Short Story of the Week: The Conviction of Charles Donovan Gregory

The Conviction of Charles Donovan Gregory
by Dustin M. Weber
April 7, 2017

March 25, 2017

Dear Vices:

It’s over.

At long last, I’ve decided to move on from you all and focus on that which I should have kept at the forefront of my mind this whole entire time. In fact, I’m actually pretty disgusted at the notion that I’ve succumbed to you for as long as I have—disgusted, that is, but not surprised. After all, with my will having been so weak for so long, why would I be surprised that I’ve leaned on you all the way I have? It wasn’t as if I’d had a broken leg, you know. I could have easily stood on my own two feet at the time, and quite frankly, I would have been much better off for doing so. In fact, if I was suffering from anything, it was from a slow, dull mind and a poor sense of self, and looking back nowadays, I’ve come to realize that the more I tuned to you, the worse each of these things got. Well, no more! I’m putting my foot down against it all. Starting today, I’m stepping away from each and every one of you so that I can put my life back together, get myself back on track, and finally earn for myself that which I should have earned years ago.

First off…video games. Now, don’t get me wrong. There have been plenty of times when I’ve drawn inspiration from you. Heck, the idea for this one book I’m working on right now came to me in part after I’d played one of you, and even in recent months, I’ve been laying the groundwork for whole entire franchises based on what I’ve made using whatever character creation mode some of you have offered your players. That being said, don’t expect me to be as into you as I used to be back in the day. Sure, you were a great diversion for me when I was a kid, and even when I was working my way through college, you were one of the best ways I could think of to blow off steam. Sadly, that was then, and now that I’ve got more pressing matters to attend to, I have to set you off to the side from here on out. You’re a hobby, after all—a diversion—and a very expensive one to keep up with as well. Take it from a guy who hasn’t bought a new console since college, save for when I replaced my PlayStation One once upon a time, which I rarely even play these days. Besides, being a full-grown adult who’s long been eager to accept the responsibilities expected of someone my age, I don’t have nearly as much time to spend on you as I did during my younger days. Then again, there have been times when I’ve felt that I should have focused more on my writing even back then, especially considering how much help I needed in that department. I don’t care if I was just a kid at the time, either. The fact remains that I loved to write then, too, and honestly, had I the mind to put more of my focus on my writing and less time piloting some person made of pixels or polygons across my TV screen and making him beat other people up, I could have very well made a prodigy of myself…or, at the very least, something more than what I am now. Ah, but who am I kidding? I am what I am, and I have only myself to blame for letting myself get as wrapped up into you as I have. See you later, then, video games, when I need a break…and only when I need a break.

Oh…and all you flash games? Don’t even get me started with you and all your mindlessly repetitive yet ironically charming and addictive glory. No disrespect, but seriously, consider yourselves dead to me from this point forward.

You’re next, pro wrestling…and no, that wasn’t meant to be a pun on Bill Goldberg’s catchphrase. All unintentional wordplay aside, I’ll be brutally honest with you: I’ve actually been done with you for quite a while. Yes, I still respect you as an art form, no matter how stupid you can be at times in your execution. Sure, there are still morons out there who love to crap all over you for being sports theater as opposed to a full-fledged sport, and as far as I’m concerned, they can all take their infantile, narrow-minded, condescending ignorance and shove it right back down their throats until they choke on it. Truth be told, though, their moronic mentality isn’t why I’ve turned away from you. Rather, it’s your own idiocy as an industry, as you just haven’t been that great since the spring of 2001 when Extreme Championship Wrestling went bankrupt and good ol’ Vinny Mac bought out World Championship Wrestling. Ever since then, the World Wrestling Federation has become World Wrestling Entertainment and hasn’t faced any major competition for the past sixteen-plus years—not even from Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, which was once the closest thing WWE had to a serious rival since WCW. Trust me, too, when I say that even I can’t begin to tell you the number of fans who’ve been predicting TNA’s ultimate demise to the point of placing bets on when it’ll at long last go out of business. Then again, my doing so would distract me from telling you about just how many other promotions have risen and fallen over the century as we all have known it so far as well as about those that had promised to launch, yet either a) have failed to do so or b) actually have, yet have turned out to be little more than independent promotions. All this in mind, I hope you can see part of the reason why WWE’s long been struggling to put on a consistently good product, even with the talent they have now and have had over the years on their roster and even when they try to give the fans what they want. Of course, I don’t envy the bookers—or writers, whichever they’d rather be called—one bit, seeing as no matter how many honest-to-goodness fans you as a business still have as a whole since your decline, there’s always going to be that one portion of your fanbase that’s full of nothing but screaming, cursing, fickle malcontents who are never satisfied with what they see from any wrestling show, yet are far too stupid to walk away, no matter how bitter they’ve become towards you. Then there are the mindless fanboys, fangirls, and trolls who constantly cause drama amongst the community for whatever excuse might come to mind who are no doubt making others’ enjoyment of you every bit as much a chore for your fans as the soreheads are. Hell, they’re probably just plain assholes, pure and simple, and nothing more. Whatever the case, pro wrestling, I’m glad I’ve stopped caring about you as a business before I ended up becoming one of these schmucks, as I know well enough at my age that it’s better for a person to leave what he or she loves when it doesn’t love him or her back rather than stick around and let it burn him or her. Come to think of it, I’m even gladder that I never became a pro wrestler myself. Otherwise, I’d have had to put up with a lot of the terrible mismanagement and general ignorance with which today’s wrestlers must cope—not that they’re wholly innocent when it comes to your overall product’s current lackluster state, but really, when even the wrestlers who have been stepping up their game are still struggling to get over with the masses, then honestly, you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.

Good luck, then, pro wrestling, for I may never come back to you as an industry, even though I still appreciate you as an art form and still hope you survive so that the next generation will get something out of you as I had back in the day when you were arguably much easier for me and so many other people to enjoy.

Finally, there’s you, YouTube, and all the videos I’ve seen on you, which have long been by and far the biggest distraction I’ve ever given myself throughout the course of my writing career. Now, I’ll admit that just like I’ve said about video games, having become familiar with you hasn’t been the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. After all, how else would I’ve ever found out about some of the things that have inspired some of my work? I can only begin to tell you, for instance, how nice it’s been listening to some of the videos on your website that have music that I either remember from my younger days or hadn’t heard before but have come to love—both of which have made for some okay background music for when I’ve been working on my writing. I’ve also learned to enjoy some of the old movies and television shows that I’ve managed to watch on your website, thanks to the users who’ve uploaded them. I’ve even seen video game footage that has brightened my day on one occasion or another, both with and without commentary from the person who was recording it. Unfortunately, even with all this in mind, you’re not exactly all peaches and cream, if you know what I mean. For one thing, just looking at some of the videos you’ve hosted since your inception in 2005 has reminded me in the worst way that it “takes all kinds,” as the saying goes, as a good handful of your videos have shown me some of the most discouraging archetypes of humanity I’ve ever seen: fried-brained conspiracy theorists, small-minded political loudmouths, embarrassingly macho e-toughs, perverted dark humor aficionados, oversensitive drama queens and other blatant pot-stirrers, screaming lunatics, narcissistic brats, potty-mouthed troglodytes, droning deadheads, over-the-top “comedy” acts and other desperate wannabe celebrities…you know…the pride and joy of the Internet (sarcasm). Sure, I know better than to stupidly click on these videos myself and give these waking examples of humanity’s grotesque imperfection the benefit of a view, but there have been times when I came across a video that I was hoping to like, only to discover that the person who posted it was more of a fool and/or scumbag than I’d previously assumed. I’m not even talking the blatant click-baiters who use false titles and thumbnail pics to draw in unwitting audience members, either, but rather simple guys and gals who make videos similar to the ones I’ve come to like over the years, only to prove themselves inferior in comparison to the examples with which I’d become familiar. This is especially true when the narrator of a given video happens to present his or her opinion on a given matter in a decidedly snobbish or ill-tempered tone or with information that he or she clearly pulled out of his or her derriere. Seriously, am I really that unreasonable to expect reviews and rants on the Internet to be honest, straightforward, unbiased, and sensible as possible, regardless of the presenter’s disdain towards the topic he or she is discussing? Don’t even get me started, either, with these reviews in which the presenter is attempting to portray himself or herself as a “character” of sorts. I’m sorry, but I listen to reviews to be informed on a given item rather than entertained, and the steeper the precedent that entertainment takes over information, the less worth the review in question has to me.

Needless to say, YouTube, I’ve learned the necessity of being picky when it comes to listening to and watching videos on your website. From now on, then, I’ll be using your music videos as background accompaniment for my writing sessions and saving the TV, film, gameplay, and similarly themed videos for after I’ve completed my daily writing objectives. Not only that, but I’ve promised myself to be especially selective when it comes to videos from the later category, as I’m more or less done with all the negativity that I’ve absorbed from those that I’ve watched already. Trust me…my work will benefit in the end when I adopt a more positive attitude and cut out all the nastiness I’ve taken on in my life at this point.

So that’s the scoop, vices: I’m moving on, and I’m doing so for my own good. Please don’t take it personally, either, for even though I keep calling you my “vices,” I’m the one who’s really at fault here, as I’ve said before. All this time, I should have squared my shoulders, put my nose to the grindstone, and taken care of business like a man rather than bury myself in each of you whenever I would so much as have the slightest bit of writer’s block. Alas, such was not the case, and it wasn’t until recently that I’ve finally come to terms with the problems I’ve been causing for myself by wallowing in each you, falling behind in my own deadlines and all. It’ll take me a nice long while before I’ll be able to forgive myself, too, but hey, if Roy Knable can come to terms with his TV addiction in Stay Tuned, then I, too, can come to terms with my overreliance on you three things. Better sooner than later, yes, but better later than never, and from now on, as was the case for me during my schooling days, it’s going to be work before pleasure and not vice-versa. Otherwise, I’ll never get anything done to save my soul, and I’ll only further drown in my own stagnation.

Thank you all for your understanding, and for now…goodbye.

Regards,
Charles Donovan Gregory

*****

PS: All credit for the pics used in the above article goes to as follows:

MoveMeQuotes.com
PlayStation History Collection 1 – Takara Tomy 1/6 Scale Gashapon Video Game Systems! by INVISIGOTH
10 Things Pro Wrestling Fans Hate about Pro Wrestling by Ben Flanagan (AL.com)
YouTube.com
Success.com/Shutterstock.com

The short story above, however, is the author’s own.

*****

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

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Poem of the Week: The Vermin of YouTube

The Vermin of YouTube
March 31, 2017

Childish, foul-mouthed twerps bitching and moaning
‘Bout their fave networks going to the dogs;
Nagging malcontents whining and groaning,
Saying all films “suck”…self-entitled hogs;
Pompous nerds screaming ‘bout which characters
Are “killing” their favorite franchises;
Thin-skinned brats acting oh so immature
Likening their peers to groups like ISIS;
Conspiracy nuts shrieking lies so dumb
To make themselves feel better and us ill;
Lonely, bored trolls whose small minds are so numb
They feel the need to smear us with their swill…
All a sample of the hot trash in store
That can make surfing YouTube quite a chore.

*****

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

Bonus Poem of the Week: A Message for the Commonplace Angry YouTube Reviewer

A Message for the Commonplace Angry YouTube Reviewer
February 2, 2017

Losing your cool,
Losing your temper—
Temper of a child,
Temper out of control.
Control yourself.
Control your anger—
Anger over minor stuff,
Anger over petty stuff.
Stuff your rage.
Stuff your histrionics.
Histrionics make you look childish.
Histrionics make you seem self-entitled—
Self-entitled brat,
Self-entitled and obnoxious,
Obnoxious screaming,
Obnoxious cursing—
Cursing like a drunken sailor!
Cursing like a bad comedian!
Comedian you’re not.
Comedian? More like laughing stock!
Stock complaints,
Stock vocabulary,
Vocabulary that’s grown tired,
Vocabulary that’s painfully limited—
Limited by your stupidity,
Limited by your lack of effort—
Effort dumped into your theatrics,
Effort absent from your editing,
Editing so amateurish,
Editing riddled with jump cuts—
Cuts that cater to low attention spans,
Cuts that have become cliché today,
Today when lowbrow rules supreme,
Today when stupidity already reigns,
Reigns free,
Reigns unchallenged,
Unchallenged and well-fed,
Unchallenged and wealthy,
Wealthy on the masses’ low standards,
Wealthy on the masses’ ignorance—
Ignorance that’s long plagued the mainstream,
Ignorance we’ve dealt with for too long.
Long have we endured idiocy.
Long have we yearned for class—
Class and intelligence,
Class and decency—
Decency that you should be bringing,
Decency that you should be promoting.
Bringing.
Promoting.

*****

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

Poem of the Week: The YouTube Cyberbully

The YouTube Cyberbully
July 16, 2016

You get money for nothing more than sitting on your ass
You think you’re so damn funny when really, you’re just crass.
You stir up crap that most normal folks don’t care about
And claim you’re just an entertainer, but I have my doubts.

You go out of your way to look for targets to attack,
Most of whom don’t have your following and thus can’t fight back—
Especially against your fans, who tease and taunt them as well
And even outright wish them death and tell them to rot in Hell,

And you do nothing to stop them, even though what you do
Is supposedly fun and satire, though I beg to differ with you,
For what’s the thrill in humiliating folks you don’t even know
And who aren’t as public as you are, yet still giving them woe?

Where’s the humor or logic? I just don’t see it at all.
What is it about these strangers that makes you want to see them fall?
Where’s your moral code of conduct when it comes to matters like this?
That’s something I’d really like to know, for I just don’t get your gist.

The fact that you make money, too, from doing this makes me sick,
‘Specially since countless honest, hard-working folks still live in the sticks
‘Cause their jobs don’t pay them what they’re worth, if they even have jobs at all,
And yet, you’re making Heaven knows how much having yourself a ball

Making monkeys out of men and women for reasons only you know,
Making friends with so many people for making fun of the poor shmoes,
And even using titles and pics guaranteed to reel in a crowd,
No matter how stupid or tacky they are, ‘cause it’s all about being loud

And obnoxious enough to draw a crowd, no matter the publicity,
For good or bad, it’s all the same for you, ’cause all you see
Is the fact that you’re getting attention, making you feel as though you
Mean something in the grand scheme of things, no matter how out of the blue

Said meaning has come. Well, guess what, Jack: I’ve got news for you.
You’re just another schmuck at the end of the day, no matter what you
Do or say to get the attention you so clearly desire,
And at the end of the day, after all has come down under the wire,

I can’t help but wonder just why it is you crave so much attention
In the first place. Tell me, then, if there’s a motive you’d like to mention.
Have you ever had any friends at all? Have the friends you once had moved on?
Did your parents care for you regularly? Tell me…what is your song?

Maybe once I understand just what goes on inside your brain,
I’ll learn to comprehend what you get from causing the kind of pain
You’ve delighted in causing others for so long and also exactly what
Your fans see in you despite surely knowing that all you make is smut.

Until then, I hope you grow up one day and see the error of your ways,
For you may be making a profit now, but in the end, your deeds won’t pay
Anyone, save for the piper when karma finally catches up to you
And makes you pay out the ass for your misdeeds, and then, you’ll be screwed.

*****

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

Bonus Poem of the Week: Trolls

Hello, readers!

As a special bonus for this week, I’ve decided to publish yet another poem dedicated to anyone and everyone who frequents the Internet in one way or another—whether said person hosts a blog, visits message boards (Twitter and other social media websites included), or even simply watches YouTube videos (or videos on sites similar to YouTube)—and is so sick and tired of posters of any age, either gender, and so forth who leave hateful, nasty comments towards or about others for their race, nationality, political or religious beliefs, hobbies/interests, personal ideas, or anything else of the sort. Granted, the best thing to do with such people is to not openly respond to their ignorance so as not to fuel their petty egos and let them know that they’ve otherwise gotten under your skin with their insolence. At most, people should just flag such comments as spam and leave it at that, hoping that the administrators of Website X take action and have said comments removed and, if possible, suspend the poster from the site on fitting grounds—particularly the comments where the poster in question wishes death or otherwise harm unto the party whom he or she is lashing out against. Then again, even as much as I myself know this, I’ve got to admit that whenever I just want to kick back and take a break by watching an episode of a television show I hadn’t seen in over a decade or read reviews that shoppers at such-and-such an online store or read such-and such a news story about something that’s going on in today’s mixed-up world and end up coming across such remarks, I simply find myself reminded of just how low humanity has sunken in recent years and how for every good person in the world, there apparently has to be at least one individual who feels the need to be a thorn in someone—if not, in fact, everyone—else’s side by portraying himself or herself as a condescending, illiterate, uncivilized, intolerant, spiteful jackass.

However, rather than go on more of a tirade about this topic than I already have, I’ve decided instead to vent my frustrations through poetry in a manner not too much unlike the way I had in my poem from June 8, 2012, Folks Who Won’t Let Go. Not only that, but the following poem is also an experiment for me in that it utilizes a format that I’ve never used before in my life up until now—namely, the blitz poem format, which Writer’s Digest’s very own Robert Lee Brewer discusses here via his “Poetic Asides” blog at WritersDigest.com for people who are unfamiliar with this particular poetic structure. Granted, this particular composition only scratches the surface of this problem, but even with that in mind, I still hope that I’ve done this type of poem justice. At any rate, here’s Trolls. Enjoy!

*****

Trolls
April 30, 2013

Trolls bite.
Trolls blow.
Blow them to the wind.
Blow them to pieces.
Pieces of crap.
Pieces of garbage.
Garbage cans overflowing,
Garbage trucks overflowing—
Overflowing with hate,
Overflowing with immaturity.
Immaturity spawns from boredom.
Immaturity spawns from idle hands,
Hands that type with spite,
Hands that type with illiteracy—
Illiteracy that indicates laziness,
Illiteracy that indicates ignorance.
Ignorance: a plague of the times.
Ignorance: a burden unto society.
Society has been crippled.
Society may never heal—
Heal its brittle, broken bones,
Heal from the countless blows it’s been dealt,
Dealt with merciless wrath,
Dealt by self-righteous brats—
Brats with no sense of propriety,
Brats with no sense of remorse—
Remorse for their cowardly tactics,
Remorse for the hatred they’ve spewed,
Spewed forth like dragon’s breath,
Spewed forth like gobs of venom—
Venom at that with which they disagree,
Venom at that which they don’t understand—
Understand to grow more tolerant,
Understand to grow more accepting,
Accepting of the world around them,
Accepting of others’ differences—
Differences that fuel their contempt,
Differences that fuel their fear.
Fear feeds disdain.
Fear frags logic.
Logic teaches sensibility.
Logic provides wisdom.
Wisdom teaches kindness.
Wisdom provides solutions—
Solutions to a crumbling social structure,
Solutions to a deprived world order.
Order keeps in line the antisocial.
Order protects the innocent from miscreants…
Antisocial…
Miscreants.

*****

And that’s my rant in a nutshell. Anyhow, for those of you who have read the above composition, thank you for your time and for understanding my grievances with this particular topic. Hopefully, this problem will die down in the years to come, although common sense tells me that such a hope is more in vain than anything else. Also, here’s to saying what one means and meaning what one says as well as to agreeing to disagree when it comes to various opinions and interests. After all, I know well myself that of the people I’ve railed against in the poem above, not all of them are sincere with what they post on this website or that and only say things to rile people up, no matter how asinine such a tactic is. Also, we all have our own differences, be they political, religious, racial…what have you. However, if you feel so strongly about something that you have to talk about it with anyone anywhere, yet cannot remain calm and rational and instead feel the need to resort to using ad hominem attacks or otherwise be a burden unto the party you disagree with, then please do yourself a favor, and just walk away from the matter at hand until you feel you can approach the issue with maturity, civility, and grace.

Again, everyone, thank you, and happy reading.

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

Poem of the Week: WTH is Wrong with This Fanfic?

Happy Father’s Day, readers!

This week’s “Poem of the Week” deals with yet another YouTube phenomenon, dramatic fanfiction reading. In a nutshell, anyone who pays close attention to the YouTube commentary community—not to mention various individuals aside from YouTube commentators—knows of the popular trend of picking out certain written works that have been published on such sites as FanFiction.net, Fanfic-FR.net, TrekFanfiction.net, Fanfiktion.de, and HarryPotterFanfiction.com (just to name a few) and read them aloud solo or with friends for the amusement of one’s audience. Occasionally, the reader will present unto his or her listeners a carefully written and truly enjoyable short story or poem that does well in honoring the preexisting franchise upon which it is based and as such does said franchise justice. On the other hand, most of these videos feature the host narrating a work of fanfiction that proves to be so dreadful that it simply begs to be exposed for whatever faults it has, from horrific grammar and writing mechanics to nonsensical plot elements and character relationships to even tacky (e.g., sexually explicit) content and nigh-invincible and often self-based original characters. It is from this latter assortment of videos that fanfic writers—and, quite frankly, writers in general—can learn both what to include and what to avoid when composing their own works, even though such lessons often enough come at the expense of the presenter’s sanity. As such, though these videos might often enough embarrass the writer of the featured fanfic, there is always hope that said writer will find it within himself or herself to shrug off the presenter’s harsh criticisms of his or her work and try to improve his or her writing style via his or her next fanfic. Likewise, these videos tend to educate many a viewer a very important lesson: Be careful what you post on the Internet, for submitting the wrong material can very well damage your credibility, which is a consequence that no writer—professional or amateur, poet, novelist, short story author, journalist, et cetera—can afford to endure.

Of course, if you’d like a clearer idea of what I’m talking about, here are a couple of videos that best describe what dramatic fanfiction reading is all about on YouTube. Be warned, though, for these particular videos are not meant for the easily offended.

YB And The Great Reading Triumvirate Analyzes: KexAndy’s Wacky Foodstuff Adventure

Blonde Guy Gamer, WellUnreal007, and SCXCR of the River City Gamers read awful fanfiction on YouTube

Needless to say, this particular form of video is the topic for this week’s poem, which—as was the case for Folks Who Won’t Let Go—is a haiku chain, albeit shorter (hopefully much shorter at that, too). Without further ado, then, enjoy!

*****

WTH is Wrong with This Fanfic?
June 8, 2012

This fanfiction sucks.
I weep for humanity
Based on how bad
This fan-made story
Is. How bad is it, you ask?
Well, for one thing, the
Writer’s grammar is
Atrocious beyond belief,
With spelling errors
Aplenty, a lack
Of capitalization,
Poor punctuation,
Improper subject-
Verb agreement, and sloppy-
Ass sentence structure.
That’s not all, though, folks.
The characters in this tale
Don’t even act the
Same way they would in
The franchise they’re from. Really,
Now, there’s a pairing
Of two characters
Who, according to canon,
Hate each other’s guts,
And yet here they are,
Doing consensual yet
Unspeakable acts
With each other like
Two hormone-crazed teenagers.
What the hell, people?
Worse yet, why the hell
Is this one person killing
Off this other guy
When they’re supposed to
Be on friendly terms within
The source matter? It’s
As if the writer
Hates this second character
So much that he feels
The dire need to kill
Him off any which way he
Can, regardless of
How illogical
The notion is. Oh, but wait—
Speaking of lack of
Logic, how about
The fact that the events in
This fanfic have no
Flow to them? Really,
The story just jumps from one
Scene to another
With little to no
Transition between any
Of them. Honestly,
How does the writer
Expect us readers to pay
Any attention
To what’s going on
With the way he shamelessly
Rushes his story
Along? One more thing,
I just love (sarcasm) how
He introduces
Characters of his
Own creation into the
Mix so suddenly
As well as how they’re
All souped-up paragons of
What humanity
Is “supposed” to be
With nary a single flaw.
Great—just what we need:
More Mary Sues and
Gary Stus in modern-day
Fanfiction—as if
We haven’t endured
Enough author’s pets by this
Point already!
Anyhow, these new
Characters that the author
Introduces to
Us are all just so
Unrealistic that they’re
Unsympathetic,
And I can’t relate
To them. Can anyone else?
I highly doubt it.
Come on, now! Where’s the
Humanity in these guys?
Where are their faults? Why
Must they be so…well…
Invincible? Doesn’t the
Author know that there’s
No room for any
Character development—
No room for any
Sot of growth at all?
Tell me, what’s a character
Without growth and change?
I’ll tell you what: Stale!
And I hate things that are stale.
They bore me to death.
So yeah, this fanfic
Sucks big time, and quite frankly,
I wish that I had
Never read it. Now,
If you’ll excuse me, I need
A nap. My head hurts.

*****

Well, that ought to do it for this week. Thank you for taking the time to read this poem after my five-day-long absence from this blog, and hopefully, this week won’t be quite as stagnant for me in terms of producing content. As such, if I manage to come up with any new topics to discuss between now and either next week’s “Poem of the Week” or the publication of my next book, whichever comes first, I’ll be sure to include it here. Until then, however, have a very safe and joyous Father’s Days (especially all you dads out there ;)), and as always, keep your eyes peeled on my author page at Smashwords.com for the latest releases as well as current publications. Thanks again, and happy reading!

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

Bonus Poem of the Week: Folks Who Won’t Let Go

Welcome back, readers!

I’ve got a quick question for you all: Are you sick and tired of all these people on the Internet who basically shoot their mouths off for the sake of shooting their mouths off? It doesn’t matter, either, if these people happen to be members of some forum you’re a member of or random schmucks whose comments you chance to read in response to some story you’ve come across on a news site like Yahoo.com or even the authors themselves of such news stories, regardless of the host site, who are so flagrantly and disgustingly unobjective and unprofessional in their reports that it makes you not only question their integrity as journalists, but also weep for the sake of humanity as a whole even more than you already might. Heck, you can even include people who make poorly thought-out rant videos on YouTube on this list of immature, jaw-flapping troublemakers who wouldn’t know the meaning of the phrase “truth and error” if the very personification of the definition walked up to them one day and punk-slapped them across their dull, witless faces. Let me make it clear, too, that I’m not talking about Internet trolls necessarily, but rather people who actually believe in the faulty, biased, illogical, and oftentimes hateful things they post on the World Wide Web. Now, don’t get me wrong; anyone who posts anything on the ‘Net clearly has something on his or her mind that he or she feels the need to share with the rest of the world. I sure know I do, else I myself wouldn’t have this blog upon which to post my poetry or to promote my books to anyone who chances to come across it. The problem is, however, that some people, no matter how intelligent or well-informed they actually elsewhere in life, can and frequently enough do present themselves as being completely and utterly clueless when it comes to certain aspects of this crazy world we live in and, in all due respect, shouldn’t. It’s especially embarrassing, at least in my eyes, when such people claim to be the beacons of authority on certain issues and insult or degrade anyone who doesn’t have the knowledge that they themselves claim to have—especially when said other people are actually smarter and wiser in regards to such issues than these self-appointed “experts” actually are. Worse yet are the maniacs who openly wish severe physical harm or even death upon people just because they like a certain thing or think a certain way that they themselves don’t. These individuals in particular, in my opinion, deserve to have their forum accounts deleted (if such accounts are relevant in regards to the venue they choose to vent their grievances through) and have the authorities track them down and lock them away in some sort of sanitarium until they are finally ready to behave like the sane, civilized human beings they’re supposed to be and stop making humankind look all the more despicable and depraved as a whole on account of their own outrageous behavior.

Such is all the more reason why I particularly enjoy listening to and/or watching the more respected and respectable ranters and commentators on YouTube when they rip apart the defective “reasoning” that certain other people in society have in regards to any given topic, and it is in honor of people like them—people who celebrate and promote logic and rationality against all forms of stupidity and absurdity—that I hereby present to you all the following haiku chain. I truly hope this poem comes in handy as a means of coping with all the self-righteous twits you’ve run into on the Internet so far and possibly even those similarly unsavory individuals whom you actually have to deal with in person. After all, just because the ‘Net can be and often enough has become a breeding ground for human ignorance doesn’t mean it has to be that way all the time, and what better way to prove that than by “injecting [some] sanity,” as YouTube commentator and movie reviewer SavageBroadcast would put it than by offering you all this special bonus “Poem of the Week?” Please enjoy!

*****

Folks Who Won’t Let Go
June 5, 2012

Folks who won’t let go
Of the past truly bug me.
Why can’t they shut up?
Why must they always
Take their insecurities
Out on other folks
Who have done nothing
To stir up their emotions
In the first place? Why
Don’t they ever just
Stop talking for once in their
Messed-up lives and lend
An ear to what the
Rest of the world has to say
‘Bout their condition
As well as that which
They keep obsessing over
Time and time again
Ad nauseam like
Broken record players that
Just beg to be fixed?
They are not helping
Themselves move forward from the
Events or things that
Have turned them into
Babbling, loud-mouthed sociopaths
Who don’t know a lick
Of what they’re saying
For all the world to hear and
Read. Trust me; they don’t.
If they did, they would
Actually be talking
Sensibly and with
Much conventional
Wisdom about the things that
Have gotten under
Their skin rather than
Constantly rambling nonsense
And bogus theories
Like the lunatics
That the masses rightfully
See them as—either
That, or they’d simply
Keep their mouths shut, period.
It’s just that simple.
After all, people
Who actually are wise
Rarely speak unless
Words truly beg to
Be spoken, and only then
Do such folks dare to
Share their opinions
With the populace, just like
The run-of-the-mill
Superhero leads
A regular civilian
Life until evil
Forces act upon
The balance between order
And chaos; only
Then do these heroes
Don their costumes and venture
Out into the world
To thwart the villains
Responsible for tilting
Justice’s scales. One
Problem, however:
These drama-weaving buffoons
Whom I’ve been ranting
About aren’t heroes.
They may think otherwise, but
When was the last time
Any of them dared
To monitor their thoughts and
Feelings on topics
That they only think
They understand? When was the
Last time any of
Them bothered to pay
Attention to whatever
Messages they’ve brought
Upon themselves to
Share with everyone by means
Of the World Wide Web?
Seriously, now,
When was the last time any
Of them chanced to think
‘Bout what he or she
Said ‘fore he or she said it?
Because as far as
I know, none of them
Speak or write with any faint
Semblance of logic
Or rationale—none
Of them whatsoever. Thus,
All the more reason
To question why they
Don’t just give up their struggle
Against the things they
Know they can’t control;
All the more reason to ask
Why they simply don’t
Throw in the towel,
Crawl back underneath their rocks,
And stay there for the
Rest of their wretched
Lives? After all, they offer
Nothing of value
To society
Aside from facepalm moments
And lulz, and yet it’s
Nigh-impossible
To ignore their foolishness
For any longer
Than a few seconds.
Unfortunately, then, all
We can do to shut
Them down is to play
Superhero and call them
Out on their nonsense
Whenever they dare
To spew their careless, thoughtless
Words and destroy their
Ill-informed beliefs
Before their stupidity
Completely drowns out
Any semblance of
Sanity society
Can muster these days.
After all, the name
Of the game is balance, and
The only way we
Can win is if we
Can maintain it in the face
Of unrelenting,
Unforgiving, and
Nigh-infinite ignorance.
Sadly, that’s life, folks.

*****

That’ll do for this session, but don’t worry, for I’ll be back for yet another official “Poem of the Week” this coming Sunday. Until then, as always, thank you for following me on this blog, and don’t hesitate to check out my author page at Smashwords.com to check out my work. Otherwise, good day, keep your chins up, and once again, hooray for rationality in the face of human stupidity!

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

Product Update: Books by Dustin M. Weber Now Available at Kobo Online Bookstore and WH Smith Online Store, plus Poem of the Week: The Ranting Game: A Limerick Chain

Kyle Summers, Booker, The Sun Shan’t Set on Me! Poems from My Younger Days (Ages 16 to 23), and Best of Luck, Jeff Babbage! by Dustin M. Weber:
Now available at Kobobooks.com and WHSmith.co.uk.

Hey, readers!

Today, I have some great news for Kobo shoppers: All three of my currently published books are now available at Kobobooks.com and are priced exactly as they are at Smashwords.com! Not only that, but those of you who shop at WH Smith are in luck, too, as they have these same books available for sale on their website. For more information, please click on the links below.

Dustin M. Weber at Kobobooks.com

Dustin M. Weber at WHSmith.co.uk

Additionally, as has been the case every Sunday on this blog so far, I come to you with my latest “Poem of the Week.” This week should be pretty interesting, too, seeing as the inspiration behind this particular poem came from a little habit of mine that I have developed in recent years—namely, watching and listening to YouTube videos while working on my novels and/or poetry. It’s nothing too serious, really—just a harmless diversion that I give in to from time to time to recharge the old gray matter between writing sessions. Often enough, I also manage to garner an idea or two that I eventually end up translating into a plot for one of my novels, as was the case with my first official book, Kyle Summers, Booker. The same holds true for the novel I am currently finishing up, the title of which I plan to announce once I have finally written the last chapter, as well as yet another book that I plan to start immediately after finishing up my current work. Such is also the case for this poem right here, which I’ve written as the result of the inspiration I have developed after listening to and watching a few videos made by a handful of commentators on YouTube.

In a nutshell, YouTube commentators work like this: They find certain material that they see as being stupid, comical, illogical, or otherwise “riff-worthy” and basically share their two cents with the world on what they and their intended audience are both watching and/or listening to. Such material that may fall prey to a commentator’s sharp wit or burning logic could be a biased or otherwise misleading news report; a music video made by a recording artist or group who has garnered plenty of infamy on the Internet for one reason or another; or a rant, product review, or daily vlog made by a fellow YouTube video maker who either says or does something that the commentator a) finds to be idiotic or offensive or b) simply disagrees with. The following links should redirect you to a few examples of the kind of video I’m talking about. Be warned, though, for these videos may or may not contain language that one would consider suitable for a general audience.

The Hero’s Commentaries 4 by TheHeroOfTomorrow

A Savage One-Shot: Gilliam’s List by SavageBroadcast

Ray Commentaries: The Brawnies by RickyRay102

Needless to say, the message of the following poem should more or less be pretty straightforward and teach a crucial lesson to anyone who plans on sharing his or her thoughts about the world around them via the Internet, specifically via YouTube or any other site that features user-made videos. It’s a lesson that many have learned that hard way, but hopefully, after reading this story, you shan’t be among those people. Without further ado, then, enjoy!

*****

The Ranting Game: A Limerick Chain
May 19, 2012

I once knew a man named Clyde
Who suffered from excessive pride,
And when he was young,
He’d flap his tongue
And offer up words so snide

About all he saw wrong with the world,
With all men, women, boys, and girls,
With world society
And economy
To the point where all wanted to hurl,

For see, Clyde wasn’t so smart
When he chose to make ranting his art,
And all that he would say
Would be tainted some way
With the stench of some massive brain fart.

The man’s thoughts were simply inane,
And when he spoke, he sounded insane.
His facts were all wrong,
Thus his arguments weren’t strong,
And he simply caused his audience pain.

Many of his gripes were minor,
Though he treated them as though they were finer,
And though he spoke with conviction,
His frequent contradictions
Made him sound like a hypocritical whiner.

Others often called him out on his crap
And verbally, he’d be punk-slapped
By those who had heard
His oblivious words
And wished he would just shut his trap.

Sadly, he only fought back
And offered up counterattacks
With a countenance so smug
Like that of a slug
As if his critics were the ones who were whack.

This only bit him in the butt
And put him in quite a rut,
For he acted the fool
And came off like a tool
And was left asking himself, “What?

What more is left for me to do?
There’s got to be a way to get through
To all those fools
That my ideas rule
And to respect them, they really ought to.”

So he ignored all his critics’ cries,
Not once listening to any of their “lies,”
And kept spewing away
The same notions that they
Had all come to thoroughly despise.

The only difference this time around
Was how Clyde took on a much meaner sound.
His attitude was less evasive
And his voice more abrasive
As upon many an eardrum it did pound.

Otherwise, his words were the same,
Only bolder and even more insane
With double standards galore
As his voice and ego bore
ven harder down upon people’s brains,

And once again did his listeners fight
To put an end to his fanatical plight
With even more detractions
And similar reactions,
And why not? They knew they were right,

For Clyde’s research was little to nil,
Just as his voice was obnoxious and shrill.
Thus, he hadn’t the facts
That he needed to back
His opinions—only his will,

Hence the retorts soon drove Clyde up a wall,
Which thus led to his ultimate fall,
And as he crashed and burned,
He finally learned
That he was the fool after all,

For he’d never made logic his friend,
And as such, all that time he did spend
Preaching his spiel
Had little appeal
Upon those who’d brought him to and end.

After that, Clyde never spoke again,
And only God knows where he’s been,
For now it’s been years
Since his words pierced folks’ ears,
And no one’s heard from him since then.

The moral to this story is plain:
If you want to play the ranting game,
Get you facts straight
And avoid provoking hate,
And respect will be yours to gain.

*****

Well, that pretty much sums things up. Just remember, then, kids: Logic always triumphs over histrionics and hyperbole any day of the week. Other than that, thank you all once again for reading this blog of mine, and remember as always to check out my Smashwords.com author page as well as the two links I’d provided earlier in this post for Kobo and WH Smith. Don’t be afraid to buy any of my books from any of these three sites, either, and leave a review for them once you’re done. I’d really appreciate feedback on what I’m doing either right or wrong as an author. Thanks again, and stay tuned for future posts regarding my work.

Regards,

Dustin M. Weber