"The World Is No Longer Mysterious": Richard Siken, "Supernatural," And Why They Correlate

"The World Is No Longer Mysterious": Richard Siken, "Supernatural," And Why They Correlate

No, "Crush" wasn't inspired by the show.
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In 2005, the first episode of Eric Kripke's "Supernatural" aired on the CW. A year prior, Richard Siken's poetry book "Crush" won the 2004 Yale Series for Younger Poets. At their inceptions, it is doubtful that either Kripke or Siken anticipated the plethora of fans they would attract over the next ten years. However, today both have gathered huge fanbases, in part due to promotion through the blogging website Tumblr.

Of course, fans of the two were bound to overlap. (Guilty as charged.) And it didn’t take long for the people both watching "Supernatural" and reading "Crush" to connect the two works.

"Supernatural" follows the journeys of Sam and Dean Winchester, brothers who travel the United States under their motto, "Saving people. Hunting things. The family business." Basically, they’ve been tracking down and killing monsters their entire lives, ever since their mother was killed by a demon when Sam was a baby and Dean was four.

"Crush" deals with many of the same themes as "Supernatural," including the open road, guns and violence, a pervading sense of danger, and codependent love. Of course, Siken's book was accepted for publication before "Supernatural" even aired, but that has not stopped fans from asserting that "Crush" was inspired by the Winchester boys.

Last winter, to promote the release of his second book of poetry entitled "War of the Foxes," Siken created a Tumblr blog, posting think pieces on the reception of "Crush" over the past ten years and following blogs with a presence in his own fandom. (He hasn't posted in months, but for some reason, his blog is still up. And for some reason, he still follows me. It’s always been a little unnerving.)

In one of his think pieces, Siken spoke in-depth about this movement of fans linking his work to other media, especially "Supernatural." As he puts it, there was "no interaction between poet and show." In an interview discussing this, Siken maintains that both "Crush" and "Supernatural" are "products of a cultural moment, not products of each other."

Through Tumblr, for a brief period of time, Siken was involved with "Sherlock," another fandom that connects to "Crush." The difference between this and "Supernatural" is that "Supernatural" so closely correlates to "Crush's" themes that people all but insist they are the same work. The distinction between poet and show in "Sherlock" is obvious. In Siken's own words, he "can participate in the Sherlock fandom because there's room for [him]. It's impossible to confuse ["Sherlock"] and 'War of the Foxes.'"

But it is not impossible to confuse "Supernatural" and "War of the Foxes." Don't get me wrong here, I in no way believe "War of the Foxes" was inspired by "Supernatural." I think, like was mentioned about "Crush," both works are products of culture, and thus both works mirror each other in theme and emotion. And in terms of emotion, "War of the Foxes" is not dissimilar to "Crush." Maybe it's a little more large-scale, because it lacks "Crush's" constant narrator and specific address, but the same feelings are still evoked: confusion, anger, desperation.

In whatever he writes, from books to blog posts to editorial letters, Siken tackles the rawness of life, buried issues we don't like to think about everyday. Issues we can't think about everyday, or we'd all crack up. But Siken is not afraid to confront matters like love that develops into an inability to exist independently, unromantic suicide, or the monotony of always running away.

"Supernatural" also does not shy away from these matters. Of course, we're not all demon-fighting brothers raised on whiskey instead of baby formula whose only real home is the backseat of an Impala, but the extended metaphor of battling personal monsters and keeping on the run from them is one that definitely resonates, at least for me.

The similarities between "Crush," "War of the Foxes," and "Supernatural," are striking, but not because they were inspired by each other. They are similar because they were inspired by the same aspects of life, and they each describe these aspects more explicitly than most, even though they are shrouded in metaphors.

Maybe a relationship between Siken and "Supernatural" isn't to be made; maybe I'm either, (a) delusional, or (b) grasping at straws. Or maybe art really does reflect life, and both works just so happen to do that in the same vein. Whatever the case, both Siken and Kripke present their own creations, and if you're going to compare the ocean to a blackbird, the least you can say is, they both are exquisitely beautiful.

Buy Richard Siken's "Crush" here and "War of the Foxes" here. Watch "Supernatural" on the CW, Wednesdays at 9/8c or on Netflix.

Cover Image Credit: Home of the Nutty

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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10 TV Shows You Need To Watch On Hulu

Hulu is slept on

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I have recently moved to watch shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix. Hulu has a lot of great shows and movies to offer that aren't on Netflix. While Netflix is still great, Hulu is definitely starting to grow on me. Here are some shows that I have watched or have started watching on Hulu that I think are pretty great!

1. 11.22.63

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If you love James Franco and Stephen King, you'll love this show. The first episode is a bit long, but all the other episodes are only 45 minutes. The plot line is pretty interesting. I also like that it doesn't tell you everything, it shows it to you and you piece things together.

2. The Act

The fact that this show is based on a true story is just insane. The acting is really great, especially if you watch actual videos of Gypsy, Joey King does a great job.

3. Castle Rock

Another Stephen King masterpiece. This show is riveting and really makes you think about what the truth is in the context of the story, and brings in some ethical questions.

4. Future Man

I've only recently started this but it's pretty interesting and funny.

5. The O.C.

The O.C. (TV Series 2003–2007) - IMDb

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This show was great. Sometimes it was a bit annoying, but it is a classic show from the early 2000s. You really become invested in all the characters and your opinion may change on some characters because they grow and develop throughout the show.

6. The Handmaid's Tale

If you've read the book, you should definitely watch the show.

7. Obsession: Dark Desires

https://www.hulu.com/

I just love true crime stories and this really dives deep into crime stories and the darkest parts of humanity.

8. Intervention

This show can be really sad or frustrating, but I think it's good for people to see the reality of addiction.

9. Smallville

Smallville (2001-2011)

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I also started this one very recently and I've always wanted to watch it. It can be cheesy but it's pretty entertaining.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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This is a great show if you want to laugh. I love all of the characters and everything they bring to the table.

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