#TrademarkWars: Have you no shame, Disney?

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.

This trademarking is so shameful on many levels. If you want to sign the petition about this matter, then here’s the link: https://www.change.org/p/the-walt-disney-company-get-disney-to-reverse-their-trademark-of-hakuna-matata

Video is property of Dr. Mumbi Seraki.

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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.

Slower Blogging Ahead…

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.

In the meantime, you can download my newest single: https://ospreyshire.bandcamp.com/album/diletanttism-end-of-a-decade-single

You can download some books from NoiseTrade: https://books.noisetrade.com/cmbbell

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.

Life and Hiatuses

Hello, everyone.

As one may have realized, I haven’t been posting as much original content on here or most of my other blogs.

This summer has been insanely busy for me as I worked nonstop and I also have to prepare for this school year. I’ve also been looking into getting more education in the very near future, so I’ve been researching various programs that I can do with my budget and work schedule.

However, I’ve been creative in one aspect. I’m going to release more books with my fiction projects which you can find out about at http://cmbbwrites.wordpress.com. I’ve also been editing my big series that I’ve worked on since 2014 since I really want to release those books this year.

Of course, I’m quite aware about those who know me because of my reviews. I haven’t had the time to write reviews let alone watch as many movies, anime, and/or documentaries. This will be a disappointment to some of you since I haven’t posted any content in months on Iridium Eye. I did get over 8000 views which was nice. Feel free to check out that blog if you like content involving lesser-known media even though I’m still on hiatus.

As far as new Ospreyshire music…I just hope I have enough time to write and record some tracks before the end of the year.

Thank you.

On Worldliness (A Confession)

As you may or may not know, I haven’t been posting a lot recently on most of my blogs.

I’ve been incredibly busy with my jobs, living in a new town, and really working on my fiction projects. Besides the various life issues, I have to be honest with everyone.

I came to the realization that worldliness was a big flaw of mine.

Sure, something’s wrong when people focus way too much on celebrities and useless things. I’m sure we can all agree with that. However, my case was more peculiar.

Some of you know that I cannot stand so many forms of mainstream media. Movies, music, books, etc. I became immersed in indie movies, obscure anime, and other lesser-known things. I realized that I became worldly, but just through another avenue. This had to stop and I realized how much focusing too much on unimportant things for the longest time. I’ve been a fan of different things, and I’ve been hindered.

Seriously, I could still name-drop random bands on Tooth & Nail records over it’s history as a record label, yet I only recently knew who some local politicians are in my hometown.

I can tell you every aspect of Kimba the White Lion that a very certain movie shamelessly stole from, yet I didn’t know all the aspects of African history and what was stolen during the Scramble in that continent.

I could probably still remember all the characters in Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 (one of my favorite games growing up) and even mentioning which comic or game series they’re from, yet I didn’t take the DIY ethic seriously enough to make my OWN characters until the past 4 years of my life.

This was a ball and chain around my brain. I was captured and didn’t even know it.

Look, I’m not a role model or a guardian angel. I’ve screwed up multiple times. I don’t understand why some people would want to look up to me.

I apologize if this aspect of me rubbed off on anyone. However, I do not apologize for my hiatus across most of my blogs. For those that do like my content on here and elsewhere, then please be patient before I feel like I can do other things like my music, videography, and film reviews on my other blogs.

Although, you can check out my fiction blog as I serialize Gateway to the Empyrean. Just sayin’. Hahaha!

Okay, now back to being serious.

I had to make important changes in my life like researching various things in my own free time, creating more of my own stories, and cutting out anything that has distracted me. This partially means less movies and anime to watch for me. This means reading more nonfiction (the legit kinds). This means creating more than what I consume. Don’t get me started on how I feel about various fandoms and how those involve are squandering their potential for greatness. As much as I could point fingers at some people, I don’t want to focus on that. I blame only myself for not believing in me, having so much self-hate for most of my life, and for finding distractions to fill a void.

For the few of you that follow this or any of my blogs and read this. Thank you.

I need to become a better person. I need to do more important things in my life.

-Curtis

When things don’t go according to plan.

Without getting into too much detail, I’ve had a whole whirlwind of things going on.

There are some good things like finally publishing some of my books after writing various novels, novellas, novelettes, and cell phone novels over the past four years. I’ve been writing these kinds of stories, but I never showed them to the world until I started my fiction blog last year or even when I wrote Hollandus Landing live on the internet for 6 months straight.

However, there are some less-than-desirable things, too.

Some major plans have happened which caused me to halt so many creative projects that I planned to work on. Life can certainly get in the way, so I have to adapt. This doesn’t mean I’m going to quit my fiction or my musical endeavors, so don’t freak out about that. It just means that after a certain point, there will be a hiatus before getting back into the swing of things.

It’s not some catastrophic thing that happened, but I do have to deal with adult stuff and helping out a lot of people including my family.

Over the summer, you won’t see as much content until a certain point, so please bear with me.

Thank you.

An Avalanche of Creativity

This has been an eventful month for me to say the least.

In addition to my normal work life outside of blogging, I’ve been on the grind in regards to creating things. I just finished my Katauta 52 Project last Wednesday which was an accomplishment, been working hard at publishing some of my fiction projects, and I’ve been in talks with some people for some cool projects (stay tuned).

While it’s been fun creating things like music, literature, reviewing and other things, I do admit that I have gotten overwhelmed at times. Part of it is a huge drive with me trying to accomplish as many goals as possible this. Another aspect is me trying to find time whenever I can to make content here, my blogs, and other avenues. I just hope I can do everything that I can while getting enough sleep. Granted, two of my other blogs are on hiatus until some of that content will be on full display.

Have you ever felt this way before? I just don’t want to overwork myself.

So I made some improvements to my film/documentary/anime review blog known as Iridium Eye…

Hello, everyone.

As some of my followers may or may not know, I have more blogs besides this one. Sure, it is my main one where I focus on my spoken word/music project, but I have additional interests you know.

That other blog is Iridium Eye. My new slogan if you will, is “Reviewing the best movies and series you’ve never heard of.”

This is a little review blog where I post things every Saturday. If you’re looking for a  place that’s all about the latest mainstream movies, this isn’t for you. I focus on media that’s lesser known to the mainstream zeitgeist.

I now made a menu of all my archived reviews from past to present. Everything is even in alphanumerical order from numbers to A to Z as redundant as it sounds. At the time of this post, I have written 135 articles critiquing things like indie movies, documentaries, anime, and short films.

Not everyone has checked it out since it’s inception in March 2017, but I would really encourage my followers and even some new faces to check it out. Iridium Eye has been cathartic for me and it helped me become more assertive even in real life.

“What stuff have you reviewed before?” You may ask.

Good question, and I’ll make some statements that might match your tastes in film and/or animation.

Do you like some quality foreign films?
I’ve talked about movies such as Before Your Eyes, Ringu, Mother of Mine, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (the original) to name a few.

Do you like some well-made documentaries?
I’ve reviewed docs like Danielson: A Family Movie, I Am Not Your Negro, Bananas!*, This Is Not a Film, and many more.

Do you like anime?
I’ve critiqued movies and series such as Cyborg 009: Call of Justice, The Ghost in the Shell: Arise prequels, Haibane Renmei, and Kino’s Journey to name a few.

Do you want to see Western animated films outside of the iron grip of companies like Disney, Dreamworks, or Illumination?
I’ve certainly highlighted lesser-known animated films such as The Secret of Kells, Ernest & Celestine, Fantastic Planet, and Song of the Sea for example.

Are you into old-school stuff?
I’ve discussed things such as Yojimbo, Kimba the White Lion, and Key the Metal Idol.

Feel free to check out Iridium Eye if you want to discover movies and series you might enjoy. If you know some of that stuff, then that’s awesome. Follow that blog as well, if you please.

Blogger Recognition Award? Oh, wow!

It’s been a while, but I was recently nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by Brittney over at Brittney’s Blog. She’s an up and coming blogger who covers subjects like anime and her own life experiences. Feel free to check out her blog. Thank you so much, Brittney!

In order for me to move forward with this award, I have to follow these rules:

1.Say thanks to who nominated you and leave a link back to that persons blog.
2.Give the story or history of your blog.
3.
Give two or more pieces of advice for new bloggers.
4.Nominate 10 other bloggers and link their blogs.

Now without further ado, here we go!

1. The story of my blogs:

Ospreyshire: I used to be active in the music scene, but I took a long hiatus. Not only that, but I wanted to to something new. I’ve loved poetry and experimental art, so I wanted to incorporate those elements into a new project. Thus, Ospreyshire was born. My little spoken word/avant-garde/anti-pop project.

Autumn Peal Media: This was a way for me to show off my photography and videography in a blogging format. Even though it’s currently on hiatus, I have several articles showing my works on there like a portfolio. Granted, I’ve been making videos for years via Vimeo, but I didn’t want it to be the only site where people can watch my stuff.

C. M. B. Bell Fiction: I’ve been writing for years, but this was me finally getting off my butt and finally posting stuff on there. I felt like my friends never knew about my fictional projects, so I needed to get some of my works out there. I’m also working hard to finally get my books to the world. I’ve written 15 books over the past 4 years, but I never showed anyone, so I needed a platform where I can post them once they get published. It’s mainly short stories and chapters from my Hollandus Landing cell phone novel so far, but expect more this year.

Iridium Eye Reviews: This blog has been a labor of love since I started it last March. I wanted a platform where I can talk about movies and anime that not many people were talking about. I actually have a film background and I wanted to show my knowledge on various aspects of film and animation. For years, I wanted to post reviews online, but I was scared to post my opinions on there. Better late than never, I guess. As some of you may know, I got sick of so many mainstream movies out there getting all the attention. At the same time, my affinity for indie movies, documentaries, anime, foreign films, and short films was rekindled, so I wanted to share my unorthodox thoughts on the media that doesn’t get much attention from reviewer circles or bloggers.

2. Advice for new bloggers

I don’t know how many people will take this to heart, but here’s some words I hope people can follow.

-Be honest and researched in your opinions.

-Don’t just follow the crowd. Be original by carving your own identity.

-Get connected with other bloggers. It’s a community, not a competition.

-Not everyone will have the same opinion as you. If you do have a different opinion, don’t be a troll or try to be contrarian for controversy’s sake.

I guess that’s it for now.

3. Nominations!

I nominate the following blogs…

Ani-dotes
The Zone of Nerders
Raistlin0903
Elle Nguyen
Canadian Globe Trotter
Jenn
Fractured Faith Blog
The Otaku Judge
Jeannette Jonic
Mechanical Anime Reviews

Thanks and have a great day!

-Curtis