Casper: the sadness of a friendly ghost

How can you live

with the fact

a child died

for your cartoon pleasure?

You did him no favours

taming him,

accustoming him

to humans.

Oh yes,

he is a friendly ghost,

and you may count that as

an accomplishment,

but what does it mean?

He craves companions,

he desires contact,

he is less without you.

He is your summer novelty,

your holiday hobby.

Better you had perfected

a coin flourish,

or studied German grammar.

Instead you made a freak.

A bird that cannot fly north for the winter,

a dingo habituated to camp garbage cans,

a politician kissing babies in retirement.

The life of the ghost is meant to be harsh.

It is a fierce path, not lightly chosen.

Yet here we have this bobble head,

trapped in his haunt,

unable to seek that which he desires,

waiting like a puppy dog for his victims.

We all avoid the olde manor now,

his tricks have worn thin

and eagerness is uncool.

It is for the best.

The living are butterflies,

colourful, vibrant, but

good for a season at most.

We move away, we die.

What you have made remains,


Are you pleased with yourself?


Joe Chip.  Always with the big issues.

11 responses to “Casper: the sadness of a friendly ghost

  1. Pingback: Joe Chip asks: is Richie Rich Casper? « 6th Proletarian Anarcho-Lotto-Syndicate

  2. i feel a bit bad because I laughed at this. I think about Casper the friendly ghost probably more than any one person should. He’s quite a disturbing little chap. But I am also a person who is very interested in 19th century dead-baby photography, so my relationship to Casper is vexed indeed. [for what it’s worth, I am a professional studier of children’s literature and culture, and most things to do with the way society thinks about/looks at children, including ghost children]

      • I started off as a Victorianist/children’s literature nerd, but it turns out the Victorians (and pretty much everyone else since 1750) had some very odd ideas and behaviors concerning children. I can’t help that they were into dead baby photography, and writing strange, opium-fueled essays about Dream/Ghost Children. I am merely the scholar, sitting in the dusty stacks, looking impartially and impassively at all the weird shit that’s out there.

      • “I am merely the scholar, sitting in the dusty stacks, looking impartially and impassively at all the weird shit that’s out there.” Sure sure. After all, that’s what Hitler said too. Or perhaps I have that wrong.
        If you ever visit Sydney, you should see Rookwood cemetery, or perhaps not, the interesting things have been vandalised to hell. Its a huge Victorian necropolis, where in the 19th c. visitors would picnic on the graves. There was a special train line and station in the city for funeral trains, and on weekends trains ran for the picnickers. The city station (part of Central station) is still there. They keep trying to find a new commercial use for it. The best was a restaurant where you were served in old rail cars, called “The Magic Mortuary Station Restaurant” or something similar. No doubt the word ‘Magic’ made it all ok, though I am not convinced mortuary and restaurant should be in the same sentence. Must have been as good as the magic roundabout, or the magic faraway tree. I never managed to get there. The Victorians sure liked to hang out with their dead.

  3. Pingback: Most excellent echidna, most spiny anteater « I AM YOUR MATE JOE CHIP

  4. Pingback: Ink « You Are What You Eat

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