Some various thoughts I’ve been having recently

It has been a crazy busy few weeks. There’s been work and me participating in NaNoWriMo. Of course…there’s been everything else going on in the world especially in America.

Relax, I won’t be talking about anything partisan let alone anything political in this post. I can hear the collective sigh of relief no matter if one is to the left, right, center, independent, or apolitical. With that said, I still have been thinking about serious things nonetheless.

In addition to work and writing another book, I have been having thoughts of so many things going on in my life.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been bullied in my life and at times it was quite severe. In hindsight, some of it was very low-key that psychologically affected me. When I would fight back, I would be treated like the bad guy even though I wasn’t being physical against anyone or insulting them. It made me wonder how docile I was while abusive people get away with everything even when I would call them out on their crap. It’s no wonder I can’t stand those who hurt others with impunity as well as never owning up to their misdeeds. I’ve had to own up to my mistakes and sins, so why couldn’t they? It’s like I’ve been getting bad advice for years from people who should know better. Part of me wondered if I should’ve improved in snappy comebacks or insulting people because I’ve always struggled in that regard. It’s sick how I felt like I wasn’t “allowed” to stand up for myself.

There are times where I wonder if it was worth having certain kinds of dreams and goals. I’m sure I mentioned this in a post earlier this year about random goals I used to have like owning a record label, voice acting, or being a touring musician, etc. I guess with COVID, in a weird way, I’m relieved that i didn’t go forward with those pipe dreams. My goals have changed like getting more into writing as well as videography. I have those skills and it allows me to put them to use. There are other ideas for goals that could be more constructive, but I wondered how possible they would be.

The last movie I saw was a documentary about the Congolese Genocide and Leopold II. It was so heartbreaking and it was one of those historical aspects I wish I learned when I was a lot younger regardless of my DNA results. I learned more things and I certainly was uncomfortable with the brutality. It angers me how Leopold never got punished for being responsible for several millions of people dying under his colonizing rule. It was a powerful watch and I think more people should learn about this atrocity.

Those were various thoughts I had recently. I just had to talk about it instead of just a poem or opinions on a news story. Sorry it wasn’t fun. I hope you understand.

Ospreyshire Origins: Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis Pt. I: The Uncrowned King of Johannesburg

Lyrics:
[Zulu]

Bass voice: Kumele adale
Baritone voice: Inkosi yethu izokwaziwa
Tenor voice: U-Linda ungumbali wangampela wengoma

Johannesburg was where the lion was born
It had a roar that shook the concert halls
Collective voices made sure no one slept
Only controlled by the uncrowned king

Ethnomusicologists stepped in
To colonize the canorous monarch’s song
That lion was poached as it reached stateside
Leaving the king without a cent to his name

What a token gesture that was thievery
New York and Burbank usurped his throne
His daughters were neglected by their greed
They had to keep that lion and king alive


We’ve got another song that involves South Africa and some Zulu lyrics much like “Lebombo”. Hooray! This also kicks off the first part of my Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis trilogy for Dear Innovare! Double Hooray! This song was an Ospreyshire first in creating a one-man acappela chamber choir song with no instruments and/or acousmatics! Triple Hooray all the way!

This song is an homage to South African musician Solomon Linda. He’s a beloved singer even to this day in that country. His biggest song was called “Mbube” which means “Lion” in the Zulu language. He invented a subgenre of South African choral music that’s named after that particular song and has been involved in that country’s Isicathamiya scene (just so you know, you’re supposed to click on the “c” when you pronounce the name of that acappella genre). Feel free to check it out!

That song got the attention of an American licensing company to take it stateside. First came Pete Seeger “adapting” the song into “wimoweh”.

Next came what became easily the best known form of covering. By covering, I mean total plagiarism. Everyone should know the biggest rip-off version by now if you didn’t figure it out from the original “Mbube” song.

Solomon Linda died before The Tokens did their stolen version of his song. To make matters worse, he died penniless and his family lived in poverty long after his passing. The surviving family members struggled and wondered why they didn’t get money from Solomon’s song. Then in 1994, there was this big animated movie that would be the straw that broke the camel’s back especially with two characters.

Image result for the lion sleeps tonight

Seriously, screw Disney. The Lion King was able to rake in over $15 million in royalties from “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and that’s not even counting the Broadway version. The Linda family with the help of journalist Rian Malan and the South African government sued the American licensing company and Disney for plagiarism in the 00s. This issue was shown in the 2019 Netflix documentary called The Lion’s Share which I actually reviewed on Iridium Eye. I don’t want to spoil the case and all the details that went into it, but Disney STILL never credited Solomon Linda and the “Mbube” song in the Lion King remake!

This rampant plagiarism, cultural appropriation, and bastardization of Africa makes my blood boil, but I’m not done yet.

We still have two more songs that deals with other aspects of the cat burglary coup of the century. Yes, I just referenced the biggest villain clone ever, but it was way too appropriate.

The picture of Solomon Linda is from Change.

The Lion King is property of Disney. The image of Timon and Pumbaa is from Financial Times and is property of Disney.

Ospreyshire Origins: I, Axum

Lyrics:

Were the invaders fascinated by my beauty?
I stood tall in this living city
My creators took care of me every step of the way
Its a shame they never foretold of my destruction and abduction
While my homeland was never colonized, I was taken defiled, and cloned
I’m disgusted by my inferior leaning tall north of me
My people…rescue and reconstruct me
The world must know I exist
May the originator give me renown despite my obscure state


I got something for the architects and for those that respect African culture. This is going to be something I guarantee you never learned about in school.

This is the Obelisk of Axum in the Ethiopian town of the same name. This tower has been around in one of the oldest nation’s in the world since the 4th century AD. For centuries, this obelisk has been in the Horn of Africa, but unfortunately it became damaged and stolen. Even though Ethiopia is the only country in Africa never to have been colonized, Italy tried to claim that nation through warfare after they got Eritrea no thanks to the Berlin conference.

I didn’t know about this obelisk until I watched the documentary Unjust Perceptions: Ethiopia where they go to a museum and see a picture of it. Think about what I said about Ethiopia and Italy. Phil (the American who’s visiting Ethiopia) looks at the picture and the first thing he says is “That looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.” and the tour guide gives him a lesson…

Image result for leaning tower of pisa

Long story short:  Italy stole a bunch of things including the design of the Obelisk of Axum. The Ethiopian government did their best for years to sue the Italian government to get their culture back and they eventually got the parts of the Obelisk to bring it back home and they’re reconstructing it as we speak. This was jaw-dropping for me and I never realized how that famous building ripped off something from Africa. In the song, I speak in a feminine voice and I use metaphors of the colonizers raping and assaulting the original culture to drive the point home as uncomfortable as it is. The percussion is even based on Ethiopian and Eritrean drum patterns that I’ve noticed in both traditional and pop music from that part of the world. Much like my Art Theft pieces, this is just a sickening display of colonization even though Italy didn’t take over the Abyssinian nation.

Just think twice whenever you see that tower.

The picture of the Obelisk of Axum is from International Travel News.

The picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is from Britannica.

Unjust Perceptions: Ethiopia is property of African Diaspora News Channel.

#PreyingMissionaries: May those children get restitution against these devils!

I just found out about this expose documentary that NTV (a Kenyan news station) recently premiered when I checked out The Advise Show and I’m still bawling my eyes out while also feeling enraged. Just as I thought the Hakuna Matata trademark issue was bad enough in Africa, my heart just broke when I found out about this story.

These demons in missionary’s clothing known as Gregory Hayes Dow and his wife/partner-in-crime Mary Rose Dow opened up an orphanage in Bomet, Kenya in 2008. For 9 straight years, these thugs beaten, abused, dehydrated, starved, and raped over 83 children in their home. Also, 3 children died with the youngest being at 1.5 years old. I cannot tell you the fury that I feel from hearing about this case and watching the full documentary on YouTube (you can watch the whole thing here). One thing that was a huge kicker in this case was that Gregory was a registered sex offender and child molester who violated HIS OWN DAUGHTER from his first marriage!

How the hell was this guy allowed to build an orphanage let alone allowed to work with children? Did he pay off some government officials or something like that? This orphanage makes the one in The Promised Neverland look like a utopia (you’re welcome, anime fans). I hope these two demons get punished for their atrocious crimes. R. Kelly was treated worse than the Dows and he has more money than them! You might as well call this Surviving Gregory Dow for crying out loud. Definitely a #FirstThem case on so many levels.

Now, I’m going to have to call out certain people on this matter. If you call yourself a feminist and don’t call out this behavior, then you are a hypocritical piece of crap. I bet you if Gregory and Mary Rose weren’t white, you know this would be global news. All you #MeToo and #TimesUp people better call these people out like they did Bill Cosby. I’m sure Gloria Allred is silent about this matter. Yeah, I said it. If you care about the well-being of children, then this story should make you grieve and beg for the Dows to be punished. Stories like these have made me cynical about humanity as so many so-called humans are just plain monstrous. We have people in jail (America, Kenya, or otherwise) who’ve been punished worse for much MUCH less! Kenya and the rest of the world need to vet these missionaries with iron rigid standards. I hope this story goes viral and I want the Dows to be the freaking face of child abuse and pedophilia.

NEVER FORGET!

Video courtesy of NTV Kenya.

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.