Poem of the Week: Retro-Reviewing Egomaniac

Retro-Reviewing Egomania
July 4, 2017

Talk, talk, talk—that’s what you like to do,
But little did you realize, friend,
That the more you open your mouth, the further in your foot
Goes in to choke you out in the end.

You sit there on your ass, flaunting your accomplishments,
Claiming superiority where you please,
Proudly sporting your fauxhawk, neckbeard, and thick-rimmed specs
As you ridicule others’ childhood memories.

“Oh, wow! What a lazy premise! What a shameless rip-off!
What cheesy music and animation!
I can’t believe folks actually watched this back in the day.”
Such is what you spew across the nation.

“Good grief! What a hokey scene! What a way to throw logic
Out the window just to tell a story.”
Hey, you’re the one who bothered digging up trash
From the past to show the world in all its glory.

Honestly, do you think we don’t know trash when we see it
With our own eyes and hear with our own ears,
Especially when it’s been out long enough for ourselves
To witness with embarrassment and fear?

Do you really think we need some snarky, immature know-it-all
Showing and telling what we can find out
Ourselves without any guidance? Please! Stop with the insults
‘Cause that’s what you seem to be all about,

So spend your free time doing something far more constructive
And meaningful in the long run of it all
Like warning us of the crap that’s been flooding the mainstream
Today before society further falls

Into ruin just as you claim it had back in the day
With the ages-old dreck you bash presently.
Seriously, you think the past sucked? Well, today’s not much better.
Just look around you, and you’ll see.

Once you do, I hope you at last come to see the light
And put your supposed knowledge to the test
To purge the world of ignorance—hopefully forever—
And put the media’s faults to rest.

Take the hint, then, cocky boy, and clean up your act.
Stop ragging on that which has long past
And do all you can to help us all move forward
And craft memories meant to last.

*****

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

Bonus Poem of the Week: Movies and Other Media

Movies and Other Media
August 31, 2016

Pretention and unoriginality
Bringing things to the verge of fatality.
Refusal of those in charge to move on
Churning out crap, clueless about what’s wrong,
Feeding the mindless masses with lowbrow dreck,
Which they gobble up, saying, “Hey, what the heck?”
Worse—tasteful, witty stuff often gets ignored
Or dismissed based on genre ‘cause folks got “bored”
While the past is reborn for a cheap, quick buck—
A shell of its former self. What sad, sad luck!
Crass, heartless, empty humor sprinkled throughout
While gratuitous profanity folks shout,
Making the hapless curse in turn like crazy,
Wondering how the big wigs could be so lazy
In making stuff actually worth something,
Leaving today’s youngsters with mostly nothing
To recall fondly from this generation
As the crap continues to sweep the nation
And will keep doing so ‘til someone stands up,
Screws his or heels in and shouts “‘Nough’s enough!”
‘Fore taking things over and making things right
And helping great tales once more be brought to light.
Alas, such a stance takes courage and power,
Which seems not to be the fad of the hour,
Seeing as too many people seem content
With all the time watching thoughtless trash they’ve spent.
Hopefully, things will change, though I cannot say
If we’ll even be alive to see that day.
Would it kill us to at least try? I’d say no.
Can we change things at all? I’d like to say so.
After all, change never comes through inaction,
Nor does sloth in the end grant satisfaction.
Sadly, effort alone won’t bring change about,
For we need, too, someone we can trust to tout
Good work to the masses and show it’s out there
In hopes they’ll wake up and at last start to care.
Problem, though: Such folks are already busy
As things stand hawking filth ‘til we’re all dizzy—
The same kind of filth against which I’ve just railed.
I’d rant some more, but that ship’s already sailed.
Keep your fingers crossed, then, and hope tomorrow
Will see these trends die along with the sorrow
And good tales will be told like they were back when.
Alas, ‘til then, we must still buckle down, friends,
And dedicate ourselves to that day’s great dawn
When talented folks finally right the wrongs
We’ve suffered through for far too long as things stand
In this gluttonous, greedy, grief-stricken land.

*****

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

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

Bonus Poem of the Week: Something Has Got to Change

Something Has Got to Change
October 5, 2015

It’s not about talent anymore. It’s not about sharing a gift.
It’s not about doing what it takes to give the business a lift.
It’s not about working hard or being original or having fun.
It’s about pandering to the lowest common denominator, hon.

Gone are the gritty gladiators who scratch and claw their way
To the top of the mountain that’s their field. Apparently, that’s passé.
Instead, we have whiny men-children who cry about their life lot
Who spend most of their time wallowing in nostalgia, self-pity, and snot.

Damned be the innocent romance so charming and heartfelt.
Why bother with wholesome purity with blatant smut flying off shelves—
The kind that makes even old ladies swoon and rave like teenage girls
Of “dream men” who’re really tortuous beasts ‘neath their boyish curls?

Why bother trying to be witty when you can instead be lewd?
That’s the kind of humor that sells these days: loud and crude.
Why try to be clever and subtle when you can shock the masses
And be an insensitive creep all you want to appeal to other jackasses?

Gone are those who’ve moved things forward with tales vibrant and fresh,
Putting new spins on what we know and crafty notions to the test.
Instead, we’ve more of the same old sludge clogging up our brain pipes—
Recycled rubbish from just yesterday—fad-fueled, self-dating tripe.

What happened to the revolution? Where’s all the spark and fire?
Where are the courage and drive that once took entertainment higher?
Where’s the reward for taking a risk and being open and true?
Trust me, if you think these practices still matter, I’ve news for you:

It’s all about making money these days—the good ol’ Almighty Dollar—
And getting the masses to speak of you, no matter how it is they holler.
Who cares how you get your attention when folks foolishly get behind
That which satisfies their shrunken standards and pleases their warped minds?

That’s how things have gotten now, and yeah, it sickens me, too,
When people buy crap for purchasing’s sake just ‘cause said crap is new
And read, watch, and listen to anything just to fill in the void
Of whatever idle time they have, and what’s more that gets me annoyed

Is how the truly wonderful works of each same industry
Are ignored by the masses and media both—which also includes you and me—
Never to see the light of day, save for maybe those who try
To root for them through the dirt and ensure their legends never die.

This pattern has got to stop somehow. Something has got to change.
Entertainment’s been trash for far too long and must be rearranged
So that the hacks who’ve become millionaires can stop hogging the sun
And talented folks can take over and produce quality works for everyone.

After all, many are wising up to the swill they’ve been fed
For so many years, and they, too, now wish this era was dead.
Sadly, there are still many who don’t see the warning signs
Of what may soon be, should we all leave our principles behind.

It’s thus up to all of us to ensure the quality of old return
And that into Hell’s fires go all the trash, forever to burn
Into naught but a mound of ash, for that’s how they should be
So that talent once again shines for all time. Now, who’s with me?

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

                          Amazon.com

                          Amazon.co.uk

Song of the Week: Lost a Piece of My Soul

Hey, readers.

Here are some lyrics to a song I just wrote concerning a movie I’d seen yesterday evening that, while popular, turned out to be one of only two movies I’d ever walked out on in my life. I’ll leave it up to you to guess which movie that would be, although I will give one hint: I’d originally recommended on February 11 to go see this (or, for that matter, any other) movie instead of…*ahem*…a different, much more openly despised movie that I still think is far worse than this one on based on merit alone, although not by much, IMO. Granted, this was the first film I’d ever seen from this particular director, but even after giving it a fair chance all the same, I’m pretty sure that this will be the only film I’ll ever see from this particular individual from here on out.

That being said, for those of you who know the film about which I speak, please keep an open mind and take my opinion with a grain of salt. In the meantime, here’s Lost a Piece of my Soul.

*****

Lost a Piece of My Soul
by Dustin M. Weber
February 28, 2015

Refrain
Lost a piece of my soul tonight.
Crossed the dark side just to see the light.
Can’t win a war when fueled by hate.
No point in arguing. I ain’t up for debate.

Verse 1
Tried to fight a war against smut by supporting something else instead,
And I let all the good I heard about this other cause go to my head.
Now I’m ten dollars poorer and feeling sorry for myself.
Oh, how I wished I would’ve stuffed the cash in that box I keep on my shelf.

Repeat refrain

Verse 2
It’s bad enough the perverts of the world keep shilling out for swill,
But when it comes to the competition, it takes an iron will
To not buy into the hype and instead educate oneself on the trash
Before heading out to the cineplex and parting with one’s hard-established stash.

Repeat refrain

[Interlude]

Verse 3
A fool and his money are soon parted. That I’ve come to know,
Especially when it comes to the crap that become blockbuster shows,
And while I have lost faith in humanity for this nasty trend,
I blame myself as well in this case for my contribution, friend.

Repeat refrain twice.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

                          Amazon.com

                          Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: Wake-Up Call 2014 for Entertainment Supporters

Hello, readers!

For Heaven knows how many years now, the world of entertainment—books, television, cinema, music, and, at times, even video games—has been swimming in a pool of mediocrity based on both corporations’ fixation with profit and the masses’ ever-decreasing standards concerning the products they support. Even I can only imagine just how many hard-working and talented authors, musicians, screen writers, and game designers have struggled for months, years, and even decades only to have various publishers, studios, agents, and such dismiss their work as being worthless in favor of that which has proven to be little else than utter, indefensible trash by critics and audiences alike, yet has proven just as much to make oodles of money for the party/parties responsible for its very existence. Thankfully, not every movie, novel, album, TV program, and video game of questionable repute has proven to be a success, and I cannot help but exhale a sigh of relief every time I hear of some tacky, degrading, or simply lazily made product failing to achieve the success its makers had hoped for it. Unfortunately, one can also say the same for every product into which the creator(s) has/have put a lot of thought and effort, which makes me shake my head and wonder just how much certain people’s tastes have devolved in the past decade or two. Granted, decades past have produced their fair share of garbage as well, but thankfully, the passage of time has cleansed our collective memory of such shoddy work…that is, of course, until someone dares to remind us of such rubbish (e.g., chancing to see such an item on sale at a flea market or on a shopping website such as eBay or Amazon.com)

Regardless, thoughts of such a notion have inspired me to create the following Shakespearean sonnet, which I hope reflects what some of you might be thinking as well concerning 21st century media as we all know it. Without further ado, then, here’s Wake-Up Call 2014 for Entertainment Supporters. Enjoy!

*****

Wake-Up Call 2014 for Entertainment Supporters
September 2, 2014

How can something wretched attain great fame
And fortune in its mediocrity
When stuff exists that’s nowhere near as lame
Out there for the masses to hear and see?
Why can’t people smell stool for what it is
And move on to what they genuinely
Can perceive to be good within the biz
Of entertainment, messed-up though it be?
Why support a blatant, obvious hack
With the cash you’ve worked oh so hard to earn
When you know said hack’s work is naught but whack
And in the end will leave you oh so burned?
It’s time to toss the trash once and for all
‘Fore it further contributes to our fall.

*****

This hereby concludes this week’s poem. Thank you all for stopping by to read it, and if there’s any chance that any of you out there know of a particular movie, novel, TV show, et cetera out on the market today that you feel deserves much less praise/much more criticism than it has received, please don’t hesitate to leave a rant about it in the comments section below. I’m sure we all can recall at least one certain something that we cannot understand is as popular as it is/has been for whatever reason. Also, feel free to visit my author pages at Smashwords.comAmazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk to see which works I have available for purchase as well as my post on this blog about my latest project, The Kingdom of Somnia, to see if it is a project you would like to support, should it ever hit the market. Otherwise, folks, happy reading!

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

Poem of the Week: Hope for the Future of Media

Hope for the Future of Media
July 25, 2013

Moving on,
Moving ahead,
Ahead with new characters,
Ahead with new stars—
Stars with personality,
Stars with talent—
Talent that will take them far,
Talent that rings true with fans—
Fans who see the effort,
Fans who appreciate the effort,
The effort of the players,
The effort of the writers—
Writers who have talent of their own,
Writers who know what they’re doing,
Doing what they can,
Doing what’s right—
Right for the future,
Right for the industry,
Industry that’s shot to Hell,
Industry that’s been dying—
Dying for a change,
Dying for a renewal,
Renewal for a new generation,
Renewal for a greater good.
Good riddance to the rubbish of the present!
Good luck to the venues of the future,
Future saviors,
Future salvation,
Salvation from redundancy,
Salvation from foolishness—
Foolishness of the tasteless,
Foolishness of the greedy,
Greedy for attention,
Greedy for money—
Money that they don’t deserve,
Money that could be spent on something greater—
Greater for the masses,
Greater for the world as a whole—
Whole world in need of change,
Whole world that’s been ready for change.
Change can be good.
Change is sometimes a necessity.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Necessity can be a great driving force—
Force enough to shake things up,
Force enough to bring about what we’ve all been clamoring for…
For a better tomorrow…
For a future that’s bright…
Tomorrow…
Bright.

*****

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

Poem of the Week: Rise Up and Make a Change

Rise Up and Make a Change

October 12, 2012

 

Nobody likes the same old song and dance.

No one likes being stuck in the doldrums,

But when it comes to other people’s plans,

All they ever offer are hos and hums.

It’s as if no one dares to shake things up.

Nobody has the heart to take a stand.

No wonder, then, things aren’t quite up to snuff

In any industry across the land.

If only people had more of a will

To change the state of things for everyone

And not just settle with things and sit still,

Then who knows how ev’rything will become?

The time for complaining has got to end.

It’s time to rise up and make a change, friends!

My author page at Smashwords.com

Twitter: @DustinMWeber