Iridium Eye ends its hiatus!

Hello, everyone.

I thought I would give you a quick reminder that I have more than just one blog. There’s another page of mine that delves into reviewing indie films, international cinema, short films, anime, non-mainstream animation, documentaries, and other obscure movies called Iridium Eye. I hadn’t posted on there in months, but I now have three reviews up today on that page. If you’re sick of whatever Hollywood has been spoon feeding you, then I suggest you check out that blog. Interestingly enough, Iridium Eye is my most-viewed blog of all time.

Feel free to check it out.

This week I have reviews involving movies from Senegal, the DRC, and Uruguay up there.

http://iridiumeye.wordpress.com

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How I Learned to Utterly Despise that Expensive Ripoff, Overrated, and Bigoted Movie Called The Lion King (And the Existence of Kimba the White Lion Isn’t the Only Reason)

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[Warning: This post contains a very contrary opinion to most people and will contain controversial content. Read at your own peril]

I’m sure some of you are probably sick of me at this point bashing this Disney movie if you’ve read earlier posts on this blog or saw certain reviews on Iridium Eye. I’m not sorry for what I’m about to say on here. This frustration has been building up for the past couple of weeks and it’s something I need to vent about on this blog of all things regardless if people agree with this post or not.

[sigh] Here we go.

For starters, I didn’t always hate The Lion King. If anything, it used to be one of my favorite Disney movies when I was a kid. This is going to partially give away my age, but I saw that movie during it’s first theatrical run when I was very little. I even saw the stage adaptation in Chicago at the Cadillac Theatre when I was a bit older. One of my favorite soundtracks back then was the “Rhythm of the Pride Lands” which was the companion soundtrack and it was also the first time the song “He Lives In You” was used. Not Lion King II or the Broadway version. I saw the original VHS tape probably a hundred times during my childhood. I used to know the words to most of the songs way back when. However, I stopped paying attention to Disney during my teenage years because I was really into anime. Okay, I still like Japanese animation, but I was nowhere near as much of an otaku as I was when I was in high school.

It was also around this time when I first heard about Kimba the White Lion. I heard that The Lion King ripped it off, but I thought it was shallow with just the main characters. Flash forward to my adult life when I saw a Cracked article involving childhood icons you didn’t know were shameless rip-offs, and the memories came back again. This piqued my interest, did more research and started to rent the DVDs on Netflix after Kimba stopped airing on Hulu (Disney is a partial owner of that site, so I don’t know if it was because of them or not). While it has it’s issues and has aged animation since it was made in the 60s, I enjoyed that anime for it’s usage of subject matter, originality, and seeing how much Disney stole from it. If you don’t believe me, check out this link. I couldn’t believe the scenes of Caesar (AKA Original Mufasa) consoling Kimba from the beyond in the night sky. I couldn’t believe the scene where the villainess Belladonna tried to kill Kimba by pushing him off a cliff. I couldn’t believe one of the major villains (Claw) just happened to be a scarred lion usurper with a black mane, dark fur, and had hyena henchmen with him. Every character not named Timon and Pumbaa in that movie is a copy of someone from Tezuka’s manga/anime series. Seriously, shame on Disney for stealing from this classic anime and for trying to block the Jungle Emperor Leo ’97 movie from North America. Trust me, you won’t be looking at The Lion King the same way again once you see the obvious similarities. I can’t see how any sane person could watch Kimba and not think that no one from Disney saw this. Why does The Lion King get a free pass in plagiarism when other media like Yuki Yuna is a Hero gets lambasted for having similarities to Madoka? You know if the situation was reversed, then all you Lion King fans would scream bloody murder that your favorite movie got plagiarized by a foreign (majority non-White) country if Kimba came afterwards. It would be amazing if Disney admitting to stealing from Tezuka’s creation, paid royalties to them, or got epic backlash for their thievery, but I know that will never happen because wishes never come true.

This segues into my next point. I wasn’t aware of this as a child, but growing up, I realized how racist the implications were with the hyenas. Have you not listened to how they talk? They straight up talk in stereotypical African-American Ebonics (Shenzi) and an exaggerated Mexican accent (Banzai). What ticks me off is when Disney fans don’t call their depiction racist or handwave it because you have Black cast members voicing some of the heroic lions namely James Earl Jones playing Mufasa. No, just because you have Black people playing both sides of the good/evil paradigm, it doesn’t make it bigotry-free. It’s the equivalent of a racist claiming they have a Black best friend or family members to prove they aren’t racist. That or saying slave owners can’t be racist because they have Black people around them. Let’s not forget Disney has a history with using animal characters as POC proxies with racist undertones. Look at the crows in Dumbo and the lead one’s name was JIM! You know, like the same laws in America that involved having enforced segregation, lynchings, or it being legal for White people to rape African-Americans? There’s also Siamese cats talking in broken English in Lady and the Tramp, Aristocats, and even an episode of Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers for crying out loud. You could even throw in Tito from Oliver & Company as a slap against the Latino community. Coincidentally enough, Cheech Marin would voice both Tito and Banzai in his voice acting career. Is this why so many Americans falsely assume that Black people let alone other ethnic groups act like the hyenas all the time? If you think so, then you need your head examined and we should question if you’re a bigot.

Extending onto that point is how the hyenas were treated with the Elephant Graveyard. Besides the name being a blatant carbon copy of the place in Kimba where the animals had to rescue Roger Ranger in one of the later episodes, I found the place to be disturbing, but not for the same reasons as it was portrayed in the movie. As an adult, I had this realization that this punishment against those animals involved isolating the hyenas in a barren wasteland and they’re forced to starve. It hit me when I researched lesser-known aspects of history: Mufasa was committing genocide against them and I was sickened by it. Scar did bad things, but his big brother is not much better if you really think about it; he’s just applauded for his actions. If you think I’m being crazy, then maybe you should read up on the Congolese Genocide under King Leopold II or the Namibian Genocide by Germany’s 2nd Reich. The former had a body count of 10 MILLION Congolese and Leopold never got punished for it. If you take away the hand chopping, guns, and mass rape, then it would be the same thing. The latter had a concentration camp called Shark Island where the Germans starved out the Herero and Nama tribes and there was a valley of bones left behind. By the way, one of the perpetrators was General Franz Ritter von Epp who would eventually employ Adolf Hitler and Hitler said he was influenced by this general. LET THAT SINK IN! It’s as if the animators were aroused by putting anti-Black racism with that act as they believe melanated people don’t belong in their circle of life. Come on, if those hyenas talked in Yiddish accents instead of stereotypical Black and Latino accents, then the ADL would’ve thrashed Mickey Mouse in a heartbeat and everybody knows this. But because it’s happening to the bad guys and because they talk in a racially-coded way, it’s somehow justified in the animators’ and fans’ eyes. No, that’s protagonist centered morality on Mufasa’s part (saying nothing how that punishment contradicts his circle of life speech), and it’s propaganda in a form of G-rated White Supremacy. In my adulthood, I’ve seriously pondered if White people actually saw me as one of those hyenas in the past before. I’ve been discriminated against, so I wouldn’t put it past them. It’s hard to watch that knowing about the genocides against Black people, the 1994 crime bill which overloaded the prison-industrial complex (while being soft on Caucasian offenders, let’s be honest), Apartheid South Africa, and gentrification to name a few things to punish them. Do you enjoy Black people or any other POC group getting punished or afflicted at all costs and is The Lion King your film of choice of vicariously having that joy in a supposedly “innocent” way? Are you more offended by me pointing out the racist implications of this Disney movie than the millions of dead bodies from those aforementioned genocides let alone other atrocities?

Let’s also talk about the depiction of Africa. There are no humans in it! Was there some extinction of Africans before the beginning of the story? Disney sucks at this fact and Tarzan is another example of this when that continent is shown without Black people. So people who look like me and darker shouldn’t be seen? Is this a wish fulfillment about depopulating Africa in animated form? Think about it. They wouldn’t try it with Europe or America. Even if they do have furry characters (don’t lie. furries love The Lion King and you all know this. Also, how come that movie doesn’t get called a furry film with all the anthropomorphic stuff in it?), they make them upright, clothed and human-like in attitude like Zootopia or DuckTales for example. Are they insinuating that Africa should just be one giant savanna or natural utopia without the humans who would live in that part of the world? If not, then they’ll show it as one big piece of poverty porn and/or a giant war zone. It’s as if the animals are treated with dignity if something happens to them than the humans who live there. Cecil the lion? I rest my case. Screw stereotypes. Those furries and their sick fantasies can go away.

Those are some of my main points that have angered me. Disney needs a moral overhaul. Was it enough to steal from a 60s Japanese anime and from millions of Swahili-speaking Africans by trademarking “Hakuna Matata”? I could go on about the plot holes such as the Nala incest theory, how much that movie ripped off Kimba, how heredity monarchy is not always a good thing, how that movie isn’t that deep/meaningful, or how The Lion King or it’s fanbase avoids being called furries when other movies get labeled as such, but I think you get the point. Even I’ve had enough from defenders of this movie franchise and for people trying to shame me not liking that film, let alone bullying me for my ethnic background or even what media I like. You’re only proving me right that way. It sickens me how there’s that remake coming out (it’s not live action, people. it’s just realistic looking CGI) and for people making fun of me for not liking it anymore. You all have no right to moralize to me especially with all the things that have happened in American history let alone what happened to the African diaspora. I’m not saying you’re automatically evil if you’re White since that would be very stupid of me to insinuate that of one’s skin color. Spare me from your attempts of putting words in my mouth or for strawmanning my arguments. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t take movies at face value and assume everything is innocent just because it’s family-friendly from a content standpoint. For one, I’ve become offended the more I’ve learned about history, part of my culture, and with storytelling techniques. I’m sick and tired of being a scapegoat because of the color of my skin and my heritage. I would never even imagine doing the things done to my ancestors to anyone regardless of race. Not everyone is going to like what I typed, nor am I begging people to like it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to listen to real artists from the continent instead of that artificial crap from Hans Zimmer and Elton John.

All images and videos are property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws.

The fan art is property of WhiteLionWarrior at DeviantArt.

Kimba is property of Kimba the White Lion and Tezuka Productions.

Simba is property of The Lion King and Disney.

Fighting Doppelgangers (Why Do the Masses Exalt Them?)

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Deified clones storm the way
At the altar of superficiality and petty fandom
The subterfuge from the creations of expensive gods
Becomes canonized into the minds and hearts of their deluded believers

The congregation bows to the duplicates
Without question or concern
Entertained by their subpar existences
Owed to others far greater than their mediocre lives

It’s time to silence the cacophony from this overpaid choir

There are those who want to expose every lie churned out
And to expose the real originals to drive the point home
What’s the matter?
Can’t handle the dosage of red pills and sodium amytal?

Woe to those who craft the precepts of denial
Ronnie Martin said it right when the good are starved
From decades of being forgotten
KRS-One was right. The thief is no greater than whom they steal from.
They will know their idols shall crumble
The true history shall appear
The clones will fall asunder at all costs


All photos property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws.

Images of Tetsuo and K9999 are from Retro Injection

Tetsuo Shima from Akira is property of Katsushiro Otomo and Kodansha.

K9999 from The King of Fighters series is property of SNK Playmore.

Fan art of Claw and Scar is from WhiteLionWarrior at DeviantArt.

Claw from Kimba the White Lion is property of Tezuka Productions.

Scar from The Lion King is property of Disney.

So I’m neat? I was nominated to get the Real Neat Blog Award!

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It has been quite a while since I was tagged in any posts of this kind, but I still appreciate it. I was nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award. The person responsible for nominating me is Scott from Mechanical Anime Reviews. Thank you very much, Scott!

The Rules:

1) Display the logo
2) Thank the blogger for the award
3) Answer the questions the one who has nominated you
4) Nominate 7-10 bloggers
5) Ask them 7 questions

Here are the questions I have to ask from Scott.

1. What is your favorite spaceship design from anywhere?

That’s a tough question. I guess some of the most unique spaceship designs would be the grappler ships from Outlaw Star. Say what you will about that anime, but I thought that was a creative concept of spaceships with robotic arms that can fight in close-combat.

2. What is your favorite comic book movie right now?

I’m not the best person to ask given my tendency to shy away from so many mainstream movies. The last comic book movie I saw was Black Panther last year. Wow, time really flies by.

3. Who is your least favorite anime character?

Most likely Kumiko from Debutante Detective Corps. She’s almost like protagonist centered morality incarnate. Anyone who tells me that Akiyuki Shinbo can do no wrong obviously hasn’t watched that crappy anime.

4. What is your favorite anime this season or if you don’t follow seasonal anime, what is one of your favorite anime?

I haven’t seen any new anime this year so far. Some of you anibloggers already know this about me, but my favorite anime series is Haibane Renmei.

5. How do you feel about Avatar: The Last Airbender?

I have only seen bits and pieces, so I don’t have much of an opinion on that matter.

6. If a wood chuck could chuck wood, what is your favorite fictional forests or woods in fiction?

That’s a clever question. Haha! I guess my favorite forests or woods in fiction would be something from Mushishi. I can’t think of too many at the moment, but some may come to me after this post.

7. What were you doing before you worked on this blogger award entry that I tagged you in?

Nothing too exciting, but I wrote and scheduled some reviews for my other blog Iridium Eye. I won’t say which ones, but they involve an Argentinean film, an obscure anime ONA, and a two-episode anime that got the remake treatment recently. You’ll see those reviews in March.

My nominations will be as follows:
1. Ameithyst
2. Xena
3. Dr. Y.
4. Lumi
5. Moyatori
6. Scottie
7.  Terrance A. Crow

Here are my questions for those who were nominated.

1. What three places on Earth would you like to visit that you’ve never been to before?
2. What is your favorite poem?
3. Who do you think is the most underrated musician or band in your opinion?
4. If you could enact one law in your home country, what would it be and why?
5. How do you feel about plagiarism controversies in regards to media (film, TV, art, literature, etc.)?
6. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?
7. How are you creative and in what way?

Since when did appreciating originality make me the bad guy?

Before I begin my little opinion piece, I set aside some time as I deal with this gigantic cold front all over the Midwest. At the time of this article, the high where I’m from is -18 Fahrenheit which is insane. This coldness is more on par with Siberia, Antarctica, and the top of Mt. Everest than the part of America where I’m from. If you’re dealing with this, then please stay warm and take care of yourselves.

Okay, now onto the subject at hand.


I’ve been wanting to make an article like this for a long time now. The thing is I appreciate whenever people create some truly unique things. Whether it’s music, film, art, literature, or other subjects, I really like it whenever people craft things that no one else has thought of before. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against adaptations on principle, building off other works while acknowledging inspiration, or even parodies/satires when done right.

What does grind my gears is whenever I hear people say things such as “Oh, everybody rips off things”.

In my opinions, I find that to be intellectually insulting and just lazy thinking.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, I do try to be as original as I can be with my various works such as my spoken word projects, poems, reviews, music, books, and other things I create. One of the biggest compliments you could give me is telling me that no one else sounds like me, writes like me, or that I’m an innovator in whatever I try. Yes, I’m certainly influenced by others, so I’m not going to lie to you, but I want to be unique in my creative endeavors. There’s one quote from Oscar Wilde that I like a bit too much: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” I truly believe that some people aren’t even trying and just follow the leader in music, film, books, etc which I find to be quite slothful.

So why does this make me the bad guy for wanting originality to still be a quality worth desiring?

Seriously, I’ve been made fun of for mentioning how I like more original content as others dismiss my tastes for whatever reason. Possibly it’s insecurity on their part, but I could be wrong.

Over the years, I’ve been realizing how many things have been stolen whether it’s movies, art, video games, or something as extreme as cultural appropriation. You have artwork from Benin and Senegal that’s in European museums without those country’s permission. There’s an obelisk in Ethiopia known as the Obelisk of Axum which was stolen by Italy and a certain leaning tower bears similarities to it. For those who’ve checked out some of my film and anime reviews, I’ve mentioned a few examples. Yes, one of them involves this nefarious lion named Claw from Kimba the White Lion as seen in the featured image who predates a certain other villain let alone other characters in some popular movie by 44 years (or 29 if you only count the anime), yet Tezuka Productions never got credited to this day for that series. If you got triggered by that picture, well…that says more about you than it does about me. Besides that, I get tired of people even resorting to scripture by saying “There’s nothing new under the sun”. I know it’s in Ecclesiastes, but did those same people miss “Thou shall not steal”? Sorry to mention theology in this post, but I needed to use that example to prove a point.

With all these rampant remakes, clones, and frauds going on, it’s really tough for me to cling on to a bunch of media. It’s no wonder I try to make my own stories, music, blogs, and other things. Does me appreciating the innovative make me pretentious? Do I see others as peons for only liking whatever the mainstream spoon-feeds them? I hope it’s not the case for the former, and I certainly don’t want to think that way about the latter.

The image of Claw is from The New Adventures of Kimba the White Lion and is property of Tezuka Productions.

My friend Jeannette’s Character Study on Reki from Haibane Renmei

https://jeannettejonic.blogspot.com/2018/12/character-study-reki-from-haibane-renmei.html?showComment=1544841523065#c2041517840176548783

I haven’t cross-promoted many posts recently, but I want to post an article from my friend Jeannette Jonic. She’s an author who also blogs about various media such as movies and anime. I recently got her into Haibane Renmei which is one of my favorite anime series of all time, and she enjoyed it. Jeannette did an article covering the characterization of Reki (one of the main characters) and it was amazing. Reki was a character I found to be very relatable especially when I re-watched it a while ago.

I’m sure all my anime fan friends would appreciate this article that she wrote.

Over 3000 views and the Birthday Aftermath

Well, the birthday surprises just keep coming, don’t they?

For starters, I recently crossed the 3000 view threshold on the Ospreyshire blog. Thank you to all who have checked out this blog for my music, opinions, poems, and everything else!

Without further ado, I’m going to show you some of the gifts I’ve received on my birthday…

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I got this vinyl in the mail from my Scottish friend Dave. This is the newest album from 2 Minute Minor, who are labelmates of mine who also happen to be from the same state as me. This Chicago-based hardcore band make some conscious music while still making quality tunes. You can listen to their album here.

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In this block of photos, it involves drawings, Twix, and a Target gift card from my friend Kip. He’s a talented artist and I hope he finishes the comic book projects he’s been working on for years. I’ve known him since I was in middle school and we still talk to each other.

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I just so happened to get two Amazon gift cards with the same amount from two separate friends. They would be from Marcie and Christy whom I’ve known for a long time. Marcie went to the same church as I did growing up and Christy went to the same school as Kip and I when we were young. It was great of the both of them surprising me.

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I hope my aniblogger friends appreciate this picture. This is an amigurumi (crocheted figures) of Kimba the White Lion. My friend Essence made this for me and it looks amazing. There’s no pattern to making Kimba, so she created this crocheted attempt at this character entirely from scratch and she did a phenomenal job with it. Feel free to support Essence’s crocheting business at Hooked on Cozy. She’s created amigurumi of Pokemon and Attack on Titan characters so far.

Thank you, everyone!

Happy Birthday to me! Here are some presents for you!

Ospreyshire Diletantism
I woke up today one year older. It’s that time of the year where I celebrate another year of life.

I wanted to do something special, but not for myself though.

As of today, I released NEW Ospreyshire tunes on my Bandcamp page! I recorded a single with two poems just a few days ago and I wanted to keep it a secret until my birthday. The new poems are Dilettantism and End of a Decade respectively. The first track is definitely one of my noisier ones with my trademark penchant for acousmatic sounds. The second track is actually a ukulele-driven one, but where I multi track my voice and some subtle acousmatics in the background. This single is free or whatever price you want on my Bandcamp page. https://ospreyshire.bandcamp.com/album/diletanttism-end-of-a-decade-single

But wait! There’s more!

For those of you that followed me because of my film and anime reviews, I temporarily ended my hiatus on Iridium Eye Reviews for just one day. I posted three new reviews today, so feel free to check them out. They involve the early 00s sci-fi anime Alien Nine, Studio Ponoc’s first film Mary and the Witch’s Flower, and the recent travel documentary Unjust Perceptions: Ethiopia. Those reviews are my gift to any of you who like movies and/or anime.

Fandom Hypocrisy (A Rant)

This has been on my mind for a while, and I need to get this off my chest. I can’t stand various fandoms at times. Whether they are gamers, sports fans, otaku, music buffs, movie fans, comic nerds, bookworms, or whatever, they can get on my nerves.

It’s no wonder why I haven’t been getting into some of my own interests outside of non-fiction or my own creative projects and it’s not just because of how crazy busy my work schedule has been for months now.

I know not all fans are like this and I do support some bloggers who touch on some of those topics, so let me make that clear. However, I’m just frustrated and disillusioned by so many people and how shallow they can be. You have all these major issues going on like racism, the economy, politics, police brutality, homelessness, and other social ills going on, yet people complain about just trivial things with what they like/or don’t like in what they watch/play/listen to.

It also bugs me how people have freaking civil wars over movies, TV shows, or albums as if their whole identity is tied into whatever is to their liking, and that needs to stop. On one hand, you have people who think what they like is immaculate and the creators can do no wrong while freaking out that anyone would DARE dislike or mention some flaws. On the flipside, those same people will bash anything and everything from one creator as if they’re always in the wrong. Whenever someone does mention something like an unfortunate implication or having bad messages, some fans freak out and say “They [the creators] didn’t mean it!” as they try to hand-wave something away. It doesn’t change the fact that those actions were still done and/or could easily be interpreted in that fashion.

I do apologize if I get a bit theological here, but I think some fandoms could be intense enough to be a form of idolatry. Regardless whether you believe in a deity or not, it really becomes ironic. Instead of some Baals or Molochs, you could have someone like a theist replacing their god(s) with let’s say…superheroes, video games, or whatever’s on HBO. For those who aren’t sure about any higher powers out there or believe that said higher powers are fictional, then wouldn’t it be ironic to follow something involving fictional characters like most movies or TV shows and be obsessed with them? I’m not bashing anyone’s worldviews, so let me make that clear. I’m just wondering why and how people do these things or why they can excuse they’re own behaviors.

The level of stupidity and pettiness from these rapid and hypocritical fans has been getting on my nerves. You’re entitled to your opinions, but this self-righteousness needs to stop now. I can’t stand the double standards whether it involves anything revolving around “nerdy stuff” or to something as severe as racism or politics. I suggest to re-examine your thoughts and beliefs to what you like or dislike and figure out why you’re so willing to attack or defend depending on your positions.

Seriously, I can name a few examples of some fandom hypocrisy online and in real life. Allow me to call out some of this facepalm-worthy behavior…

Don’t say that something has too many people dying when you like Game of Thrones, Evangelion, or watch a lot of war movies.

Don’t tell me that such-and-such is a rip-off of so-and-so when you like The Lion King, Inception, or even some of Led Zeppelin’s music.

Don’t tell me that something is too biased politically when you like Last Man Standing, Glee, or you get your news from either MSNBC or Fox News depending on where you stand with your partisan beliefs.

Don’t tell me that something is too violent and bloody while you like Attack on Titan, Mortal Kombat, or a majority of Tarantino flicks.

Don’t bark at me when you think something’s too mainstream when you like St. Vincent (the singer), Bon Iver, or Juno.

Don’t tell me something is childish when you watch anything from Disney or Dreamworks. Actually, one could make a case that adult cartoons like South Park, Family Guy, or Bojack Horseman are juvenile in their own rights.

This needs to end. I know this blog was mainly for my music and spoken word project even though I haven’t recorded a lot lately, but I’m still willing to share my opinions about various things going on. People really need to check their priorities when it comes to what they like and how they live. Thanks for reading and dealing with my frustration.

Ospreyshire Interview w/ The Antidote!

http://www.theantidoteradio.com/interview/interview-with-ospreyshire

For those of you that missed the broadcast, Dave Hawkins from The Antidote archived the audio from that podcast!

In this interview, I talk about how I got the name Ospreyshire, my music, creativity, some spiritual stuff, blogging, anime, and even a HUGE announcement for future projects.

Thanks, Dave!