Monday, February 06, 2006

Aaron vs. The Last Month

How like me. I make a New Year's Resolution (note the emphatic use of capitalization) to write more frequently and then I completely cease to do so. Okay, I may have been tied up (not literally; the last thing I need is for this site to somehow become cross-referenced by a wacky porn index, as I often find when Googling myself), but that's no excuse. Never mind that I've been writing a review every other day, working overtime at my job, and setting up an alternate blog to archive all my work at ( And forget, for a moment, that I've started writing short stories again, you know, so that at least the creative juices are flowing, if not absolutely spilling out all over the place. I should've been more dedicated to posting these rants here, not because I'm vain enough to think anyone reads them, but to ensure that when I become more popular there is plenty of material for people to blackmail me with. I'd hate to leave the little people empty handed.

But none of this really explains what I have against the last month. After all, I was on TV, wasn't I? I made a nice little cameo appearance on Theater Talk, for which I have been an active member of the New Theater Corps ( That's a positive investment on my criticism work, and it looks like it all turned out pretty good. Or so says my vanity, coupled with my ego. So why exactly am I railing against The Last Month (again, emphasis intentional)?

Perhaps it's because I was derailed for a while thanks to some lovely food poisoning. I don't know what I ever did to Thai food, or to the Spice restaurant chain (I swear, I only ever recommended the place), but they got me pretty good. I'm glad I lasted through the season premier of "24," but only just. Ironically, or perhaps allegorically, that's how long my little fit lasted. And there must've been a ticking clock, because every hour or so, I'd take a "commerical break" over at the bathroom. I'm not sure if food poisoning does the same thing as a colonoscopy or enema (nor am I entirely sure what those nasty sounding words are, I just like using them), but I'm as clean as I'm going to get.

The whole dreadful experience also made me reconsider my stance on alcohol, as did a rather random conversation with a former EIC (not the one who's been helpful in my job search), who, eerily enough, memorized a column I wrote on the subject. Let me just say: God save the Queen. For the record, he's probably reading this, too. God save you too, and good luck in your new job. Digression aside: my new stance on alcohol is that I really, seriously, definately don't need it. Beer in particular, it just does nothing for me. Aside from its wacky ability to make me blackout and do stupid things, I'm better off without it. Which leads me to a slight problem: what exactly do you DO, in terms of hanging out at local establishments, if you don't drink? I should mention also that I hate coffee and tea, so a lounge isn't much better. And we've already seen what hanging out in local restaurants accomplishes.

All of this has been a little too personal for me, despite my keeping romance (i.e. the lack thereof) out of it. I think the real reason for my anger against the Last Month is that nothing really happened in that entire month worth ranting about. Well, you know the old salt: when the news isn't happening, it's time to make the news. See you all next month: it's time for me to Make a Difference (ibid).

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Aaron on Writing

I love the New Year. Full of promise, full of hope, and a shot that cries out twenty-four times across the world. That twenty-four-fold ringing in reminds me, for some reason, of perspective. That we all experienced the same thing--a new year--but all had different experiences of it; in fact, we even celebrated it at different times (because there's no one correct viewpoint). And it reminded me, as I made my resolutions (drunken, but still truthful), of just how much I love writing.

Think of it: we all live in the same world, and we all see something different. The goal of writing is not to assert a definite (that's why everything must eventually come down to opinion; even a news piece assumes certain societal facts, e.g., that a murder is wrong). The goal of writing is to allow the reader another viewpoint, a look into someone else's soul. Bias, therefore, is the most essential requirement for original fiction: it is when we lose sight of our internal prejudice that we create the most bland and un-compelling fiction. The homogeneity of writing is a terrible prospect; give me my Wallace, give me my Rushdie, my Auster, my Coover. Let no two writers be the same.

That said, everybody knows that I want to eventually start a "fucking" literary magazine. Not just fiction, but lots of edgy opinion pieces, ones preaching a more aesthetic view of the news and a more original interpretation of the world, rather than just the crusty essay prose that passes for compelling reading today. (Note: there's nothing wrong with Harper's or Atlantic Monthly, but I'd like to see the boundaries pushed also.) I was talking with one of my friends, another Aaron, about The Nation, and we discussed their approach to certain topics: lots of individually slanted pieces espousing the same thing in myriad ways. The only problem with The Nation is that their small sampling of the infinite viewpoints comes entirely from the left. (Granted, there are very few intelligent, edgy, conservative writers, which I think is very telling, but it'd be nice to see them attempt a little panache in their prose.)

Let's stop trying to deny our inner voice, our true writers. Let's conform only enough for people to still get a general impression, and screw them beyond that. There's no write way to right something, and if you udnreastnd waht I'm wirintg (or think you understand), what else really matters? Ultimately, you're the writer: you decide what my words mean, no matter how clearly I delineate them. "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy cow." Pretty clear. But you'll decide how brown or quick the fox is, how high he jumped, and if the cow was just lazy or hung-over. Let's work our minds, let's challenge ourselves: let's write! Happy New Year!