Charles Bukowski's hatred of Mickey Mouse

I got a kick out of this short video clip about writer Charles Bukowski's loathing of Mickey Mouse, that "three-fingered son-of-a-bitch who has no soul, for Christ's sake." The fact that Mickey had only three fingers really seemed to bother him. (The second half of the video isn't about Mickey Mouse, but it is still worth watching.)


  1. I have to say I totally agree with the man … fuck the mouse … begin countdown before Boing Boing receives cease and desist from Walt Disney Inc. (or you-tube video is removed for mentioning the little soulless shithead) …3…2…1…

  2. How could an interviewer tell a poet what his stuff is about? That seems very arrogant.

    Also, I literally laughed when Bukowski told him “you are fucked up”

  3. I heard from character designers doing business with Japan that in Japan 3 fingered cartoon characters are avoided, since a missing finger indicates Yakuza.

  4. I promise you the dumb ass interviewer hasn’t even read Women or any other Bukowski, he was deep. I’ve never heard such a rude uninformed interviewer. Buko should have punched him!
    Anyway loved this clip, just seeing Charles Bukowski makes my day. RIP Buko, love ya.

  5. Heh, all during my childhood, anything shoddy, poor quality and workmanship was always referred to in kids hearing as being “Mickey Mouse”. In later years, we learned less socially acceptable terms for it, but that has always stuck. Long live Mortimer Mouse!

  6. In the U.S. Army in the late 1960’s (and, I suspect, going right back to “WW II, the Big One”) rigid adherence to mindless regulation was generally referred to as “Mickey Mouse,” and despised by everyone except the lifers. The only thing that made the experience tolerable was the widespread evidence of a deeply subversive element in the American character.

  7. Sorry, I’ll take Mickey and Walt of this overrated lush any day of the year. As a poet, I’d rank him somewhere between Jim Morrison and Jewel.

  8. this post twists what bukowsky thinks of disney and women.
    these are out of context snapshots.
    the belgium interviewer is a dumb ass.
    sean penn makes a fairer assessment.

  9. It’s interesting. When people are talking about Bukowski it sounds like a fake documentary made for laughs. I mean the whole Micky Mouse thing is blown way out of proportion by the filmmaker and makes him sound like a pretentious doofus.

    But during the moments Buk talks, all becomes clear. Never liked this film all that much.

  10. Bukowski(Chinaski) was an amazing poet. Solidarity/Team Bukowski!

    Also, I guess I understand the three finger thing to a degree since whenever I play Lego Starwars I immediately kill the arm-faced people when I see them walking around the bar.

    RE: 1 Devophill I think Cory would be conflicted about posting something like this, railing against something he loves as it does.

  11. There are several good reasons I like Bukowski. This has got to be one of them.

    “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”

  12. Was there even a slight possibility that Buk would be *pro* Mickey Mouse?

    And I imagine that he would have kicked the living shit out of anyone who put him “between Jim Morrison and Jewel.”

    Although somehow I could see him taking a shining to Jewel, not that this would mitigate the ass kicking.

  13. Regardless of how you feel about Bukowski, he does have a point about Mickey Mouse. There’s been a long-standing debate between Disney and Looney Tunes as to which animated features are better for young minds. While both espouse moral virtues, the latter generally tends to be more intelligent and witty than the former, showing characters who are rewarded for clever behavior against simplistic adversaries.

    Consider Bugs Bunny and his nemesis Elmer Fudd; Bugs is a classic, fast-talking smart-alec who, in spite of his inherent disadvantage (he doesn’t have a gun with which to defend himself), is able to play Elmer Fudd time and again and turn the tables to his advantage. By contrast, any Disney villain is almost always more intelligent and well-spoken than his good counterpart– villains such as Scar, Jafar, or even Ursula all have vocabularies that greatly exceed the comprehension of the average 9 year old. Take a little snippet of Scar’s song from The Lion King as an example of such:
    “Of course, quid pro quo, you’re expected/ to take certain duties on board… The future is littered with prizes,/ and though I’m the main addressee…”

    While I could ramble on and on about the symbolic nature of Looney Tunes animation versus Disney Animation (Warner Bros. draws trees as sticks representing trees whilst Disney takes great care to animate every single detail of a tree), all I really care to say is that Bukowski does have a point about the vacuous nature of Mickey Mouse. The little guy teaches kids nothing that they didn’t already learn by the age of 2 (good is good and bad is bad) and even goes as far as to give kids a really bad impression of how the world works, filling their heads with a strange idealism that would have only made sense to the Puritans of yesteryear.

    (Of course, I do not count Pixar as being Disney, no more than I would say that Miyazaki is a Disney franchisee).

  14. It doesn’t have to be an either/or universe. There’s room for Aline Kominsky-Crumb’s “Bunch Plays with Herself” and Steamboat Willie. And seeing Sean Penn there makes me remember he was Bukowski’s first choice for Barfly. Delicious to ponder …

  15. I’ve drunk wine with Hank at his birthday, tried to revive him with a couple of lines and than drove him home. I’ve eaten in Linda’s bio restaurant, good ol 80’s! He was fun! except when he drunk too much.. than he converted in a nonsense blethering drunk! Sometimes I had to confort Linda and cuddle her a bit…after he’s been rude to her. But she was always on his side, no matter what he did to her! I would say devoted.
    BTW, I always liked Donald Duck and hated Mikey… he was too much the perfect guy!

  16. He was probably afraid of mice, because they were haunting him while he was drunk. Anyway, Mickey Mouse is a great dude.
    Bukowski is dead.

  17. He is so absolutely right about Mickey Mouse and Disney that my head hurts. I have never ever watched a single cartoon, short or feature length, during which I did not begin to literally fall asleep. I mean total head-nodding, jaw slacking, deep breathing slumber.

    I have an intelligence test that I give most people I meet. If they like Disney, they are absolute imbeciles without the possibility of redemption. If they don’t like Disney, I’ll have lunch with them once.

    I apply this test to all people I meet without exception and its results never fail me.

    Go Bukowski!

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