The Devolution of Man

I heard a joke by a preacher today,
He said you never see a hearse followed by a U-Haul,
Meaning that all of the possessions we work so hard for in life don’t follow us when we die,

The lesson?
Yet another one attacking materialism,
Coming from a man who probably pockets a decent portion of the church offerings,
Maybe he has a point though?
It is true that when we are dead, our valued possessions can no longer bring us comfort,
It is also true that money does not bring happiness,
How many adored celebrities have committed suicide?

We all know these lessons,
We read books, we watch movies that criticize our materialistic lifestyle,
Yet we never internalize their messages and make attempts to truly change our outlook,
We may have evolved over time, but we are still a species driven by competition,
Many of us are fortunate enough not to have to fight or compete for food, water, shelter,
So what do we do?
We compete for more frivolous things,
The newest phone, the latest shoes, the latest console,
We compete for more attention, more likes, retweets,
This is our struggle, these are our resources

Misery Versus Success

There is no official count, but I wouldn’t be surprised if 90% of the employed people on this planet are stuck in jobs that they either hate, or would gladly trade for another,
Maybe I am doomed to become one of them,
If I end up like them,
Stressed out by kids, debt and the myth of a better life,
Then I will have two moments to look back on with regret
Both moments were caused by my own bitterness and anger preventing me from seeing the bigger picture

The first one, the opportunity to go to a communications conference,
Instead of an opportunity I saw another annoyance from a family member,
A disturbance in my carefully planned schedule,

The second one, the opportunity to meet a literary agent,
This might mean nothing to most people, but for someone who has been trying to get their work published for years, it could be a one in a lifetime opportunity.
What led me to turn the opportunity down?
Anger at my circumstances, being stuck at a position in my life where I didn’t know where I was headed,
Where every work day felt like a way to pass time till the next opportunity,
I was not appreciative, did not realize I should have cherished every day,
Seen every day as a new opportunity,

I don’t believe in blind optimism, but I do believe that sometimes we need to take a moment to be grateful for what we have so that we do not imprison ourselves in a cocoon of misery

The Never Ending Marvel V DC Debate

I never read comics much growing up. In fact, most of my comic book knowledge comes from online research of different characters, with some of my favourites being Batman and Spider-Man. I bought my first comic, Watchmen, just a few years ago and I have followed that one up with titles like House of M and Civil War.

My comic interests have always intersected DC and Marvel, and I am sure many other fans can say the same. Although competition is unavoidable since they are two different companies involved, I do not think that the same level of close-mindedness among fans existed prior to the comic book film renaissance we are now witnessing. Did older comic book readers only read Marvel comics, and refuse to read DC or give DC any balanced criticism? Or vice versa? Hopefully not. Either way I think online arguments, whether they are on IMDB, YouTube, Empire etc. make it clear that close-mindedness abounds when it comes to comic book film discussion.

Some disclaimers:
1) Yes I know many people see comment as the cesspool of the Internet, and may wonder why I bother paying them any attention. For me, I felt the need to write this post since I can no longer go to forums like IMDB and have reasoned arguments with posters. My YouTube videos are drowned out by videos where other people echo the same views that I detest. So the simple reason for me doing this post: I need to vent.
2) Close-mindedness is a pretty big part of the human condition, so of course it extends far beyond people’s discussions of comic books.
3) I am not a Marvel OR DC fan, I am a fan of both worlds.

There is no arguing that Marvel or Disney/Marvel has built a dynasty. It seems that slapping the Marvel logo across any property can guarantee profit and good reviews from critics and audiences alike. Not only has Marvel released more films, but the shared universe they have created is a dream come true for long time comic book fans and an exciting prospect for a newer audience who are increasingly drawn to the characters.

Aside from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, DC has not had any critically revered films over the past ten years. Some have been panned for good reason imo, such as Green Lantern. Meanwhile. others were unfairly scathed. V for Vendetta (Vertigo) is technically a DC property, since DC purchased Vertigo comics. However, the average moviegoer probably does not know this. This brings up an important issue that I believe affects DC films far more than Marvel. Marvel’s status as the earlier franchise allows it to set a benchmark for fans who have a simple conception of certain characters. Marvel’s films generally have a reputation as more light-hearted, entertaining and fun, while DC’s are often seen as poor attempts to be “dark and gritty” or “copying Nolan”. In general I believe people have a tendency to become attached to what comes first. With the exception of The Dark Knight trilogy, most DC films were released after Iron Man.

Man of Steel, currently 58% on Rotten Tomatoes was critically divisive from what I have seen. Many people either loved it or hated it. I don’t have cited sources to examine all the reasons but the recent release of the Batman v Superman trailer has brought up more online criticism of Man of Steel. One of the biggest critiques from this past month and 2013, was that Man of Steel changed the character of Superman too much: Made him too brooding, too dark etc.

Since Marvel studios don’t own the X-Men or Spiderman until earlier this year, Marvel’s stable of characters weren’t as iconic as DC’s. Obviously the characters are firmly entrenched now, but I don’t think Iron Man or Captain America were AS popular to the general audience in 2008, as Batman or Superman were. Marvel has done a great job with their characters and their stable also gave them an advantage.

They did not have to worry as much about a misinformed general audience thinking that they ruined the characters. This advantage is especially clear when it comes to Man of Steel. Contrary to popular belief, Man of Steel did not actually change the character of Superman that much. A lot of the things people hated or thought were rip-offs of Batman Begins e.g. the depiction of his dad and his dad’s death, Clark travelling across the world, were elements borrowed from newer comics. Birthright and the New 52 comics were the biggest influences. In terms of


…..Superman killing Zod, writer David Goyer also explained that. In the comics, Superman does not kill because it is an arbitrary decision by the writers. In the world of Man of Steel, he had no choice and was forced to kill the last member of his race. After doing that, he will never want to do it again and this can also set up Batman’s mistrust of him in Batman v Superman. Some people say Superman should have dragged Zod to the moon, but this Superman cannot breathe in space. Superman’s powers fluctuate writer to writer in the comics, and his ability to breathe in space is one of the ones that changes often. Others say Superman should have dragged Zod somewhere else in the city and keep fighting. Yet some of these people are the same ones that complain about the fighting causing too much damage in the city.

However, much of the general audience is not bothered to look up facts like this. You may think it is not their responsibility to. However, these same people have the time to write reviews or do video reviews of Man of Steel and spread bad word of mouth.

While Marvel can get a pass on terrible love stories (Thor), forgettable villains (Malekith from Thor, Ronan from GOTG), I believe that some fans tear DC properties apart either because they have decided they will only support Marvel, or because they have a narrow view of how the character should be portrayed. I have had conversations with people who disliked Man of Steel because, and I quote, “His brow was too furrowed” in some scenes. This person specifically referenced the scene where Superman flies for the first time: The same scene where Superman is smiling and laughing as he sails through the air. Basically this person thought Superman should never be allowed to look serious, he should be grinning from ear to ear the entire movie. This is just one example of the relentless nitpicking bestowed on Man of Steel.

Another example:

Two super powered beings fight in a city and the city gets trashed (like many comics and tv shows) = worst movie ever and worst depiction of Superman ever. Even though the same thing happened to some extent in Superman II, with Christopher Reeves. This also happened in The Avengers, but very few people say The Avengers were portrayed horribly.

Marvel’s humour has also won it many fans, even if that humour consists of Kat Dennings making terrible quips for two hours (Yeah I really don’t like the Thor movies that much, Loki’s a highlight). I remember when the Man of Steel trailers were released and everyone thought they were “too dark”. I do not believe they were. The trailers were dramatic, serious, but not dark. They had the same tone as the trailers for The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, Man of Steel was quick to be interpreted as an attempt to make Superman “dark and gritty”. It now seems that any DC trailer with a hint of seriousness will be interpreted as “joyless” or “too dark”.

As Marvel continues to strengthen its brand, we will have to see how DC progresses from this point onward. While I am excited at a shared DC universe, I do worry that they are rushing it. Aside from Batman and Superman, the next film features three other superheroes and some questionable casting: Gal Gadot looks horrible as Wonder Woman. My heart tells me yes, my brain tells me no. If the film is panned or met with polarizing reactions like Man of Steel was I hope it is not because people resort to the same tired arguments I have already discussed.


I can feel them moving again,
Tearing a path through my flesh,
I can see their bodies, lying just under my skin,
Pressed so tight that my skin moves when they do,

I shiver as I feel one travelling down my neck,
Its body travels over blood vessels and nerves,
Moving over them or pushing them aside,
Its slow movements only prolong the agony,

I crash to the floor,
Serving only to awaken others,
I can feel a wave of movement starting in my legs,
My mind tells me not to look down,
Yet I choose not to listen,

The skin on my legs is stretched tight as they tear through,
Blue tendrils mark their presence on every inch beneath my waist,
I can feel the skin tearing apart now,
Blue gives way to red as the skin tears,
Coming loose from the flesh underneath with a thunderous snap,

They emerge, and death is my only escape.


Goals, dreams, delusions, fantasies,
They are one and the same,

We were all told the same thing,
Be ambitious, work hard and reap the rewards,
Yet one look around shows that the world cannot be this simple,
Is every person who cleans toilets for a living doing it only because they never worked hard enough for something better?
Is everyone who serves us fries, only there because they never aimed for a higher calling?
Haven’t you ever worked the hardest to get something, only to have it taken from you by someone who was undeserving?
While the accomplishment may have meant the world to you, it was only an afterthought to them

The real truth we need to accept is that the world is unfair
Everything doesn’t happen for a reason,
Your soul mate did not break your heart so that you could find someone even better,
They broke your heart because unrequited love is a part of life,
The seven-year old cancer patient you weep for did not get cancer so they could learn a life lesson,
The odds simply show that disease must strike someone, regardless of their age

The truth is we are not all special,
The world needs people to suffer,
There could be no balance if we all got what we wanted in life,
We will always need people to shine our shoes, clean our cars, our homes, our streets,
Most importantly, we will always need people to die before we do,
Welcome to the real world, I sincerely hope you enjoy your stay,
Just don’t interfere with my enjoyment.

The Visitor

His parents were asleep in the next room,
The family dog rested by the foot of his bed,
Aside from their breathing, there was no other noise in the home,

The child seemed innocent now,
Turning four next week,
With his small hands resting beneath his face,
I knew the innocence would not last though,

This child would grow into a dictator and a murderer,
If he was not killed, the future could not be avoided,
That is why I am here,
I could not wait for a weed to grow before I pulled it out,

I had watched my family, my friends and my wife die,
All as a result of the person in front of him
I gave up on getting rid of the problem in my own time,
Each day that passed left me feeling like Sisyphus,
Doomed to repeat a task that I can never complete,
If one act could undo everything that happened to the ones I loved,
I knew I could no longer hesitate and hide behind a veil of morality,

I ignored my conscience and unsheathed my knife from my waist,
As I raised my knife above the child’s head,
I knew I was stopping his metamorphosis into something else, like preventing a caterpillar from morphing into a butterfly,
This was different though; humans didn’t start off as something grotesque,
They began as beautiful creatures and became something grotesque as they grew older

The Undertaker

I used to speak with my family more, used to have more friends,
Over the years, they have drifted away,
More so than any other field, mine doesn’t make for good dinner conversation

Our mortality is undeniable, but it is still something many wish to ignore,
People will hear of loved ones dying, they select coffins and tombstones,
Yet they don’t want to know the details of what happens to the person they mourn for

Perhaps I should not blame them,
This was never a field I saw myself in, but sometimes it only takes one day to change someone,
That one-day when I waited in vain for my father to pick me up from school,

Some like to fight the pain of a loved one’s death by running away from it,
That was never an option for me,
I had to learn more about the monster, in order to become less afraid of it,
My fear evaporated and understanding trickled in to takes its place,

My father always shared tales of Greek mythology with me when I was a child,
I was always entranced by Hades, the God of the Underworld, who presided over the souls of the dead
With my father’s death I remembered his words,
Hades’ role was one that was given to him,
A role that he fulfills despite the stigma associated with it,

I laid my father to rest, and many others have followed in his wake,
Every day, new bodies are added to my collection,
Some are natural, the inevitable result of a body wasting away over time,
Some fell to disease, whether it could have been avoided or was simply a fate they was doomed to from birth

Then some deaths are the intended result of my new clients,
There is no pattern to the madness,
Young or old, beautiful or homely,
The only reason they met death, was because they went looking for him,
I will never understand it, but I do not try to

It is a fact many are not happy with their lives,
It is also a fact that those people make my job easier,

After all these years, I have never lost sight of my own fate,
One day, I will be the newest resident of my own establishment,
Death has built my home and my empire,
When he comes for me, I shall embrace him like an old friend