July 28, 2017
Puzzling, pondering, stalling.
I’ve got jack squat.
Irritating, frustrating, embarrassing…
Visions of a Working Class Writer
July 16, 2017
Born and raised on pizza, burgers and fries,
And other simple stuff that my folks could buy
As they slaved away to keep a roof over my head
And clothes on my back as well as our daily bread.
We never had cable programming on our TV.
Heck, we couldn’t even tune in to Fox to see
The kind of shows they had on any given night—
Just roaring, flickering noise set to screens of black and white.
Any luxury we had, we clung onto like it was gold,
For only Heaven knew the kind of future we’d behold,
Had any of us progressed beyond our working class ways,
And even now, I’m dreaming of what I hope are better days—
Days where I no longer have to break my back or my feet
Hauling heavy boxes while traversing winding streets,
Where I no longer sweat through my clothes within the first hour
And the first thing I do when I get home is take a shower,
Days where my head doesn’t throbs to where I must take a nap
To sleep away my pain like a cat in its owner’s lap,
Where going on adventures actually means something
And being paid for my creativity at last becomes a thing.
Alas, I haven’t hit that point, though I can already see
The kind of lowlifes with which I’d have to cope that await me:
Purists who sneer at that which doesn’t flow a certain way,
Money grubbers who just care ‘bout how much one’s work will pay,
Egotists who scold those who don’t “get” things right away,
Artsy farts who praise style over substance any day,
Snarky twerps who mock others’ works behind their backs,
Soulless attention gluttons and other mindless hacks,
Mindless, trend-following drones who don’t know their history
And fail to remember how things once upon a time used to be.
Such and more are the scumbags who await those who, like me,
Dare to dream big and make it, and yet I still aim to be
One of the greatest in my field, my name forever ringing
Throughout history for my contributions, the masses forever singing,
And I know I can’t stop until that dream at last becomes real,
No matter whom I cross paths with. Such is my present deal.
There is another thing, though, that I aim to keep in mind:
The humble, happy boy I once was shan’t be left behind,
For no matter how big I get, I’ll remember always
Exactly whom I used to be prior to seeing brighter days,
The upbringing I had, and the things I’ve lived without,
And no matter how much longer it takes, I shan’t pout
On the day my dream comes true, for should I spit in the face
Of success when it falls upon me, I’ll be put back in my place.
Such is a fate I can’t afford to face anymore.
It’s now or never with me to see just what’s in store
For me in my journey to finally realize my dream.
Who knows? Even with the fools, things might be better than they seem.
Let Grit See You Through
April 25, 2017
Letting go of the past can be quite tough
When the memories won’t leave you alone,
For the road of life oftentimes is rough
With events that cut you straight to the bone—
People who’ve hurt you for no fair reason,
Happenings you’ve tried to leave behind you…
Yet no matter the day, year, or season,
It comes back to haunt you out of the blue,
Making you wish you could go back in time
To fix whatever wrong you may have done.
Alas, that’s not how time works, friend of mine,
For the direction it goes is but one.
Thus, there’s only one thing that you can do:
Screw your heels in and let grit see you through.
A Message to All Aspiring Novelists
April 18, 2017
No one likes being rejected and tossed into the muck,
Having noses turn up at him or her and wished “Best of luck.”
No one likes being cast out from where he or she wants to be
Or denied that which he or she’s been fighting for. Believe me.
No one likes to struggle, especially when it comes to
Simply getting through the day. This I can assure you.
Even when there’s a pot of gold at the rainbow’s end,
Crossing said rainbow can be a chore. On that you can depend.
So much of a chore it is, too, that time and time again,
Too many people throw up their arms and walk away in the end,
Never to realize their dream, whether they deserve
To live that dream or not, all because of how their nerves
Have become shot over the course of months or years at a time,
And in the case of the worthy folks, it really is a crime,
For who’ll ever know the stories they could’ve shared with the world?
Certainly not the commonplace man, woman, boy, or girl
Or anyone who’d benefit from the messages within,
Even if said benefit is merely escaping the sin
And vice that’s been gripping the world for far too many years now.
Trust me…we all could use some escapism these days…and how!
We all deserve new stories with each year that passes by.
We all need something new to feed our hungry ears and eyes.
Otherwise, the old tales, good and bad, will grow stale,
And as they do, so will our minds, lest new storytellers prevail
To provide us with new substance with which to enrich our souls
And awaken within us the will to carry on into the fold
And accept each day as it comes, no matter what’ll be in store
When it happens to arrive, so long as it isn’t an utter bore.
After all, life’s one big adventure that we all undertake,
And it’s up to us to make the most of it with what we make
In terms of goals and other decisions and the choices that lead
Us down one path or another, and what better way to heed
This message than gleam inspiration from the stories we learn
To spark our thoughts and ambitions and help our hearts’ fires burn
With the passion that keeps us going every hour of the day.
That being said, why let rejection keep getting in the way?
The dream is still worth having, even though it may not seem so,
So keep your chins up and your noses to the grindstone and tally ho!
Keep your wits about you, too, and learn what makes a sale,
And may courage, creativity, and wisdom help you prevail
In the seemingly never-ending saga of chasing a dream
That might actually be more attainable than it might now seem,
For stories are more important than even you may ever know,
And only a sharp mind and a strong heart will help you see just so.
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.
The Toxic Stuff
April 7, 2017
I’m cutting out all the toxic stuff
I’ve bothered with over the years
That’s caused me more pain
Than netted me gain
And led me to wallow here.
No more caving in to my fears,
For doing so brings no gain.
Time to screw in my heels
And spin the wheels
In my mind before I go insane.
I’ve so much yet in my life to gain.
Why should grief anymore make me squeal?
Enough is enough
Of this dramatic stuff.
Seeking inner peace is my new deal.
I want to know again how happiness feels,
So good riddance, negative fluff!
Get on out of here
‘Fore I kick your fat rear
And cast you from my life in a huff.
Alphabet Rush of Defiance
February 27, 2017
Aggravation. Boredom. Carelessness, too.
Damned if I doze off every midday through.
Evenings I’ve spent working for a future yet to come.
Goodness gracious, do I feel like such a blasted bum!
How the hell can I do it? I guess I may never know.
Just judge me, though, for trying, when I have something to show
Knuckleheads like you, for a loser you may see,
But a moron I’m not, nor a nimrod I shall be.
Opportunity waits, after all, and pretty soon,
I’ll quickly rise through the ranks and leave you to swoon
At all the trouble I’ve endured and the triumph I’ll procure
Under ugly circumstances with much venom to endure.
What will you do then? X-crete in your pants with shock?
Yeah, I can believe that. Now please return to your flock
As I zig and zag through obstacles to become number one.
Until then, keep mocking me. I dare you, naysaying scum!
This week, I’ve reached back to the 1990s to attain the inspiration behind this latest entry on my blog: a remembrance piece dedicated to the much beloved Nickelodeon sketch comedy All That. To summarize things, I basically imagined the kind of performance piece I would have liked to put on, had I ever been a member of the All That cast, and set it to the tune of Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio from the soundtrack of the film Dangerous Minds. That being said, regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of any of the aforementioned items, I still hope you enjoy what I’ve written here. Thanks and happy reading!
Dustin M. Weber
Dan Schneider’s Paradise
March 3, 2017
As I walk into the Green Room of the All That set,
I take a look all around me and begin to fret
‘Cause I’ve reacted to his randomness for so long
That even my friends think that my mind has gone,
But I ain’t never gotten a laugh and didn’t earn it.
Me be thought of as a frump? Take that trash and burn it.
Just watch me hold my own against Detective Dan
And the destructive force known as Repair Man-Man-Man.
It may come at the cost of my sanity,
But I can do it all without profanity (Fool!).
I’m the kind of joker other kids wanna be like.
Now sit back as I ham it up in the spotlight.
We’ve been spending our TV lives living in Dan Schneider’s paradise,
His comic grip tight like a vice, living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
We’re trapped in a cage like mice, living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
“Dance, rodents, and don’t think twice,” living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
We cast members are facin’ a situation—
Not just any normal life filled with sketch comedy “strife,”
But one in which logic soars out the front door
With the personification of a plush ear of corn
And stupid people writing questions for a little girl
To answer with such fury that’d make your toes curl
While a lactose-intolerant superhero
Monologues the forces of evil down to zero (Fool!),
And don’t expect the end-of-show music acts to save
A hapless blue puppet when his master misbehaves.
It’s all just another day on the set of All That,
And if you’re not up to it, the just scat.
The Island Girls have been stranded for so long
Without any luxuries,
And Coach Kreeton’s been battered and bruised to where
He’s as miserable as can be.
We’ve been spending our TV lives living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
We’ve been skating on thin ice living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
Our fame and fortune may be nice, living in Dan Schneider’s paradise,
But it comes at such a price, living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
Minute after minute, sketch after sketch,
Commercials only prolonging what’ll happen next,
Like Pierre Escargot’s warped lessons in French
Or Squash Boy leaving his friends waiting for him on the bench
While the Cheese Police bust another perp dealing gouda
And Miss Piddlin peddles peas like they’re her personal Buddha.
That’s what happens on a Dan Schneider cruise
As reported in the Channel 6-1/2 News (Fool!).
We’ve been spending our TV lives living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
Our brains have become fried from living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
Kids tune in and don’t think twice when they watch Dan Schneider’s paradise,
But trust me: it ain’t always nice living in Dan Schneider’s paradise.
Tell me how can it be that our time on TV
Can have such an effect on you and me?
Tell me how can it be that our time on TV
Can have such an effect on you and me?
All That and All That logo (c) 1994-2005 Nickelodeon Productions, Tollin/Robbins Productions, and Schneider’s Bakery. Dangerous Minds (c) 1995 Hollywood Pictures, Simpson/Bruckheimer, and Via Rosa Productions. Gangsta’s Paradise (c) 1995 MCA Records/Universal Music Group. All other content provided above, however, is the author’s own.
Books DON’T Suck
February 19, 2017
“Screw books! Books suck!” so I hear so many say
From my generation downward since YouTube’s younger days.
It’s all about video games with them and other electronics
Upon which they derive their usual entertainment fix.
Now, sure, I like my V-games every once in a while.
Hell, I used to buy older ones when they were already out of style.
I also like the occasional movie and television show,
But does that mean I hate books or should have to? Hell no!
Sure, they might not be as interactive as games can be,
Nor are their visuals as animated as those from films and TV,
But guess what: My imagination still works and can easily
Visualize any story that one’s written for you or me,
And when I want to put my mind to use during my downtime,
I’d rather spend it reading a book than watching whatever slime
The networks have slapped on my TV, from insipid comedies
And by-the-numbers dramas to artificial “reality”
And have it thrown in my face with all the grace and tact
Like a potty-mouthed “alpha” male bragging ‘bout his soulless sex life, jack.
Let’s not even talk about movies, the gamble that they are,
Which can sometimes be enjoyable, yet other times leave a scar
Based on how poorly written and acted they often can be
With shameless violence, sex, profanity, and nudity
Thrown in for good measure by clueless writers who think
Shock value adds something to bad scripts when it just makes them stink
More than they already do, no matter the topic at hand,
Even though many a trashy movie’s made millions across the land.
Even video games can be a pain in the neck at times
With the many microtransactions, shoddy game designs
And glitches galore that have plagued the industry for so long,
Amongst a slew of other flaws that still need to say “so long.”
Not only that, but books don’t cost any electricity,
Nor do they need a special monitor to read them, you see—
Unless you’re talking e-books, but then again, I like to be
Away from my computer whenever I can, I hope you see.
One especially doesn’t need a special console to read a book.
Just have one in your hand and open it up to take a look
At whatever’s on its pages. Who knows? You just might like
Whatever tale it’s telling and how it takes you from the tripe
Of the cold, harsh reality with which we all must deal.
I can certainly tell you how a good book has often helped me heal
By taking me out of whatever nasty situation I’m in
And giving me someone else to root for whom I hope will win
In his or her own struggles, which might often even parallel
The spot I happen to be in myself—my present private hell.
Even when that’s not the case, a good book can entertain
Me with interesting characters and a moral from which I can gain
Knowledge and wisdom from which I can apply later on in life
To whatever circumstances I might face that bring me strife.
Sure, not every book’s like this, but I could say the same
For anything else out there, be it a film, show, or video game.
Besides, why should I let one crappy book or another
Prevent me from enjoying a different book altogether, brother?
Not every piece of entertainment, no matter the form it takes,
Can live up to our expectations, and I can’t help but want to make
This point real to every person who dares call all books crap,
As that’s not the case at all, for most books don’t deserve such a rap—
Just like not every film or show’s a load of violent smut
That’s aimed to appeal to idiots and leave smart folks in a rut
In their search for honest entertainment that’s been crafted with care,
Which is why folks like me keep searching for whatever’s out there
And never settle for one form of entertainment or another.
Such is the mindset I believe should be adopted by others,
Even if they’ve been forced to read utter crap in school,
Or otherwise came across a book that simply wasn’t cool,
For defecating on literature only cheats one in the end
From options in how to spend one’s time outside the grind, friend.
That being said, no matter what any naysayer might say,
Give books a chance, for you’ll never know how they’ll make your day
‘Til you actually pick one up and give it an honest read.
Who knows? You just might be doing yourself a noble deed.