Interview with Dan Moran!
By: The Myth Master

Oh, Why hello there. I had not expected you so soon; I was only just starting to warm up this month’s volunteer. Let me put down this torch and we can go see if my cauldron is hot yet. This month I decided to interview one of our budding artists. I can only hope he will never be the same afterwards.

Please welcome to my lair –

Dan Moran – TWoM artist.

Let’s not wait any further, I hate making my ‘tools’ just hang there in anticipation.

MM: How long have you been creating art?

DM: I've been creating art all my life. I'm self-taught, and was drawing before I even knew how to read.

MM: Preferred medium?

DM: Ball-point pen. With this, I can do anything that can be done with a pencil except erase. I can get every level of subtle shading possible, and many people think that some of my pen drawings are in fact done with pencil, but it just goes to show that you don't need anything fancy and that the familiar "menu" of medium categories is not comprehensive.

MM: With today's technology, do you think computer generated art will ever replace the brush, oils and canvas?

DM: I certainly hope not. Anyway, it's silly to abandon a huge variety of mediums in favor of something that ultimately comes down to pixels and a limited range of colors, has no texture, no physical presence, and makes it impossible to create or display art if the power happens to go out. Computers are nothing but tools, and although they might become very refined in terms of how well they can imitate other mediums, they're still largely imitating--why bother? The human soul and body have been creating incredible things since people have been people and not just animals (I would suggest the creation of art as a more important dividing line between human and animal than simply using stone tools), and I abhor the idea of people surrendering this to the whims and algorithms of secondary devices that we've created for other purposes. Let computers help us to manage offices, and let's keep art in our hands.

MM: Bearing the above question in mind--Which do you prefer, Old School or New School?

DM: I guess it's pretty obvious from my answer to the above. I'm Old School all the way. In many ways, I resent the presence of computers in the art world. What about just having raw talent? It doesn't matter as much anymore. I also do calligraphy--not just existing types, but also lettering of my own creation. Thus, I'm very definitely Old School, in many ways (like, I have no cell phone, I still write letters, I listen to tapes, watch movies on VHS, and I pay with cash).

MM: Well Dan, that nice antique cauldron I have put you in has come to a rolling boil and we all know what that means!! Dinner!! ….I mean the more in depth questions of course.

MM: You like older books, anything macbre?

DM: I think the various versions of the medieval "Dance of Death" qualify, as does Dante's Inferno. On the older end, myths of most cultures include plenty of the macabre; on the "newer" end of "older books," stuff like Baudelaire's poems and some of the stuff by J. K. Huysmans (like "La Bas," which has some extended meditations on Gilles de Rais) can be macabre, as can much Romantic work (I really dig all that Sturm und Drang). I also read a lot of history books, and can tell you that there's nothing more macabre than the way human beings have been treating each other since becoming ‘civilized’.

MM: Tell us a little more about the joys of when you were working in the haunted house.

DM: I started working there in high school, and worked every summer past grad school. It was an actual large house, not something that had been built for an amusement park, but had been transformed. It thus had a lot of history and authenticity, and the fact that customers had to walk through (not ride in some car) kept it more real. We took time with our costumes and make-up, and always stayed in character. There was nothing frivolous or silly about it (except for the way that we all interacted among ourselves, when no customers were around). I got to wrap myself in darkness and bring terror to people.

MM: What is up with the black clothing thing? (besides the fact it makes the soup water darker!)

DM: There are small reasons, like black always having been my favorite color, or the "bad guys" wearing black (as a kid seeing Star Wars in the theater, I thought that Darth Vader was the coolest). At the very least, it sets one apart; for me, it also makes me feel at my full powers. But the biggest reason is the tradition of mourning, although in my case it's not so much a loss of something as the lack of something. It's kind of a mourning for the human race and for the world. It's not that the world is dying, but rather that there are things fundamentally wrong that will always be wrong, and there's nothing to be done about it. My black encompasses and represents the sorrows of the world, the tears of a fallen Lucifer, the cries of a tormented Prometheus, the rage of a sick and suffering Ahab at injustice on a grand scale and the desire to undertake the superhuman task of redressing the wrong, even when you know in advance that all of your struggles are doomed. It's Hamlet unwilling to acknowledge that certain wrongs are just ordinary parts of a life that just keeps going and forgets, Hamlet who cannot escape the fundamental significance of the wrongs and the way in which they overshadow the mere mechanics of the world that simply continues to function without regard to any deep sense of right and wrong.

MM: You like trips and are athletic, quite the combo; does this or your studies in philosophy and religion ever inspire your works?

DM: I would put it differently. It's more like my art or writing or poems are ways of being for me, and when I do them it's because what my life calls for then is to be living in THAT, while at other times I must be living in the movement of muscle and a very inward physical focus, or must be living in TRAVEL, which has to do with embodying the facet of conscious experience that is movement and shifting in a stream of universal time. Travel is not just sightseeing, but a reminder that part of any being's experience has at least once included entering a new, strange world and reacting inwardly in a way that precedes thought. My creative (art, writing) life inspires my travel and athletics as much as they inspire my art, so it's more that they're all just different options for how I can move through the world at any given time.

MM: Ah, nothing like a true literary giver. Anything else, Dan?

MM: Dan?

MM: Uh oh.

MM: Well then, until next time we shall remind ourselves that we should always finish the interview before our victim expires!!

This is Kevin ‘Myth Master’ Adams and I shall return again next issue with more extractions of the soul and mind - sounds fun huh? Should anyone have an idea where to hide an overcooked artist, please share.

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