Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Bell Curve Theory

Everything that existed or exists or will exist rests somewhere on a bell curve.
Everyone or everything's god or gods rest on a bell curve as well.
Define your god or gods anyway you wish. I already have.
A bell curve is not god because to be a god is to rest on a bell curve
instead of being a bell curve. Understand?
I have seen god, or at least a god. He does not look like you might expect.
Good point, she does not look familiar either.
I have never seen a bell curve. I have only seen a rudimentary symbol
that represents the theory of a bell curve.
This symbol represents everything that was, is, and ever will be,
how can one claim to have seen that?
That is why it is a theory. A theory worth exploring.

Aaron C. Molden

Sunday, December 16, 2012


The base mixture is made primarily out of synthetic gelatin.
It must rest in a traditional heirloom mold within in a specialized proofer
very similar to an electric wine cellar.
It must rest there for at least 24 hours at a controlled temperature
between forty-eight and fifty-five degrees F.
The mold will set at lower temperatures,
but everyone knows you never refrigerate a fresh tomato.
There is a lot of debate about texture:
trace amounts of pumice, ground carbon material, powdered fiber, etc.
It makes up about one percent of the total base,
but that one percent makes all the difference.
It's the difference between having a ball of snotty gelatin,
or an exquisitely firm and juicy dome,
the way any good tomato should be.
What do I add? It's a family secret.
When pulled from the proofer the tomato is milky gray.
It is a large, soft, semi-translucent and irregularly shaped pearl.
After this , it comes down to two crucial injections:
One for flavor and one for pigment.
Always add the flavor first, because when it comes down to it,
flavor is more important.
It is important to know your proportions,
unless you want a tomato with insides like chopped liver,
or more appropriately, chopped liver product.
The amount depends upon your own tastes.
My tastes in fractions are broadly:
one half sweet, one fourth acidic, one eighth savory,
one sixteenth salty, and one sixteenth astringent.
A perfectly juicy and flavorful tomato
Pigment is slightly less important, but only slightly.
I prefer a bold, but natural pigment:
one half candy apple red, one eighth canary yellow,
one eighth vermillion, one sixteenth royal purple,
and one sixteenth moss green.
A beautiful, bright, natural looking globe.
The last step in making a raw tomato is the skin.
Many people will leave the skin out
because they don't think it is necessary to the eating experience.
But I prefer a true and full tomato, skin and all.
The skin is a small sheet of semi translucent cellulose.
When it is new it shines like a plate of glass,
but crackles like a sheet of cellophane.
Gently, yet firmly wrap the sheet around
the flavored and colored globe
and twist the sheet together as if you were wrapping candy.
Using a small blow torch heat all ends of the tomato
until the creases in the cellulose even out
and the sheet adheres to the gelatin globe.
The heat will also make the sheet lose its crackle
and become stretchy.
Finally, put the tomato back in the proofer
and let it settle for at least an hour.
There you have it, a perfectly fresh and raw tomato.
You can use it for delicious pico de gallo,
or a fresh and zippy bruschetta.
A lot of my friends say I should just buy store tomatoes,
but I still prefer them homemade.

Aaron C. Molden

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ninth and Columbia

    A young man in baggy and ill fitting clothing stood on the corner of Ninth and Columbia street. His gaunt white face winced as he whispered restrained curses, making the facial expressions of a man screaming at the top of his lungs. He fidgeted and squirmed unable to contain his pent up energy.
    Through his car window, the driver of the car passing the young man on Columbia could see him repeating  with exaggerated inflection the word fuck after every three or four words. Fuck, mumble mumble mumble, fuck, mumble mumble mumble. The driver stared at the sickly boy stewing and fidgeting by the side of the road and smiled a malign smile. The driver was not only glad that he was not the young man, but he enjoyed the fact that the young man had no choice but to be exactly what he was.
    Dakota Figg is what he was. Dakota Figg is who he was. On the corner of Ninth and Columbia, the only thing he could be was Dakota Figg.
    Dakota Figg lived on Wabash Avenue with his mother and three sisters. His mother worked seventy hours  a week at the Wabash Valley Mental Hospital as an orderly. She smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and did everything she could to make sure her four children had food and a roof over their head. As for providing motherly affection, well, she had only so many hours in a day. Dakota's mother drank vodka in order to fall asleep for five hours each night. She loved all four of her children as much as she could with the limited time that she had. She knew that time was money.
    Dakota never knew his father. Dakota's sisters never knew their fathers either. Dakota's mother never spoke of his sister's fathers, but she did speak of his father with disgust. "Rapist" she sneered. "I took a hit or two from him" she would mutter while washing second hand Tupperware trays clouded from over use. "I don't even know what your sisters would have endured if he were still around and that tears me up inside" she would confess when drunk on cheap vodka. This is the father Dakota knew.
    Dakota hated his father based on how he knew him. He also loved his father because he did not and could not know him the way he knew his mother. He knew that his whining, chain smoking, self righteous mother, blamed his father, his blood, his genetic make up for her tragedy, her missed opportunity, her perpetually dismal state. It was all very complicated for young Dakota. Fuck, mumble mumble mumble, fuck, mumble mumble mumble.
    The driver on Columbia street, deviously smiling at Dakota was Clayton Barbee. Clayton Barbee grew up in the suburban neighborhood Capilano by the Lake, a planned community centralized around an artificial lake located next to a private golf course. Clayton's father was one of a long line of mid western bankers. Money, innocently, never crossed Clayton's mind, ever. Clayton's view of the world outside of his golf course adjacent neighborhood was based mostly on what he saw on various screens. In early childhood, it was a television screen. In his teenage years it was a computer screen. At the time, it came mostly from a small screen on his phone. These screens helped Clayton's parents continue about their lives and careers without worry for the safety of their child. What could happen? He would always be safe and secure. When the phone screen was introduced Clayton's father did feel a twinge of anxiety about his son's safety, but he chalked it up to the irrationality of emotions. 
    Clayton's mother loved and adored her son so much that she refused to believe that her son could possibly be anything other than a perfect angel. The phone screen gave her a little anxiety, but she would have never admitted it. Her perfect little man was smart and she knew that he would know what to do. 
    Clayton Barbee viewed Dakota Figg on the corner of Ninth and Columbia through a much simpler screen than his television or computer or phone. Clayton viewed Dakota through the screen that was his car window. He viewed that glass screen the same way he viewed every screen in his life. It was a separation of him from the rest of the world. The screen made something that would normally scare Clayton seem amusing. So Clayton chuckled at Dakota, there on the road, fidgeting and cursing before he drove off to school. Clayton smiled because he knew that he would never be as stupid as Dakota Figg. Clayton smiled because he knew that he was better than Dakota and he liked being better than those who suffered. Clayton smiled because everything existed for him to judge as smart or dumb. Everything about the situation made sense in Clayton's thoughts and that made him happy.
    Dakota Figg killed his mother that night with butcher knife. He tried to kill his sisters, but the oldest sister managed to call the police because his middle sister managed to knee her brother in the crotch rendering him temporarily incapacitated. When the police arrived on Wabash avenue the three sisters had managed to lock themselves in the bathroom. All three of them leaned against the bathroom door to keep Dakota from breaking down the door. When Dakota heard the police sirens he lost interest in his sisters. He ran to the front door, swung it open, and ran blindly toward the flashing red and blue lights, wielding the same knife he had plunged into his mothers stomach only minutes prior. The police shot him only twice, once in the heart and once in the head. It was a very humane and efficient death.
    Clayton read the news feed on the small screen on his phone later that night. Clayton had already forgot the he had seen Dakota earlier that day, but he found the news feed intriguing. He found it amusing. Clayton posted the link on his facebook with the hash tag #PPP: Poor People's Problems. The post received fifteen likes before Clayton signed off for the night and went to sleep. He slept eight trouble free hours that night before he woke up well rested and signed on for the day. Life was good. 

Aaron C. Molden, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Justin's Mixtape


    My friend Justin, who lives far away from me, sent me a mix tape of songs from bands I have never heard of. He did not label any of the songs or bands on the mix tape. Last night, after I came home from the bar feeling only slightly buzzed, I decided to turn it on and write the first things that popped into my head for each song as I continued drinking, slowly sliding from slightly buzzed to full on drunk. Please note: what follows is not reviews of songs, but actually just one drunk fool's thoughts on the soundtrack of his journey down the deluge. After, reading it again this morning, I thought it was kind of funny. I pretty sure I reached drunken clarity at song 14.

    Justin's Mix Tape.

1. Hey! Babe! Whatcha doing to me, doing to me?
2. *Quiet tormented lyrics that are inaudible* Spacey guitar, but this is actually hardcore.
3. Postmodern Johnny Cash Gospel with electronic buzzing in the background. "I saw the face of God!"
4. These guys sound like The Boredoms, but meaner. Is that on purpose? We're angry as hell and we burn out fast!
5. Les Claypool's son wants his records back. I'm glad that not everyone has written off slap bass. It has always had potential in the right hands.
6. Power Pop use to make me cringe, but now it makes me smile and think about young love. Keep it up, young man, you will get that girl or a shit load of other girls.
7. Spacey droning juxtaposed with any other musical genre will be successful on some, often many, and occasionally all levels. It always sounds a little sacred.
8. Meh. Seems like a waste of time.
9. Variation on Doo Wop. Whoa guitar! Go for it. Fame doesn't make you a bad person. Why not cover all bases? Make me 2005 famous.
Note: I do not even know what kind of music is hugely popular in this country anymore.
10. Second Gospel number. Have you realized that you are Jesus reincarnate, Justin?
Note: My words stretch and wiggle when the booze kicks in.
11. Hardcore. Metal. Tape-splitting. Fake tape-splitting. Making the bad sound good by making the good sound pretend bad before making it good again.
12. Young love, again.
13.  I don't think I can explain this. Gangster Oy Emo?
14. This seems dumb in the best possible way. Skills, eccentrics, melody that drags you into the mire. A dusty carnival in a wind storm out in a desert and there is no one attending. I like it!
15. A variation on song number three. Johnny Cash Gospel. This could or could not be drenched in irony. It is a tough distinction. The ending may haunt me. I like this better than song three.
16. That last song made me not care about this one. I can't understand the lyrics and the music is
precise, but uninteresting.
17. That's right! Why not make an impression?
18. That's right: give them time. Give them time for you to make an impression. The impression that you love the band Primus. "Right!"
19. This sounds like a retrospect from the first washes of sounds presented. In retrospect, I am inevitably hardcore at the base of my being. This is who I am, no matter what changes you might point my way. This is something I will never be able to change... even though I try. You. Must. Accept. This.
20. Yep. Its still a carnival. You are perpetually caught in this carnival.

-It was at this point that I passed out.

Aaron C. Molden. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Confession.

A Confession.

I am not a violent man, but I am a destroyer.
This is not an exultation, it is simply the truth.
This realization first manifested itself unconsciously.
I was a clumsy child, lacking precision and dexterity,
so I would destroy without intention.
Eventually, this truth manifested itself sub-consciously.
As an angry young man, destruction made sense,
but I could not properly explain why.
Destruction only came as a reaction to anger.
Only if someone was angry. Only if I was angry.
It was always the destruction of a thing, something,
some stupid, pointless, destroyable thing.
I could not explain it then, but I knew I was right,
even if everything and everyone told me I was wrong.
The sub-conscious will to destroy led my actions,
even if I swore to myself that this was not true.
Why? To be able to answer that question
is to be fully conscious.
I was wrecked because I could not explain why.
I was scared because I had no excuse.
I needed an alibi, otherwise I was guilty.
The difference between art and reality is guilt.
Art is guiltless, no matter how awful.
At least that is what I must believe.
I am sorry, but I must believe this to feel innocent.
I must believe this or be spit out.
I am not a violent man, but I am a destroyer,
and I am finally conscious of the destruction within me.
I may have lied to you about me.
This turns out to be both the truth and an exultation.
I can finally feel joyful about my destruction. Peace.

Aaron C. Molden

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Reset, Writing, and Mythology


We suffer from the dread
of the total obliteration of mankind.
We are in some form of arms race.
We are living in the 1950's again.
How we stopped worrying
and loved the bomb.
What is the new bomb?
Maybe we are living in 1962.
The next 8 years maybe really sexy.
History is simply a game of catch
between sex and violence.
When that toss reaches it's peak
scholars refer to it as a Renaissance.
We may be set for a reset.


Writing is not radio
which is not television
which is not cinema
which is not video games.
Writing is not always articles
and not always stories
and not always novels
and not even always video games.
Writing maybe nothing as of present.
Writing maybe laziness now.
Writing may not be work.
Writing maybe a depressing way to avoid work.
Writing maybe both lazy and imbalanced.
I am writing and reading
and rewriting and rereading
when I could simply be
playing video games.
Times are changing,
but they also remain the same.


In movies, even the awkward genius gets laid,
right before he dies of a tragic death beyond his control.
The real moral of every mythology that has ever existed
is that if you are an awkward genius, take control.
Take control in order to avoid a tragic death.
Absolve yourself of a tragic death in order to live.
Lay that fate upon the hopeless hero
because he will believe that death is glory. Sucker.
Hallowed be thy name.

Aaron C. Molden, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Big Guy

    If you read this, I suggest you do so in the voice of the most familiar regional dialect you can recall. That is what I did while I was writing it. Thanks.

The Big Guy.

Okay, let me lay it to you straight,
because, you know, I like you.
Truth is, I always liked you.
You're smart, I always knew that.
Smart, but not necessarily blessed,
you know, with level head.
You're creative, we get it.
On the cutting edge, the fringe, great.
But there's a way things work around here.
Honestly, it's been working for centuries.
Now, we may not have been involved
when some Einstein first figured it out,
but hey, you know what they say,
"If it ain't broke..." You understand.
Look, we get it, rebellion this, revolt that,
New World Order! We understand.
We know you have to get it out of your system.
We won't stand in your way...
Okay, maybe we will a little, come on.
You know, if you got to put up a fight,
it might as well be a fight worth fighting, am I right?
We know you're going to win, alright.
We know it's biology, psychology, physiology, whatever.
But we're still going to put up a fight,
because, you know, we got to make you tough.
Centuries, you know? If it it ain't broke, you know?
Look, we don't care about the decorations,
if you catch what I'm saying,
because we know you'll come around.
I mean, you ain't no fucking animal.
Come on, we know that.

Aaron C. Molden 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Moby Dick

    In leisure, I find writing is more enjoyable when I can ignore all grammatical rules. My next post will be the Arthurian Myth as written by William Carlos Williams...just kidding!

Moby Dick 

Great art makes you wonder
how you might deal with the worst situation
you could possibly imagine.

You may hate it when you consider it.
You may love it when you consider it.
You may not want to consider it.

None of it makes it right.
All of it makes it great.
Call me Ishmael.

Aaron C. Molden

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day Trip to the Internet

    So here is some more "poetry." honestly this is only free association while soaking up Netflix, Hulu, and, you know, Internet television. I think that I like it. Thanks!

Day Trip to the Internet

The quest for data is the new cola wars.
That's a little serious for the start of a vacation.
If you want to be cool stay in school, but do not act as if it is cool.

Don't worry, someone will always care about genealogy.
Our history is now mapped by commercials.

Do you feel like a piece of shit for not living your life to its fullest?
Well, check out these assholes living their hideous life
to its hideous fullness.

Salman Rushdie and Louis C.K. may be the same person
with different memories and birth dates.

I have never read a Salman Rushdie book.

Knowledge is beautiful, but please do not look at is as power.

Why am I talking in quotes?
I am not talking at all.
I am writing.
I have suddenly stopped listening to Salman Rushdie.

I came back to television
when they started talking about girls.

When viewing a world outside my own reality
I realize that the Simpsons were right.

We maybe misguided to what is actually good
and actually evil.

Have we puked up the little bit of apple
that has made us so sick
with the knowledge of good and evil?

The Simpsons already said that.

Is Fox News real?

I am vacationing in Internetland.

If you work hard, advertise it, so you can continue
to work hard.

Jersey Shore:
Uh? Yeah! It was a total blast!

Believe it or not, this is great.
You should try it because you might be less angry.

National Television has allowed the the word shit (several times)
but muted the word dick.
It was preceded by the word whiskey,
as in whiskey dick.
If they had not included the word whiskey,
would dick have not been muted?

Pink: I'm just taking everything Madonna did,
weighing the pros and cons of the situation,
and acting accordingly.

I just took a thirty minute break.
Even vacations require a break, Am I Right?

I don't think I will ever be a formalist.
Frankly I get bored.

We have reached adulthood,
so why can we not speak as adults?

Chase Bank's advertising isn't cool
on purpose. Because being cool
only really gives one street credentials.
Chase Bank isn't looking for
street credentials.

I am frighteningly well equipped
for domestic life.

What is better? Freedom from poverty
or freedom from anxiety?

If you are completely free of everything
you are probably stupid or an asshole.

I know I am not stupid,
but am I an asshole.

I think I can detect bullshit
because I have just watched five hours of television.
Or maybe I don't usually watch television
because I can detect bullshit.
Either way, based on my own flawed logic,
it's surprising to myself,
that this is not all bullshit.

I must admit, it is still
somehow a must richer laugh
when a recognizable pop culture
reference is incorporated.

So Chuck Norris isn't even ironically cool anymore.
He has become doubly ironic.
Will everything eventually be doubly ironic?
This is making my mind run like a Rube Goldberg invention.

Commercials eventually become
the rock we must roll up a hill
so that we can watch it roll back down again.

Was that metaphor originally intended for civilization?
I fought the urge to spell it civilisation.

Don't feel guilty about your addiction,
it's well documented throughout history.

Even the smartest people tend to be
too smart about something they are truly ashamed of.

What the hell is that suppose to mean?

Okay! First thing that comes to your head:
What is the greatest movie of all time?
I am trying to think of something other
than the Godfather before I finish writing this sentence.
Why? Because I am watching a clip from the Godfather.
I am a base contrarian.
Right, I think I am an asshole.

Here's a conundrum:
If a group of people justify the existence
of something awful solely because it is popular,
why does being critical of it
make you a faggot?
Your move, faggot.

This is why video games make sense.
Idle hands are the devil's play things
- Public Domain
Is that the right quote?
Oh sorry, you were probably too busy
masturbating to answer questions.

Video games are the second
or possibly the fifth step, in making our fantasy
a reality.

If I were playing video games right now
none of this would be a problem.

Are you feeling a little too human right now?
No problem, we've got something for that.

I finally have a different answer.
Apocalypse Now.
Those are both Coppola films.

If you can make a war film
that isn't considered important
than you do not have a real grasp
on what war really is.

We don't always see eye to eye,
but I think my dad would agree
with that last collection of words.

Were you wondering if I am in any way a xenophobe?
Well, shamefully I am.
I have a hard time reading subtitles.
Subtitles are my mind's idle hands.
What happens when your idle hands
are still only in your mind?

I'm getting better, though.
Flashback ten years ago and I
could not even watch a black and white film.
Believe me, I am always trying to eat my vegetables.

I stole that last line
from the New York Times.
I don't even read the New York Times.
Honestly, I kind of hate New York
even though I've never been there.
So, I guess I'm jealous.
But that doesn't mean you are not an asshole.

New York, that is, is an asshole.
I think that makes me an asshole too.
That realization doesn't prove that New York
isn't in fact a putrid behemoth of an asshole
upon this earth.
It only proves that I am a much smaller,
but still putrid asshole upon this Earth.

What a circle Jerk!

I am talking to the world.
I am making love to the world.
A writer and Hoosier that I almost childishly respect,
said that this is breaking a rule.
He also said that it was okay to break the rules
and find glowing success as a human being.

This might be true of every rule,
but I am definitely not the authority
on this idea.

Sometimes I feel like I am developing,
with every thing that I am making,
a semi-permanent, but elaborate
and illogical puzzle for some egghead to solve.

Hopefully that will keep me obscure forever.
Maybe I secretly hate my brain. Obviously I do.

I still think I am an asshole.

Taxi Driver would be in the top ten,
but the Godfather still seems right.
I am also influenced by my vacation.

I want to end this with some beautiful,
but confounding word.
This is the first thing that came to mind:


Aaron C. Molden

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Now That He Is Dead.

    So it has been awhile since I've written anything here, and since this is just for my own amusement I am going to stop promising what I am going to write next on this thing. I have never had that organized of a brain to predict what I will be interested in pursuing from one project to the next and I sometimes force it because I still believe that if I think something is worth doing than it is worth doing well. It's just  a shame I sometimes only realize that something is not worth doing only after I have invested a foolish amount of time into it. That being said I wrote a semi depressing poem that I decided to revise and post here instead of simply throwing it in the garbage and going on about my day. I hope you find some enjoyment out of it. It's not in verse, because I've always been a free verse kind of guy (for explanation of this please refer to the paragraph you have just read above.) Thanks!

Now That He Is Dead

Now that he is dead she can tell the truth.
Now that he is dead she has nothing to fear.
Now that he is dead she does not have to hold back.
Now that he is dead she can release the valve,
that every irritating tic or tac she had not mentioned,
but could not forget can now gush,
and ooze, and dam itself, and clog,
only to break free and gush once again.

Now that he is dead she is free.
Now that he is dead she can demystify him.
Now that he is dead she can call his bluff.
Now that he is dead she can pull him off his throne,
the king is dead, long live the king,
and all those other people that he damned,
and despised, and only found confusing,
were only feeling what he was unable to feel.

Now that he is dead she can be angry.
Now that he is dead she can mock his masculinity.
Now that he is dead she can explain her frustration.
Now that he is dead she can curse him,
because he had tricked her early on with his touch.
The touch that had once made her tingle,
and made her skin blush, and her body flush,
and made her come and come, was long gone.

Now that he is dead she can explain herself.
Now that he is dead she can let him know how she feels.
Now that he is dead she can stop worrying about being weak.
Now that he is dead she can scream out the truth,
the truth that she loves him with all her heart,
the truth that she would have done anything for him,
the truth that she would have followed him anywhere,
literally anywhere, that is, anywhere but here.

Now that he is dead she is relieved
that it was not her that had killed him.

Aaron C. Molden

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Reconsidering Rock and Roll

Quick Note.
 I should be typing up part two of "Things To Do When You're Broke," but I happened to find a little piece that I wrote a several months ago and turns out that I don't completely despise the thoughts I wrote at the time. Go figure! There are lots of thoughts within parentheses and run on sentences because that is how my brain works. I hope you enjoy!

Reconsidering Rock and Roll.

    It's time to face the facts: rock and roll is dead. Okay, let me rephrase that because the whole situation that is rock and roll is too sticky and complicated to claim it to be either living or dead. I'll put it this way, if you believe that rock and roll is a single organism lurching on in search of an ideal that is somewhere out there, but certainly not here, then yes, rock and roll is most assuredly a dead animal rotting and being picked at by younger and more resilient cultural species (gosh I love metaphors.) This may seem harsh, but we're talking about survival of the fittest put into action. This is just one man's opinion person I fabricated in my mind, but I think this is the wrong way to look at things.
    The right way to look at the situation (i.e- my way of looking at this situation) is that rock and roll is not a single organism, but a species. Within this species there are, like any domesticated species, many breeds. I anticipate this idea being a problem. The crux of the problem is that people who believe in the notion or feeling of rock and roll probably don't like to think of it as domesticated, but reality is reality. If I asked any of my friends who are or were in a rock and roll band if they liked Nickleback they would most likely laugh in my face. Yet Nickleback is a rock and roll band and, despite the moans of anyone actively interested mentally or emotionally in rock and roll, is winner of best in show. How could the most popular breed of a now universal species not be a reflection of the entire society it is immersed in?  Do not get me wrong here, this is not an attempt to make you start liking Nickleback (to be fair though, if someone wrote a critical analysis about how Nickleback is actually great I probably couldn't help myself from reading it.) What I am saying is, like dog breeders, each active listener has a preference for certain breeds and a disdain for others. People who love big dogs, people who love small dogs, when it comes down to it they are both still dog lovers.
    So my revolutionary idea is this: Let's stop thinking of rock and roll as something natural or instinctive. Let's look at rock and roll as something unnatural in the best way possible. Let's look at rock and roll as a checkpoint, something you must strive to understand through critical thinking. This will make rock and roll culture, instead of a resistance to an already established culture (which in reality is actually transgression, and if you want stay on that boat you should probably become an author so you don't get made fun of.) Anything that lives as long as rock and roll must deal with constrictions and responsibility. This is part of growing up. Ideas, like people will always be forced to develop or wallow into uselessness. It is evolution (I think it might be the proper use of the word "meme" too.) Culture is one of our defense mechanisms to fight against natural evolution. Our claws or coats of fur are imagination, memory, and critical thinking.
    I don't want to take all the passion, emotion, and, you know, wildness out of rock and roll, though. Culture is not always stuffy and boring. I consider myself a visual artist and I have been exquisitely inspired by simple paint on canvas in a way that many could not possibly understand. I can't ever truly express in words the absolutely sublime feeling I felt deep down when I first saw a Van Gogh painting in person. The only words that I could think of at the the time as my heart sunk into my chest was "Oh, I get it!" In this same way, words cannot explain the elation, the melancholy, the catharsis you feel when hearing the rock and roll song that defined you at that very important moment of your past you-ness. It is too special to completely describe in words. So let us now look at rock and roll as art. Art seeks to enlighten the thinking individual instead of the total masses. Everything becomes obsolete to the masses eventually. Painting gave way to photography, which gave way to motion pictures, which, as of writing this, is giving way to video games. Let's do that with music now. Classical music at some point gave way to jazz and blues, this gave way to rock and roll, which is currently giving way to what? Electronic music? Techno? Dubstep? Something like that. Guess what, though? It turns out that painting, photography, and motion pictures still exist. In the same way, classical music, jazz, blues, and rock and roll (as you know you rock and roll addicts) still exists. I know I am stating that obvious here, but I think its important to state the obvious, occasionally, so we can stand back and realize that it really is the obvious.
    The thing that has changed is the viewer or listener must now put forth some effort in finding it instead of it simply being forced upon them. Again, art instead of popular culture. As an artist, I cannot see this as a tragedy. It is a justification of its own existence, cultural defense. Just like Jazz in the 1960's, rock and roll ceases to be a way to just get laid and paid. Thank god! If that is the only reason you get into rock and roll, then I will take the low road and accuse you of bad taste. The reason for that is that you will get laid, anyways and if money is so important to you than your passion isn't rock and roll, its money. Rock and roll has returned to its roots as an outsider and that is where it thrives creatively at its best. This time around, though, it is also a topic worthy of a Ken Burns documentary (Do it Ken Burns! You know it's inevitable!) If you think it would be lame to be one of those bearded eggheads in a corduroy suit talking about the validity of the music (or art in general) they love, than I hope you enjoy being another boring and pointless old person because that's what you will be (Sorry, that was a little catty there at the end.)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Things To Do When You Are Broke, Part 1

    Are you a cool kid? Good! Are you really into music or art or fashion or books or sex or drugs? Great! Now, do you not have to worry about money? If yes, well bully for you, but I'm sorry to write that the next couple posts are not really for you (I would still love for you to read them anyways, though.) If you do have to worry about money (even though you hate to worry about it because money, man, its not even really real, right?) than these next couple posts are written specifically for you. I hope that you find them both entertaining and informative. Enjoy!

Another Introduction.

    Essentially what I hope to accomplish here is to give you broke bums something to do that won't put you further into debt that you can't afford to pay back while giving you an interesting and entertaining experience. The only thing that I will ask of you, dear broke reader, is to keep an open mind to these personal suggestions (and, I guess, to also actively participate in the literal act of reading as well.) I appreciate it.

The Library.
    Do you think that the library is for nerds or bookworms? If so, than you are living within an anachronistic mindset, my friend. The library use to be a place for nerds before the internet allowed nerds to become unimaginably more awkward and introverted than ever before. These days the library is mostly for weirdos, and when I say weirdos, I mean WEIRDOS! I'm not talking about your friend that always wears pink socks or refers to themselves in the third person. I'm talking about people so smart and aware of the physical and metaphysical that they can no longer subscribe to the confines of their presently structured society. These fine folks are basically your local Werner Herzogs or Bobby Fischers, except that they never recieved the privileged philosophical or financial support those lucky souls found in life. What's great about these local weirdos is that they are not only interesting, but they actually no longer have the ability to be anything but interesting (read: puzzling.) They have shucked off any pretenses of being a quiet and civilized human being and therefore can only be who they really are without any sort of socially imposed  filter. How is exciting is that? Answer: pretty damn exciting!
   There is an additional bonus when it comes to the library, too. Even if these weirdos are not at the library when you happen to arrive. Even if there is no one up for an aggressive game of Chess or Goe. Even if nobody wants to take part in a spirited debate about the state of the world (believe me, they have opinions about the state of the world and you're lucky to hear them.) Even if you find yourself all alone, you are still completely surrounded by the free and unmitigated information and personal observations that are known to the world as books. Books, Man! How incredible is that?
    Okay, I don't want to come off overly pretentious in this next paragraph, but this is going to be a slightly opinionated call to, you know, maybe grow up a little bit. Listen, we're not high school anymore, maybe we should start trying to act a little bit like adults. If you still think that education or knowledge is "uncool," if you think that being smart is for losers or nerds, than I'm going to take a stab that you fit into a very specific personality type. I don't want to generalize, but my guess is that you are either: a. An alpha male b. Prefer alpha males as sexual partners or c. worship famous alpha males because you wish you were one (and also secretly wish they were you're homosexual partners.) This is perfectly acceptable because any open minded person knows that all generalized personality types exist and very likely cannot be changed deep down. Nevertheless, I assure you that there is a section of society that is less open-minded than myself that happens to have a gnawing hatred of your personality type and the people who possess them. Again, it is not really their fault that they hate you so much, it's just their own personality type (just in case you were wondering, these people are usually pretty smart, but also usually pretty anxious and depressed. Such is life.) Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that being smart or knowledgeable doesn't make someone a nerd. Acting like a goofball nerd makes someone a nerd (once again, also perfectly acceptable, personality type and whatnot.) So if you're going through life thinking that reading and books are stupid like some pouting 8 year old...well, that means when I asked you at the beginning if you were cool, you were actually lying when you said yes.
     So now that you know all this, get up from behind that computer screen, walk outside, take a deep breath of fresh(ish) air, and walk on down to your local library and have yourself perfectly free and good time.

Author's Note: Choosing to do any sort of drug prior to heading to the library is entirely optional.

Aaron C. Molden

Next up- Part 2- Galleries and Museums

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Consumer Culture and Science

    Over the past couple years I have thought a lot about consumer culture (yes, I am that asshole.) Most of the time I always saw consumer culture as an entirely negative thing. Example: shirt A is the same as this shirt B, but if I put this name on shirt A it is suddenly worth more than shirt B. That kind of thing never made sense in my head. Lately, though, I'm beginning to realize that I have been missing the point. What I have been neglecting is that consumer culture, like any form of culture, is critical. I have spent most my time being critical of sounds, sights, and ideas via music, art, and entertainment. I have done this because these aspects of humanity are what helped me survive adolescence. Truthfully, I never really took into consideration the actual product that was delivering the ideas or entertainment. This is probably why I don't really have any nice things, but that's besides the point. At some point in the last couple years my brain did start caring, specifically about the things I was actually consuming (read: food.) 
    Every living thing consumes. If it stops consuming it dies. We, like every living thing are machines and machines need fuel. What I have realized (in my ever expanding, probably Rube Goldberg-esque machine of a brain) is that I know I need fuel, but I want the right fuel. I do not want fuel that will make me keep running on the bare minimum until I peter out like a poorly and cheaply designed car. I want fuel that will keep my engine running like a dream, despite the dents and dings my exterior absorbs. I want fuel that will make me a Toyota.

    I have a friend with a degree in Consumer Science. I never really told her while she and I were in school (Sorry, if you're reading this) but I always thought that her degree was sort of bullshit (says the guy with an Art Education degree, sheesh!) Now, I realize that she uses her degree every single day. She is critical of the cost of the things she buys. She is critical of how the things she buys are made. She is critical of what the things she buys are made of. She does not fall for trumped up or hyped products, but is only swayed by hard facts about products she is considering buying. Being able to do all this seems to lead to an all around better quality of life, I believe.

    On the other hand, being a critical consumer can also lead to a feeling of lurking terror. That lurking terror is the terror that massive and unstoppable multinational corporations do not care about the general population's well being and quality of life. That lurking terror is that these unstoppable behemoths of business will continue to try and raise their profit margins by any means necessary, even if that requires them to offer a product that is essentially poisoning their customers and workers. That lurking terror is that not only will massive corporations poison their customers and workers with the products they offer, but they will resort to murder and bribery to keep the conscious public in the dark about such matters. I'm not saying I have any proof that such things actually happen, but I am saying the feeling is definitely there. Just saying.

Aaron C. Molden, 2012