With apologies to the great Wendell Berry.

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When despair for the world grows in me, and I wake in the night at the least sound, I sometimes go down to the local theater and check out the latest Marvel spectacle, preferably in 3D, because it’s more abundant in real pleasure.

Lately, though, the work of Marvel and its sort has been lacking in several kinds of sense. Here, then, are my humbly offered suggestions for improvement:

1. The villains have just not been believable. Why a squinting, purple monster looking to eliminate half of life in the universe when the strip mining industry is right there? Instead of sending a thermonuclear missile into space, the Avengers could handcuff themselves inside the Governor’s office as an act of nonviolent protest.

2. Art is about constraints. What if Iron Man did not own a computer? This would certainly have helped the Avengers avoid many, if not most, of their problems. I appreciated that, with Age of Ultron, the computer is explicitly made the problem, but the lesson for the audience falls short since the computer is also made the solution. And don’t get me started on Vision. (Now, if Vision had been a chainsaw, I might feel differently…)

3. I feel strongly that we should see more of Hawkeye’s farm. Hawkeye lives on a farm but does not appear to own any horses. Does he use industrial tractors, which crush the life out of the soil and poison the water table? Or perhaps he uses the divine strength of his friend, Thor, which is, in a way, its own kind of solar power.

4. I have some thoughts on New Asgard. Instead of being located in a fishing town in Norway, what if it was set in the fictional town of my novels, Port William, Kentucky? This small, beloved community of people who know and, in turn, are known by each other is the perfect setting for these traumatized refugees of Thanos’s madness. A walk-on role for my “hero,” Jayber Crow (whose superpowers include barbering and insightful self-reflection), might also open up a previously untapped audience for Marvel.

5. Another villain idea: the United States Department of Agriculture. I envision Captain America (after he leaves S.H.I.E.L.D.), Hulk, and the people of Wakanda rising up against corporate influence on the government and especially the true big bad in the shadows: Monsanto. (Its role could be revealed in an end-credits scene where Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner are getting ready to seed Hawkeye’s north quarter section, and they see the Hydra insignia stamped on the seed bag just above the patent number. Cue title: “The Avengers Will Return.”)

6. That orchard that Thanos hoped to spend the rest of his days tending could also be explored at greater length. Perhaps, instead of cutting off his head, Thor and the other Avengers could join Thanos in his labor. Laboring together, as the men of my youth did across the steep tobacco fields of Kentucky in the dew-wet dawn, is a powerful way to work out disagreements. Not once have I seen anyone get their head cut off at the end of the harvest. Also, there would be no computers.

7. More Groot. Surely, he should be in every movie. I can imagine a forest of Groots that one could never plant, and none of us will live to harvest.