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It was in Halsey, Brooklyn when I re-embraced my heterosexual ardor on the acclaimed, alcoholic poet Charles Bukowski, over some

double bass and ironically, cheap wine. To explore more opportunities and wisdom for my art, I impulsively ventured out of Singapore and traveled around the world, finally arriving in New York during the warmest summer since 1950. My Japan base sound artist introduced me to a quirky couple who were landlords by day, creatives by, well day and night. They had an extensive collection of poetry mixtapes which I thought were creepy and awesome at the same time, and I never expected a particular piece to instill such emotion in me as the poem Genius of the Crowd by Charles Bukowski. Perhaps it was because I was in a dramatic state of exasperation and intoxication after the Kraftwerk Retrospective show at MoMA, coupled with the equally dramatic Philip playing the poem in the background, as though she thought silence wasnt good enough for my hysterical outburst. Id hesitantly explain what happened but this article is public. Ive read Genius of the crowd a couple of times before but never paid much attention to it. I always assumed it was about hatred He opens with there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average human being to supply any given army on any given day. Bukowski was known for being a pessimist, a peculiar genius that writes about women, the poor and the depravity of urban climate in LA, but I regard him as one of the most forthright poets of that time. He tells it as it is. In this poem he displays an ominous persona, like a preacher from my bible. Im not a pessimist, you see when I heard those words instead of reading them, I realized it isnt about hatred at all. Its simply about drive, and the catalyst behind this drive that brings the man to his maximum potential of execution. Attempting to analyze Bukowskis exact intentions is introspective. Im no literature student, although I am an artist therefore Im naturally overly expressive and artists usually assume the right that the world is theirs to interpret. Bukowski begins by convincing his audience to beware of the average man, and consequently, pretty much everyone. He talks about the irony of motives and beliefs, the selfishness of man, and how those who preach peace, do not have peace. But the emphasis is on the word

average, another way of trying to describe a man as an empty vessel. Hatred is a primitive skill that every human being has ingrained in them, and is the easiest to achieve. Its always easier to reject thoughts than to accept. Hatred is always more effortless than the contrary the ever-elusive love. When you reach a plateau of emotion, in this case hatred, it only prolongs your hatred even more, unless you change and understand in order to grow. Love is not as immediate as hate and passion. As Bukowski warns the hateful average man they will consider their failure as creators not being able to love fully. But there is genius in their hatred, enough genius in their hatred to kill you; to kill anybody. He means the intensity of hatred fills you up with an almost genius-like drive. It makes us feel strong and creative, but a sort of negative creativity that pulls you down instead of creating something new. Hatred is volatile and can only deliver so much, to actually materialize this creativity, that is another drive altogether. Gotta get rid of the hate. But of course, in order to win hatred, you have to understand it. I understand it. I used to stand at a microscopic stance, pin-pointed every problem I despised like the weather, the space, that cab driver, the competitiveness, the racist cashier chick, the bottles-models dick. Hate is always more exaggerated when youre micromanaging your views. I preach liberty, because even when I chose the most liberal passage of life as an artist, I do not have it. Every corner I turned I felt suppressed. Im proud to be Singaporean but Im hostile towards what Singapore is. Genius of a crowd played in the background; I stepped back a little from myself and took a macroscopic angle. Society I despised our Society here, the lack of culture versus over-materialism to the point where I started using it as an excuse for my non-productivity, like a gas bag of procrastination. And then I asked myself what was Singapores drive? Economic power. Understanding this and accepting this allowed me to end this hatred, and perhaps even ride along. Now, I am able to analyze hatred it because I understood it. I started being better at observation, looking at others to identify what drives them and attempt to predict

their reactions. I am a painter, how do I draw the most of their primary emotion out of them through an artwork applying the theory of Neuroaesthetics. If they are angry, how do I make them reach the maximum amount of anger, if theyre in love, how do I make them feel the maximum amount of love? If they were happy, how do I make them laugh? Here, its easy to lose drive and creativity. Youre left with an empty shell but sometimes you can use that hatred to steer creativity. Hatred is inevitable, but temporary, as long as you decide it to be. As long as you move, as long as you keep moving. Charles Bukowskis Genius of a crowd made me understand that everyone has an extraordinary power, the ability to maximize their emotions to the highest degree and the potential to execute it. This poem persuaded me to invest hatred into something that was worthwhile, productive and liberated me. What drives you? Art is my life. If hatred can make an average man kill, Art can make an average man create.
Genius of the crowd Charles Bukowski