciting and threatening, seductive and fearful.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #10: Art Lives!

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Sunday: I work through the voting guide, propositions, and candidates, making my decisions. My partner, Argyle C, Klopnick (ACK!), is sure, now, that Hillary’s victory is certain. I ‘m not yet a believer. I think Trump is electable.

Monday: I’m catching the excitement.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #9: Punk the Deadline!

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Oh my god, I’m stuck again. A truck in the muck. A cat up a tree. An explorer in quicksand. Winnie the Pooh in the door of Rabbit’s house. Trying to birth a column and needing a Caesarean. Is there any horror worse for a writer than a deadline?

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #8: Dappled Things

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The small town where I have recently landed is ugly and beautiful. Walk down the main street: there are a few old gems like an ancient and glorious Masonic Hall, now home to evangelicals. Several boarded up stores, ugly as can be, and some small town cafes: one for Giants fans, specializing in breakfast, pancakes and pennants all over the joint, one Mexican taqueria, one family pasta palace with red and white checkered table cloths and cheap chianti, and an old-school diner for burgers.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #7: The Art of the Accidental Selfie

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One recent hot weekday afternoon, I told my partner—the guy who created the “Punk the Muse” logo and draws its cartoons—that I wanted to get out and about. We’d been sitting at home too long. Moon’s Handbook for Northern California revealed an abandoned mine, with a ghost town and an old Western cemetery, a half hour’s drive from our home by the Carquinez Bridge.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #5: Vulcan Mind Meld, Anyone?

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Your Storming Bohemian is emphatically a child of the early 70s. At fifteen, I lived in a hippie commune under the guidance of an eccentric psychologist, later diagnosed as bipolar. All I knew is, he was hella fun. Dr. Bill wasn’t the sort to make a fuss about school attendance, regular hours, pot smoking, or style of dress (or undress, for that matter).

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #4: Keep the Change

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This week, your Storming Bohemian has moved to a new house. Again. And so some reflections:

There is much to be said for stability, I know. The steady quiet observation of the likes of Annie Dillard or Henry Thoreau evokes my admiration.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #3: Clocking The Muse

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It’s time to write a column, paint a picture, compose a song, draft an outline: whatever. Creative expression doesn’t happen by itself, we have to work at it. You know where this is going, don’t you?

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #2: In a World Gone Tilt-a-Whirl

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Society is falling apart, the daily news seems to say. Living in interesting times, it is all too easy to fear that our work is meaningless.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #1: Are We Amused Yet?

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Here is something I’ve always believed: Just knowing I am an artist, asserting that identity, is more important than what I produce. It is a victory in itself.

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