Word Association!!

Mike Bulgakov


Lizzie: What do mean when you say "freedom"?

Jim: There are different kinds of freedom -- there's a lot of misunderstanding ... The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your senses for an act. You give up your ability to feel and in exchange, put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first.

You can take away a man's political freedom and you won't hurt him -- unless you take away his freedom to feel. That can destroy him.

Lizzie: But how can anyone else have the power to take away from your freedom to feel?

Jim: Some people surrender their freedom willingly--but others are are forced to surrender it. Imprisonment begins with birth. Society, parents; they refuse to allow you to keep the freedom you are born with. There are subtle ways to punish a person for daring to feel. You see that everyone around you has destroyed his true feeling nature. You imitate what you see.

Lizzie: Are you saying that we are, in effect, brought up to defend and perpetuate a society that deprives people of the freedom to feel?

Jim: Sure ... teachers,religious leaders-even friends, or so-called friends -- take over where the parents leave off. They demand that we feel the only feelings they want and expect from us. They demand all the time that we preform feelings for them. We're like actors-turned loose in this world to wander in search of a phantom ... endlessly searching for a half-forgotten shadow of our lost reality. When others demand that we become the people they want us to be, they force us to destroy the person we really are. It's a subtle kind of murder ... the most loving parents and relatives commit this murder with smiles on their faces.

Lizzie: Do you think it's possible for an individual to free himself from these repressive forces on his own -- all alone?

Jim: That kind of freedom can't be granted. Nobody can win it for you. You have to do it on your own. If you look to somebody else to do it for you -- somebody outside yourself -- you're still depending on others. You're still vulnerable to those repressive,evil outside forces, too.

Lizzie: But isn't it possible for people who want that freedom to unite -- to combine their strength, maybe just to strengthen each other? It must be possible.

Jim: Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself-and especially to feel. Or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to -- letting a person be what he really is ... Most people love you for who you pretend to be ... To keep their love, you keep pretending -- preforming. You get to love your pretense ... It's true, we're locked in an image, an act -- and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image -- they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forgot all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it -- they feel like you're trying to steal their most precious possession.

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan.
Riders on the storm


Bionic Poster
"Mystery Dance" by Mr. Krall
The late 70s/early 80s era was a great time for Elvis Krall to collaborate with an assortment of artists, including both offering and receiving songs to and from fellow Brits like Rockpile twin geniuses Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe. His Girls Talk tune appears on Edmunds’ Repeat When Necessary album and, of course, one of his biggest hits Peace Love & Understanding was written by his steady producer Lowe.

Strong era!

Mike Bulgakov



"Know me come eat with me," the cookbook's invitation to try out these and other specialties of the Irish kitchen, comes from one of Bloom's (therefore Joyce's) many observations about the role of food in daily life.

"Joyce's concern with the importance of food and drink" with his extraordinary ability to bring characters to life, calling it "a concern that is related to his broader desire to be true to the existing facts of universal human experience as a means by which the unique and the individual may be revealed." He makes his characters' food choices "as individualized as personal appearance or dress, speech patterns, economic status and other social codes."

As Bloom walks the streets searching for the right place to eat lunch, he observes faces and draws conclusions about people based on the theory that "you are what you eat." He might well analyze his own preference for inner organs and dislike of lobster and canned fish but instead, seeing a "squad of constables," he comments on their "foodheated faces ... After their feed with a good load of fat soup under their belts" and concludes, "Policeman's lot is oft a happy one."

Later he muses that the kind of food they eat is what makes literary people poetical, which explains why policemen are what they are. "For example one of those policemen sweating Irish stew into their shirts; you couldn't squeeze a line of poetry out of him. Don't know what poetry is even."

Recipes inspired by James Joyce's Dublin for Bloomsday
Edythe Preet

Throughout Ulysses, Joyce shows how food is part of one’s daily life, future plans and fantasies. It reflects social class and individual temperament and offers opportunities for interaction. It symbolizes sex, and its rituals are interwoven with culture, customs and values.

During lunch, Bloom muses on the food choices of the “Crème de la crème,” contrasting them to the “hermit with a platter of pulse,” and concludes that food, like dress, defines personality: “Know me come eat with me.” (Chapter Eight: Lestrygonians).

With a Gorgonzola cheese and mustard sandwich and a glass of Burgundy in hand, open a copy of Ulysses to the final chapter, Penelope, which Joyce devotes to the feminine regenerative principle of the universe.

In the final pages, Molly Bloom’s famous soliloquy, one long uninterrupted sentence describing her first amorous encounter with Bloom, ends with the word “Yes” – Joyce’s conclusive affirmation of life and the power of love.

The Best 10 Irish Pub near Mira Mesa, San Diego, CA 92126


Bionic Poster
The fry-up aka the king of breakfast after a night of neknominate.
My favorite haunt after bevving up until 4am in Roslyn Village on Long Island was the GOAT Greek diner on Northern Boulevard’s Miracle Mile. Best night ever was about 12 hours before the Oakland/Philadelphia SB when I ran into the owner of my favorite bar in Port Washington, the next town over. He was a die-hard Iggles fan so he was turning the weekend into a boozefest for himself. To insure he made it to kickoff uninjured he had converted a real Iggles game helmet into a party helmet by removing the face mask and adding two drinking bottles complete with hoses.

I’m wasn’t sure if he recognized me in his blotto state but we kinda babbled at each other before I grabbed my seat at another booth with my buds. He stumbled out before us with his gf (sober!) and I waved goodbye.

When I asked for my check, my regular waitress said, “What check?” My bar owner friend had paid her for me! I left her a fat tip on top of what he must have left her.

Mike Bulgakov

Fear and Loathing at the Super Bowl

Grim notes of a failed fan… Mano a mano with the Oakland Raiders… Down and out in Houston… Is pro football over the hump? A vague and vengeful screed on Texas, Jesus and the political realities of the NFL…


“. . .and whosoever was not found written into the book of life was cast into the lake of fire…” — Revelations 20:15

This was the theme of the sermon I delivered off the 20th-floor balcony of the Hyatt Regency in Houston on the morning of Super Bowl VIII. It was just before dawn, as I recall, when the urge to speak came on me. Earlier that day I had foundon the tile floor of the Men’s Room on the hotel mezzaninea religious comic book titled “A Demon’s Nightmare,” and it was from the text of this sleazy tract that I chose the words of my sermon.

The Houston Hyatt Regencylike others designed by architect John Portman in Atlanta and San Franciscois a stack of 1000 rooms, built around a vast lobby at least 30 stories high, with a revolving “spindletop” bar on the roof. The whole center of the building is a tower of acoustical space. You can walk out of any room and look over the indoor balcony (20 floors down, in my case) at the palm-shrouded, wood and naugahyde maze of the bar/lounge on the lobby floor.

Closing time in Houston is 2:00 AM. There are after-hours bars, but the Hyatt Regency is not one of them. Sowhen I was seized by the urge to deliver my sermon at dawnthere were only about 20 ant-sized people moving around in the lobby far below.

Earlier, before the bar closed, the whole ground floor had been jammed with drunken sportswriters, hard-eyed hookers, wandering geeks and hustlers (of almost every persuasion), and a legion of big and small gamblers from all over the country who roamed through the drunken, randy crowdas casually as possiblewith an eye to picking up a last-minute sucker bet from some poor ******* half-mad on booze and willing to put some money, preferably four or five big ones, on “his boys.”

The spread, in Houston, was Miami by six, but by midnight on Saturday almost every one of the two-thousand or so drunks in the lobby of the Regencyofficial headquarters and media vortex for this eighth annual Super Bowlwas absolutely sure about what was going to happen when the deal went down on Sunday, about two miles east of the hotel on the fog-soaked artificial turf of Rice University stadium.

AH … BUT WAIT! Why are we talking about gamblers here? Or thousands of hookers and drunken sportswriters jammed together in a seething mob in the lobby of a Houston hotel?

And what kind of sick and twisted impulse would cause a professional sportswriter to deliver a sermon from the Book of Revelations off his hotel balcony on the dawn of Super Sunday?

I had not planned a sermon for that morning. I had not even planned to be in Houston, for that matter. … But now, looking back on that outburst, I see a certain inevitability about it. Probably it was a crazed and futile effort to somehow explain the extremely twisted nature of my relationship with God, Nixon and the National Football League: The three had long since become inseparable in my mind, a sort of unholy trinity that had caused me more trouble and personal anguish in the past few months than Ron Ziegler, Hubert Humphrey and Peter Sheridan all together had caused me in a year on the campaign trail.

Or perhaps it had something to do with my admittedly deep-seated need to have public revenge on Al Davis, general manager of the Oakland Raiders . . .

Mike Bulgakov

An artist recalls his drunk adventure at the 1970 Kentucky Derby with Hunter S. Thompson

It's a mystery why artist Ralph Steadman ever got along with author Hunter S. Thompson.

During his first assignment with Thompson in Louisville during the 1970 Kentucky Derby, he would be insulted for his "nerve-rattling" appearance, critiqued for his "horrible drawings," and even maced with "chemical billy" by the oft-psychotic writer.

Thompson wasn't normal, but, thankfully, neither was Steadman.

"Everything was wrong with Hunter," the 81-year-old Welsh artist and England resident told Courier Journal during a video interview. "When we first met, he looked at me and said ‘they told me you were weird.’ ... I knew I couldn't take it too seriously at all."

After their mint julep and Colt 45 malt liquor induced Kentucky Derby hangover finally subsided, Hunter's infamous essay "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved" was published in Scanlan's Monthly, the only true recollection of the duo's drunken encounter during the 96th Run for the Roses.

But it was from that cesspool of decadence and depravity at Churchill Downs that the genre of Gonzo journalism was born and the fastest two minutes in sports started a friendship that lasted a lifetime.



Makybe Diva took home 3 consecutive Melbourne Cups

A legend on the track, the Makybe Diva story is well known throughout the industry. Passed in at sale in England, she came to Australia as an unknown. Born to northern hemisphere time, Makybe Diva was on the back foot against her Australian counterparts.
She made the first of her 36 starts in 2002 and placed fourth in Benalla. A humble beginning – we all have to start somewhere! As she stepped up in distance her quality began to shine through, and as a four year old she won her first Listed Race, the Werribee Cup, at 2000 metres.
The year 2003 saw her first Melbourne Cup Victory, where she was second favourite going in. She raced home to first place in the Sydney Cup in 2004, and had a second-place finish in the Caulfield Cup. But once again Makybe Diva took home first place in the race that stops a nation in 2004.
In 2005 Makybe Diva was named Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year, winning the Melbourne Cup, Australian Cup, BMW Stakes, Memsie Stakes, Turnbull Stakes and the Cox Plate.
She entered the Australian Racing Hall of Fame the following year.
Makybe Diva retired to stud and has had several foals, all stamped with her classy looks – and many, such as Divination, showing promise as future track stars. As of 2018, she is in foal to Written Tycoon.


Mike Bulgakov

Liam thanks his fans for his recently sold out UK Tour. They’ve mad him a very happy man with a fork in a world or soup!

Because maybe, you're gonna be the one that saves me
And after all, you're my wonderspork

Mike Bulgakov

Spork is a very versatile utensil and a nice portmanteau, possibly the second shortest length of any “bridge” type of words I’ve ever seen, behind only smog and tied with motel.
It's funny how I never really think of the origin of these words, as I've just been using them for as long as I can remember.

Motor . . . hotel . . . smoke . . . fog . . . L.A.


Mike Bulgakov

Marlow is the protagonist in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, which served as an inspiration for Coppola's Apocalypse Now. Conrad was one of many authors that inspired Jim Morrison.



Bionic Poster
Apocalypse Now was a most appropriate description of the production of the classic film. Typhoons, civil war in the Phillipines where it was shot, out of control partying by both cast and crew, a protagonist suffering a heart attack, another who contracted hookworm that ruined his health, an iconic actor who showed up seriously overweight and not familiar with the script, over budget spending, a production designer who insisted real dead bodies were needed to be hanging from jungle trees to be authentic, a director who suffered a nervous breakdown and threatened suicide. There was no smell of victory surrounding this film’s making, particularly if you got too close to coke bingeing Dennis Hopper, who never bathed during filming.

Mike Bulgakov

Apocalypse Now was a most appropriate description of the production of the classic film. Typhoons, civil war in the Phillipines where it was shot, out of control partying by both cast and crew, a protagonist suffering a heart attack, another who contracted hookworm that ruined his health, an iconic actor who showed up seriously overweight and not familiar with the script, over budget spending, a production designer who insisted real dead bodies were needed to be hanging from jungle trees to be authentic, a director who suffered a nervous breakdown and threatened suicide. There was no smell of victory surrounding this film’s making, particularly if you got too close to coke bingeing Dennis Hopper, who never bathed during filming.
"Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse" (1991) is a fascinating documentary about the making of the film, co-directed by his wife Eleanor Coppola.


Bionic Poster
"Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse" (1991) is a fascinating documentary about the making of the film, co-directed by his wife Eleanor Coppola.
Brando showed up overweight and underprepared for his role, causing rewrites of the script, wardrobe changes and production alterations due to his obesity.

For this documentary, he at first refused interviews due to “overdue residuals” owed to him by FFC. His interview rejection supposedly included this ironic fat shaming, “Tell that fat fuq Coppola that when he pays me my $2million, you guys can film an interview with me while I’m taking a Sh11t for all I care!”

Mike Bulgakov

Brando was good friends with Jack Nicholson. Both were known for having vice-filled parties at their homes. I was once at Mickey & Joey's in the afternoon and Mickey Rourke was on the phone (landline days) discussing going to a dinner party at Marlon Brando's house.

Remembering Marlon Brando, by Jack Nicholson
With his talent, charisma and sexuality, Brando burned through Hollywood like no actor before or since. His neighbor reflects


Marlon Brando is one of the great men of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and we lesser mortals are obligated to cut through the shit and proclaim it. This man has been my idol all of my professional life, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. The impact of movies is enormous, and his impact in the movies was bigger than anybody else’s – ever. Mr. Brando will be there forever – that’s all there is to it. He might not like that, but he’ll be there forever anyway.

I am part of the first generation that idolized Marlon Brando, but far from the last. I was in high school back in the Fifties when he came into the game, and I watched him change the rules. When I was growing up in New Jersey, one of my summer jobs was working as an assistant manager of a local movie theater. I must have seen every performance of On the Waterfront – twice a night. You just couldn’t take your eyes off the guy. He was spellbinding.

With acting, it’s ultimately all about who you are. Yes, Marlon had a complete craft, but you don’t know about craft or Method when you’re a kid sitting in the movie theater watching with your mouth wide open. You just know when you’ve seen something special, and nobody was ever more special than Brando. He had this extraordinary physical beauty and a power that was hard to define but completely undeniable. Perhaps he would tell you he saw the same thing in Paul Muni, but the truth is, Brando was always different. The movie audience just knew that he was it. And he remained it. For my money, nothing has ever gotten near him.

Even before I thought about acting, he influenced me strongly. Today it’s hard for people who weren’t there to realize the impact that Brando had on an audience – never mind on actors, because he’s always been the patron saint of actors.

When I came West, I was working at MGM, in office personnel. I took that job because I wanted to see movie stars. I still remember the day Marlon came on the lot the first time. Now, the people working there were obviously used to seeing movie stars. But when Marlon came on the lot, you should have seen those Venetian blinds flying up in the air and those secretaries sticking their heads out the window. This man was a true sensation.

The first time I actually saw Brando at work was during the makeup tests on The Teahouse of the August Moon. Here he comes walking down the street, and I’m just looking at this guy thinking, “Who is this?” Brando was playing an Asian character. I didn’t even recognize him. In any role, Brando was just astounding. On that picture, the crew had these smocks and kimonos to identify them, so it took me a little work to sneak in there and watch him. But nothing could have stopped me from watching Marlon Brando up close.

Much later, Brando became my neighbor in Los Angeles – for the last thirty years. I still don’t feel comfortable calling the man my friend – hell, he’s Brando – but we shared more than a driveway. As a neighbor, he was perfect, a great guy who was always there for you. He likes his space – and so do I – but as he put it many times, we’d always be watching each other’s back. In thirty years’ time, you go through many areas of life with someone, but I never had any arguments or disagreements with him over anything, the way neighbors do. Of course, Marlon does give new meaning to the phrase “Good fences make good neighbors.” I could write a novel just about our gate. Suffice to say, we’ve had a lot of life pass through that gate.

I treasured the conversations I had with him. He’s a brilliant man with a very eclectic mind. He was brutally honest, with very unusual insights into just about everything. He was very funny, too. Brando’s favorite holiday was April Fools’ Day, and, trust me, the guy pulled a couple of real crackerjacks at my expense.
Some of those pranks will have to remain private. I’m lifelong trained not to talk much about Mr. Brando – that’s the way he liked it, and that’s the way I always was about him. It’s private stuff. I will say the best April Fools’ Day prank he ever pulled on me was the time he sent me a very serious letter. By now we were very comfortable with each other. He wrote me saying he was going to have to sell his place to somebody. I can’t remember exactly who it was, but it was someone perfectly selected, because he knew it would make me uneasy having this person suddenly become the new keeper of the gate. According to our mutual friend Helena, Marlon never stopped laughing about that time he got me to go completely crazy.

The only way I was sure that Marlon genuinely liked me was that I used to always call him “Bud” when we talked on the phone. That was kind of presumptuous on my behalf – and you didn’t want to be presumptuous with Marlon – because that’s what his family called him. Somehow he let me get away with it. I guess it was a gimme.

For me, the toughest experience I ever had with Brando came during making The Missouri Breaks together. We talked about doing many projects together over the years, but that’s the only time it actually came together. I think Marlon probably had more fun shooting The Missouri Breaks than any movie he did. He liked all the guys in the movie. We were out in Montana. He lived out on the ranch where the movie was shot. He liked being close to nature. He was in his element.

I, on the other hand, was a mess. Somewhere deep in my subconscious was always this idea: “One day you’re going to be working with Marlon Brando, and you better be ready, Jack.”

It started off fine. In our first scene, he’s a killer, and I’m hiding out from him. Whatever feelings I had of being intimidated seemed to fit this scene. Then one night after that I made a big mistake: I watched some of Brando’s dailies. This was a scene where he’s sitting there with John McLiam. I watched nine or ten takes of this same scene. Each take was an art film in itself. I sat there stunned by the variety, the depth, the amount of silent articulation of what a scene meant. It was all there. It was one of the wildest things I ever put my eyes on.

The next day I woke up completely destroyed. The full catastrophe of it hit me overnight: “Holy fuck, who do you think you are, Jack? You’re in a movie with Marlon Brando!” I was totally annihilated by him. I thought, “What if they decide to hang me for being so crazy as to think I could be in the same country with this guy, much less in the same movie?” Our director, Arthur Penn, really had to nurse me back to health just to get me to continue on with the picture.

So I mean it when I say that if you can’t appreciate Brando, I wouldn’t know how to talk to you. If there’s anything obvious in life, this is it. Other actors don’t go around discussing who is the best actor in the world, because it’s obvious – Marlon Brando is.

All you have to do is look at the movies – it’s all there. On the Waterfront is probably the height of any age. And it’s a shame he’s not here to give the funeral oration from Julius Caesar. That performance adjusted how most American actors feel about what was possible with Shakespeare, which is a major feat in itself. He wasn’t just great in the great movies – I often think of his performance in a less successful picture, A Countess From Hong Kong, the last movie Charlie Chaplin directed. Then there’s Viva Zapatal or Reflections in a Golden Eye. And, of course, there’s always The Godfather.The truth is, there just aren’t enough roles that would challenge a man of his ability. I think that’s why he had the great good instincts to really go after Godfather and make history.

But almost everything the guy ever did, in my opinion, was revolutionary. You almost felt stupid being naturalistic after he came along, because you felt, “Well, that’s already been done.” I remember thinking that I’ve got to find another way to approach this if I’m going to have my own little corner of the job market.
As an artist, I equate Brando with Picasso. I’ve seen Picasso’s early drawings and so forth in the museums in Barcelona. I always thought if you took the first thing Picasso ever drew and continued to show everything he did until the day he died, you would see that some people are incapable of not being brilliant.

When people are that way, it’s very hard for them to gauge their own position. I think Marlon knew he was the greatest. I don’t think he dwelled on it, nor did he ever say as much to me. But, come on, there was a reason people expected so much from him right to the end. That’s why people always expected him to be working. And believe me, there were times when he told me he wanted to work and couldn’t. It disturbs me that toward the end, all some people could speak about was his weight. As I’ve said, what Mr. Brando does for a living ain’t done by the pound.

To me, Marlon Brando was the greatest ever. That’s a truth I hold to be self-evident. But it’s like what Bum Phillips said once: If he isn’t in a class by himself, it sure takes a very short time to call the roll.
This story is from the August 19th, 2004 issue of Rolling Stone.
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