"[Slackjaw] is an extraordinary emotional ride, through the lives and times of reader and writer alike, maniacally aglow with a born storyteller's gifts of observation, an amiably deranged sense of humor, and a heart too bounced around by his history, and ours, not to have earned Mr. Knipfel, at last, an unsentimental clarity that is generous and deep. What begins as a cautionary tale turns out to be, after all, an exemplary American life. The Park Service ought to be charging admission. Long may he continue to astonish us." --Thomas Pynchon
Preface by Mike Walsh
The Mayor of Hostile City -- Cover story about Jim Knipfel that appeared in the June 1, 2000, issue of the Philadelphia City Paper.
From the former editor of the NY Press: "Jim 'Slackjaw' Knipfel suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable, irreversible degenerative eye disease. While considered legally blind now, he can still see enough to hold down a job and read the occasional novelization. He can still also enjoy many delightful shows on the television. His doctors tell him that he will be completely blind in a few short years. Knipfel also has left temporal lobe brain damage (from a severe blow to the head he received in 1985), resulting in the occasional 'rage seizure.' The braces he wore on his legs as a child didn't completely do the trick either, leaving his left foot still a bit twisted. The variety of medications he takes has left him with a liver the size of a football. He has also been diagnosed as clinically depressed, and no one much doubts that he's a drunk. He is also an idiot."
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Welcome to ... Slackjaw Online
This site contains a selection of columns written by Jim Knipfel. Slackjaw originally appeared in the Welcomat (aka the Philadelphia Weekly) from 1987 to 1994. Slackjaw then appeared in the New York Press, where most of the columns presented here were originally published, until 2006. Slackjaw has appeared on various web sites since then. You can see more Slackjaw columns on Jim Knipfel's Patreon site.
"Things are bad in this world. Ugly, smelly, nasty--a world full of stupidity and starvation and disease--but things never really get as bad as they should." --Jim Knipfel
Shamed Into It
United We Sit
An Afternoon in Purgatory
Back in the Day When I Rode in Cars with Strangers