Guest Column: Three Books You Need To Read By Ara’s Erik Stenglein

Guest Column

In our undying efforts to bring you engaging columns you won’t find anywhere else, we’ve reached out to the metal world, seeking submissions for a new subject: Three amazing books you have to pick up.

Seeing as you read this blog everyday, we went out on a limb and assumed you’d maybe want to get some book suggestions from your favorite bands. So we kick off this series on rad, must-reads today with Erik Stenglein from Ara.

Darrell Huff: “How To Lie with Statistics”
I studied Psychology during my undergraduate years, and my first Statistics professor had us read this book. It’s short, like 50 some pages maybe. However, in those 50 pages, Huff manages to break down how major media outlets, and anyone who uses numbers to make a point are probably full of complete shit, and trying to influence you to believe whatever tripe they’re peddling.

It’s an older book too, which is even better because it shows that the major media outlets in this country have always been full of shit.

Henry Rollins: “Get In The Van”
While I do play drums in a “death metal” band, I actually have a wide musical palette and appreciate and enjoy various forms of music. So, I am a Black Flag fan, especially the My War album. This is as honest of a chronicle of being in a DIY touring band as you’re likely to find. Rollins and Co. struggled their balls off for the notoriety they got. They played by their own rules, and wrote the music they wanted to hear, even when it bummed out their fans.

To me, that’s the mark of a true artist, doing what you want no matter what criticism or barriers others offer. Touring these days is virtually nothing like this, because of trailblazers like Black Flag who played their asses off across the country, spreading their sound and influencing others’ perception of punk rock and hardcore. Nowadays, it’s totally normal to go to a show and there’s bands playing stuff that in Flag’s time would’ve been considered completely insane, unlistenable noise. These bands don’t suffer for anything they have, and they have bands like this to thanks for that.

Jim Marrs: “Alien Agenda”
I don’t care who believes in aliens or who doesn’t. The truth is, our planet is involved in some kind of clandestine exopolitical scheme, involving sentient creatures from other worlds, that threatens the very nature of our existence of human beings.

Aliens are visiting our planet. Some of them live here. Some of them are malevolent, others are not. Either way, they’ve been influencing human culture for tens of thousands of years, especially through human religion, which is the largest social cancer our planet has seen or (hopefully) will ever see. Some people turn a blind eye or are skeptics, simply because the government hasn’t revealed anything explicit about these affairs. However, if you’re willing to look, everything you need to know is written between the lines in various forms of literature, in the media, etc. This book is probably the most straightforward introduction to our species’ role in universal conflicts that you’ll find.

I challenge anyone to read this book and not be at least a bit concerned about the future of our species and planet.

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