(Forewarning: I'm a little down right now...so 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.)