Pathos Formula Wave is on Bandcamp tomorrow!

What is the Pathos Formula Wave, you may ask?

This is an EP that will be on Bandcamp. Unlike most of my other recordings, this only uses vocals and acousmatics only with no instruments there. Also, all the tracks are based on the nonet poetic structure. I will also proclaim that this has some of the angriest poems I’ve ever written. Even though the content isn’t as intense as “They Dreamed of Devastation and Deceit (Circle of Lies)”, there’s a lot of rage that went into the lyrics. One of the songs I have might as well be acousmatic hardcore with me screaming the whole way through.

I hope you check it out tomorrow!

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How I Learned to Utterly Despise that Expensive Ripoff, Overrated, and Bigoted Movie Called The Lion King (And the Existence of Kimba the White Lion Isn’t the Only Reason)

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[Warning: This post contains a very contrary opinion to most people and will contain controversial content. Read at your own peril]

I’m sure some of you are probably sick of me at this point bashing this Disney movie if you’ve read earlier posts on this blog or saw certain reviews on Iridium Eye. I’m not sorry for what I’m about to say on here. This frustration has been building up for the past couple of weeks and it’s something I need to vent about on this blog of all things regardless if people agree with this post or not.

[sigh] Here we go.

For starters, I didn’t always hate The Lion King. If anything, it used to be one of my favorite Disney movies when I was a kid. This is going to partially give away my age, but I saw that movie during it’s first theatrical run when I was very little. I even saw the stage adaptation in Chicago at the Cadillac Theatre when I was a bit older. One of my favorite soundtracks back then was the “Rhythm of the Pride Lands” which was the companion soundtrack and it was also the first time the song “He Lives In You” was used. Not Lion King II or the Broadway version. I saw the original VHS tape probably a hundred times during my childhood. I used to know the words to most of the songs way back when. However, I stopped paying attention to Disney during my teenage years because I was really into anime. Okay, I still like Japanese animation, but I was nowhere near as much of an otaku as I was when I was in high school.

It was also around this time when I first heard about Kimba the White Lion. I heard that The Lion King ripped it off, but I thought it was shallow with just the main characters. Flash forward to my adult life when I saw a Cracked article involving childhood icons you didn’t know were shameless rip-offs, and the memories came back again. This piqued my interest, did more research and started to rent the DVDs on Netflix after Kimba stopped airing on Hulu (Disney is a partial owner of that site, so I don’t know if it was because of them or not). While it has it’s issues and has aged animation since it was made in the 60s, I enjoyed that anime for it’s usage of subject matter, originality, and seeing how much Disney stole from it. If you don’t believe me, check out this link. I couldn’t believe the scenes of Caesar (AKA Original Mufasa) consoling Kimba from the beyond in the night sky. I couldn’t believe the scene where the villainess Belladonna tried to kill Kimba by pushing him off a cliff. I couldn’t believe one of the major villains (Claw) just happened to be a scarred lion usurper with a black mane, dark fur, and had hyena henchmen with him. Every character not named Timon and Pumbaa in that movie is a copy of someone from Tezuka’s manga/anime series. Seriously, shame on Disney for stealing from this classic anime and for trying to block the Jungle Emperor Leo ’97 movie from North America. Trust me, you won’t be looking at The Lion King the same way again once you see the obvious similarities. I can’t see how any sane person could watch Kimba and not think that no one from Disney saw this. Why does The Lion King get a free pass in plagiarism when other media like Yuki Yuna is a Hero gets lambasted for having similarities to Madoka? You know if the situation was reversed, then all you Lion King fans would scream bloody murder that your favorite movie got plagiarized by a foreign (majority non-White) country if Kimba came afterwards. It would be amazing if Disney admitting to stealing from Tezuka’s creation, paid royalties to them, or got epic backlash for their thievery, but I know that will never happen because wishes never come true.

This segues into my next point. I wasn’t aware of this as a child, but growing up, I realized how racist the implications were with the hyenas. Have you not listened to how they talk? They straight up talk in stereotypical African-American Ebonics (Shenzi) and an exaggerated Mexican accent (Banzai). What ticks me off is when Disney fans don’t call their depiction racist or handwave it because you have Black cast members voicing some of the heroic lions namely James Earl Jones playing Mufasa. No, just because you have Black people playing both sides of the good/evil paradigm, it doesn’t make it bigotry-free. It’s the equivalent of a racist claiming they have a Black best friend or family members to prove they aren’t racist. That or saying slave owners can’t be racist because they have Black people around them. Let’s not forget Disney has a history with using animal characters as POC proxies with racist undertones. Look at the crows in Dumbo and the lead one’s name was JIM! You know, like the same laws in America that involved having enforced segregation, lynchings, or it being legal for White people to rape African-Americans? There’s also Siamese cats talking in broken English in Lady and the Tramp, Aristocats, and even an episode of Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers for crying out loud. You could even throw in Tito from Oliver & Company as a slap against the Latino community. Coincidentally enough, Cheech Marin would voice both Tito and Banzai in his voice acting career. Is this why so many Americans falsely assume that Black people let alone other ethnic groups act like the hyenas all the time? If you think so, then you need your head examined and we should question if you’re a bigot.

Extending onto that point is how the hyenas were treated with the Elephant Graveyard. Besides the name being a blatant carbon copy of the place in Kimba where the animals had to rescue Roger Ranger in one of the later episodes, I found the place to be disturbing, but not for the same reasons as it was portrayed in the movie. As an adult, I had this realization that this punishment against those animals involved isolating the hyenas in a barren wasteland and they’re forced to starve. It hit me when I researched lesser-known aspects of history: Mufasa was committing genocide against them and I was sickened by it. Scar did bad things, but his big brother is not much better if you really think about it; he’s just applauded for his actions. If you think I’m being crazy, then maybe you should read up on the Congolese Genocide under King Leopold II or the Namibian Genocide by Germany’s 2nd Reich. The former had a body count of 10 MILLION Congolese and Leopold never got punished for it. If you take away the hand chopping, guns, and mass rape, then it would be the same thing. The latter had a concentration camp called Shark Island where the Germans starved out the Herero and Nama tribes and there was a valley of bones left behind. By the way, one of the perpetrators was General Franz Ritter von Epp who would eventually employ Adolf Hitler and Hitler said he was influenced by this general. LET THAT SINK IN! It’s as if the animators were aroused by putting anti-Black racism with that act as they believe melanated people don’t belong in their circle of life. Come on, if those hyenas talked in Yiddish accents instead of stereotypical Black and Latino accents, then the ADL would’ve thrashed Mickey Mouse in a heartbeat and everybody knows this. But because it’s happening to the bad guys and because they talk in a racially-coded way, it’s somehow justified in the animators’ and fans’ eyes. No, that’s protagonist centered morality on Mufasa’s part (saying nothing how that punishment contradicts his circle of life speech), and it’s propaganda in a form of G-rated White Supremacy. In my adulthood, I’ve seriously pondered if White people actually saw me as one of those hyenas in the past before. I’ve been discriminated against, so I wouldn’t put it past them. It’s hard to watch that knowing about the genocides against Black people, the 1994 crime bill which overloaded the prison-industrial complex (while being soft on Caucasian offenders, let’s be honest), Apartheid South Africa, and gentrification to name a few things to punish them. Do you enjoy Black people or any other POC group getting punished or afflicted at all costs and is The Lion King your film of choice of vicariously having that joy in a supposedly “innocent” way? Are you more offended by me pointing out the racist implications of this Disney movie than the millions of dead bodies from those aforementioned genocides let alone other atrocities?

Let’s also talk about the depiction of Africa. There are no humans in it! Was there some extinction of Africans before the beginning of the story? Disney sucks at this fact and Tarzan is another example of this when that continent is shown without Black people. So people who look like me and darker shouldn’t be seen? Is this a wish fulfillment about depopulating Africa in animated form? Think about it. They wouldn’t try it with Europe or America. Even if they do have furry characters (don’t lie. furries love The Lion King and you all know this. Also, how come that movie doesn’t get called a furry film with all the anthropomorphic stuff in it?), they make them upright, clothed and human-like in attitude like Zootopia or DuckTales for example. Are they insinuating that Africa should just be one giant savanna or natural utopia without the humans who would live in that part of the world? If not, then they’ll show it as one big piece of poverty porn and/or a giant war zone. It’s as if the animals are treated with dignity if something happens to them than the humans who live there. Cecil the lion? I rest my case. Screw stereotypes. Those furries and their sick fantasies can go away.

Those are some of my main points that have angered me. Disney needs a moral overhaul. Was it enough to steal from a 60s Japanese anime and from millions of Swahili-speaking Africans by trademarking “Hakuna Matata”? I could go on about the plot holes such as the Nala incest theory, how much that movie ripped off Kimba, how heredity monarchy is not always a good thing, how that movie isn’t that deep/meaningful, or how The Lion King or it’s fanbase avoids being called furries when other movies get labeled as such, but I think you get the point. Even I’ve had enough from defenders of this movie franchise and for people trying to shame me not liking that film, let alone bullying me for my ethnic background or even what media I like. You’re only proving me right that way. It sickens me how there’s that remake coming out (it’s not live action, people. it’s just realistic looking CGI) and for people making fun of me for not liking it anymore. You all have no right to moralize to me especially with all the things that have happened in American history let alone what happened to the African diaspora. I’m not saying you’re automatically evil if you’re White since that would be very stupid of me to insinuate that of one’s skin color. Spare me from your attempts of putting words in my mouth or for strawmanning my arguments. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t take movies at face value and assume everything is innocent just because it’s family-friendly from a content standpoint. For one, I’ve become offended the more I’ve learned about history, part of my culture, and with storytelling techniques. I’m sick and tired of being a scapegoat because of the color of my skin and my heritage. I would never even imagine doing the things done to my ancestors to anyone regardless of race. Not everyone is going to like what I typed, nor am I begging people to like it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to listen to real artists from the continent instead of that artificial crap from Hans Zimmer and Elton John.

All images and videos are property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws.

The fan art is property of WhiteLionWarrior at DeviantArt.

Kimba is property of Kimba the White Lion and Tezuka Productions.

Simba is property of The Lion King and Disney.

Creativity is tough and other ailments

Been a while since I did an opinion piece that wasn’t reliant on news stories. Sure, I talked about fandom hypocrisy or how wanting originality makes me a bad guy to some people’s eyes, but I will talk about something else.

As Ospreyshire, I haven’t been active in poetry or recording my spoken word projects as much as I would like. While I will record something which I can’t talk about what, it is rough for me as I’m so uninspired to come up with another EP or possibly a full-length album. I thought I would’ve done so much more, but work, other creative projects, and other life events took more priority in my life.

I’m not going to say it’s all bad creatively since I’ve been on a literary grind and I’m stoked to try Camp NaNoWriMo which I haven’t done in 2 years. I just released 6 books which I feel happy about.

Now let’s get to the bad news.

I’ve become so disillusioned with so many things. I won’t go into the more personal details of my life, but there are many things that cause me so much frustration. Some of the news stories I’ve talked about recently have angered me to know end. While I’m glad people are being exposed and some individuals are speaking out against it, I wonder if this could cause a domino effect for justice to reign. A different aspect involves people’s general apathy to the world around them. I don’t want to sound like an SJW, but I feel like so many people don’t care or secretly agree with the bad things happening around them just so they can stay secure. It’s also caused me to enjoy things less such as most movies and anime. No offense to my fellow bloggers who cover those topics since this isn’t about you, but it is hard for me to ignore tragedies or researching things I wasn’t taught back when I was in school. Look, I’m not a moral guardian or some perfect person. Let me get that straight. Maybe it’s a mix of getting older, more jaded, and becoming more aware of the world around me that’s causing me to fall away from certain things.

We’ll see what the future holds…

So I’m neat? I was nominated to get the Real Neat Blog Award!

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It has been quite a while since I was tagged in any posts of this kind, but I still appreciate it. I was nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award. The person responsible for nominating me is Scott from Mechanical Anime Reviews. Thank you very much, Scott!

The Rules:

1) Display the logo
2) Thank the blogger for the award
3) Answer the questions the one who has nominated you
4) Nominate 7-10 bloggers
5) Ask them 7 questions

Here are the questions I have to ask from Scott.

1. What is your favorite spaceship design from anywhere?

That’s a tough question. I guess some of the most unique spaceship designs would be the grappler ships from Outlaw Star. Say what you will about that anime, but I thought that was a creative concept of spaceships with robotic arms that can fight in close-combat.

2. What is your favorite comic book movie right now?

I’m not the best person to ask given my tendency to shy away from so many mainstream movies. The last comic book movie I saw was Black Panther last year. Wow, time really flies by.

3. Who is your least favorite anime character?

Most likely Kumiko from Debutante Detective Corps. She’s almost like protagonist centered morality incarnate. Anyone who tells me that Akiyuki Shinbo can do no wrong obviously hasn’t watched that crappy anime.

4. What is your favorite anime this season or if you don’t follow seasonal anime, what is one of your favorite anime?

I haven’t seen any new anime this year so far. Some of you anibloggers already know this about me, but my favorite anime series is Haibane Renmei.

5. How do you feel about Avatar: The Last Airbender?

I have only seen bits and pieces, so I don’t have much of an opinion on that matter.

6. If a wood chuck could chuck wood, what is your favorite fictional forests or woods in fiction?

That’s a clever question. Haha! I guess my favorite forests or woods in fiction would be something from Mushishi. I can’t think of too many at the moment, but some may come to me after this post.

7. What were you doing before you worked on this blogger award entry that I tagged you in?

Nothing too exciting, but I wrote and scheduled some reviews for my other blog Iridium Eye. I won’t say which ones, but they involve an Argentinean film, an obscure anime ONA, and a two-episode anime that got the remake treatment recently. You’ll see those reviews in March.

My nominations will be as follows:
1. Ameithyst
2. Xena
3. Dr. Y.
4. Lumi
5. Moyatori
6. Scottie
7.  Terrance A. Crow

Here are my questions for those who were nominated.

1. What three places on Earth would you like to visit that you’ve never been to before?
2. What is your favorite poem?
3. Who do you think is the most underrated musician or band in your opinion?
4. If you could enact one law in your home country, what would it be and why?
5. How do you feel about plagiarism controversies in regards to media (film, TV, art, literature, etc.)?
6. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?
7. How are you creative and in what way?

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.

Mr. Leo “Pray”

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on this blog.

Some of you may know that I’ve been getting more into African music and even more recently into movies made in that continent. Even though I’ve never been to Africa, I come from a multi-ethnic family and I did a DNA test where one of my results from my maternal side came up as Cameroonian among other ethnic groups in Africa and Europe. I decided to check out the music from that country and stumbled across Mr. Leo. I first heard the song “Pray” and found it touching given that country’s situation currently with the conflicts involving the French-speaking Cameroonians and the English-speaking ones where there have been fatalities. It saddens me how there have been divisions like that in this post-colonial landscape. Luckily, there are people in that country who hate the bloodshed and see each other as brothers and sisters despite what languages they speak. It certainly hit my heart because these people could be distant relatives of mine in some way. I hope you check out this song.

Part of the song is in Banso which is one of the local languages in that country. I found translated parts of that song which make it more heartbreaking knowing what everything means.

Amen chorus part:
Let us kneel down (Amen)
Let us keep praying that (Amen)
The day will soon be clear
Let us kneel down (Amen)
Let us keep praying that (Amen)
The day will soon be clear

Banso part of the 2nd verse:
If you are ignoring your brother
Beware, you are making a mistake
If you are chasing your brother away
Beware, you are making a mistake

Translation credit to Chris Logan

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

Stand By Me (Ben E. King Cover courtesy of Take 2 and YWCA Elgin)

Here’s another video that I took part of recently.

I got to play ukulele alongside my friend Korisa while two teens in the Take 2 Creative Camp (Laron and Jada) got to sing. We all played that timeless classic “Stand By Me”, and they sang while Korisa and I were their backing band. It was a lot of fun performing as I haven’t done music in a while. I even busted out a percussive strumming solo as I used my uke as both a drum and melodic device. Both Laron and Jada are talented singers and I’m honored to have been a part of this project.

Special thanks to YWCA Elgin and Take 2 Creative Camp.

Support Take 2 at http://take2creative.wordpress.com.

What a way to break stereotypes! Ashenda Festival Crowdfunding

https://www.youcaring.com/advisemedianetwork-1167178

I know I’ve been posting irregularly, but I want to bring light on this cause which I find to be quite fascinating.

This crowdfunding campaign involves independent media organization Advise Show Media as they try to cover the Ashenda Festival in Mekelle, Ethiopia. Here’s a video of what said festival is about…

I think this is so fantastic on several levels. It’s awesome showing all the different cultures with how they celebrate. For those of you that know about me here or my other blogs, you should know that I can’t stand the stereotypes of Africa being poor, crime-ridden, diseased, and having no culture. This is a way to break through those lies that the mainstream media perpetuates on Africa. The Ashenda Festival crowdfunding is a great cause for Advise Show to cover this year’s festival, document the event, and to show various aspects of Ethiopia that they never show anyone.

I support this cause, and I hope you give it a little glimpse. Thank you.

P. S. Major thumbs up for Ethiopia and Eritrea finally reaching peace with each other after decades of fighting. Seeing both countries’ leaders hugging each other just hit me in the feels.

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