Monday, May 31, 2021


by John Grauerholz

There are particular geographic locations that, for one inexplicable reason or another, seem peculiarly enchanting.  Certain places resonate with certain personalities.  There is, somewhere, a precise scenery that speaks to your soul.

No matter how many times I visit Arizona, the city of Tucson has always been an endlessly enchanting landscape.  Not a picturesque town by any account, but the kind of urban environment that hides the unexpected in dusty, run-down neighborhoods.  The more poverty-strewn the barrio, the more bewildering the material culture.

Like much of the Southwest, the city is a jumble of different worldviews, a place where alien belief systems collide with each other. This juxtaposition can make you feel like a something of an outsider – I have always liked that sense of not quite belonging anywhere. Any locale where one mindset crashes into another might well yield a kind of liberation of the psyche.

After an enchanting Sonoran-style lunch in the crowded, congested Mi Nidito Restaurant, I had a couple hours to slay, so I thought that I would visit the final “resting place” of Benjamin DeCasseres.  After all, there is no better place to kill time than in a cemetery.  DeCasseres’ cremated remains are interred in the South Lawn Memorial Cemetery in what is now South Tucson. Due to urban sprawl, the area to the south of the I-10 freeway has become predominately Spanish-speaking.  But when Bio DeCasseres first choose South Lawn Memorial to be the garden of remembrance for her husband in 1946, this real estate was still at the extreme edge of the city.

Benjamin DeCasseres’ schtick was a sort of scornful, sneering individualism.  This haughty self-awareness was provoked by way too much liquor and way too much reading of outré literature.   I tend to think of egoism as freeing of the Self from external influences - just like leaving the clogged, clotted, congested roadways of Tucson for a destination such as a largely empty cemetery.

Although his books are largely forgotten today, Benjamin DeCasseres was once known for his over-written, over-wrought, over-adjectivized, over-grown prose.   DeCasseres’ unique style-over-substance was an upscale nihilism, a genteel negativism.  A philosophy of individualism can only be conveyed in an ornate, opulent verbiage – as egoism using a casual phraseology will only read like something written by an adolescent.  And few American writers have ever cultivated quite such a luxuriant style - a way of writing that has gone out of fashion in our era of short attention-spans.   Not that DeCasseres would have cared all that much; I am sure that he would have erased any anxiety & unease about being passé with a round of drinks at one of his favorite speakeasies of New York City.

So how did the ashes of a man so intricately & so intimately associated with Manhattan end-up in the desert?  After the death of Benjamin DeCasseres, his wife wanted to get away from the depressing, discouraging streets of Gotham.  Bio DeCasseres needed a change of environment, and the winter warmth of Tucson became an inviting prospect, so she brought the cremains of Benjamin with her. For transplants then and now, Arizona is merely a waiting room between life in other places.

I don’t know what DeCasseres would have made of modern Tucson, but I am pretty certain that he would have been surprised to find his physical remnants in such a place.  The desert is a landscape where human beings do not truly belong – a terrain where most people are just passing through. 

Human beings were swarming & scurrying with their usual noises in South Tucson when I went looking for the DeCasseres monument at the South Lawn acreage.  Since the body of Benjamin DeCasseres was cremated, I knew that his remains would have been shoved into a niche somewhere on the cemetery grounds, but the exact spot is not all that easy to find.  His cremains are located in something called the Skylawn Mausoleum, a building that looks as if it has been desultorily remolded since the ashes were first deposited.  My presence disturbed a couple nesting birds; they shot-up into the sky with a sound like the snap of a rubber band.  In an alcove on the Western side of the columbarium is a wall of bronze niches.  DeCasseres is located right at the top, right next to the entrance - rather difficult to see if you don’t know where to look. The ashes of Benjamin are beside those of his wife, but in the South Lawn Cemetery, everyone gets their own individual compartment.  When things are all said and done, there is only room for one urn in each niche in the columbarium.

I was fortunate that, during my brief visit, there was no one else in the mausoleum; my fortuitous solitude was only a temporary respite.  I got back in the car, twisted the key, turned for one last look behind me, and rolled into some serious traffic.  Everyone had their stereos blasting. 

Thursday, April 29, 2021


by John Grauerholz

Your medical record is something that will always be used against you. Your medical history only exists to record your physical humiliations.

A doctor is not there to cure you, but to cause you as much consternation as possible. A physician’s role is not to heal a patient of your ilk, but to get a hearty laugh about your pathetic maladies.

Insurance companies use whatever you have told your doctor as a justification to deny you coverage. Contact tracers use a diagnosis of a communicable disease as a pretext to put you under house-arrest. Ex-girlfriends use any treatment for sexually transmitted ailment as an opportunity to sue you for damages. Government bureaucrats will scan your online records for any embarrassing incident that might be used to blackmail you into social compliance. And medical office staff use your disgusting lifestyle as an excuse to demean & disrespect you in front of the M.D.

If you don’t believe me, then just try asking the receptionist to let you see what the staff has written in your file. Try getting your side of the story added to your formal medical record – and see what happens.

Just as a police office can and will use everything that you say against you, so will your physician. Just as you ought to consult a lawyer before answering any question from a law-enforcement officer, you need to have the same wariness before saying anything to an official from the medical industry. If you aren’t careful about what you disclose in front of a doctor, then you might end up like Robin Williams: having your medical records subpoenaed by an ex-lover who claims that you gave her a dose of herpes. Your medical history is an interminable rap sheet of moral failings. A gentleman keeps that stuff private.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021


by John Grauerholz

It is the future that persecutes us. The communitarians would have us break rocks all day long to bring forth a better world in the decades yet to come. Activists for the long-threatened paradise will not leave us alone – these advance-men will harass and hassle us whenever we attempt to enjoy ourselves right now.

It is our successors that oppress us. Like diapered tyrants, our offspring actually expect us to live for them. Do-gooders want us to believe that citizens alive right now must work to perfect a future that will not benefit us in any way – a sort of enslavement of today for the betterment of tomorrow.

It is the next generation that denies us happiness. Having to live for the children only does one thing: ruin existence for the individuals dwelling in the here-and-now. This idea that we need to improve society only has one end result: we cannot fully take any morsel of pleasure in what we manage to scrounge-up somewhere in the present moment.

It is the future that we must resent and envy at all costs. Why should our descendants be given a better life than we were forced to endure? Why should children not be tormented just like every other generation? Why should our progeny not experience the same misfortunes that the busy-bodies have imposed upon us?

After all that we have suffered, it is only right that the world yet to come should be worse, far worse. Why should youngsters be allowed to cavort around in healthy bodies while the afflictions and ailments of old age begin to overtake us? Children deserve a sorrier and shoddier life.

Like the Sword of Damocles, the future hangs above us – threatening severe bodily injury upon us all.


Tuesday, February 2, 2021


by John Grauerholz

“Evil” has nothing to do with ethics whatsoever. Despite what do-gooders might want you to believe, evil has no connection with any moral system. “Right” and “wrong” are simply a matter of convenience: what is beneficial to you in this life is simply not advantageous to other people - and this lack of advantage will be perceived as something evil by ordinary people.

Just as there is a pressure wave that precedes an explosion, so evil is the shock wave of the unconstrained Ego. When a non-conformist becomes ever more egoistic, other people in the vicinity will feel an overwhelming sense of dreariness and dread – and that sensation of dismay is exactly what lesser human beings consider evil.

A do-gooder has innate horror of an independent human being – and the communitarian’s inborn terror makes a solitary human into something wicked. When confronted by the prospect of loneliness, a proper citizen feels a sense of loathing. Malevolence is what the herd intuits while you become ever more selfish and ever more self-focused. An individual completely free of social values is completely sinister. Like all animals, a conforming member of society has an instinctive fear of self-centeredness in a nearby stranger and will react accordingly.

You become an individualist by enhancing, enlarging, enriching the Ego. While there are many ways of augmenting egoism, perhaps the most certain way of expanding yourself is to do everything that society already defines as wanton and wicked. If you stubbornly transgress every societal norm, you can actually back-engineer individualism.

If you obstinately delve into all that the average humanitarian finds threatening, you will ultimately find your true self, your deep self, your Egoistic Self. All that is prohibited by the good citizens is defined as malicious, and you will find freedom in the depths of such malignancy. When it comes to the dark palace of the ego, sin is the way in.