Some Thoughts on Amazon’s The Boys

blog post august 5th 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019. 

I just finished watching Amazon’s The Boys and have some observations I’d like to share with you all. First of all, I absolutely loved the idea of seeing superheroes, for once, being heavily flawed, culpable, and not as infallible as they’re always depicted. I also really liked how “The Boys” were “the good guys” or anti-heroes, really.

I have always had several issues with superheroes that I never voiced out loud for many years. My views may be seen as a widely unpopular opinion but here goes anyway. I always quietly noted all of the violence, all of the deaths, especially all of the collateral damage that was done while superheroes purportedly “saved the day.” You rarely see the superheroes acknowledging or taking a moment to apologize, to grieve, or to recognize all of the senseless lives lost and if they do it’s a mere afterthought. These superheroes are always larger than life characters who were given these powers and decided to dedicate their lives to being noble while saving the world from crime. But what if it’s not so black and white as we’ve been accustomed to while watching or reading tales in the DC or Marvel Universe?

The Boys provides a view of what it might really be like living in a world with superheroes in this day and age. We are heavily tied to technology and you can’t get away with anything these days without someone catching your actions on their phone and posting it to several social media outlets. You have to be careful with what you say, spin your words in a way that will get people to follow you, believe in your actions, and even pick a group, and with this show, in particular, the religious community and have them support your cause. In this world, they were made to be superheroes at birth and it wasn’t by some freak accident or some other hackneyed cause that became commonplace with superhero origin stories. We see how the individuals who are known as “The Seven” cope with their superhero status and how they unravel in front of our very eyes in quite a sight to behold.

You have A-Train who is fighting to keep his status as the fastest man alive, facing the reality of aging and the limitations of his body and toying around with Compound V to help him maintain his status as a renowned and beloved superhero. He inadvertently kills someone while speeding through residential streets with little regard for anyone but himself. He even sacrifices his own beloved Popclaw to cover up one of his many messes. To what end do your actions persist without consequences? One of the most poignant moments in the series is A-Train’s last conversation with Popclaw before killing her where he recalls what foods she ordered on their first date. He told her that he was impressed by her choice and loved how she wasn’t afraid to be happy. That was the most authentic moment that character had the entire season and that was the only chance we got to see A-Train being truly vulnerable, away from the Compound V, away from the influences of Homelander and Stillwell and Vought.

These “supes” as they’re known, are so scripted and violated and destroyed mentally as they’re constantly reminded by those around them how privileged they are to be apart of this elite group but what they had to do to get there is just way beyond what the average human being would tolerate just to become famous.

I always equated superheroes with the popular kids in high school. These are the kids who naturally excelled at sports, the beautiful young girls who were cheerleaders or chosen homecoming and/or prom queen, the Ivy-league bound kids, etc. These were the kids that I had the least in common with growing up. I was always awkward, shy, overweight, never pretty, plain to look at, unremarkable in every sense of the word. I’ve been bullied, fat-shamed, emotionally tormented, and so on my entire life and it has become something I’m used to. With every hardship I’ve endured and whenever I happen to tell my story to other people they always tell me how they are so impressed by how level-headed, smart, and accomplished I am. They tell me how strong I am to have gone through everything I’ve gone through and never turn to drugs, or alcohol or worse. I take my pain and I turn it into something positive. My weapon of choice has always been my words. I use words to make sense of my feelings. I use words to educate others to be better people. I use words to teach people tolerance, positivity, compassion, empathy, love, and respect.

I’m no superhero. I often end up sympathizing with the villains sometimes. Not that I’d ever condone any of their abhorrent actions. I can just sometimes relate more to their backstories and can understand how these villains did not have the mental fortitude to turn an extremely negative and unfortunate event in their lives and turn it into a positive.

This show, I realize, relies heavily on karma to serve these so-called heroes and heroines their just desserts. From A-Trains broken leg, to Translucents unfortunate demise, to The Deep’s gill violation,  to Queen Maeve’s coming to terms with letting all of those people die on that plane and the bitter loneliness she exhibits on a day to day basis just being her, to Homelander’s desperate need to father a child only to find out that he had a child as a result of his raping Butcher’s wife but only finding out several years later that the child actually survived. All of those cliched colloquialisms apply here: Fate catches up to us all, You get what you deserve, You reap what you sow. You get the point.

This show had raised so many thoughts and questions and I was really impressed from beginning to end. I was kind of dragging my feet starting this series and I rolled my eyes at the mere thought of watching yet another superhero driven series. This concept highly fatigues me and the concept has to be really mind-blowingly good for me to not fall asleep or even forgo watching it altogether. I really liked how the tables were turned and made what we would normally consider the villains as the kind of heroes/anti-heroes of the story. I liked how the superheroes weren’t always perfect, were heavily flawed, and weren’t even good people most of the time. I liked how Starlight was the young ingenue getting into something she thought was so noble and worthy only to be disillusioned and wrecked practically from day one after her sickening encounter with The Deep. We’ve all had moments where we find out that some of our heroes are not good people in real life and how scripted the majority of people whom we admire actually are and how Hollywood lies, and how things are absolutely not always as they seem. Thanks for reading my observations. I’d love to hear about your thoughts on the show. Remember, if you decide to leave a comment, only positive comments will be published, so keep it clean, keep it polite, keep it respectful, folks.

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My new novella, John of Art, is out now and is available for paperback and Kindle ebook on Amazon. It is also available as an ebook wherever ebooks are sold. If you’d like to get a copy of the paperback, just click the picture below and it will lead you to Amazon to purchase your copy of the new novella. Thanks to all of you who have already purchased your copy. I am in the process of making the paperback available through other platforms and my voice over artist is currently working on the audiobook and that will be released in September most likely.  Currently, I’m working on a couple of new things. I am working on possibly doing some book signings. I have just sent out a few inquiries regarding that so I don’t know if that will happen yet but will let you all know if and when that actually occurs. Thanks again and have a great week everyone!

Upon Wit’s End: How the Near-Fatal Sting of Rejection Invokes Passion

blog july 19th 2019 A

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019. 

When I was twenty-eight years old, I was smack dab in the middle of working on my master’s degree. A few years prior, I had just gotten fired for the first time in my life and I was so lost, so depressed, and I was essentially an empty shell of a woman. I lived in my bathrobe as I wrote paper after paper trying to finish up my degree. I overate and ate the worst possible foods ever, I watched a lot of t.v., I played online Scrabble endlessly for hours when I wasn’t working on school work, and I isolated myself from the outside world. The only thing that was going right for me was my educational path which I clung to for dear life.

One afternoon, my sister came home from work and forwarded me this writing contest. She told me to give it a shot and that the prize money was worth at least entering. So I did. I wrote this short story called, “A Breath of Freedom,” which I happened to include in my Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 2, nearly ten years later. Anyhow, one day I received a letter saying that I had won third place in the competition and was awarded $500. At the time, I had never cried so hard with gratitude. I had desperately needed that cash. I was able to use that money to buy my family Christmas presents that year. It was a true Christmas miracle. I even took my mother and sister down to Princeton to receive my award. I was even in the newspaper for the first time in my life. That period in my life was truly momentous and I will always be grateful to my sister for passing along that opportunity. I also remember showing my father that piece of writing. This was way before his diagnosis with dementia. He was a writer and artist as well and I remember him telling me that my story was corny after he read it. Instead of congratulating his daughter and encouraging her to move forward with writing, I was met with resentment and jealousy. I shook it off and didn’t let that sully this incredible event that happened in my life. This came at a time I needed to regain confidence, regain faith, regain the belief that somehow, someway, everything was going to work out alright for me. I needed this push in the right direction. I went on to finish my masters and work on my doctorate subsequently after and spent several years after that substitute teaching and long-term subbing.

In 2016, I was once again at a difficult crossroads in my life. I was laid off from a really wonderful teaching gig I had acquired. Being done with schooling, and wanting to finally start my life, I, yet again, was ousted from this security net I was provided with and found myself once more lost, uncertain of the future, scared, and most of all poor. I had to do something, and fast. I had been wanting to be a writer for as long as I could remember. When I went to Virginia the first year for my residency hours while working on my doctorate, I came across several amazing individuals. This one person, I will never forget, said something so profound on the last day of our residency that it stayed with me to this day. He said to our professor, “You’ve awoken a passion within me that I never knew I had.” That is what writing provided for me. Writing gave me a voice, which I never had before. Writing gave me a passion, which I was never allowed to have before. Writing became my salvation, my redemption, my hope, my peace, my sanctuary, my escape from all that ailed me. Writing became my therapist, my best friend, my confidante. Writing became my past time, my joy, my anguish, my pain. I spent hours, upon hours writing down everything that had ever hurt me in my entire life–every painful memory that still entraps me to this day. Writing gave me a release, gave me a reason, an excuse to finally let things go. Writing gave me permission to finally be the human being I had always wanted to be. Writing gave me purpose–a reason to get up in the morning. Writing became the one and only thing that no one could take away from me.

Since I’ve started writing in 2016, I’ve released so many pieces through Amazon. For funding, I’ve submitted side pieces to hundreds of organizations, magazines, contests, freelance opportunities, etc. But I had not been able to have a lightning strike for me twice since that day in 2009 when I won my first contest. Ten years later, technology is booming at its highest peak. Social media is swelling with promising new writers who practically step over each other, so desperate to be heard. My work has persistently gone unnoticed for years. I receive rejection more than I hear praise. If it wasn’t for my voice over artist/editor/mentor/newfound friend I’d quit completely. She has become such an advocate for my writing and encourages me to keep going every day.

 

blog picture july 19th, 2019

Writing provides me with so many ups and downs emotionally. There are some days where I feel so triumphant for how successful I was with my writing progress. I can belt out six thousand words in a day no problem and re-read everything and I feel such pride for how much I have grown as a writer over the years. Then there are the setbacks when I receive yet another discouraging rejection letter. I feel trapped sometimes. I feel like time is running out for me. Heavily in debt and fearful for my future, I often wonder how I became this foolish. I often blame myself and punish myself for not being “normal” like everyone else. I hate that I’m different. I hate that I stand out. I hate that my path has always been more difficult than other people. I just want to be like everyone else. But I know I never will be.

It’s been one heck a year for me. I have had to re-teach myself how to be strong and independent and break myself away from that mentality of being someone’s fiance. I hated that at first. I resented it even. I felt like Bella Swan from Twilight during the time she was away from Edward. You live your life and the time passes by around you but you’re not living. You’re barely breathing. You’re barely eating. You have no memory of the months that zoomed past you. You’re just surviving. Surviving was the very least my body was capable of in those lonely winter months. But then the sun comes out one day and its bright triumphant beams hit you smack dab in the eyes in the early morning and you wake up finally transformed and metamorphosed and you think, “Finally.” You finally breathe, eat, smell that fresh air, and feel the magnitude of what you’ve been through. You recall the harsh lessons learned. You become more protected, more guarded, more aware of your surroundings. You trust less, but you’re still you to the outside world, just this more polished version. I am not my mistakes. I am not my past. I am not my failures. I’m more than that. Way more. And with every rejection I receive, I’m only that much more determined to keep trying. To keep improving. To keep writing like I’ve never written before. If you don’t believe in me, who cares, I’ll keep writing until I find someone who will believe in me. I don’t write for you. I write for me. I write to keep going in this crazy world. I write for meaning, for inspiration, for perspective, for peace, for sanity. I write to make others see that triumph really does spawn from tragedy if you just keep going and let that sun reach your face. I will not give up. I will not allow you or anyone else to dampen my spirit any longer. Reject my words but somehow, somewhere, someway, someone will embrace me and I cannot wait for that day and tell you all about it.

PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess’ Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/psglopes

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear Released Today on Amazon for Kindle and Paperback!

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019.

Hello everyone! I am so excited to announce the release of my latest work! Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle Editions! I am so very proud of this work! This was my focus throughout the whole month of January. As many of my readers already know, 2019 started off with heartbreak. I saw two forks in the road for myself in 2019. I could have either taken the self-destructive path and allowed what I went through to destroy me internally, or use my pain productively and focus on my writing. So, I chose to work on my writing and rebuild all of the momenta I had lost in 2018.

For Dark Musings Volume 1, I had focused on my transition from leaving education to becoming a writer and that volume focused greatly on loss, and rebuilding my life from the ground up. Dark Musings Volume 2 was an experimental anthology where I wrote my very first epic poem and decided to incorporate illustrations, photography, and short stories with this work. I simultaneously released Volume 2 with the 2nd edition of Volume 1 to incorporate photography in this edition as well.

For Dark Musings Volume 3, I decided to include 45 poems and one short story entitled, “The Clown-Covered Canvas.” The 45 poems in this volume vary in topics including heartbreak, nostalgia, how I am coping with my dad’s dementia, and feminism. I experimented with several types of poetry such as: haiku, sestina, sonnets, concrete poetry, ekphrastic poetry, elegies, villanelles, acrostics, epigrams, limericks, free verse, tanka, and more! I tried to really vary the styles of each poem. I am very proud of this work. Since the theme for Volume 3 is “The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear,” I decided to incorporate my photography of nature. I included pictures of flowers, landscapes, and photos depicting the handiwork of mother nature.

Here are pictures of the front cover and back cover of my book:

 

The back cover blurb reads:

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3, The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear, focuses on heartbreak, loss, nostalgia, and coping with the illness of a loved one. The third anthology of the Dark Musings Poetry Anthology series contains forty-five poems and includes one bonus short story, “The Clown-Covered Canvas.”

For those of you interested, you may purchase my book using the orange links below:

Kindle Edition: $9

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear Kindle

Paperback: $25

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear Paperback

 

 

For those of you interested in my back catalog of other written works, please visit my Amazon Author Page for my writing: PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess’ Amazon Author Page

CD DISC FACE IMAGE

Or Amazon Marketplace for my song single, “In Recovery”: PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess Song Single “In Recovery”

I am trying to work on possibly doing a Virtual Launch Party for Dark Musings Volume 3. I will update you more about that as and when it happens. For now, I am currently in the process of working on my next project. I am wasting no time and diving right in. I currently have 2 more things I’m working on at the moment. I want to thank the followers of my blog and social media, my weekly listeners of my podcast, and my friends and family who have supported me throughout this odyssey of mine.

Thank you for never giving up on me! Thanks to anyone who supports my work. I hope that you enjoy the work that you will kindly leave feedback on Amazon. It really greatly helps with spreading the word out on what I do!

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On a side note, for those of you who missed it yesterday! Yesterday’s podcast was the first interview I conducted with the ever-talented comedienne and writer Amanda Lynn Baez! We had so much fun talking about our career paths, women working in competitive creative fields, feminism and so much more! I was so happy to do this interview for several reasons. Firstly, Amanda is a former student and I love highlighting success stories of those who have graduated. I absolutely love Amanda’s positivity and fearless nature. She will let nothing get in the way of her success. She was an inspiration to me and motivated me as well. Last night, I was interviewed for my local paper and I was nervous about it in the morning but after conducting that interview with Amanda earlier in the day, and just hearing her story of empowerment and courage, that really helped provide me with my own confidence to proceed with my own interview later that evening. I am a firm believer in the saying, “everything happens for a reason!” So, thank you, Amanda! I wish you much success and luck in life!

If you haven’t yet, give the podcast a listen. Just click the orange link below! Thank you so much!

PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess Podcast Interview with Amanda Lynn Baez

If any women are interested in being interviewed for my podcast please email me at themoonlitgoddess@gmail.com  

We can set up a time to do our podcast. I am highlighting women of all ages who are entering, have entered, or are well-established in entrepreneurial or creative fields and who would like to highlight their success stories to my listeners. These are volunteer spots as I cannot currently afford to pay my guests, but volunteers do get copies of my books and other fun treats for their time!

Thanks again, everyone! Onward and Upward!