#TrademarkWars Pt. II: Drop the Hakuna Matata trademark because cultural appropriation sucks!

http://chng.it/YkXFKwDbQN

At the time of this post, over 187K+ people signed the petition in that link above. I’m one of them because I practice what I preach.

Some of you may have seen my #TrademarkWars post not too long ago. I’m not sorry for repeating the information, but some of this maybe new to some of you. For those of you who didn’t see that earlier post, let me give you the scoop. Disney owns a trademark for the words “Hakuna Matata”.

“But Ospreyshire, that’s a stupid thing to worry about!” You might say. “What’s the big deal?”

It’s because making a dollar of a foreign phrase is cultural appropriation. That’s why.

This offends me more than The Lion King ripping off Kimba the White Lion, and that’s saying something. The thing is “Hakuna Matata” has been a very common phrase that the Swahili-speaking world (examples: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, DRC, etc.) has said for centuries. Disney acts like they can just own foreign words like some kind of hidden treasure. That’s colonizer thinking right there. Could you imagine the outrage if Disney or any other conglomerate were to trademark foreign phrases such as “C’est La Vie” from the French or “Que Sara Sara” from the Italians? Everybody would riot if that were to happen. Even English speakers know what those phrases mean and would call out something like that. Keep in mind, even Paris Hilton couldn’t trademark “That’s hot” and  Donald Trump couldn’t trademark “You’re fired” when The Apprentice was a hit show, so what does that tell you? I guess since this involves Africans, then they don’t matter in Disney’s eyes by taking a common saying that’s spoken throughout multiple countries in that continent.

Cultural appropriation is another form of racism as it steals from others while benefiting the appropriator. I’m sick and tired of people getting away with thieving cultural elements that clearly never belonged to them to the first place. The Swahili speaking public got nothing out of this trademark even though they’ve been saying it long before the invention of animation.

If this irks you that colonialism still permeates even in kids movies, then I would urge you to sign.

Hakuna Matata: Not some remorse-free philosophy

http://chng.it/YkXFKwDbQN

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#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.

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.

Over 3000 views and the Birthday Aftermath

Well, the birthday surprises just keep coming, don’t they?

For starters, I recently crossed the 3000 view threshold on the Ospreyshire blog. Thank you to all who have checked out this blog for my music, opinions, poems, and everything else!

Without further ado, I’m going to show you some of the gifts I’ve received on my birthday…

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I got this vinyl in the mail from my Scottish friend Dave. This is the newest album from 2 Minute Minor, who are labelmates of mine who also happen to be from the same state as me. This Chicago-based hardcore band make some conscious music while still making quality tunes. You can listen to their album here.

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In this block of photos, it involves drawings, Twix, and a Target gift card from my friend Kip. He’s a talented artist and I hope he finishes the comic book projects he’s been working on for years. I’ve known him since I was in middle school and we still talk to each other.

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I just so happened to get two Amazon gift cards with the same amount from two separate friends. They would be from Marcie and Christy whom I’ve known for a long time. Marcie went to the same church as I did growing up and Christy went to the same school as Kip and I when we were young. It was great of the both of them surprising me.

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I hope my aniblogger friends appreciate this picture. This is an amigurumi (crocheted figures) of Kimba the White Lion. My friend Essence made this for me and it looks amazing. There’s no pattern to making Kimba, so she created this crocheted attempt at this character entirely from scratch and she did a phenomenal job with it. Feel free to support Essence’s crocheting business at Hooked on Cozy. She’s created amigurumi of Pokemon and Attack on Titan characters so far.

Thank you, everyone!

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.

Katauta #45

I had a great conversation with my friend Jeannette the other day with how I was able to feel more confident in my interests and how blogging has allowed me to be more assertive with people in regards to my opinions.

The imagery I chose for this poem involves some movies and memorabilia in my small collection even though it’s not all of it. Yes, I also plug my indie film/documentary/world cinema/anime/short film review blog Iridium Eye on there, but it was relevant.

Here’s a list of the things shown in this video:

Haibane Renmei: Hanenone soundtrack
This Is Not a Film DVD
The Place Promised In Our Early Days DVD
Strings DVD
Before Your Eyes DVD
Read Or Die DVD autographed by Crispin Freeman
Kimba the White Lion promotional NBC black & white cel featuring Kimba and Claw
Battle Royale Shirt

Interestingly enough, I’ve reviewed all of those thing on Iridium Eye. Just sayin’. Haha!

Hope you enjoyed that poem.