Comic Fatigue

Every marriage, no matter how solid, can suffer little cracks and major faults. It’s normal to have challenges to overcome, and given that your husband/wife is not your superior/inferior, but in fact, your partner, you should be willing to listen to them and likewise not be afraid to ask them to listen to you. Communication breakdown is one the major causes of divorce.

That’s easier said than done when you are making an honest effort to be a better person by participating in the things they enjoy, but that don’t necessarily bring the same amount of joy to you.

I consider myself to be a hardcore sci-fi Star Trek geek, as is my husband. But he is also a comic book nerd, and let’s just say that it’s never been a better time to be a comic book nerd. There has been a ridiculous amount of comic book movies and series released lately. I’m a latecomer to the world of comics, but my husband is a lifelong devotee. He has been reading and collecting comics since early childhood. He knows all the stories: the origin stories, the back stories, the alternative-universe stories, all of them.

My husband introduced me to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and its DC counterpart, in which there are some truly outstanding and not-so outstanding films. So devoted is my husband that he even likes the “bad” films. I’ve become a big fan of them, but lately I find that my enthusiasm has waned. There used to be one or two comic book films released each year. Then they started releasing more and more…and more…and more…

I found myself less enthusiastic about seeing the most recent (as of this writing) MCU release, “Ant Man and the Wasp.” I still want to see it, but after seeing “Black Panther” and “Justice League” and “Deadpool 2” and “Solo” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Well, you get the idea.

And then there are the TV series. This has become a bit of a nightmare for me. There are so many comic book series now, many of which are excellent, and they keep releasing more and more. It’s impossible to keep up.

There’s Arrow/Green Arrow, and Marvel’s Agents of Shield, and Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, and Gotham, and the Gifted, and Legion, and Krypton, and Titans, and Black Lightning, and Riverdale, and Cloak & Dagger, and Runaways, and all the Netflix “adult” series, like DareDevil, and Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, and Defenders, and the Punisher…

And they keep adding more…and more…and each time they do, I’m a little less excited than I was about the previous one. My husband wants to watch them. Every single episode of all of them. Last night, I wanted to watch a Netflix show that looked good, and he wanted to watch “episodes,” of one of the many, many comic book series listed above. This has become a minor crack in the solid rock that is our marriage. I find myself no longer wanting to watch “episodes.” It’s probably only temporary, but I still feel…so fatigued. He asked me, as he’s done before, if I preferred that he watch them himself. I said…uh…maybe? Previously, I said, “Of course not. I love those shows.” Which I do. But I’m sick and tired of them. I feel bad for feeling that way, of course. Comics and their related movies and series are one of his greatest passions, and I feel bad that I’m not as passionate about it as he is.

The producers of the movies and series won’t give us time to process the previous film or series before releasing the next one. Why are they doing that? Because they want to make money, and they know that comic book nerds are the most loyal fans and the most dependable of butts on cinema seats. And they are glutting us with more and more stuff to watch. I wish they would not necessarily stop, but just take it easy for a while.

And it’s not just me. A google search for the phrase “comic fatigue” revealed several articles written about this phenomenon, which I did not realize was an actual thing until I wrote this post.

Here’s one from a couple of months ago.

Here’s one from a couple of years ago.

It’s a thing, alright. Its effects vary depending on the individual. In my case it’s ever-so-slightly affecting my marriage.

Marshmallow Farms

20180616_145740

I bet you didn’t know,
That marshmallows grow,
Big, white and round,
Right out of the ground.
Of quality top,
This organic crop,
So perfect this year,
Time for harvest is here.
Plain white is society’s
Most wanted variety,
But some specialist growers,
Produce some real showers.
Pink and yellow in heaps,
For marshmallow peeps.

Man-bun

Man-bun,
Sitting, taunting me,
With your pseudo-masculinity,
You think you’re cool, on the edge, out far,
But I see several of you,
On the same subway car,
You believe that you’re rad,
But it couldn’t be clearer,
You live in a proverbial house,
Without a proverbial mirror!

A review of Neil Young’s Paradox

Pass the mushrooms…
….and the hashish cakes,
Fire up the moon,
We’re showing introspective outertakes,
And not a flash too soon,
Time bending forwards, bending backwards,
Night in the afternoon,
Sweet peyote, morning glory,
Fire up the moon……

This film is like a compressed Tom Robbins novel, and that’s high fucking praise in my books.

“When seeds are outlawed, outlaws will save the seeds.”

Ellipsis

Everything that is left out.
Implied. Inferred.

Like the Saddest Story Ever Written,
Often attributed to Ernest Hemingway.
“For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”
An iceberg tip of six words.

Dive deep down and explore,
That submerged mountain of subtext.

Illuminate the ellipsis.

Or don’t.
You probably don’t want to know,
What’s really under there.

We’re Not In Kindergarten

I’ll be here for you,
Not there for you,
I’ll show you that I care for you,
But don’t ask me to copy, cut, or paste,
I’m pretty sure that’s not the answer,
To either Alzheimer’s or cancer,
Plus it’s tedious and in rather poor taste,
I’ll do things that I should,
I’ll fight the fight that’s good,
I’ll call or PM, to see you’re on the mend,
I’ll do those things that are real,
Based upon the way I feel,
And not because it’s another Facebook trend.

SPREAD

Her history, she said,
Was one to dread,
Which she did.
Kept things hid.
Too much to feel,
She couldn’t deal,
And so instead,
She’d find,
With an open mind,
Her legs could spread,
Let others tread,
In her secret garden,
She’d grant them pardon,
To have their way,
So she could say,
She’d kind of feel,
Though not for real,
But it was a start,
It’d plant the seed,
So she’d grow to need,
To be truly freed,
To spread her heart.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

2018

As Jews, how do we convey the significance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day to those who did not grow up living and breathing the reality? Our obligation to the deceased, the victimized, the terrorized, the imprisoned – how do we respect their memories, their struggles, and their realities? How do we ensure that atrocities and bad behaviors remain consigned to history while guaranteeing the memories and lessons learned remain alive and active?

Throughout my religious education at temple, Holocaust survivors would kindly, patiently relay their tales of extreme horror to rooms full of children. These nightmarish stories could easily be flippantly dismissed by those who refuse to accept the true evil of man due to the depravity, absurdity, and cruelty if there weren’t common threads of rape, humiliation, starvation, torture, emotional abuse, and death.

Some would gasp and say “This is inappropriate! Young children shouldn’t hear such things.” while forgetting that young children were living these things. When you point that out, the ardent protectors of young children typically fall silent, stupidly and helplessly. One could even argue – complicity as it relates to today’s genocide, today’s rampant bigotry, today’s unchecked abuses of power.

There are many answers to how we Jews ensure we meet our obligations to the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust, but there is one common theme: education. Using resources such as Yad Vashem, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, one’s local Jewish community center, synagogue or library, we can maintain historical accuracy and share the truth.

But what of the obligation for those who aren’t Jewish? What is their obligation on this most somber of days and should there be one? Absolutely. And, perhaps their obligation and burden should be slightly heavier, slightly greater, slightly more significant and entail a bit more work as their exposure to the realities of the Holocaust doesn’t parallel the average Jewish person’s experience. For they, they live a life free from concern and wonder about WHEN this will happen again, WHO among their kin perished in The Shoah, HOW they will respond when the time comes, WHY do people want to exterminate them on a massive level, and WHAT would propel an entire world to do nothing about genocide to this very day.

Never forget. Never again.

Note for fellow Jewish folks:  please join Yad Vashem’s Circle of Friends.  It’s an annual, nominal donation.  I cannot think of a more meaningful mitzvah.  

Zionism…

…or nah?

Netanyahu sees three things and three things only: power, money, and land. The antisemitic, tiny-fisted, white supremacist manbaby may as well be the Messiah so long as he continues to support the evangelicals’ version of Israel.

Over the years, we have watched Israel appropriate land which was never hers, build a wall and force people to live in conditions reminiscent of the ghettos to which our grandparents were confined, and morph into some amusement park for those with the resources to fund birthright tours and honeymoon packages.

This is not the Zionism engrained in me via my parents or my religious schooling. This is not the form of Zionism I support.

The decision to name a train stop near the Western Wall after Donald Trump is a shanda. Also, a wonderful example of all things Bibi. Money over integrity. Power over humanity. Rewards for those who give Bibi what he wants, with zero regards for the character of the donor.

I don’t know if enough time and demonstration of decent human behavior will pass for me to believe that Jewish people do not *need* a homeland: a Jewish state, a safe place to seek refuge from irrational hatred, a place to live without fear of being killed for simply being Jewish. White nationalism is, once again, socially acceptable. Where Roy Moore failed, people like Kelli Ward and Paul Nehlen aim to succeed. This is terrifying for all marginalized people. We all need and deserve a safe space, a home without fear.

Should Israel continue down the current path of engaging those who aren’t interested in her safety and security for the reasons upon which she was created, should leadership continue to engage and rely on those who have no love for Jewish people, should leadership continue to treat innocent bystanders no differently than pests, nuisances and animals, the concept and the state will fail.

Back to the desert to wander, we will go.