Fandom As Idolatry

Cel-created characters and comic strips have become gods
To those begging for heroes in their psychological wanting
Living vicariously through fiction
When it caters to those who look like them (the most)
Schisms erupt between various incorporated sects
There is no reformation in those attempts
Theme songs become worship anthems
Movie quotes become scriptures
Cons become congregations
Regardless if the followers believed in an Elohim or not
The irony is strong for different reasons
Even when it comes to real people, they become deified
Not realizing they would soon prove to be quite mortal in some time
Who knows? Maybe what I’m saying is blasphemous.

Do you (or should you) separate the artist from the art?

I’ve been thinking about this recently after conversing with some bloggers on WordPress. Without going into too much detail, I had some dialogue where I mentioned how some creators have done bad things that have been documented. Two different bloggers in separate conversations told me that they separate the art from the artist like how the creation is independent of the actions of the creator(s). They were both civil in their discussions even when we talked about heavy things.

For me, I can’t separate the two.

Whenever I hear something true about a creator or company doing bad things, I distance myself from the creation. The biggest one for me in recent memory was Rurouni Kenshin. That is an anime series that I enjoyed when I was in middle school and high school. I thought the action was great, had strong dramatic elements, and the Trust & Betrayal OVA was one of the best prequels ever. Just a couple of years ago, it call came crashing down when creator Nobuhiro Watsuki was caught with child porn in his house. Not only that, but all he had to do was pay a 200k Yen fine (roughly $1848 USD in current currency terms), got no jail time, and his Kenshin: Hokkaido Arc got to continue after being on hiatus with the news about this crime. When I heard about Watsuki being found dead to rights for his unspeakable crimes, I washed my hands of anything involving that manga-ka monster. I could name other examples of things I stopped liking because of controversies proven true, and you know what some of them are.

On the flipside, I wonder how selective people are when they talk about separating art from the artists. If someone wants to stop listening to Chris Brown because of him beating Rihanna, would they have to stop listening to anything from Phil Spector who straight up MURDERED his girlfriend? Trust me, you won’t be looking at “Let It Be” by The Beatles the same again (he engineered that song). If people don’t want anything to do with Bill Cosby, then would they have to stop watching anything from Roman Polanski who was found guilty (yet fled the country) of drugging and raping a minor? Also, you know he’s still making movies and won awards long after the fact? That’s what I can’t stand about so many people in their hypocrisy.

For me, I can’t stand it when people give others a free pass when they do horrible things that others wouldn’t get away with it. Not going to lie, it does hurt when I have to stop liking something because of their actions or if there are unfortunate implications that I don’t want to subject myself to. Someone’s creation whether it’s music, art, film, TV, etc. is connected to the creators in my humble opinion.

Now let’s talk. Do you separate the art from the artists? Why or why not?

Allured by Violence (Altar of Gore)

Explosions, dismembering, beheading
All flashy and sensationalized
Cannibalism is extolled with a titanic congregation
Because it’s committed by the arbitrary good guys to be the hunters
To attack whatever prey is declared to be evil

Blood flows like rivers
At the sound of epic applause
Body counts become mathematics
By those regardless of royal or common stock

The arousal of wars, battles, scuffles, and everything in between
Is a symphony played worldwide
Maybe it’s like what Mariemaia said with history being an endless waltz
Yet the beat of peace is skipped or diminished
As millions suffer while other millions are orgiastic as the others get eliminated

Self-defense by the persecuted is villainous in the eyes of many.
There is a permanent underclass already declared by those with melanin
These targets are snuffed with impunity
As the congregation moans for more gore

Deception is an indirect form of violence
While there are no guns, fists, or bombs
There is cerebral assault to the minds of those subjugated
A perpetual scapegoat and prescribed lies are concocted
To keep the bloated pantheon appeased

The deities in the industrial machinated complex
Become hallowed by boots and bullets
Keeping the masses craving for more
As bodies drop
They thank the pantheon unseen
As those corpses didn’t look like their own
While those who resemble them
Project their internalized self-hatred
To be like the select

#PreyingMissionaries Pt. II: Petition to get justice for the innocent Kenyan orphans abused by Gregory and Mary Rose Dow

https://www.change.org/p/kwitu-pa-kenya-women-in-the-us-pennslyvania-chapter-justice-for-kenyan-orphan-children

I’m glad there’s a petition for this case, too.

After watching the Preying Missionaries documentary on YouTube, I was beyond sickened by hearing the stories of those poor Kenyan children that were beaten, starved, raped, and some of them even killed by the Dow couple. It was even more infuriating that Gregory Hayes Dow was a registered sex offender and child molester (his victim was his own daughter, by the way) before opening up an orphanage in Kenya and got away with it for nine years.

Don’t you dare complain and cause a fit about Bill Cosby or R. Kelly when you stay silent about sexual abusers like the Dows or those who look like them. You are hypocrites and cowards if you do that. It makes me wonder if those same people barking about those two are getting away with violating children while accusing those of a certain complexion.

I hope justice can be done, so all those children can know something happened to these monsters who ruined their lives. I hope Gregory Dow and Mary Rose Dow serve hard time especially when there are people in jail who have served decades for non-violent crimes assuming if they were guilty to begin with.

#FirstThem

#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.

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.