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.

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Proving My Humanity

This is just a personal post that I felt a bit compelled to write.

I’ve been talking about some harsh subjects with some friends and some fellow bloggers especially when it came to race. No, the fact that this is Black History Month was entirely irrelevant although one could argue with it being unintentional subtext.

Some of you that have read some of my previous posts may have seen me mention about reading some historical subjects especially when it comes to Black and Native American history. It was shocking with all the things I’ve read about that were well-researched and it frustrates me how a lot of this stuff isn’t talked about in history books. Race relations and multiculturalism are subjects that’s been in my heart for a while.

It has showed up in so many of my blogs. For example, I got video of a biracial poet who talked about growing up as a minority on Autumn Peal Media and Vimeo. In Iridium Eye, I’ve reviewed multiple documentaries dealing with that subject and I’ve reviewed movies that have anti-racist metaphors. With my fiction projects that I’ve publicly shown and the ones I haven’t revealed yet. I enjoy using protagonists of all ethnic groups in several stories because I like diverse casts, writing characters that break stereotypes, and I would love it if some reader says “This is awesome! This hero is well-written and looks like me!”. If that happens, I’ve done my job. Well, that and not making race the main crux of a plot. People should write characters of a certain ethnic group and not an ethnic character. There’s a huge difference.

I had a conversation with a friend where I opened up some of my feelings of having self-hatred. I’ve been bullied during my younger years and part of it was because of some racial stuff later on in life. Whenever I call them out, they get so defensive and are full of denial. Every day (even today), I’ve felt like I had to prove my humanity to show that I’m just as competent as most people. More often than not, I had to work multiple jobs and study harder than anyone else to show that I’m a human worthy of respect and dignity. It does give me hope that my friends see me as someone worthy and they were able to listen to me.

Granted, I’m far from perfect and I’ve certainly stumbled. I have been slowly beginning to love myself even though it’s been a gradual process. Blogging in all of my pages has given me more confidence and a chance to show my knowledge in multiple subjects.

Sorry for rambling, everyone. Thanks for reading this.

Ospreyshire Origins: Servile Fear/Theophobia

Here’s something new that I’m going to do for this blog. I’m going to call this type of post Ospreyshire Origins. These posts will be about inspirations for certain songs or general things about the Ospreyshire project. For my first post of this nature, I’m going to talk about the second song from my debut EP called Servile Fear/Theophobia.

It’s really two short poems I made, but their themes clicked so well.

The servile fear portion deals with my fear which can even be borderline paranoid where I feel like no matter what I do, it’s a sin in some way. The times where I did the right thing doesn’t get acknowledged, but whenever I screw up, I feel like I’ve become the devil incarnate with others yelling at me for my shortcomings. I’ve never seen others get the same treatment as I, but I may have sounded solipsistic in saying so which I do apologize.

The Theophobia portion is literally how I’ve viewed God over the years. Theophobia literally means an irrational fear of God. Yes, I’m going to be talking about some religious/spiritual elements which could turn off some readers, but this plays a big role in this track. I’ve heard both sides of Christians viewing God as this loving deity which I try to believe, but I’ve also seen other believers criticizing and judging me for what I do. I’ve wondered which “God” is truly real: the loving one or the judgmental one? This logic has led others to go to different religions or even become atheists in the process. Can’t say I blame them for their decisions if they’ve been burned by Christians or any other practitioners of other religions who’ve bullied them.

-Curtis