Bonus Poem of the Week: Dried-Up Cash Cows

Dried-Up Cash Cows
April 12, 2017

Many a person with backbone and tons of imagination
Sharing their vision of the future with millions across the nation—
Sometimes admittedly ugly, but even then, plenty of fun
With many an original character out to send trouble on the run
As he or she goes on adventures, frequently enough through lands
So bizarre and fascinating that one look evokes an “Oh, man!”
From the mouths of those who perceive them and all the denizens
That dwell within the region, even when evil comes to bring an end
To the realm’s peace and prosperity with deeds and actions so depraved
That it takes a hero with grit and gusto to burst on into the fray
And bring the villain and his or her mooks to their knees with tenacity
To the gracious relief of the locals. That’s what the ‘80s meant to me.

Alas, though, what’s happened to those franchises we used to know
And love for their vision, no mater how we’ve ridiculed them so?
What else? We’ve dared to reinvent them, knowing just how much power
They have over those who remember them, recalling every hour
They’d spent watching and listening to their glory back in the days,
Only now, their current incarnations often fail to amaze,
As they rarely capture the spirit that made the originals great
And feature heroes we once knew, yet to whom we can no more relate,
As they’ve been reduced to shells of what they were once upon a time,
No longer the charming, gung-ho type with a passion for fighting crime,
But rather morose and moody, as “gloom and doom” as we are,
Just stock brooding bruisers like other protagonists today, which, by and far,
Makes them only blend in with all the others and not stick out at all—
Something they used to do quite well, even ‘mongst their kind ‘fore their fall.
The villains don’t fare much better and are just ramped up a thousandfold,
Turned into murderous schmucks as charmless as the heroes, truth be told,
And are every bit as dark as the plans they hatch against the world
As well as generic and depressing—so much so that they make me hurl,
For the flair that had made them brilliant at the risk of making them “cheesy”
Is no longer there, thus making them bland and lifeless, which makes me queasy,
And with the fun gone from these characters, so is the fun from their plot
Leaving us with lazy, unimaginative stories sloppier than snot
That follow the same tired formula as most modern shows I know,
Mostly unrecognizable in more ways than one, much to my woe,
Save for the occasional swerve or plot twist that only serves to derail
The story as we once knew it, hence furthering the fall of the tale
And further driving us away from that which those running the industry
Wants us to reinvest our time and money into. Yeah…not for me.

Don’t get me wrong. The franchises I knew from my younger days
Entertained me thoroughly back then, but I’m ready now to part ways
And embrace something new that’s equally well-written as that which I once knew.
As for this soulless, recycled, cash-grabbing hash…no thanks. I’m through.
Start getting some new ideas, Hollywood, if you want to survive,
For living on dried-up cash cows is no way to stay alive.
New generations need new stories. That’s how it’s always been,
And you’ve been able to do just that without issue way back when.
Recently, though, what have you given today’s young folks to hear and see?
Mostly inferior versions of what you’d once made for kids like me
That haven’t done squat to take you out of the rut you’ve put yourself in,
And quite frankly, you’re nuts if you think I’ll stew with you in your own sin.
Get with the times, then! Otherwise I’ll just create my own thing
And change the tide while you keep failing and survive the bitter sting
The masses have already been suffering for far too long as things stand.
Goodbye, then, dried-up cash cows, for a new day is at hand.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

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Poem of the Week: Hollywood Then and Now

Hollywood Then and Now
January 7, 2016

Heroes worth looking up to, rugged and tough like steak,
Standing by their values and knowing the risks they had to take
Against villains who were cunning, deft enough to undermine
The status quo to suit their needs, which they proudly stood behind.
Big-name players whose work has been immortalized over the years,
Whose talents we still remember and will carry on being revered.
Horrors that were frightening on their own without the need
To leap up and startle their victims before making them bleed.
Settings and creatures of fantasy that whisked audiences away
With little to no special effects getting in the way.
Stories that actually made sense down to the most minor plot twist,
Deep enough to intrigue folks, yet simple enough to give their gist,
All of which were fresh and new or at least had their own flavor
And didn’t rely on the brands before them to get folks to savor
What they had to offer. Such was how things used to be.
Nowadays, however, that ain’t what it looks like to me,
For we live in a world where instant gratification’s the thing—
Where Hollywood only cares about the cash a given project brings.
Talent matters not anymore in writing or delivery.
Storytelling now takes a backseat to marketability,
Be it the brand Project X bears or how rude and crude it can be,
Aiming for the lowest common denominator for all to see,
Warming the hearts of those with low standards while churning the guts
Of people with minds of their own and their heads out of their butts
Who can see lazy, offensive trash for what it is beyond the fluff
And go out of their way to support smarter, more sensitive stuff
That might not be as available to the public as a whole
But is much better than Project X might be for the heart, mind, and soul.
Alas, though, it’s not about content, as I’ve said, or quality,
But whether the big wigs can force-feed the likes of your or me
The crap from which they hope to profit, no matter how tacky the taste—
The junk food of entertainment media and, in turn, a waste
Of time, energy, and money on our part to try and enjoy
That takes the easy way out to appeal to all girls and boys.
Sooner or later, I hope things change for the better
So that the folks of tomorrow can experience better weather,
For I can preach about avoiding the bad and supporting the good,
But that alone can but do so much with so little in the neighborhood
As far as money is concerned, although I’m sure that’ll help,
But in the meantime, Hollywood, clean up your act, you whelps!
Stop pouring toxic sludge down our throats and making us call it yogurt.
Give us something new and fresh instead. Would that really hurt?
Don’t give us some excuse, either, like “Nothing’s new these days.”
You’re still not trying with what you’ve been giving us anyway.
If nothing else, at least pass the torch to some new, creative minds
‘Fore you’ve only the most desperate viewers left supporting your behind.
You were good once upon a time—not flawless, but nonetheless,
You’ve fed us but a few good courses recently. Putrid have been the rest,
And only if you improve the consistency of what you release,
The people who’ve been complaining about you won’t shut up in the least.
You owe it to yourself and all the stars you’ve made over the years
To regain what honor you once had before it all disappears,
So shape up, Hollywood! You’ve done better than this before.
Enough of your mindless slacking, then! We can’t take it anymore.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

                         Amazon.com

                         Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: The Cancer of Hollywood

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, readers!

Unfortunately, this week’s “Poem of the Week” has nothing to do with football in the slightest, but rather is dedicated to those of you out there who are getting sick and tired of the current trend in movies these days. Granted, there have been some good flicks popping up here and there in recent years, but even with that in mind, I’m sure that most of us–if not, in fact, all of us–have that one film that we either regret seeing or refuse to watch under any circumstances. Therefore, for those of you who see the big game tonight as a breath of fresh air from whatever garbage has been making its way onto the Silver Screen, here’s The Cancer of Hollywood. Enjoy!

*****

The Cancer of Hollywood

January 29, 2013

 

Remember that era of Hollywood

When the movies it made were actually good,

Well before it started feeding us this smut

That has led it into its current rut?

Remember all the classics you knew as a kid

That lasted for months before going to vid

In the theaters, where snacks and sodas were cheap,

And it actually mattered whether or not you had good seats?

Remember when going to the theater was fun,

When it actually felt worth it to make a movie run

Over the weekend with friends and family

‘Cause the movies then were actually something to see?

Well, sadly, all, those days are done,

For movies today just aren’t that fun—

Maybe a small handful of them, but like I said,

For the most part, good movies are dead,

And nowadays, the cinema is mostly crap,

No thanks to that which has given it a bad rap.

Sloppily written scripts, recycled plots,

Chaotic and nonsensical camera shots,

Illogical swerves, raunchy themes,

Quotes that even fail as Internet memes,

Gratuitous vulgarity, sex, and gore,

Unrelatable, unendearing characters galore,

Anarchic randomness, and lowbrow humor—

All these constitute the malignant tumor

That has plagued the industry for oh so long

That I’m surprised I’ve yet to hear its swan song,

Although I’m sure I will if things carry on like this

And produces less than one box office hit per miss.

Unfortunately, what can movie buffs do

Aside from not seeing a travesty or two

At their local theater when such flicks come out?

Honestly, it’s enough to make one shout

Boycott! Boycott!” at the top of their lungs,

And guess what: So long as I’ve a tongue

Of any sort with which to speak

‘Til the cinema scene stops looking so bleak,

I’ll insist that the masses save their dough

And stop paying to see their god-awful shows.

Honestly, why flush your hard-earned money

Down the toilet like it was crap, honey,

By watching a film that ends up being that?

Why not help your wallets stay fat

By staying at home and reading a book—

Hard cover, paperback, Kindle, Nook—

Or watching a classic film on DVD

Or even finding a favorite show on TV?

Whatever the case, Hollywood must

Learn from its mistakes or bust,

But that’ll never happen, lest we have a say

By avoiding the filth and electing to pay

Only to see the worthwhile stuff?

After all, when the industry’s tough,

The hard way’s the only way people learn

To do something fast before they crash and burn,

And if these studios keep feeding us turds,

Then maybe we ought to flip them the bird

Until they realize we want good stuff again

Just like we once watched way back when.

Do yourself a favor then, folks: Spare your change

Before it lands in the pockets of the deranged

And maybe—just maybe—we’ll see good stuff again

On the silver screen. Until then,

To Hell with today’s flood of cinematic poop,

For who knows how much lower the studios’ll stoop

To gain any extra greenbacks from the masses?

After all, aren’t you sick of movies that are classless?

*****

And that wraps up yet another “Poem of the Week.” Thanks again for stopping by and reading, everyone, and feel free to subscribe via email or WordPress account if you haven’t already. Also, as always, be sure to visit my author pages at Smashwords.com, Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk for a list of my current publications. Otherwise, readers, thanks again for your time, and please come on back next week as I salute Valentine’s Day with a special love poem. Until then, happy reading!

Regards,

Dustin M. Weber