James Franco to adapt Bukowski’s ‘Ham On Rye’

Huzzah! Can it be that two of my personal favourite artists are coming together for an adaption of the classic and underrated novel, ‘Ham On Rye’. Apparently so! The ridiculously handsome actor/director/producer/sex God, James Franco is rumoured to be in the process of adapting my idol and notoriously controversial writer Henry Charles Bukowski’s aforementioned novel, ‘Ham On Rye’. Franco will work alongside his up and coming younger brother actor Dave (Scrubs) in the adaption.

Dave also counts Bukowski as one of his favourite writers and quoted in a recent interview;

“One of my favorite books of all time is ‘Ham On Rye’ by Charles Bukowski, which my brother and I are actually adapting right now. It’s like a dream come true. Hopefully that will amount to something. Definitely with Bukowski’s material, it’s pretty dark, and it’s not going to be a movie that appeals to wide audiences, but we love it so much.”.

Bukowski was born on August 16, 1920 and passed away in 1994 afer a lengthy battle with leukemia. I admire his gritty genre of writing labelled dirty realism. He was a German born American poet, novelist and short story writer. ‘Ham On Rye’ is loosely based on Bukowski’s younger years and coming of age under his literary alter-ego, Henry Chinaski during the Great Depression in Los Angeles. Bukowski is revered for his natural ability to write brashly about the human condition, ordinary people’s struggles and his complex love of alcohol and womanising. His unmatched dark humour and witty satire about the status quo and the American dream still has relevance in contemporary society highlighting the genius behind the simplicity in his writing. A truly gifted social renegade and poet who is not celebrated enough for his talent and extensive work. I hope the rumoured ‘Ham On Rye’ adaption goes into production and believe the talented Francos will do Bukowski’s literary legacy justice.

I shall leave you pondering on some Bukowski wit and wisdom

“An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”

“You have to die a few times before you can really live.”

“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”

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‘Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains’

A look on-line at the papers from home today in work caused me to pause for thought on the idea and burning issue of sovereignty in modern democratic societies, especially considering the continuing crisis of Ireland and the EU at large. Iconic philosopher and writer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the man who sparked the French Revolution’s birthday has provided a though-provoking and relevent article from Vincent Brown, the ever out-spoken, political assassin, journalist and broadcaster. The key premise Vincent highlights;

“The idea of the people being sovereign is part of our political jargon, but Rousseau had a far stronger notion of what was meant by “a sovereign people” than is nowadays commonly allowed. It was that the people themselves decide on all the fundamental issues of their society, deciding on the basis of the common good, not on the basis of their factional self-interests. He regarded representative democracy, the version of democracy we have here and that prevails throughout most of the world that is called democratic, as a corruption of the people’s sovereignty for it removed them from decision-making, except at periodic elections when they were momentarily free, and thereafter, once more, mere subjects.”

Leaving Ireland a year and a half ago I was so tired of his political talk-show incessantly beaming out negativity to the nation on the economic turmoil. However this article actually highlights some interesting ideals, reference, critique and connections as to why things have become what they’ve become.

Give a glance and make up your own minds.

– Grace, Melbourne

Periodic elections a corruption of people’s sovereignty.