Notes of a Dirty Old Man Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. When discussing the origin of the Open City newspaper, what challenges does Bukowski say that his friend John Bryan faced?

When John Bryan first began the Open City newspaper, Bukowski says that his friend faced several challenges. Bryan first worked for the L.A. Free Press and increased their readership. When he left to start his own paper his former employer was understandably upset. Another issue Bryan faced was one common to the nature of an underground paper. In order to be effective and worth reading, Bryan frequently took on what Bukowski calls "big boys." Antagonizing those sorts of people rarely leads to a peaceful life. Bukowski says that while working for Open City might have been fun and dangerous, it didn't necessarily pay much.

2. During the discussion of John Bryan, what reason does Bukowski give for Bryan's termination from the Herald-Examiner?

Bukowski mentions in his discussion of John Bryan's past that his friend either quit or was fired from the Herald-Examiner. Apparently the magazine had put a picture of the Christ child on the front of their Christmas issue, but they'd edited the genital detail out of the picture. Readers can assume that Bryan, a media employee, was enraged by this as a violation of free speech.

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