Bloody Mary and the future of ashrams

1) Tibor Pataky

Mr. Pataky is a German-born novelist living in Zurich, Switzerland, where the Kommode Verlag is about to publish his first novel, Fruchtmann. It’s about German artist Joseph Beuys (1921 – 1986) and his students. Beuys was a real person; the students in the novel are fictional composites of Beuys’s former students. We have seen Mr. Pataky read aloud from his book at a public gathering. He is a very good writer and we hope his book will be translated into as many languages as there are stars in the sky. Fruchtmann will be available in February. Buy it and share it. And let The Essayist know what you think about it.


BD 1


2) The North Face (advertisement)

They make outdoor sports gear and they’ve been running a really annoying ad on TV this winter that shows smiling 20-somethings racing through various landscapes without stopping to appreciate anything. The idea is that you buy the right “gear” then go outside and think of the natural world as an extention of your local gym. It’s a depressing ad because it suggests if you’re not moving, you’re not having a good time. Me and my crew? We like to sit and watch rivers and birds. We’re mellow. In the North Face ad, Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” plays in the background, a Dylanesque rendition by My Morning Jacket. The whole thing’s nauseating. Pretends to look and and feel like something conservationists and naturalists would dig. We know better.



3) My Morning Jacket

They’re from Louisville, Kentucky (see the previous installment of Top TEN). They’re pretty good. Some of the members are from Shelbyville, Kentucky, where I bought several hundred copies of Don Pendleton’s “Executioner” novels at a pawn shop for 50 cents each. It was a good investment.


4) Don Pendleton

Don Pendleton (1927 – 1995) wrote adventure stories for men in the ’60s and ’70s. His most famous creation, Mack Bolan, was the prototype for Marvel Comics’s Punisher. In the books I’ve read so far, Mack stalks and kills mafia guys. And the alliterative titles are great: Miami Massacre … Boston Blitz … Vegas Vendetta … etc. This stuff’s all out of print. If you wanna borrow copies, write me care of The Essayist.

 BD 3


5) Copenhagen

A lively and beautiful place, especially in summer. I was there last June. Great architecture (old buildings) and witty, free-spirited, attractive people.



6) The Future of Ashrams

We predict that within the next ten years, ashrams around the globe will grow and become small city-states. Osho’s ashram tried it in Oregon, USA, in the ’80s. It didn’t work out so well, for a variety of reasons, but it could have worked. We’re hoping to save enough cash to start a small ashram city-state in Virgina. Or have someone donate land to us. Our guru’s name is Bob. He’s a Baptist and Libertarian and knows how to grow food, hunt, and build houses. He used to be pen pals with Ted Nugent, but they haven’t written to one another in years. Praise Bob!


7) Wes Anderson

He’s a movie director from Houston. Most folks have seen his movies and know who he is. He’s made Rushmore, Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and lots of other films. His stories about families, adventure, humor, tragedy, loss, love, music, literature, theater, strange fish, acceptance and non-acceptance. Life. With a twist.



8) Bloody Mary (the drink)

Vodka and tomato juice. It’s what Luke Wilson’s character drank in Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, and it’s what we like to have here in my painting studio on weekends with friends and family.


9) Public Libraries

Please support your local public library in any way you can. Thank you.


10) Poodles

They say poodles are the smartest dogs. It’s true. I know one named Rudolph. He lives in Tennessee and his “owners” say his vocabulary’s building continuously.



© Brett Davidson, 2015


Image References:

Fruchtmann by Tibor Pataky  from

Canadian Crisis by Don Pendleton from

Nyhavn, Copenhagen from

Wes Anderson from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.