I have to vent, but I’ll do it in a brief fashion.
1. I feel like I’ve been realizing how much more I’ve been gaslighted in my past and not doing my best to show I’m right in certain arguments.
2. I think I have nothing but failures.
3. My efforts seem to be worthless yet people who don’t even try are more successful than me.
4. People not taking responsibility for their words or actions when they’re in the wrong. It gets even worse when they shift the blame on others or me for their wrongdoings or reactions.
5. Others ignoring atrocities and other horrific acts if it doesn’t fit their realities.
6. People pretending to be the victim.
7. Others having a hissy fit towards me or about me even though I’m not insulting them, attacking them, harassing them, or talking about them. That’s not my style since I’ve never been good at insulting others. It says a lot more about them than it does with me when they react that way and I wish I learned about that part of psychology a lot earlier in my life.
8. Others gossiping and slandering me behind my back whether literally or figuratively.
9. People saying that I’m whining or overreacting when I talk about various subjects whether milquetoast or very severe. Interestingly enough, those same people can’t say I’m lying. Also, it reveals a lot about their character when they overreact and unintentionally proving me right about a few things depending on the topic.
April has been insanely busy for me, but I’m back here. I hope you’re all doing alright.
This was a productive month for me, but at the same time I was trying to deal with things involving my own mental well-being especially as more revelations came to me unexpectedly after doing some learning that indirectly affected me (it’s a really long story).
I was focused on certain things and the big one is Camp NaNoWriMo which I completed the word count earlier this week which was good. The other creative things I did were on hold because that takes a ton of dedication.
There were some peaks and valleys over the month which I dealt with. Some good things happened and some infuriating things happened. Sometimes it did get a bit isolating, but it’s 2021 so I think people are used to it by now given last year obviously. However, it was good hearing from people I know online as well as some other bloggers I follow. It was also cool getting exposed to new international films, listening to some international music, and even checking out some fun travel vlogs including one from a country I would’ve never expected from despite never traveling at all recently due to COVID-world.
Of course, that’s not going into the real life current events because I would’ve had so much to say and I was trying not to make my blood boil hearing some of these things. I don’t have to go into too much detail with the things that got a ton of attention or the ones more obscured from both a local and an international standpoint. Well, at least I can say that more people are becoming aware and there’s actually some semblance of accountability going on.
Anyways, sorry for rambling a bit. Sorry I don’t have the typical poems or creative works over here. Hope you’re all safe and well.
I really need to be real with all of you. I’ve been facing a bunch of burnout. While it’s been fun making the finishing the touches on the Ospreyshire full-length album, I’ve been struggling with other aspects of my life. Sure, there’s the typical adulting with work, bills, and other mundane things which is to be expected. Besides that, I’ve been feeling a bit depressed.
I’m a poet, fiction writer, musician, videographer, and film critic among other things. There are so many endeavors I want…no, need to get finished, but I don’t know how I can catch up with everything. I wish my all of my work wasn’t for naught in all the fields I cover. It’s a miracle people tolerate let alone support me in different ways. I wish I could be better at everything. That and be rewarded for my works.
I just had to be honest. I have no ill will towards you, the reader (and/or follower). It’s been a whirlwind of disappointment at this juncture.
Some of you know I’m working on a full-length album. It’s been a couple of months of writing, recording, and mixing so far even though I have a few songs left to complete the project.
I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll tell you a few things about this particular album. This will be the first full-length Ospreyshire album. Not an EP or some singles, I mean this is going to have way more songs in it. Much like my previous EPs Verses Vs. Anhedonia or Pathos Formula Wave, this will be a concept project. While I’m not trying to make the next Tommy, The Wall, or anything Coheed & Cambria has done, this will have an overarching theme.
That theme involves innovators and creators…some of whom were ripped off.
The tracks here involve various inventors and artists who have been ignored whether they made live-saving inventions, buildings, or stories that either get overlooked, undermined, or in some cases having their works stolen by undeserving people. This album is an homage to them and most of the time uses the perspective of the original inventors and creators. I really hope to get this fully recorded before the end of the year, Nzambe willing.
Hope you’re doing well.
Speaking of which, do you know about various inventors people should know about? Do you know about inventions we take for granted? How about inventions and patents that were stolen? Do you know any form of art or media that were plagiarized? Which creators deserved better? Share your knowledge in the comments section!
Ever since I dropped my Pathos Formula Wave EP, it has been amazing that people are actually talking about it. Whether it’s comments on my blog, emails I’ve been getting, or some texts from my friends, I’ve been getting notice that so many of you are talking about it.
I hate to sound selfish, but that makes me happy even though this EP involves some of my angriest work.
Ospreyshire was mainly a vehicle for my spoken word projects with an avant-garde bent to them. I think for the past couple of years, people have only known my for my film reviews or my fiction projects. Part of this is my fault for focusing on that and for not recording much during that time period besides the occasional compilation contribution. So far, I have 2 EPs, 3 exclusive non-album tracks on compilations, and 3 singles so far. I hope you all appreciate my recordings as much as my other content on different blogs.
[Warning: This post contains a very contrary opinion to most people and will contain controversial content. Read at your own peril]
EDIT (2022): This rant post was written prior to me watching The Lion’s Share which is the documentary involving the Mbube/The Lion Sleeps Tonight plagiarism case, the Petite Noir/Beyonce music video controversy, or finding out about disturbing parts of Matthew Broderick or Rob Lowe’s pasts that they got free passes for. It seems like this rant has been getting a considerable amount of attention for some odd reason over the past few months (I have my theories why though). I wouldn’t be surprised if people are angry at my observations as they defend this work. Anyways, I’m more offended about other aspects of The Lion King than the Kimba controversy like the Hakuna Matata trademark, the depiction of the hyenas, Mufasa’s protagonist-centered morality, and the aforementioned Mbube case for example. If I can go off-tangent for a bit…Ringing Bell is the best-animated movie involving a parent getting murdered by an animal with dark brown fur and a wounded left eye. Just saying.
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 obvious facets that 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 (this also applies to the remake). 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. Also, I’m aware of the issues of the original Kimba manga and some of the other iterations which I wasn’t a fan of (that’s an understatement), but at least Tezuka Productions owned up to it and improved with the later iterations. All these Disney fans are hypocrites for turning a blind eye to the depiction of Africa and the hyena characterizations.
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 for 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.
Been a while since I did an opinion piece that wasn’t reliant on news stories. Sure, I talked about fandom hypocrisy or how wanting originality makes me a bad guy to some people’s eyes, but I will talk about something else.
As Ospreyshire, I haven’t been active in poetry or recording my spoken word projects as much as I would like. While I will record something which I can’t talk about what, it is rough for me as I’m so uninspired to come up with another EP or possibly a full-length album. I thought I would’ve done so much more, but work, other creative projects, and other life events took more priority in my life.
I’m not going to say it’s all bad creatively since I’ve been on a literary grind and I’m stoked to try Camp NaNoWriMo which I haven’t done in 2 years. I just released 6 books which I feel happy about.
Now let’s get to the bad news.
I’ve become so disillusioned with so many things. I won’t go into the more personal details of my life, but there are many things that cause me so much frustration. Some of the news stories I’ve talked about recently have angered me to know end. While I’m glad people are being exposed and some individuals are speaking out against it, I wonder if this could cause a domino effect for justice to reign. A different aspect involves people’s general apathy to the world around them. I don’t want to sound like an SJW, but I feel like so many people don’t care or secretly agree with the bad things happening around them just so they can stay secure. It’s also caused me to enjoy things less such as most movies and anime. No offense to my fellow bloggers who cover those topics since this isn’t about you, but it is hard for me to ignore tragedies or researching things I wasn’t taught back when I was in school. Look, I’m not a moral guardian or some perfect person. Let me get that straight. Maybe it’s a mix of getting older, more jaded, and becoming more aware of the world around me that’s causing me to fall away from certain things.
I know this is an older story, but I just have to talk about it.
I apologize if this issue is getting old especially for those in the aniblogger community, but holy crap…did Disney have to steal something else especially in regards to The Lion King? Ripping off Kimba the White Lion wasn’t enough for them?
Basically, Disney owns a trademark for the words “Hakuna Matata” which is stupid on so many levels for a common phrase in the Swahili-speaking community in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, DRC, Uganda, etc.). I also didn’t know that there was a popular song in the 70s that used the phrase in it’s chorus.
Sure, some of you are rolling your eyes to me bashing Disney since I am a former fan of The Lion King. Besides the shameless stealing of Kimba, I couldn’t stand some of the plot holes, the protagonist centered morality of Mufasa, and the racist implications of the hyenas (come on, you don’t think they sounded like ethnic stereotypes?). Not to mention the whole Elephant Graveyard situation is much more disturbing in hindsight when you research things like the Congolese genocide, the Namibian genocide, or the genocides against Native Americans to name a few where people where exiled and starved out at punishment. Makes me wonder if Disney fans see the hyenas as proxies for Black people to be punished at all costs while claiming that company isn’t racist for hiring minorities as some rhetorical dodge for it not being racist (strawman defeated). Please, that’s like saying the porn industry can’t be sexist because they hire women.
The thing isn’t just about trademarking a common Swahili phrase or for me ragging on Disney for their business practices. The bigger picture is cultural appropriation. One other example that Dr. Mumbi gave in the video was Louis Vuitton capitalizing on traditional Masai cloth by giving it the luxury treatment which is idiotic and offensive to me. Culture isn’t some free for all object for people to steal. I would bet you money if someone were to steal stuff from Louis Vuitton or any other big company, then lawsuits would be handed like candy on Halloween. Screw that double standard. If you want to incorporate something like someone’s culture then do it respectfully and pay the price for it.
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.
For the month of November, I’m going to be swamped with so many things. There’s work and me participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for posting new content on here or my other blogs, so I won’t be as active as I once was.