Dark Christmas


Blood red nose;
Blood red suit;
Blood red slay.

Santa’s on the hunt.

Watch out, Calvin.
Be careful, Susie.
Santa checks his hit list twice:
once, to see your name;
once, to cross it off.

Nick’s got a team of nine
crack commando reindeer.
They came to break the naughty
and give out party
favors. And they’re all out
of party.

Blitzen’s blitzen’ across the snow
He’s got you in his sights now.
Donder’s donning his flak jacket-
No snowball barrage can stop him.

Don’t try to run –
Dasher’s faster.
Don’t try to plead –
Dancer and Prancer
love to jig
on snow angels.

Comet’s already crashed-
crushed your chimney;
set fire to your tree
and scattered the ashes
of your stockings.

Vixen and Cupid –
(the femme fatales) –
make the final blows
for Kris.

Kringle jingles all the way
to the ends of the earth.
Then back to frozen north,
frozen like his dark heart.

An army of elves
conduct surveillance for Yuletide,
the next dark Christmas.

Happy (Haiku) Holidays

I
Jolly old Saint Nick
Mirth-full of fun and good cheer,
Comes down to chim’ town!

II
Gifts or coal black coal?
Stockings hung by fireplace wait
For Santa’s good will.

III
Stamp snuffle shuffle
Eight hooved beasts, ready to fly,
With holiday haul.

IV
Workshop works round clocks
Makes Christmas come true again.
Thanks, little helpers!

V
Snow white, cold snow-fall-
Unless you live Down Under.
Then? X-mas Summer!

VI
Frosty the snowman-
The magic snowfall dances-
Ice crystals now live.

VII
Bright red sleigh, red nose –
Rudolf the reindeer now reigns
As Christmas hero!

VIII
I’m on the list – gulp –
Am I on the nice side, or
am I too Naughty?

IX
Two tallies mark fate –
The long list separates us.
Please grade on a curve!

X
Nightfall over eve:
Green tree, white lights, and the gifts
Wait for Christmas morn.

Fork

When is a boulevard
actually an avenue
to the road on which
a street becomes
the lane I shortcut
via the back alley?

Maybe I should
perform a u-turn?
What I mean is:
why are the signs
never clear until after
you’ve driven down
the parkway to brake
on the driveway?

Hang on…

is it left or right?

I need some clear directions
because I haven’t a thru
notion how to unfold
the GPS and ask Siri
which route leads to
life’s interstate highway.

Or perhaps I’ll just
stay on the service road?

Actually, I’ve paid the tolls
I’ve heard were due
and (now that I’m able)
I’ll cruise along the freeway
and hopefully I’ll not miss
my exit to what’s next.

Shiver My Timbers

I shiver my timbers
In the sudden warmth of March
Lockstep
Towards the twelfth dread
Another spin around the drain
maelstrom’s fire scorching space

I fancy myself piratical
adrift, now making sail
Heaving to galactic destiny
Shanghaied
The siren sings of emancipation
Unlocking the depths

Yo oh heave ho
Haul anchors away
Into scarlet skies at night
Spinning yarns that couldn’t be told
Jones’ bones are allowed to speak
Dead man no more

Not all treasure
Is silvers of steel drenched
In blood
Pulled from beating hearts
Salty breezes sweep
Hearts high on sea swells

Pop Culture Crisis

In reviewing my feeds this afternoon, I saw a headline that caught my eye: “Kevin Feige Finally Responds to Martin Scorsese”.

I must admit I rolled my eyes and sighed.

I’ve been meaning to write about pop culture and fandom and loving things for awhile now, and I guess there is no better time.

Scorsese has crafted many highly acclaimed films. Feige has helped to craft a universe of films that is only growing bigger. Scorsese criticized Feige’s films and thus we are here, inciting discussion and vitriol the world over.

The issue is larger than two filmmakers having words about the cinematic merit of the films they have had a part in bringing to the world.

This goes back to 2017 as many fans were incredibly vocal about their dislike of The Last Jedi. This itself was shades of 1999 when millions of fans were loudly disappointed in The Phantom Menace, the first Star Wars film since Return of the Jedi.

Perhaps this is much older than that. However, rather than divert into the history of culture critique, I’d rather make a simple point:

You are allowed, when it comes to pop culture, to love what you love and not love what you do not love.

Another person who isn’t into what you love does not threaten your enjoyment.

My words are not all that matter here, so I’d like to quote a few others that have insight into this discussion.

“I always tell people that conventions are so wonderful, because you’ll be surrounded by people who love the same things you love, the way you love them. But that’s not entirely correct. You’re also surrounded by people who love things you don’t even know about, but you love your respective things in the same way, so you get to love your thing enthusiastically, completely, unironically, without fear of judgement.

It’s not about what you love. it’s about how you love it.

There’s going to be a thing in your life that you love, and I don’t know what it’s going to be… It doesn’t matter what it is. The way you love it, and the way that you find other people who love it the way you do is what makes being a nerd being awesome.

Don’t ever let anybody tell you that that thing that you love, is a thing that you can’t love.

You find the things that you love, and you love them the most that you can.” – Wil Wheaton Star Trek

We all are going to love different things. We are different people, and what appeals to you may not appeal to me. I love Star Wars. I don’t really care for Final Fantasy. I love baseball. Basketball? Not so much.

“I personally think that everyone is a nerd. That’s kind of one of the things we’ve been trying to do…to me, “nerd” really just means passionate. You can be a sports nerd. You can be super into basketball. Well, guess what? You’re nerdy about basketball. You can be nerdy about cars. You can be nerdy about design. You can be nerdy about all kinds of different things.” – Zachary Levi Chuck, Shazam

Levi is right on. We are all nerdy about something. Doctor Who, engines, sports, Star Wars, crochet…whatever. That isn’t the important thing. What’s important is how you love it: with passion!

“Friendly reminder: we’re all here to have fun and talk about the stuff we love. Tempers can run high when we get passionate, but let’s all remember that at the end of the day, even when we disagree, we love stuff. That’s what makes us fans. Let’s try to be kind to one another.” – @letstalkgrayson on Twitter

We love stuff. We all do. So why not encourage each other in our lives, even if the what is different. I can encourage you to love basketball because I love baseball. I understand what it means to cheer on a team, to wear a jersey, to live and die by the scoreboard.

I can be excited hearing about how you enjoy Harry Potter and what House you are in, not because I am into Harry Potter, but because I know all about Star Wars and the Empire, the Jedi, the Wookiees and on and on.

And while we are here, it must be said: you do not own what you love. The creators do not owe you what you love. You can be disappointed in a thing you love, but don’t exercise that disappointment against those that create the thing.

That way leads to toxic fandom, in which some spew hate and negativity instead of encouragement and love. In which some seek to destroy what they loved and hinder others in their love. And that isn’t good for anyone.

Creators are simply doing their best to create what they would love to see in the world. Rian Johnson did not set out to create a controversial Star Wars film. Kevin Feige did not set out to create the best cinema of all time. They seek to entertain, to create, to play in a particular universe and add to it in a positive and unique way.

And that is ok.

I didn’t care for Spider-Man: Far From Home. I didn’t think it was perfect. But you know what? It doesn’t have to be.

“Stop expecting movies/TV to be perfect. Yes, sometimes you see a thing that checks all the boxes. But stop requiring that. Entertainment is meant to be entertaining, not solve all your issues.” – David Blue Stargate: Universe

When I go to see the latest Marvel film, or whatever, in my heart I simply want to be entertained. I want to escape my world and live in another for as long as it lasts. That is why I love pop culture to begin with. It gives me great stories to escape into. Anything else is just icing on the cake, and that is no lie.

Love what you love. Encourage others to enjoy what they enjoy. And don’t let it damage your calm if someone else has different tastes. It’s love that brings us together. Focus on that love.

And maybe, just maybe, we can make this a better world for all who live in it. This is our shared universe, so let’s make it the best we can.

So say we all!