Semi-Hiatus in April

Here’s some important news. I won’t be posting as often on this blog for April. This is going to be a crazy busy month since I have some creative priorities going on especially with a certain annual challenge I do multiple times a year with April being one of those key months. Normally, I post on here Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but I may post once a week on there assuming if I have time given my other priorities.

However, I do have some good news. Some of you are already doing this, but I will still have things going on with Iridium Eye which is my film/anime/documentary blog which you can check out here. I have reviews set up for the month including a Top 7 list that I’m sure will get some attention. Feel free to check out that blog if you want to see my thoughts on obscure movies, foreign films, documentaries, short films, lesser-known anime, art house films and even some non-mainstream animation.

Hope you’re all doing alright.

I don’t have a clever title for this post.

There has been so much tragedy and insanity going on recently. There were mass shootings not even a week apart, someone holding up National Guard members at gunpoint when they were transporting vaccines, and how certain judges seem to be cool with domestic abuse when it comes to actresses admitting to doing it to their former husbands mong other things.

Not going to lie, I’ve been still dealing with so many negative emotions. There have been some good things and I’ve been busy with other real life things, but I’m just beyond frustrated with some of these current events on the news while also at the same time realizing how my self-esteem has been messed up for years now. These events that have nothing to do with me and other things I went through make me feel like I’m proven right about so many things about life in all of it’s cruelty and unfairness.

DON’T TELL ME LIFE’S NOT FAIR!

That’s an insult to my intelligence and I don’t want to rant about all the bad things that happened to me or how certain people get away with everything when they shouldn’t.

It doesn’t help that it feeds into my solipsism which I’m surprisingly not called out on as much as I thought. There are times where I believe I’m the only person who suffers from this or that because I don’t see someone else go through what I went through for example. I’ve held back a lot of anger and sadness. Whenever I would talk to someone about someone else doing something bad, then I’m rarely ever believed. I also don’t believe anything unless I see it or hear about it (assuming if someone is telling the truth). Yeah, I’m a real doubting Thomas, right?

They don’t necessarily have to be big egregious stories with me. I just look at certain posts or news articles about different situations and I just say to myself “Thank you for proving me right!” whether something fits the narrative or not. Of course, I never get a chance to rub it in anyone’s face whenever that happens, so it can be frustrating for me since I feel like certain people I know offline treat me like I’m wrong even when I know I’m right. Alas, I’m held to a different standard compared to others.

However, I have to keep focused. It’s not like I have a time machine to erase every bad thing that happened to me or to fix various mistakes. This is still a long healing process and I hope I can see this through even with all the craziness, injustice, and blatant hypocrisy in this world.

I’m doing everything I can not to think I’m an artistic failure.

Yippee skippy! Another Ospreyshire post that’s about my self-loathing issues! Hooray!

Please tell me that my morbid sarcasm came through in that first line because I’m rarely ever sarcastic in both my online and offline life.

This has been a marathon in reassessing my mental health and self-esteem. While it was fun working on another video project even if it was on the shorter side, I still hit some roadblocks in my creative life. I just realized how much some of my older material sucks whether it’s my poetry, fiction, some videos, or even the actual Ospreyshire material. Maybe this is me being older, but I felt like I haven’t fine-tuned what limited talents I had. What really doesn’t help is that people told me I was untalented years ago or whenever I do something great, they don’t see it or they try to downplay it if they do.

Yes, I still struggle with people pleasing.

I had a disturbing realization when I heard this one quote from a video I saw recently was where someone said (this is a paraphrase, by the way) “You somehow think that the enemy is perfect.” That quote really hit me hard because I secretly had that thought in the back of my head like how I was “trying” to be like the people who abused me even though I didn’t realize it back then. Maybe I believed in my mind years ago that if I got their validation, then I would be respected. Boy, was I totally wrong. Sure there were open bullies that I never wanted to be like, but it was the subtle ones that I low-key wanted to emulate even though I wouldn’t admit it. I was trying to fit in some circles where I wanted to belong, but never could. Whether it was me practicing my instrumental prowess or namedropping different bands, I thought it was somehow good enough. That affected me since it was a way of being someone else to avoid being my (worthless) self then. I guess blogging forced me not to do that as much in unexpected ways.

Anyways, I feel like I need to work harder with all of my talents so I can be seen as talented. Maybe not in the same way of how horrible people are still praised because of let’s say their musical talent, sporting abilities, or how well they can direct a movie, but I want to be seen as an innovator in whatever I attempt to create something. The odds have ALWAYS been stacked against me since I was born, so I had to work harder than all my peers whether it was in school, work, or any creative project I invested myself in. Shame that I wanted to get really good fast and quit certain activities or fell out of certain scenes out there.

I’m trying to find any worth in what I do.

Ntoki ya Mayele Visual Poem

Videography is something I enjoy whenever I have time to do so especially given life, work, adulting, and my other creative projects I’m currently working on. This one uses alternating images and is an abstract video involving imagery associated with the Congo (in this case, both countries as seen with the flags). It was a little project referencing part of my heritage that I’ve only known about for a couple of years now. Interestingly enough, the wooden animal napkin holders I use are based on animals native to that part of Africa and were originally from Kinshasa, DRC. What makes it awesome is that they’re handmade AND fairly traded, so the artists got payed what they were owed making these things. I got them as a present last Christmas and I thought it was very cool. Now, I got to use them as part of the visuals. Feel free to check out this video.

Natondo mingi nayo!

Were my issues against Disney fans stemmed with jealousy and not just hypocrisy from them?

Here’s a break from my poetry and other posts. I am aware about the serious issues going on from this week alone, so this isn’t me ignoring what’s going on around the world. This kind of started after listening to James Humphrey and Imo Emah’s podcast series where they critique some Disney movies of all things which were quite interesting. I’m glad they weren’t sycophants covering all these movies which was a huge plus. Going with that as well as still self-analyzing all the psychological damage I received in my life, I really got to thinking about how I was made fun of for what I liked as well as what I didn’t liked.

Before I get into these thoughts, I will promise you that I’m not going to beat a dead horse about that freaking 90s franchise that some of my regular readers know I love to bash on here and my film review blog. It’s much bigger than that.

Did I ever like Disney movies when I was a kid? Of course. I wouldn’t lie about that. I stopped watching them when I was in my teens mainly because I really got into anime as well as starting to check out international movies. What really ticked me off during my high school and college years was being a target of bullying for what I liked. Anime and some superhero stuff (I used to play HeroClix back in the day) more so during my teens while I was insulted for liking independent music during my time at university. While I was bullied for worse things like my heritage which I won’t deny, I was also made fun of at college for NOT liking Disney stuff. I thought that was weird because I thought it was too childish even though I never voiced it out loud to anyone. Yet at the same time even to this day, I see adults rocking merch from the House of Mouse and NO ONE says anything. I’m not just talking about people in their 20s or 30s, I mean people old enough to be my parents and even grandparents. Is liking Disney in America one of those “bully-proof” or “acceptable” hobbies like sports, shoes, cars, or premium cable TV shows (think about the stuff on HBO, AMC, FXX, or Showtime) where no one can make fun of you? I’ve wondered about that.

I absolutely hated how that fandom would be treated with Mickey Mouse gloves while I was a laughingstock for watching Gankutsuou or listening to Starflyer 59 among other examples. How was it that other people could watch “kiddie” movies and shows with no pushback? I’ve wondered that for years and I was furious on the inside. For years, I wanted to find ways where I can figure out people before I would insult them for what they liked if they had issues with me, but I never had the opportunity to do so. There were ideas of bashing the movies they watched, how they have bad animated role models, or how formulaic the plots are. As I got older, I got more rhetorical ammunition against that fandom with the racism, sexism, or malevolent corporate stuff I’ve learned about with the house that Walt built. If I knew about these issues then like I know now, I would give them all the riot act and try to verbally break their self-esteem as retaliation for all the insults I’ve received from them by dropping all these facts in their faces. There’s still vitriol against other fans that was compounded as I put up with petty insults as well as severe verbal attacks in different topics. It’s a miracle I didn’t blow up on bloggers who like the works from that company especially when it comes to multiple movie examples I’ve openly criticized including the one example I don’t need to bring up again at this time (trust me, I would’ve made some people look like hardcore bigots just with that one example if I knew all that baggage back then). Sometimes, I wonder how I can even read reviews from bloggers I enjoy that happen to cover movies from the Mouse and not have a conniption fit in the process. Yes, I still have anger about this subject with various fandoms being treated better than the topics I enjoy. No wonder I like other things like history, geography, and avant-garde stuff even though I also enjoy lesser topics.

As I continued this self-realization, I knew this was hypocrisy on them. I still hate how I get bashed for liking certain things while no one insults them or at the very least I don’t see them. Part of me wonders of there were other intersections about me that made me a target like race, my personality, mental health, etc. Part of it was jealousy. Even to this day, I struggle with sometimes caring too much about what others think. It’s really tough when I get demonized for standing up for myself even when I’m not doing or saying anything wrong. I even thought that if I had my way back then, I’d make sure people would be forced to respect my hobbies and interests while also having all the right rhetorical arguments to bash someone’s hobbies if they dared try to insult what I like. Look, I’m not Jesus here. I’m not trying to be some perfect individual or some flawless moral guardian. I don’t want to lie about some of the thoughts I had even when it comes to jealousy and sorting out my psychological baggage. There was jealously in wishing that I was never hurt by anyone no matter how petty or severe the attacks are against me. I was also angry how I felt like not many people were criticizing them or worse, extolling the bad things that have been documented. While I still get angry at people giving those movies and that company a pass for everything, part of that anger stems from jealousy and not just doing my best to call out evil in this world.

I know this isn’t some mind-enriching post, but I just feel like I have to get this off my chest as I’m still trying to make sense of my mental state.

I didn’t know I was hurt THAT much in hindsight

This past week allowed me to be unexpectedly self-reflective all of a sudden. In between my blogging life, work, adulting, and everything, I was really thinking about how my life was affected negatively in ways I didn’t even think about.

It’s one thing being physically attacked which I won’t downplay if that’s happened, but bruises and cuts can heal as well as being seen. The mind is far tougher to heal.

I don’t want to be to explicit or wax some grand life story, but I started to understand the causes and effects with how I view things. There are struggles with my mental health as well as my shattered self-esteem that I’ve mentioned before, but I’ve been realizing more and more how I was damaged psychologically. It wasn’t just about explicit insults, but there was a lot of low-key things.

Some examples:

-Being told that I can’t do something or join a certain group because it is “too difficult”. (Geez, dog whistle, much?)

-Being told to just take insults and potshots with a grain of salt while others getting what they want as well as making me the bad guy if I fired back with hurtful words.

-One time a former female co-worker complained about my “male voice” despite never raising my voice at her, around her, or trying to divert attention somewhere else. If the situation was reversed and I complained about her or any woman about her voice, I’d be called a sexist. Back then, I had NEVER heard that as a negative thing before years ago.

-People making fun of my interests, but if I make fun of them in return, they suddenly freak out if I knew about their weaknesses.

-My masculinity was questioned just because I was more into artsy things instead of sports by a couple of people. Dead serious.

-My peers doing some egregious things with impunity, but I do something far less severe and I’m punished for it.

-There were times where I apologized for things I didn’t do even though no one believed me that I didn’t do something when I was a kid.

-I was told by a now-ex-friend that I was being “unchristlike” when I vented out some frustration online even though I wasn’t attacking anyone. I wished I never sought this person’s validation when it came to friendship or even music. They even insulted me and humiliated me while pretending to console me after the fact and I should’ve called out this person more often. Maybe this person wanted a medal for mistreating me while trying to seem righteous while using me or others to get some indie rep or possibly moving to Portland…

That’s just some of the things among worse examples that are far more profane. Some of these emotions welled up and I held a lot of it inside.

There were some very negative side effects because I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone since no one would believe me or they say I’m making this a bigger deal than it should be. Not only that, but I wouldn’t talk to people for hours on end and I even had periods of self-harm years ago which really didn’t help. I just kept smiling despite being full of agony as I was going along to get along. As I get older, I realized how much others have used me as some kind of object or stepping stone without me knowing about it, how I’m not allowed to speak my mind, or how I’m supposed to just be oppressed with these microaggressions. It’s no wonder I’ve been so messed up in different ways, and I feel like I have to be an autodidact with my recovery. This isn’t going to be instantaneous.

I’m not sorry for this being a more depressing post. I wished I never had any pain in my life as well as immediately identifying all attempts of abuse at me even during my childhood. Shame how so many people never took my issues seriously.

I Wish I Could Smile Without Using It a Defense Mechanism

It’s scientifically proven that smiling is easier since there’s less muscles to use.

If it was physically easier, then why does it still hurt after the fact? I can’t lie to you, I have struggled in the past as being a people pleaser of sorts. Blogging has helped diminish that somewhat, but it still lingers. I tried telling people I wasn’t alright, but they tell me I should keep smiling more or they wouldn’t care about how bad I would feel then. Whether it was me being depressed or angry, it was somehow a nuisance to them. This was just bad advice in hindsight and probably affected my mental health in low key ways.

Are people that inconvenienced at best or scared at worst when I’m in a negative mood? Then again, I’ve seen my fair share of other people acting up way worse than I even could on my worst days and no one seems to call them out, but it’s whatever…

On here or my other blogs, I’d feel like I’d be lying if I said everything was pure sunshine even if I was genuinely happy when I typed something out.

I just wished others including my own friends and family would listen to me and care about my emotional well-being. It’s a shame how some people told me I’m being selfish for asking such a thing, but others aren’t. Thanks for feeding my solipsism, jerks.

Sorry for not having any poetry or any creative posts today. Smiling can be such a chore for me even before these pandemic-filled times. Shame on everyone who subtly violated my mental health in such stealthy ways years ago. This isn’t some kind of sympathy post. I had to get this off my chest as I’m self-analyzing my life.

10 Lies I Sadly Believed At One Point In My Life (In No Particular Order)

10. People like me couldn’t make it to a university much less graduate on time.

9. If you work hard, you’ll automatically be successful.

8. The independent music scene doesn’t have any cliques, drama or backstabbers like in the mainstream.

7. The Lion King is a fully original movie that would never plagiarize something like anime or music choices.

6. People who are huge bullies and jerks can always be redeemed.

5. Anger is a sin.

4. Christopher Columbus discovered America and he was very respectful to the Indigenous population then.

3. Going to a Christian school would make me less of a bullying target.

2. People who do heroic things will be praised at all times and evil will always lose.

1. Saying affirming things is somehow bragging when I do it even if I don’t say I’m better than anyone, but when others legitimately boast about themselves, they somehow have “earned it”.

Eira Video

I thought I would try something new and different when it came to my videography skills. After watching some examples of visual poems and “slow cinema” (Abbas Kiarostami being a recent re-discovery), I thought I would try to make an abstract visual piece with all this snow that’s hit multiple parts of the Midwest. There were already a couple of blizzards and I used footage from this month and January while mixing it up with different transitions and effects. It certainly doesn’t hurt to expand my horizons with my media production skills.

Fun fact: The title is the Welsh word for “snow”.

Internalizing Issues (A Rant)

It’s been a while since I did a personal rant, but I’ve bottled up a lot of emotions recently.

As if this past year wasn’t stressful enough for everyone, I have just had enough of internalizing everything. One recurring thought I’ve had was thinking that I’m somehow always wrong and that so many bad things have happened to me. Have there been bad things that happened in my life? Yes. However, sometimes I feel like I’m the only person it ever happens to which adds to bouts of solipsism from time to time. Look, I don’t label myself as some perfect person or some beacon of morality. I’d be a filthy liar if I said that. I have low self-esteem, can be socially awkward at times, passive, can struggle with hidden meaning in people’s words, been bullied to the point of silence, thinking only bad things happen to me, and I don’t know how to be quick-witted. Whenever I had to tell on someone when I was younger, most of the time, no one would do anything about it. If I did something wrong or tried to defend myself (I’m not talking about getting physical), then I was somehow in the wrong.

It’s been rough with bottling up depressing thoughts, anger, and other negative emotions even if I’m smiling on the outside. Am I the only person this happens to? I certainly have enough self-control to not do something heinous with these emotions, so that’s a plus. What does anger me is when so many people get away with so many things. That doesn’t surprise some of you who’ve followed this blog for a while. I’ve dealt with therapists who’ve insulted me in the past which certainly burned. This feeling of being disrespected and people getting away with it even if I speak up was like being psychologically violated. It really didn’t help when I discovered long after the fact how I was being devalued in subtle ways (dog whistles, low-key insults, etc.). I would even do things out of spite to make people leave me alone like “hating” things I admitted to liking or trying to use people’s insults against them in obscure ways. Yeah, it didn’t work. That’s probably no wonder why I’ve been tempted to shame some bloggers even for something as simple as a thought on a movie, for example. I didn’t see anyone else suffer in that way, so I thought they had healthy stable lives. There have been far worse things that have happened to me in real life, but I saw so many things as negative. Glass half empty? That describes how I saw the world even during my childhood. It just sucks having to harbor so many of these bad flashbacks in my brain even when I try to forget or ignore them.

Blogging and having creative endeavors have been cathartic whether it’s poetry, writing reviews, making videos, or other things. Shame how I struggle with thinking I’m a worthless person from time to time, but at least it kept me busy when I wasn’t at work or studying for example.

Personally, it’s a miracle that anyone would be interested in what I type about or present. I wish I didn’t have to pretend everything is fine online and especially offline. Sorry for rambling. I had to get these things off my chest.