Friday, September 11, 2009, how's everybody doing?

Jeez, this is may have noticed that my last post was...well JULY 7TH! Anyone looking at my posting must chuckle at the "beginner's excitement" I was so obviously brimming with, followed by two months of utter silence. There were murmurs that "Life of a Pragmartist" was just a flash in the pan, rumors of yet another failed blog...

Well, my friends, here I am, older and wiser, having learned from my mistakes.

From here on in, no promises. I can't tell you when I'm going to write, or what I'm going to write about. This could be the last post ever. Or there could be eight tomorrow. (There won't be eight tomorrow). But I do like having this forum here, so we'll just have to wait and see.

The reason for this giant gap was that I was enrolled in what amounts to Screenwriting 101 at UCLA for the past ten weeks, so my energy has almost entirely been devoted to creating the story for my new screenplay. After struggling my ass off, consistently going from thinking I was the greatest writer ever, to packing my proverbial bags, I now hold a rough treatment for the new project. I am incredibly excited about this new work, but I don't think I'll talk about it here. Not yet. First off, there's the whole, "I don't want my idea stolen" thing, but I also enjoy keeping it close for now. But when a "sci-fi" movie by Aaron Golden comes out in 2015, you can say where you heard about it first.

Anyhow, that's all for now, just a quick update and hello. I will try to post a little more often...then again, I start a new class beginning of Cocktober and will again be slaving away to create something original. But, I'll do what I can.


Aaron Sydney Golden

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Living In Lost Angeles Four Days After One Day Before The Fourth of July

(Forewarning: I'm a little down right if you sense a slightly pessimistic tone to this post, I assure you, you're not making it up. As I am living in this up and down city in this up and down part of my life, there will be posts like this. I am working to enjoy it all, the highs and the lows.)

(Oh yeah, and this post could also be called "Aaron rants about the world and shit". If you don't want to read about that, move on. But I think there's some juice here. Mmmm juice.)


SO when the hoopla from my short film "Friendly Faces" dies down, the kudos have been awarded, the criticisms given, where do I find myself?

Turns out I'm still a confused twenty-three year old, unsure of what he really wants or how he's going to get it, that provides overfed Americans who would "like a little more bread, please" with, well, more bread. Remember, Aaron, you're in the "Grips of Overwhelming Transformation"...but, come on, does this shit ever get a little easier? (yes, I know, wah, wah, I'm a cry baby, believe me, I get it...)

So what do I do?...SIX FLAGS! I'm not a roller coaster guy, but some friends and I drove to Valencia, California, and rode some gnarly coasters (with names like Goliath and Terminator!) that launched my body through head-pounding loops and stomach-wrenching cork screws, sufficiently jostling my brain enough to temporarily give it a moment of calm this it so richly deserved...(Hm...was it richly deserved or is it that my brain deserves riches?...haha, trick question! Neither!)

We had a great day, my "I'm tough because I rode insane roller coasters" meter blowing up, topped with a gloriously American meal at this delightfully quaint Valencia eatery, "TGI Friday's" (it's like Friday every day in there!) It was great to get out of Los Angeles, as one must do or you go absolutely crazy in this sea of delusional, self-important insecurity...

But, all day long, and for days before, and I'm sure more days to come, I couldn't help shake this nagging feeling. It's a feeling that's been brewing ever since I strarted really paying attention to America's place in the world, our economy, democracy, present form of Capitalism, mass corporate food farming, and all that global warming pizazz. A feeling that, well, Six Flags is a pretty fantastic example of. It's the sinking feeling that this is all FUCKED.

I was born into a society that is literally destroying its own ability to exist.

And this fucks with me. When I was younger, I kind of saw the past as the PAST...we were past people being powerless, blind oppression, all the fun prejudisms that history is so littered with....we had reached the PRESENT...a present where things weren't perfect, but we're certainly closer than we'd ever been, and we were on a really great path towards lives of fun and enrichment, equality and support.

Unfortunately, it's just not really the deal. And it sucks.

I wish I could sit in my air-conditioned bedroom, feel hungry, grab my credit card and drive my car to In-N-Out, grab a delicious burger combo, come home and watch a guy eat 68 hot dogs in ten minutes on TV, and think this was all ok.

But it's not! It's not ok! And it's fucking driving me crazy.

I read that for climate change (you know, that old thing with the glaciers melting and temperatures rising, and FUCKING EVERYTHING UP) to be combatted, the average American would have to create about a ton of CO2 emissions a year. Currently, the average American creates about 35 TONS! Gore was right, this is an absolutely inconvenient, but startilingly truthful TRUTH! It's not a fucking joke, this shit just isn't NOT the deal.

I know life and culture has developed here for a reason. Burgers are tasty, roller coasters are fun. Life is hard, and everyone wants to be happy. But I feel confused and betrayed that I was born into a world where people said "These things are ok for you to do", when they weren't. They were fucking lies. And I know we didn't have as good of an idea about the destructive emissions and uneconomic use of land from Cattle consumption, but come on, this is ridiculous. (I know they weren't all lies...I think playing Scrabble is ok...but who knows?)

There are changes coming. And not like, "gay marriage is ok now" changes. We are going to have to make this epic, monumental shift. 35 tons down to 1. That's not changing a light bulb here and there, that's fundamentally changing our lives. How we eat, how we move around, what things we do for fun. How we love each other, how we speak, what we choose to spend our lives doing.

God, it sucks for so many reasons. Because here I am, having to be the "downer" who is railing about "society" and stuff. I hate me. I want to say, shut the fuck up, Golden, I'm going to watch the Bears beat the Packers while I drown myself in Bud light and grill up awesome delicious bratwurst, so eat my dick.

I just don't know what else to do. I didn't build any roads or buildings. I didn't create this government or laws. I had NO PART in the society I'm living in. But I was, like every other human, suprisingly born onto this planet. So why should I get to create 35 tons a waste a year? Why should I get to throw away food, while a third of the planet goes to bed hungry. And JESUS CHRIST, why are we watching EATING CONTESTS?

I swear to God, people asked why they attacked us on 9-11. The Nathan's Annual July 4th hot dog eating contest is a pretty fucking good answer.

Our reckless, thoughtless, barbaric over consumption is actively destroying ourselves, and our species' ability to live on this planet. We stuff whoppers down our throats, handing money and resources to companies whose ENTIRE PURPOSE is to, well, make money. Not to make consumers happy, not to make the world a better place, not to maximize our resources or restore the regenerative capabalities of this planet, but to buy fucking islands. To make a couple humans mind-boggilingly rich for a short amount of time.

Do I go vegetarian? Do I move to another country? Go into politics? I am making movies because I want to educate and create awareness, because entertainment is such a great platform to that on. But in Hollywood, it's "Give the people what they want", not "Give the people what they NEED." And yes, there is an active, hungry demographic of America and the world that understands the problems and wants solutions. There's just many more people that would like to remain blissfully unaware, live in fantasy worlds where our actions don't have consequences, and, after all, don't even really matter because Jesus will be taking them to heaven. (who are surprisingly not too worried about "heavenly warming", which I heard from this angel is, like, totally happening) People who look to Hollywood for dancing contests and distractions. Who have expendable income, because, hey, there's a lot of money to be made in participating whole-heartedly in the downfall of humanity.

So is that the answer? Just seek out fun, knowing that nothing can last, life on this planet notwithstanding, and just enjoy it for all it's worth? Knowing that I'm participating in fucking everything up, but there's nothing I can really do, so I might as well have fun?

I don't know. I'm a hypocrite, that's for sure, but who isn't?

Ugh, I think I just can't overthink this stuff, because I do have to still enjoy myself. As I said, I was born into this society, there is only so much I can do. But, God, we need awareness. We need to bring our "FUN FUN CONSUMPTION=GOOD" level down a notch or seven. As low as it can go without you hating life. Brand science-doubters, or those who live in fantasy worlds as the real "terrorists". Actively live outside of ourselves just a bit.

It's tough, believe me, but it might be our only chance (if we have even that.)

And let's stop the fucking hot dog contest. It's not cute, or cool. It's one thing to over-consume, it's another thing to rub it in everyone's faces.


Aaron Sydney Golden

(And don't worry, the next post is about wanking off, so, yeah, they won't all be grizzly like this one, I promise.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Friendly Faces and Stuff

Hey everybody...

Quick post...just a couple things...

a) My production company, The Rowdy House, just released our first short film that I wrote... Love to hear feedback...

b) In reading over my last post, I've decided that I will probably take a little bit longer with my posts...probably do only one or two a week. I think they deserve a little more time and thought...not that I don't like the previous post, or don't stand by it, I just think I want to make sure I'm saying what I want to say, and that means giving them a little more time in the pressure cooker. Who knows if that'll stay like promises!

And just a quick aphorism!

"I’d have mixed feelings about dying today. On one hand, it’s gonna happen at some point, and I’ve had a pretty good run up to now. But on the other hand, I feel like people would say ‘he never lived up to his potential’. Well, maybe they wouldn’t say it, but I bet some would think it, and that pisses me off."


Aaron Sydney Golden

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What WOULDN'T Jesus Do? (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, tee-hee!)

I'm baaacckkkk.....

Took a well-deserved break you all thought I was gone for good!...needed a little recharge time and I've been hard at work finishing the first short film I've ever made. Very excited about it...I'll throw up a link here when we publish it to the old world wide web tonight...

Anywho, today I will be talking about Christianity a little bit. Yes, the old polarizer that is organized vs. science...the whole spiel. But, out of respect to a population that has been overwhelmed by religious debating, I'll try to make my redundancy quick, and my insight fresh. (What more can you ask for???)

“If Jesus came back and was actually mad at me for not believing in him, I’d tell him to stop being a douche-face.”

There goes the "not publishing anything that could hurt my political chances later in life". Oh well, rain down the lightning bolts, my judgment day shall arriveth!

As you all may know, some people in this world believe in God. (Crazy, I know.) For perhaps the first time ever, it is now somewhat acceptable NOT to believe in God. (Yay!) Now, I'm not going to sit here and talk about what you should believe or what you shouldn't. Many of my friends are raging Atheists or Agnostics who instantly write off religiously inclined people as idiots...

Ok, I'll admit it, I occasionally fall into this group.

As a proud Agnostic, I think people shouldn't need to be afraid of God or want to go to heaven to do the "right" things in life, (this will be covered in a later post about Game Theory and the book Non-Zero. If you all want to have your minds blown, read Non-Zero by Robert Wright.) I've already stated that I think it's dangerous to ever think you KNOW anything for certain. Faith-based decision making is troublesome on many levels - no need for logic and reason, propensity to see your religion, and therefore YOU, as better than others, and so on. (And I know that Science is just faith - faith in the belief that just because something has happened it will happen again - but there seems to be some pretty solid evidence for this...) And beyond all that, Christian religious beliefs (along with Jewish, Muslim, etc.) just don't make any fucking sense. There are, like, fifteen Jesus stories in different cultures and really believe yours is the true one? It's just too damn convenient. Humans needed a way to control people on a massive scale so there would be some semblance of law and better to do it than tap into our base insecurites and loneliness? All this heartache and trouble isn't worthless, because someone is watching out for you AND you'll be happy forever in heaven! Yay!

Which would be all well and good, except it's just not the deal. Another human instinct is to look for the truth, to want to know what's actually happening. And this is why there are more self-identifying Agnostics than ever before in history. Jesus COULD be the deal, we just don't rightly know...Zeus could be the deal, God could be the couch I'm sitting on, who knows. I am know there is much about existence that we don't know and can't perceive, but making any conclusive decisions about it is, well, conclusively stupid. And it scares me how many people are still conclusively sure about some random dude from thousands of years ago being the son of God.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that it's really easy to hate on Christianity. I, and lots of other friends I have do so regularly. But I think, as we're trying to understand and communicate with each other, that it's important to find things about religion that are "good" ideas. There are plenty of books documenting good things about religion..bringing people together, searching for answers, supporting those around you, etc. But there's one thing in Christianity, in particular, that I've recently decided I like, and it's something often seen as an example of annoying Christianity:

"What would Jesus do?"

This line gets made fun of constantly...I mean, it is kind of ridiculous...WWJD? But, I think when you look at what it's actually saying, it's pretty fucking cool.

Who knows who or what Jesus really was...whether he was a group of people, what he looked like, anything. We don't know. I think it's almost certain he wasn't the fucking son of God, but other than that, all we really know is what it says in the New Testament. And from reading some of that, he appears to be one chill-ass mofo.

Here's how I see it going down. The straight-edged, prudy Rabbis wanted everyone to be wearing fucking black clothes in desert summer all the time, and like, do all this Jewish shit that no one really wanted to do (not eating pork being just one example of the insane amounts of fun the Jewish bible cuts out from life.) In comes this dude, Joshua (Jesus's actual name), who's been smoking way too much weedsies and says, fuck that, fuck all this hard shit, I want to just be chill and have a good time with my crew, and we'll all be mad cool with each other 'cause life's all about love, so yeah, fuck you, Rabbis. The Rabbis got pissed, the Greeks (or Romans? Meh, who knows anymore...) got scared, and in a truly phenomenal (though not uncommon in those days) display of hatred, crucified the poor hippie.

But his love thing struck a chord. Because all of a sudden, everyone was like, wait, when I love other people, and hang out with people who love me (and though "Love" is a somewhat undefinable term, I tend to think it means giving yourself to those around you, caring and acting as though they are as important as you are) life becomes better for me! And though none of them understood truly why this was (again, you'll read about that later in my Non-Zero column) it seemed to work.

So, back to WWJD. I like this because it says "When you are in a tough spot, and don't know what to do, what would Jesus do?" Now, presuming Jesus was this chill, love-loving free spirit, I tend to think if one stops to think in a moment of crisis "What would a hippie do?" it usually makes for some better consequences for all parties. Peaceful = better in my books.

So yes, doubters like me, I understand why it's easy to write off religion. But the difference between us and those who are unquestioningly faithful is just that: doubt. We must constantly reassess our own beliefs, and look for good ideas in others. Call me a stupid hippie, but I'm in favor of sitting down and figuring out why it's cool to be chill and love each other and not be douche-baggy. If you have to believe in God, I guess that's fine providing you actually follow through with this love business.

(But, like, could we PLEASE take religion out of government...pretty pretty please? Time to figure out how to make life best for humans without the crutch of an "ultimate creator" or "heaven". We, being all life on this planet with humans, presumably, as the intelligent controllers, have a planet to figure out how to live on.)


Aaron Sydney Golden

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rossio's Million Moments or Why You Must Have Absurdly High Standards in Life

I really thought today was going to be my day off. My mind needs a break, I thought. Five straight days of writing is ENOUGH.

Well, so much for that. It'll happen, just not today. I've already had two more ideas for posts, and that was before Michael Jackson died...

Not going to linger here, but quickly - yes, I guess it's sad Jackson's dead. I don't know, I more think it's sad he was a raging chi-mo (child molester) who went insane. But more importantly, here goes the media. Prepare to hear about this story for the next forever. It'll start with the - "Oh my god, he was so great, we're so sad!", quickly turn into the - "Wow, what a tortured soul, poor man", then head into the - "Well, he made those decisions, he's was pretty fucked up, so let's all take a moment before we deify him", then finish with the - "Ah, but life goes on, and new people will replace him! Let's move forward everyone!" There will be slews of commentary, anecdotes, and tributes until they've sold every last newspaper (I think we need a new phrase - greatly increased their website hits counter?), and milked the loss for all it's worth.

I'm sick of it already. It'll get in the way of important news and CURRENT events. Because, his death is no longer current. It was current this morning. Now, it's over. More things are happening CURRENTLY, at every moment of every day, that need to be talked about.

And all I can say for Farrah Fawcett! ZINGA! (not 'cause she's dead, you know, just 'cause no one'll remember this day for her death...I'm going to hell...)

ANYWAY, onto today's post.

Terry Rossio is a Hollywood screenwriter. You just might have seen some movies he and his writing partner have written (Shrek, Pirates of The Caribbean, Alladin, and others)...let's just say he's had some hits. He also writes a website:, a fantastic resource for young screenwriters, and it is clear that he is both an extraordinarily smart man, and a person who cares deeply for artistic quality. Though some of his movies are pretty shitty (Godzilla, Treasure Planet), he does a pretty good job of explaining why. It's an important lesson to aspiring screenwriters: if you're working with the studios, you don't get artistic control. The suits do, and they want to sell tickets, not make great movies.

One of Rossio's columns is a list of thoughts about life, aphorisms that he himself has written. A lot of them are pretty great, but one stood out in particular...I hope good old Terry is all right with me using it here:

"Each experience comes at the expense of a billon simultaneous others, so thank goodness we lack the imagination to have a clue as to the enormity of what we miss.”

I will refer to this as "Rossio's Million Moments." I understand neither the world "million" or "moment" appears in this aphorism, but it sounds better than "Rossio's Billion Experiences"... if it bothers you, you can munch on a nice steaming plate of my ballsack.

At first I just liked Rossio's Million Moments at face value. Presenting life as not a series of things we do, but things we don't do, unimaginable other experiences. But after letting it fester in my head brain, some pretty big ramifications from this sentence presented themselves to me.

Rossio, I believe, is lying. He is playing with his audience (maybe even with himself) and either on purpose, or inadvertantly, handing a writer the single best advice they can be given. Let me explain...

Rossio claims we don't have the imagination. But I think he thinks we actually do. We're humans, we have the power to choose one thing instead of many other things. It's how we're different than other animals. And these choices are not created equal...they have different ramifications for everyone involved. If I buy a Bowflex, I will get a bill in the mail and I can pay it or not. These are two simultaneous moments to choose from. If I don't pay it, I will probably lose my Bowflex, but I'll have money for other things. If I pay it, I'll have less money, but get to work on my chiseled physique. Because presumably that's why I bought the thing! I wanted IT! Therefore paying for it, to me, is the better option. (Ok, that was a sloppy example, but I hope you get my point...some decisions are better than others...:)

This basic decision making applies to EVERYTHING (suprisingly, many people are piss poor at it for some crazy reason...another post), but I will start by applying it to two of my favorite things, art and humans. This is where the second part of the title comes into play, because I believe that by heeding Rossio's words, it's not that one SHOULD make the best choice, it's that one MUST DEMAND the best choice be made.

ART: When a writer sets out to write a movie, he must come up with beats, or moments that will play out in his story. Scenes where characters do or say things, and things happen to them. When a painter paints, he must decide what to paint, etc. Composers, poets, whatever, anyone who creates...

Now, when one starts trying to create great art, they find out that they must work hard. That they may be talented, able to come up with some decent things right out of the gun, draw pretty well. Create things people like with little to no effort. However, you quickly learn that you have limitations, habits, and pitfalls, and that you need to set yourself up for greatness, that it won't just find you.

So you find out you need to re-write. Or re-draw. You need to go through what you've made, and decide if there's a better MOMENT, or character, or picture, or idea. Rossio said that every moment comes at the expense of a billion others. So as an artist, you must find the best moment. This means you must try things, tens of things, hundreds or thousands of things if need be. Because you can. Because there are limitless options for every moment. In this way, you will create greatness.

Example: Up vs. The Hangover. (Sorry if you've haven't seen them...if you haven't, just insert any two movies that are popular, one that's actually good, one that isn't.) Two big movies this summer, enjoyed by lots of people. I saw both, and I think they exemplify this idea. Up has found moment after moment, and drawn fascinating connections between them (the old man has tennis balls on his walker that later get used to ward off dogs). They clearly took the time to try many different things for each beat in the story and only settled on the right moment when it was pretty unanimously decided to be great, thus creating a very good to great story. Because this is what happens in great art. This is what seperates the Beatles and Radioheads from, well, shitty music. They aren't happy to just have a "good" song. They pour everything into every moment of every composition, making sure they're extraordinary.

Now, The Hangover was a very "funny" summer movie. I laughed. Hard at times. But it was just too fucking easy. To me, it was clear they settled on quick ideas, didn't do their homework, didn't allow time to really find the best moment. It's a Vegas comedy, you better bring something new to the table...Is Mike Tyson truly the funniest thing you could think of? The movie reeked of cheap laughs...easy comedy like a "scary tiger" or "crazy police" (It also had one of my worst enemies...what I like to call, the "Uber Moron". One character - Zack Galifanakis here - is designed to be unnaturally stupid so that when he says ridiculous things, the other guys make fun of him, and we laugh as an audience because we agree, what he's saying is stupid! Unfortunately, that's actually just the writers writing idiotic dialogue...the character isn't truthful, he doesn't exist.) By allowing a mediocre product to go to theatres, the makers of this movie said, "As long as people come through the door and laugh, it's ok to be lazy, because greatness isn't what we're after, it's the dollars!" They could have made something special and illuminating, historically funny, but couldn't have cared less.


HUMANS - Ever wonder why you like some people and not other people? Why that one guy is so annoying, but that other friend is really cool? Here's my theory. People that you like pick better moments. This is an active choice. When we're presented with a situation, we can act differently. There is a reason why some people are well liked and others are not. Well liked people actively pick make better decisions on how to act, pick better moments. They don't just go with their instinct, they stop and decide their next course of action. By surrounding yourself with people who choose moments that agree with your sense of right and wrong, sense of what's cool and what's shitty, you are saying that that person is a better moment chooser.

So what does this all mean? It means, you must have absurdly high standards for the choices being made around you. For your paintings, politicians, movies, music, beer, cleaning supplies, EVERYTHING. Because everything is not created equal. You have one chance to live life, to surround yourself with objects, people, and ideas, they might as well be the best ones. Some things are created by those with willingness to imagine better options, and those things are better. Don't be satisfied if that person is "nice enough", or that movie is "funny enough", or you're "happy enough". You are a human, you are the first species to have the power to do what Rossio says you can't: Imagine the choices you're not making. You have control, the power to make different choices, and if you start imagining and making better ones, you will be happier and have better people around you. They'll be happier, because you're cooler, it's one big contagious happy disease, and everyone wins.

Because the point is, after all, for us to maximize the happiness. Kudos to Rossio.


Aaron Sydney Golden

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Funk: Long Overdue Respect

Part of my writing before I started this blog was know, things like "I think, therefore I am."...little snippets of thought meant to clearly impart knowledge or raise questions in often ironic or humorous ways (what would we do without you humour and irony?) . I'm thinking sometimes I'll start posts with them. The conclusivity bothers me, and it can make me sound like a pompous asshole. But remember the one knows anything for sure. (including ME!)

"Canines and ketchup are similarly clever in that they’re allied with the most dominant forces in their respective worlds, thus ensuring their survival. Canines with the powerful human, ketchup with the unbeatable french fry."

I thought of that at one of my restaurants (yes, I work at multiple restaurants...because working a just one wasn't destroying my soul quite enough...) This particular restaurant serves the unbelievable Canadian delicacy that is "poutine" (french fries covered in cheese curds with hot gravy on top, melting the cheese into the fries.) This is one of those foods that makes you wonder why the most delicious things have to be unhealthy (cookie dough, pizza, hot fudge brownie sundaes...) Because if vegetables tasted like poutine, I'd be a giddy and dedicated vegetarian.

Now, what is interesting to me is that some people actually don't enjoy poutine. Mystifying, I know, but "the gravy is too much", or "wah, it makes my heart hurt." Pussies. In terms of taste, this dish is STRAIGHT DELICIOUS! And this, my wonderful readers, brings me to today's topic...


Funk music, in my opinion, is incredible. Transcendent. The best. (In my one and only screenplay, the main characters are in a funk band, that's how much I love it.) There is absolutely nothing not to love about the crazy hard beats of Earth, Wind, and Fire. You can't listen to Stevie Wonder and not bob your head. I'm listening to it right now. I just want to get up, and throw down crazy styles. I don't love dancing, but I can't not dance to this shit.

Sugarhill Gang, George Clinton, Kool and the Gang, Jamiroquai...just some examples of funky tune-age. And what awesome names! Parliament-Funkadelic? Are you kidding me?

And it hardly ends there. Funk is in everything. Club dance music, jam bands, disco, hip-hop...all just mostly funk. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Eyed Peas? More like Funky Hot Funk Peppers and Funk Eyed Funkpeas. Breakdancing? Pish posh. Should just be called...Hard Funking.

So where do people get off not calling funk the greatest?

Look, I know everyone is different. We all have our idiosyncracies...I don't expect everyone to love everything I love. I understand if you think football is boring. Or if you can't get into RPG video games. But funk?

Honestly, when people ask me what my favorite music is, I used to not know what to tell them. Liked jam bands like Dave Matthews and Phish for a while...Radiohead's amazing, I love me some Beatles, and I'm a sucker for classical music. But, I'm not always in the mood for these things. Hm...what to say? In a blast of clarity everything clicked! The funk! No matter what time of day, if I'm happy or sad, I AM ALWAYS DOWN WITH FUNK!

I'd like to see a study of the effects of funk on a person. Why does it make me need to thrust my hips so assuredly, or wave my arms so goofily? Are there little funk men and women that live in the vibrations that fly into my head when some soulful funk gets started, and jump around my brain pulling all the dancing levers? If so, how do I get that job?

So I ask, people, are you really giving funk it's proper due? Are you really opening yourself up to the funk? And if you do claim to love the funk, are you vocal enough? Let's bring funk out from behind the closed doors of dive bar DJ booths. Out of specialty Sunday night "funk" nights, and into the mainstream. I swear, funk is the key to life...if the Iranians were listening to more funk, they'd be much more chill. That and smoking weed (different column...:)

I propose a funk minute on earth. We'll call it "Global Funk Break" Maybe at like 2:49 pm E.S.T. everyday funk music could blare from every street corner, and wherever you are, you just get to be straight funky for a minute. I know this would mean loud funk music in the middle of the night in, like, Africa, but whatever. It's for the good of the planet. Shut up, Africa.

So yeah, you probably like funk more than you think you do if you think you don't like it. And if you do like it, and I'm preaching to the choir...let's enjoy the funk, and eat some poutine, and go to bed happy.

And for those counting, I used the word funk (or a derivate like funky) 35 times in this post. That's how much I love funk. Shit, 36.


Aaron Sydney Golden

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gay Marriage and the Revolution of Revulsion

Feeling a tad burnt out on one post a day plan might have been a bit ambitious. But don't fear, I have many, many things to say, so even if I get lax at times, I promise I will return.

A quick aside: this internet thing is totally insane. I am a published writer now! Granted, no one but me had to decide that my work required or deserved publishing, but it's published all the same. Freedom of speech is the strongest weapon we "powerless save-the-world-ers" have against the powerful "no-the-world-is-fine-'cause-I'm-rich-and-powerful-ers", so I give the internet five thumbs up (my two plus one from each of my "followers"!) Amazing.

Anyway, I thought this would be a good time to throw up a column I wrote a little ways back. I intended to try to get it published (for real-like), but I think it's best here. Side note: What you're reading is my mom's edited version. Thanks, mom. ('t she look great???)

Gay Marriage and the Revolution of Revulsion.

My name is Aaron Golden. I was born in the weed-isn’t-a-big-deal, draft-dodging liberal utopia of Canada (which is hardly as socially liberal as people give it credit for, but for the purposes of this article, the stereotype can stand.). My parents are University of Chicago intellectuals, my mother a psychologist, my father a professional musician. My first passion was musical theatre, I went to a mostly male private school, and my aunt is…let’s just say I call her my lesbi-aunt. Plain and simple, my upbringing was a textbook recipe for becoming a raging homo.

But something weird happened: I grew up loving pussy.

I still love it. It’s the best, women are the hottest. It’s unfair really, as my parents would have been open, accepting, and loving had I been gay, something the majority of young homosexuals have to live without. I had loads of gay theatre friends, who were always somewhat shocked that a football- playing straight guy would be as open and unfazed by their lifestyle as I was.

Because, theoretically, any argument opposing the gay lifestyle is just idiotic. To say gays shouldn’t marry because it takes a man and a woman to create kids doesn’t take into account the vast overpopulation of planet earth, the number of unwanted children who already exist, and the potential love and support that gay couples can give to children. To say a child needs both a mother and father is equally off-base, since as we don’t take children away from single fathers and mothers. Yes, I believe a child needs strong male and female role models, but as has been demonstrated time and again, others beside parents can fill these roles and it’s the parents’ duty to ensure their child is loved and supported. Besides, this whole line of argument implies that the only justification for marriage is procreation. To be sure, this is the traditional Catholic position, but most of us believe there are other excellent reasons to marry. And since we allow heterosexual couples who cannot or will not have children to marry, this point seems pretty irrelevant.

To say God says being gay is wrong…well, with separation of church and state, this should be a non-issue. If we need to take government out of marriage altogether, so be it. Legalize civil unions for everyone, and then find a church, synagogue, or any other religious institution that will marry you. If your church doesn’t believe in gay marriage, fine, they don’t have to perform it. But God is, supposedly, love.

However, and this is a big however, as a heterosexual, I have to admit I find gay love totally weird and incomprehensible. It is an absolutely foreign, almost lunatic concept to me. If I had never been told about gay love and sex, it never would have crossed my mind as an option.

As I looked around Huffington Post at pictures of gay couples and gay weddings, I was surprised at how foreign it still is to me. I support and love gay people and their fundamental right to be married, but I also think it is problematic to criticize others who see what you do as revolting.

I know this is a harsh word, but gay sex is revolting to me. (Lesbians not quite as much, but that’s beside the point.) This isn’t right or wrong, it’s just truthfully how I, and obviously many other people, feel. And this, finally, is my point: we’re surrounded by people who happily make choices that are so insane to us, assaulting our very sensibilities of what is right and wrong in the universe, that our instincts and emotions are thrown into confusion and terror. However, we must learn to calmly listen to these feelings of revulsion, and, if they have nothing to do with our own immediate lives, ultimately let them go.

This applies to everyone, gay and straight. I am also revolted by obese people gourging themselves at McDonald’s, or a person who spends ten hours a day playing online video games, or dare I say, picturing lots of heterosexual couples knocking boots. Conversely, I rarely clean up after myself...growing up with a housekeeper meant "messy shirts on floor" became "folded shirts in drawer." Suffice it to say, this amazingly didn't last after the housekeeper, but my "shirts on the floor" did. Revolting! People are constantly revolted: interracial couples, bizarre religious practices, sexual fetishes, clothing choices – the list goes on and on. Even food customs: “How can they eat THAT?!” Every single person on earth does something that others on this earth would find revolting.

Other people’s revolting behaviors create upsetting visual images, I get it. But these behaviors make others happy or satisfied or uplifted. So we should accept and support them. The only reasonable restriction is that they don’t hurt other people. Otherwise, they must be legal options. At the same time, we of the “open-minded” contingent must remember that overcoming one’s instincts, especially when they are as powerful as revulsion, is exceptionally difficult and requires a high degree of maturity. We must be patient and understanding, and not just assume because we love our personal peculiarities, other people should as well. We’re all allowed to be revolted, and, frankly, we don’t have a whole lot of control over it.

So, yes, gay haters, I get it. If two gay men walk down the street, you might picture for a split second what two dudes doing it would look and feel like. The mind is imaginative; you might even have to think about what it would be like to have a dick in your own butt. Oh well, you’ll think about unpleasant things in your life before and after that experience. Sorry, but there will never be a world without gay people. If it makes you that upset, go live in a cave.

And to all my gay friends whom I love dearly, enjoy your disgusting lifestyle! Hooray!


Aaron Sydney Golden