The racial issues I talk about

There was one comment I got a few weeks ago on one of my posts that’s been in my head for a while now. I won’t name names even though I have nothing against this blogger at all. They discovered Ospreyshire’s Realm through another blogger I follow since I’ve commented on multiple posts of theirs.

To paraphrase what they said, they’ve said that I talk a lot about racial/POC issues.

Do I talk about those issues? Yes, and I’ve been doing so before the recent police brutality cases this year. I’ve shared news stories, written poems with that topic, mentioned it in some film reviews on my other blog, written stories with that as a concept (usually on the more subtle end while doing my best to have positive racial representation), and I even have recordings that allude to racial issues especially with my “They Dreamed of Devastation and Deceit (Circle of Lies)” single and multiple tracks from my first full-length album “Dear Innovare…”. This is something I do care about not just on principle given my heritage, but also because it’s a human issue and I wish more people would realize it.

I wasn’t like this at first when I started blogging when I came up with the Ospreyshire project and eventually my other blogs. I didn’t talk about those subjects at first on here since it was mainly for my first EP, my more innocuous poems, and promoting other people on this blog. Things took a bit of a change where I started to talk about these particular issues in overt and abstract ways (mainly with my creative projects) in my other blogs and it trickled down here. It’s been surprising how supportive people have been with what I’ve been blogging about since I revealed my racial identity, talked about some of my personal experiences on that matter, and to expose more people to these important issues whether it’s with some conversations, poems, music, news stories, film reviews, or personal opinions on different subjects. 2020 wasn’t some trendy thing for me to talk about these subjects. I’ve been doing so before that. I used to shy away from these topics offline most of the time, but I can’t hide or certainly lie about these things. Blogging has made me braver and more outspoken whether it’s talking about racism or at the very least mentioning uncomfortable truths or unpopular opinions.

Before I finish this post, I do have some advice for some of my readers out there on this subject.

1. Don’t make racism a partisan issue at all especially in this election year. This isn’t a left-wing or right-wing issue since both sides have been guilty of bigotry. This is a HUMAN issue, as I’ve said before.

2. Get (un)comfortable learning lesser-known parts of history. Learning about Black Wall Street was the first big example for me of a real life part of American history I never learned about during all my years of schooling.

3. Realize that even so-called “innocent” media can contain harmful subtext. Watch how things can be slanted or what the implications could be in a story, movie, TV show, etc.

I hope this post worked in some way for you. I wanted to do something more constructive than just ranting and raging over everything even with what’s going on right now. That doesn’t mean I’m ignoring these issues at all. Have a great day, everyone.

Protagonist Centered Morality In Real Life

I don’t know what is considered heroic in society anymore.

While I wouldn’t call myself the greatest moral guardian since I’ve fallen short, I would never get away with the things (let alone act on them) so many others would.

The innocent get slaughtered while the guilty are extolled.

The rules are goalposts moved whenever convenient.

They think that some petty reforms or cashing out millions would be enough.

What an insulting consolation prize.

I guess things are only evil when it’s not their “side” doing it much like the so-called protagonists having carte-blanche to do villainous things.

I could make a laundry list of fake fictional heroes gunning unarmed women, abusing children, committing genocide by starvation, or even eating other characters, but we’d be here all day.

Regardless of one’s opinions about scripture, Isaiah said it best.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.”

There is truth as these double standards are shown.

Shame how everyone thinks they’re the protagonist in their own story.

Dystopian Futures: Space Junk Music Video

I have some bad news and good news for you. Bad news is that Dave Emmerson decided to close down his DIY label ZAP Records. It’s quite sad since there were so many good bands associated with that indie label. I’ll be talking about my thoughts on the matter in a separate post. Good news is that his band Dystopian Futures is still going to make music and they just came out with a new song called “Space Junk”! Oh, yeah. I even got to make the music video, too.

Dystopian Futures certainly continue to use their quirky experimental punk rock for this song. It’s a story involving a cosmonaut who has been in stasis in a spaceship for a century while trying to flee from his vice-ridden past. Things don’t go to plan as he’s in the cosmic ocean.

Feel free to buy the song on Visions Press’s Bandcamp!

Misconstruing Inconvenience as Slavery

Did it really feel like oppression?

Don’t misconstrue everything. Everyone isn’t faring so well with this environment at the moment.

Job opportunities become ghosts, masks are everywhere, and hand sanitizer companies are raking it in.

When the comparisons to slavery came up, there was a serious debate on whether to facepalm or to laugh at the sheer lunacy of a statement such as that.

False equivalency detected!

Funny enough (or sadly enough), those same people are paid handsomely for their careers.

This worldwide inconvenience was a shock to everyone and there are no ill-wishes from me, but the level of stupidity and fallacious rhetoric is laughable if it wasn’t so offensive.

Excuse me while I check to see how much sympathy I have…Sorry, I don’t seem to find any for that kind of argument.

Some music I’ve been listening to lately: McIntosh County Shouters, U-Carmen soundtrack, and Wildbirds & Peacedrums

I researched a bit of the Gullah Geechee culture somewhat recently especially after watching the movie Daughters of the Dust and checking out some of Miss Trudy’s Sierra Leone travel vlogs. I wanted to know about some of the musical parts of the culture and didn’t realize a number of African American spirituals came from that autonomous group. One band known as the McIntosh County Shouters who’ve been around for decades and preserve a lot of the Gullah songs as well as the culture. Not going to lie, I wouldn’t have actively listened to them when I was younger, but I’ve been gaining more appreciation for other types of music. I even bought one of their albums and saw some of their concert videos on YouTube.

https://youtu.be/YELZepKtr1I

I got to see U-Carmen earlier this year. For those of you that have never heard of that movie, it’s a South African adaptation of Bizet’s famous Carmen opera. Not only is this set in the 00s and in a different country, the entire opera is actually done in the Xhosa language (the X is pronounced by clicking). It was a very fascinating take on that classical work. In the movie, all the actors actually sing live on set instead of lip-synching to pre-recorded performances. I would definitely recommend the movie and soundtrack. This song in particular is a Xhosa cover of “Habanera” which is a song a lot of you know even if you don’t know anything about opera or classical music. Just listen to the melody, and you’ll instantly recognize it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjThbylqXdI

Here’s a band I found out about somewhat recently after finding out that they’ve collaborated with the Congotronics Vs Rockers project. It was a superband involving Congolese bands (mainly from Konono No.1 and Kasai Allstars) and various musicians from all over the world. Two of those musicians happened to consist of the Swedish married couple known as Wildbirds & Peacedrums. I’m a sucker for experimental forms of music and I didn’t think anyone can make a band with just vocals and percussion. They’ve got some avant-pop and jazz kind of vibes with their minimalist approach to music which I found to be unique. I was also a fan of the stop motion filming in this music video.

I’m glad I still have an appreciation for music in these stressful times. Hope you like these selections.

Untitled Free Verse Poem

Sometimes the greatest battles don’t happen with swords, fists, or other weapons

It happens in the mind

Invading thoughts occur without warning

Malevolent clocks running backwards and looped footage

Become scourges

There was no control to rewind everything to one’s wants

20/20 hindsight makes the slights into mountains

There needed to be no debilitation as it’s happened before

It had to start with resolve and telling the invaders to be expelled

All those times were uphill battles

Tranquility in the Rain

As my head hits the pillow, I hear the symphony of raindrops

Landing on the roof

After several days without the skies pouring down, it was a welcome change of tune

I imagined each drop being an agent in purifying me despite being inside

Washing away the negativity as well as clearing my mind of such was something I wished would happen

There was something so calming hearing the rain landing on the ground

Yearning for a Better Future

I wondered if my efforts would amount for something bright

Not to be a millionaire or famous, but just something where I can prosper

This year, I certainly had my concerns and fears with the obvious

I’d be lying if I said I had none of those things

Everyone certainly is stressed at different levels, and I don’t blame them

Work, some classes, and my own independent studies gave me things to do

Okay, I do enjoy international films, but binge watching wasn’t a top goal

Sometimes I wonder if I’d be doing things on a bigger stage with my creative works

Not world tours or TV interviews, obviously

But something constructive as well as being able to help others

I don’t know what the future looks like, but I want to do what I can to make sure it’s good

Kenneth Walker is lawyering up against Louisville, KY as well as LMPD

Finally, there’s some semblance of positive news and updates in this heinous event. Kenneth Walker is Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend in case you didn’t know. He got himself a lawyer and is filing charges against both the city of Louisville as well as LMPD. That is a step in the right direction especially with all the injustice him and his late girlfriend suffered in that botched raid. Kenneth was falsely accused of attempted murder even though his own apartment was broken into and had to defend himself and her. He was a legal gun owner and the castle doctrine should apply here. Kenneth was traumatized after Breonna was murdered (WHO CAN BLAME HIM?!) and it was sickening getting those charges and being silenced. After all this time about the cops not being charged, there’s finally some legal action going on. I really hope justice is on the side of him and the Taylor family especially with the horrific things that happened to them. Even the other tenants in the same apartment complex said the police never announced who they were when they broke into Kenneth and Breonna’s apartment room. This was an atrocity and no one should ever have to go through this.

May justice favor Kenneth Walker. Never forget Breonna Taylor.