“Just Like This Popular 1940’s Cultural Meme, Good Hygiene is a Rare Find Today Among Basement Painters” 2017. Acrylic on 1950’s linen dish rag, 21 x 21″
“Just Like This Popular 1940’s Cultural Meme, Good Hygiene is a Rare Find Today Among Basement Painters” 2017. Acrylic on 1950’s linen dish rag, 21 x 21″
2017. Acrylic on loose canvas, 41 x 13″
My friend and I are submitting to a regional show with the theme “abstraction”. I think I will frame this under glass, and sell it for less than what it cost me to make. The frame will be the big expense. It’s usually the case. I just want to see if Americans will barter or purchase a luxury item—it’s visible worth not even detected as a tiny greed smear on a corporito’s brain scan—even when it’s priced cheaper than a Denny’s® brunch and a few gallons of gasoline.
I do not fool myself about the material value of this painting. It is what it is. Canvas, paints, brush use, light overhead, man, man’s thoughts, man’s moods, man’s dreams, man’s hope, and man’s hands in his pockets—No, wait. After “man” it’s mostly a squat pile of private abstract suffering. And very few besides a friend or two would pretend to want a material representation of that big idea!
I can’t blame them!
And yet, people would want it, even more than shaving cream, if people’s desires were real and not abstractions. Not so much in want of the painting as any true thought, true feeling, true expression of another man or woman cut up into pieces, and each piece set on a cultural conveyor belt of behavior controlled and monitored by abstractions.
People would want it if they trusted men.
I don’t trust them either, hence the painting, another in an endless bombardment of material representations of Americans worship of abstraction.
And maybe after my demise, someone will pay a few thousand dollars for that “forest stream” painting. Provided the post-mortem marketing team is sharp and can make some abstract tool think valuable a material fool.
2013. Acrylic on (5) 6 x 6″ wood panels
John Katko, New York’s 24th District U.S. Congressional Representative, thinks that fracking our land is an a-okay prospect and glorious economic opportunity for rural, landowning New Yorkers. So is drinking HCL if dissolved human flesh and bone was a marketable commodity. And believe me, bottles of it would be on supermarket shelves tomorrow if this were so. I think John likes money and dreams of reelection more than the biological systems of New York’s toddlers and infants. During the campaign I will challenge John to a month-long tour of Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and North Dakota fracking country where his water can only be drunk from residences within 300 yards of a frack well. If he isn’t green or blue by month’s end, I will cease to use fracking as a campaign issue.
It’s Alimentary My Dear Manslaughterer
In with the bad, out with what used to be bad, but is better now than what stayed in. Proof that the Beatle’s song “Helter Skelter” was bad medicine. Charles Manson took it in innocently enough, not knowing how it would mix things up inside, jive with his homicidal entitlement dreams, and be released into the wild. So he formed a cult and planned gruesome parties.
I believe that what makes a crazed Manson character must lie dormant in each and every one of us. We are guilty of abusing our own small powers sometimes. When power becomes absolute, whether expressed as micro from a stinky, run-down homicidal maniac’s ranch in Death Valley, or macro, by the state mandate from a Mao Zedong or Andrew Cuomo, it will corrupt absolutely. We are familiar with the popular phrase. We repeat it at parties, yet at election time, still vote for either party in a one party-pretending to be two party-system. The one, true party is made up of the corporitos. They party all summer long on the private beaches of Lake Superior. In Oswego at late summer, one can get a glimpse of their yacht captains battening down the hatches before a morning intercoastal departure to Florida. A month later they anchor their master’s ships for many warm winter parties beneath Miami moons.
You wouldn’t give Charles Manson the power to determine the potential fate of an entire people’s water supply for profit. Even if it would employ all the violent LSD soaked hippies on earth. What has Andrew Cuomo written on his “saint” wall to have you assume that he is looking out for your best interests? Who is your state senator and assemblyperson? Are any of them hobbyist nutritionists, chemicals scientists, structural engineers, mothers and fathers who would struggle to afford a year’s supply of home-delivered spring water?
The man in the painting knows the science. It’s alimentary dear Watson. If you drink benzene, you suffer benzene. What might not be so obvious is that your representative in power would trade your physical well being for a small profit if a corporito told him to.
2015. Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36″
Think About It
The fact that a 48 year old man, simple, shy and nearly as honest as his neighbor ever was, feels the need to take up what the elites of my state are claiming is a cause célebre over the pros and cons of chemically infecting our water supply, is a sign of the black SUV times.
Even our local “public” radio is in on the money game, selling advertising to the gas men who espouse child leukemia as a justifiable result of fake farmer Fred’s purchase of a speed boat to play with while the subsidized high fructose corn syrup grows tall.
The governor is corrupt, his friends all greed punks, his girlfriend a very bad human being, and not even a good cook, really. Phenol crab cakes. A mixed green salad washed in naphthalene. A glass of formaldehyde Finger Lakes wine delivered to her door by the sleazy state senator who dreams paper money is happiness.
It amazes me that these lawyer-cowards are not hanging from a stick, by a thread, over a frack pool bubbling with mass community rage.
Stanley Milgram would have nodded his head while the people of the village turn the voltage up on their own screaming children.
So I take up paint and mix in what I think is the second most audacious power grab ever made by human beings. The first being the advent of probable nuclear annihilation by future lawyer-cowards. My neighbors watch and listen to the fake debate and wait to judge which side the hippies fall on. They all love CSN, and even Neil Young before he broke away and wrote the poetry of a grown-up. They just don’t appreciate hippies bearing a conscience. All are waiting for the lawyer-cowards to set up the tent of the crazy circus debate on hydrofracking. And established tools like my local public radio people perpetuate the power grab with credit card payment glee. They don’t need to be millionaires. They all just want to look like one.
“Fissures!” 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18″
Fissures Make Colorful Carcinogens, Yes?
A self-explanatory painting. Chemicals can be colorful. They are sent into the earth under high pressure. They come back up and float in a pool. That’s the way the gas men want it to be understood. Innocuous, maybe even slightly normal, and downright grand if it provides jobs to the job hungry.
Atmospheric temperatures must have stabilized overnight. No longer news worthy. Nobody is talking about it. Huzzah! Tomorrows are purified for our progeny!
No, not really. But that is how the established 4th estate expects us to think.
Headlines from NPR would have us assume that global warming just stopped, and that summer’s upstart is warm breeze and strawberries and wild fauna nesting soundly in the tall grass, swimming peacefully in pure and wild, wet waters, nibbling moist berries off the endless lush produce of mother earth…
NPR is government propaganda. Someone at the top of their machine is having lunch with Goebbels.
We could stop to get our bearings, reassess our dependencies, head into the future with strong backs and determination, but will not move a millimeter until our dollar takes its final nose dive into oblivion.
Still, with minimal effort we can break out of surface denial by making atmosphere talk our first attempt at every conversation. We could become mindful once again and use our cleanliness and good health and swell science to imitate 14th century Japanese royalty. We could write poetry, take day walks, stab to death the Carnegie Steel and Rockefeller Oil earth-hating drive-about we depend on more than our neighbors and families. We could naturalize our lives with creative job creation. That means we choose our local economies and dress them to our own survival tastes. Oil execs might have to be tortured gently. Fracking giants could have their heads politely lopped off. Military brass would get the picture after a sound fragging by its own sentient cannon fodder.
These punishing days will come. What’s unbelievable is that the majority of intelligent human beings refuse to articulate this with any regular pattern.
Geeze, even without a blog to help clear her fuzzier dreams, the woolly mammoth got smitten with bright yellow buttercups still digesting.
So, carpe diem, verdad?
Yes, of course. But let’s do it with some class. Let us witness some poetry crawl out of this Walmart funk hole we’ve born ourselves into. Use our liberal educations—read what the dead dogs wrote to become living lions once again. Don’t let the consumer culture barons fool you any longer. The woolly mammoth was a blind consumer too. What was lost in non-acquisition of petroleum plastics, she made up for a thousand times by expressing her true nature.
Express your true nature. Become who you were before you were born. Focus your dreams toward creative survival. Yes, even with the weekly trade off of coins for Scott Tissue paper. Doom should be the only preoccupation of any species’ grown-up. Even the crazed mega-neuronopolis doom of the human being king.
“Of Itself So” 2017. Acrylic on wood panel, 11 x 14″
“Back Home, the Hawk Got Windowed by a Cat” 2017. Acrylic on wood panel, 11 x 14″
“Carry On Regardless” 2017. Acrylic on wood panel, 14 x 11″(plein air)
“I Am a Useful Fiction” 2017. Acrylic on wood panel, 11 x 14″
“The Homeless Man Gets Mocked by his Own Sky” 2017. Acrylic on wood panel, 11 x 14″
“After the Capitalists Leave South Florida” 2017. Acrylic on wood panel, 14 x 11″
“The Lackluster Tornado Run Through the Tree of Cities” 2017. Acrylic on wood panel, 11 x 14″
“There are Too Many Waste Pipes Connected in Bonita Springs” 2017. Acrylic on wood panel, 14 x 11″ (plein air)
Sonny Tupaj of Raphael’s Restaurante, teenage chef and individual child hobo like myself, must have had an insight into the psyche of my future being when he would greet me every time with a fazed look and the spoken word, “why?” “Why Ron, why?” I guess it was my token expression among friends, my most used word during the discovery years of youth. Even my grandmother from her nursing home bed said I was an aspiring philosopher, and another friend, I forget who, called me philosopher Ron. I remember getting punched in the cheek during a flash rumble and turning back to face my opponent to ask him “why, why did you just do that?”
My curiosity was most always human related. I certainly was not (am not) full of wonder, like a child asking, “what is the grass?” Unlike my practical teenaged friends, I didn’t care to know how a car engine worked, or how to attach a door to its jamb. But I was concerned about human behavior. Why did my friend Kyle kick me in the balls just to show off to an older kid he wanted to impress? Why did Rich, the neglected suburban child-poet, decide that dairy farming beheld a bright future? Why did I end up being such an underachieving hoodlum when I wanted to be a forest ranger and had such a healthy lust for sports? Etcetera.
As I grew older, I pushed further with the whys. My first “A” in college was a class in sociology, above a “D” in calculus, and a “C” in accounting. Regrettably, I remained a business major for two more years until my first history elective. Then “whack”! The “whys” had it. I changed majors, truly excited was I to find the answers that history provided. No gray area in hindsight. Kennedy slept with lots of women while he determined the fate of earth with nuclear testings. Hoover was an incompetent bully buffoon who swore that MLK was a communist because, according to that pasty-faced idiot, all black people who had cultural and political thoughts must be communist.
Of course, reading history only inflamed the “whys”. I read literature, seeking more answers. Kurt Vonnegut was a “why” man. Slaughterhouse 5 would lose all of its charm (and sales), but not much of its meaning, if Vonnegut published the word “why” on one page, and left it at that.
From literature, to psychology, and finally back to sociology. Stanley Milgram discovered more than an innate penchant for humanity to follow the leader. He unknowingly discovered the presence of a justice gene. That is my hypothesis anyway, and genetic research might not be too far off confirming it. For those not familiar with his work, Milgram ran tests at Yale in 1961 to determine how it was possible for thousands of ordinary Germans to carry out the holocaust. Read about his experiment. It alone has answered so many local and national “whys” for me. The potential of power and propaganda to shape public opinion is greater than the individual ability to think for oneself. All forty participants in his study put 300 volts (also labeled “Extreme Intensity Shock”) into an actor because he was failing a word game, and the man wearing the lab coat in the electrocution room told them to proceed. From the other room the actor was crying out that he had enough, stop the experiment. 26 of the 40 took this torture up to 450 volts (past “Danger: Severe Shock”), several jolts after the actor went silent in the next room.
I believe that had Milgram tested a thousand people instead of forty, at least one would have stopped the moment an “ouch” was heard from the adjoining room. The other 999 would match similar results from the original 40 tested. That unfortunate person would possess what I call “the justice gene”. I also surmise that testing reticent teenagers would have skewed his results and shown more justice genes as a group; even more so among populations of Native Americans. I cannot imagine 26 out of 40 reservation Navajo juicing to death another Navajo because some goofy dude in a white coat told them to.
Anyway, to the painting.
I have that justice gene. It expressed itself as the ever present “why” when I was a boy. I know of it now while listening to National Propaganda Radio. The latter has contracted with America’s Natural Gas Alliance to promote its agenda in exchange for the minds of the last hold out Americans. Their campaign is called “Think About It”, and its sole purpose is to normalize the potential disaster of hydrofracking among those who feel themselves sophisticated enough to listen to the man in the lab coat tell them how to think at any hour of the day. NPR and America’s Natural Gas Alliance know that the game will be won, that it’s just a matter of time. Every day I feel like the one in a thousand who wasn’t asked to participate in the Milgram obedience experiment. By this, I also believe that any employee of NPR, and by association, my local public radio station, daily administers an “Extreme Intensity Shock” to his or her neighbor. None of them have ever asked why. They wait to be told what to say, and they broadcast it over the airwaves to a 100,000 people.
So Sonny Tupaj, upon meeting up again 30 years late, address me now with the great and unnecessary interrogative “why?”.
And here is my answer: Because I know in my heart of hearts, that without the presence of a justice gene, you my old friend, would fry me in a chair if the radio, television or the President told you to. I know that the propagandists know exactly what they are doing. Media programming has one universal agenda, whether it be Rupert Murdoch’s Fox TV, the New York Times, or geographically significant “little” WRVO the public radio station. Their programming is meant to program you. Your thoughts are not your thoughts.
Or Sonny, today you may be a fan of pretend right wing talk radio. Say, Rush Limbaugh, who is NPR heavy as the latter is light on Limbaugh. He doesn’t like anti-frackers either. He wants jobs too. There is no talk of Clean Energy Acts on his show, nor the effects of benzene in the water, or mile long 1-inch thick cement casings that need to hold their structure forever, even after the hundred mini-earthquakes have rattled its integrity. You will never hear of paid for in-your-face media stories on the dangers of hydrofracking. Both Rush and NPR forbid it. If you get any information, it will include both side’s issues of a manufactured debate. Turn on the radio to hear a well engineer talk of the dangers of hydrofracking, or a scientific explanation of half-life testings of fracking chemicals, and leave it at that? Never. All those guys have been obediently electrocuted. Silenced by the obedient assistants to the man in the white lab coat.
Two years ago I set out to document the genealogy of Throops, of which I am the last male in my line. During the Great Depression my Great Grandfather Henry made genealogy his wintertime hobby, when no work was available to an engineer building roads and bridges. He amassed quite an impressive archive to pass on. Old tin types and photos, letters from the mid-nineteenth century, his grandfather’s handwritten autobiography, personal Civil War artifacts and stories handed down from his father, etc., etc. He was a born archivist, yet few in his circle of friends and family appreciated his side work, and boxes got stored in the attic over the course of three more generations. I took up his work in 2012, traveling to all the towns where the family settled since arriving to North America in 1660, and adding more detail to his archive, as well as a poet/painter’s imagination in paint, prose, collage and modern home video technology. I painted 11 portraits of the male line, pasted an eight foot long collage of time line detail, edited a video of my odyssey, and published a colorful book on the patronym, all on my own dime. No grants, no special presents, no expectation of reward. I had a show in October of that year. Good friends came, a few acquaintances, and my begging jar made $130.00 cash for the hundreds of hours put into the display. The book was an absolute joy in the making. I had my father’s handwriting made into a font and used it in many aspects of the design.
In late 2013 I was corresponding with a representative of the Renwick Gallery about acquisition of this work. My intention was/is to preserve in the American Painter archive my historical work as an American painter. At least there it would last as long as the United States remained a sovereign entity.
At first I was vying for a purchase of my work, but the assistant curator hinted that I should also offer it as donation to the museum. I agreed. My intention was/is mostly archival. I want my great grandchild to have access beyond the thermostatically uncontrolled attic of the future. The assistant agreed to pass the request over to the curatorial team. And I got my reply of “no thank you” by the end of the week.
Ho boy. Now for the argument in favor of nullification.
My wife and I pay a federal tax of about $4,000 a year, maybe more, probably more, but we figure like children in matters of finance. Many people we know have made a touch upon the government till at some point over the course of their lives. Veteran’s benefits, disability checks, and recent Affordable Healthcare recipients to name a few. Many receive no benefit from paying federal tax, other than the illusory cover of protection from a military build up out of control. The Smithsonian is a subsidized institution, as are national parks, and federal highway programs. We pay our half-penny to curators in D.C. to oversee the archive of our history, and our 26th part of a penny to the overseers at the Renwick. Sure, my family can spend a couple thousand bucks visiting Washington D.C. and attend a full day in the Renwick for free, but it’s not for free, as the capital makes its dime on our visit one way or another. In fact our stay in D.C actually helps authenticate a system that has become corrupt beyond recognition of its original intention. I believe that as a living and breathing American painter my request to have the above work archived must be taken seriously. It is respectful payback for my yearly investment made to the coffers of this depleted nation. Just accepting a copy of the book for future reference would have been acceptable to me. A request from the last man in a Throop legacy dating all the way back to 1660 who also happens to be a professional painter! What excuse can the curators of the Renwick possibly give that is not grossly unfair as well as insulting? They represent an historical archive of American painters. How many alive today recently completed a thorough genealogy backed by individual portraits of each male member of eleven generations? My guess is zero, which gives me some justification to make a claim for storage at least, by virtue of American originality. The Renwick has a basement and the basement can possess a bookshelf to house a Throop publication. I never wanted a floor show. I just expect the art archivists to do their damn job. There is room. The burden is on the curators to prove the contrary. Otherwise, the pink slips. Even I, without doctoral training, would recognize a work of historical significance.
A relative Deborah Goldsmith has some work in the Renwick. She painted several Throops in the Burned Over District of central New York in the early 19th century, making weekend portraits for a time before she married my Great Great Great cousin and then died young. She was a talented poet (my daughters and wife recite one of her poems in the video). There are about ten of her paintings surviving in museums around the country. Her work is very representative of an era in American history when no one graduated from universities as art curators. Therefore valuable historical artifacts weren’t compiled when the compiling mattered—when the work was fresh, available, and undamaged. Today we have multiple millions of dollars exchanged educating professional art archivists who act as if they have not learned a damn thing. They will let me die with a moldy basement stuffed to the ceiling of historically relevant yet significantly damaged lifetime build up of canvases. My children will contact an assistant curator at the Renwick to inquire about donating some of the work. Even then I think acceptance would be a toss-up. One has to be good and dead before a modern educated curator gets hit on the head with an understanding of historical significance. Maybe my great grandkids will have better luck. Maybe nobody in the line gets included in the American legacy. And then an old Whistler depicting a rabbit in the snow is found in someone’s attic, and the $6,000 banners go up around the Renwick calling out to the tourists to come see another ubiquitous painter of our blah-blah history.
And so the subsidized bureaucracy in America feeds upon itself. What’s new?
An Introduction to the Book That The Renwick Finds Unacceptable For Free
I remember the first time I got a hold of Throop/Goldsmith Ancestral Charts. My father had me borrow it, as well as Henry’s three unpublished manuscripts (History, Charts, and Photos) when I was 26 years old. I leafed through the pages at my makeshift desk of early sorrows, while dreaming of Henry Miller, Thoreau, Whitman, Kenneth Patchen, etc. I was going to become them, not myself, which, in a fact I could not conceive of at the time, was all I ever was going to be. The study of genealogy is not for the modern twenty-something. It is a very rare wonder, a young man or woman today delving into the world of their ancestors. Yet for Henry Throop it was an interest of his at an early age. Was genealogy a popular pastime at the turn of the 20th century? His book of local deaths, begun at age eleven, was most likely a professional duty left by a recently deceased country doctor to his son, and not a boy’s macabre fascination to be diagnosed by the Freudians of his day. Still Henry’s interest in the families of Lebanon, N.Y., even in his time, was probably a peculiar quirk for a young man soon off to academy and then college. His early journals are replete with accounts of local marriages, births and deaths. In hindsight this sheds light to a different career path that would have brought him uncommon joys. A successful engineer, I have no doubt that Henry was a born historian. Maybe he would have tossed into the ditch Macadam Road worries and transit dreams, provided there existed an economy in his day that encouraged the intellectual flights of fancy of poor country boys.
So I returned the books to my Dad, giving back no more than “Hmphh, imagine that!” out of the exchange, and continued on my own path of raising a daughter half-time as a line cook in a rinky-dink restaurant. I had dreams too. The literary life! A path of writing out my history as it happened; in the modern fashion a la´Henry Miller — the good, the bad, the private and often truly embarrassing. Unlike my great grandfather, I actually lived in an economy where I could choose any path I wanted, provided I paid my dues to the university that would graduate me to the career and/or income level of my choice. And yet unlike Henry I was raised in a community that worshiped its own immediate marvelousness and seemed to cut all ties to its past. It’s funny how Henry mentions with amusement in his autobiography that his children Ronald and Robert thought he lived in “Bible” times. And yet I think of my grandfather Ronald as the most conservative, traditional human being that ever walked the earth.
I am told by my father David that Ronald took little interest in Henry’s passion for the past. Yet I know now that by succumbing to the power of tradition, Ronald proved to be quite gifted in the art of the future. He and my grandmother Evelyn, funded the undergraduate educations of all five of their grandchildren. Both attended Cornell during the Depression years, and forged a will towards lifelong frugality. My living family owes a deep debt of gratitude to their gift, for although their hope was to secure a bright economic future for their progeny, they could not foresee the immense social and economic change that would spoil the be-Jesus out of successive generations. Still they deserve high praise for their efforts, for I believe that even if a college degree does not guarantee two cars and a garage, it can pull the individual somewhat out of ignorance in a world gone wrong. Eventually true education will pine for knowledge of the past, wherein lies the wisdom that those who cannot learn (the ignorant) or will not (the arrogant, formally educated fools), are denied. I cannot speak for my sisters and cousins, but I have been a carrier of the torch set by our ancestors. And I will (I already have) handed it over to my daughters. Henry funded Ronald’s education. The DeClerq’s did the same for Evelyn (college was a tool for her to find a rich husband, yet she chose Ronald, to her parent’s chagrin). William and Calphurnia set up James Mott for a medical degree. Dan and Sarah Throop helped their son William become a schoolhouse teacher. No government loans. No scholarship opportunities listed on the Internet. The next generation was to have a better life, but not without hard work and responsibility. Oh yes, and up to the discovery of penicillin, most held a deep respect for a god that would take their loved ones on an insidious whim. This kept everyone’s life on a less selfish, more communal trajectory. The boom economy of the mid twentieth century had the fathers working, the mothers starting to dream about work, and a new age where even their daughters could go to college to begin a career, and choose a husband who supported a wife’s ambitions beyond housework and the raising of children. Wow! Progress! The kids were left home to play all day, without fieldwork and disease. Praise the home inventions and affordable access to video and vroom-vroom. Forget about those old codgers of the past. Let’s party!
Well, we have lost so much in less than a century. Although I have not honored my grandparents with a choice career, at least I have gained the knowledge of whom to emulate for the next thirty summers or so.
Kurt Vonnegut wrote that there are more than enough world champions to fit into every category of human endeavor. The rest of us are poor imitators to the “great ones” of today. And we suffer a lifetime of familial loneliness for giving up the evolutionary
success of clans nurtured for thousands upon thousands of years.
A western genealogy going back several generations will pinpoint the dislocation for individual families. Modern technology has freed us to take a path back to a wisdom which was forgotten soon after so much of the world got rich so quickly. After discovering the contents of Throops past in stored boxes I now possess the desire to shun all imitation of fools. This private education got its jump start in the public institution. For this I am grateful. It is okay to be who I am. I am so much my father and mother and the sum of all family that came before. The future is my children. The past are my ancestors. Thoreau wrote that it’s “better to be a living dog than a dead lion.” I disagree. The dead lions live in us all, and because of this knowledge, I rise above “dog”, not by virtue of my own life necessarily, but as a result of the efforts of my forbears. They are me. I am a wonder of evolution, and my daughters will be even more suited to maneuver through life’s future challenges. It is to Henry, for his reverence of the past, and to Ronald, for his steadfast hope in the future, that I dedicate this book.
This is not a complete genealogy. Not even close. It is to be shown in an art installation this fall which centers around portraits painted of the direct paternal line of Throops going back to William of Barnstable Massachusetts, 1660. I know I have a mother and great mothers descending a million or so years back to equatorial Africa, and each of these human wonders had a father and mother. To think about the multitudinous lines connected in memory to just one person living today, is more the task for a math super genius than the hobbyist historian.
No, my method is for sake of congruity. I assemble the following pages with a loving touch to carry on a small portion of the work begun by my great grandfather.
So no hard feelings mothers and daughters!
The cover was designed by a successful relative of mine. She used a photo of my cutting board. Looks very “Decemberish”, yes?
What is it not about?
Poetry, how-to, fantasy, horror, vampires, teen romance, murder mystery, lawyers acting like super heroes, Cinderella, suspense, dystopian future worlds, sports, cooking, health tips, nor pirates.
Think an elder Henry Miller with half the vocabulary.