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

real-neat-blog-award-cover

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?

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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

My Reasons Why

My Reasons Why

This was a huge delay, but I need to make this post.

The wonderful Kimchisama created this award tag called My Reasons Why. This was innovative and something that can spread positivity around. I can certainly use some more substantive positivity, to be honest. Thanks, Kimchisama! I was honored when you nominated me and when you specifically mentioned how we had great conversations about different things on her blog.

Here are the rules for My Reasons Why:

1. Mention the person who nominated you

2. List 13 reasons why you keep going/living (This is borrowed from the book but I’m taking it the opposite direction).

3. Nominate 10 or more people to give their reasons why.

4. Use the picture that Kimchisama created as seen in this article.

Here we go!

1. My literary projects: When I got into writing stories 4 years ago, I realized that I had so much untapped creative potential. I finally got to release some of my books.

2. The Ospreyshire Project: This current spoken word/avant-garde music project I’ve been working on for 2 years has been a great creative progression.

3. My family: I’m glad that they support me and have helped me out.

4. My friends I still talk with: I’m glad to have some good friends who still want to reach out. Since I don’t have social media, this is huge and it lets me know who my real pals are.

5. Independent and foreign cinema: I’m glad there’s quality movies outside of Hollywood. That and I get to review them. Hee hee hee…

6. Books: I’m able to read things even if it’s mainly non-fiction.

7. Learning: Despite having a degree, I had to know that learning doesn’t end. That and I want to teach others about what I know.

8. Open-minded people: It’s amazing seeing people who actually care about others.

9. Miso soup: Okay, this is a superficial one, but I can’t say no to that soup especially on the rare occasions where I have Japanese food. Hahaha!

10. Being certified to teach adults: This was very unexpected, but I was able to get certified last December.

11. Geography: I enjoy learning about other countries and cultures.

12: The blogging community: I tackle tons of topics with all of my pages. It’s a miracle there are people actually interested in what I have to say.

13: My newfound assertiveness: I was always an internalizer, but blogging helped me express my feelings with people online and real life more often.

I hereby nominate the following:

The Zone of Nerders
Jenn
Xena
AfroSapiophile
Brandon Knoll
Elleguyence
Joshua Stamper
Madekesiworld
Mechanical Anime Reviews
Joshua Hedlund

Ospreyshire Interview @ The Antidote 4/11

http://www.theantidoteradio.com/

I kept this a secret, but I was recently interviewed by Dave Hawkins from The Antidote. It was an amazing experience as I Skyped with him where we talked about different things with my music, ideology on poetry, and I talked a little bit about my additional projects. This will be aired online this Wednesday on 9 PM Eastern/8 PM Central.

Feel free to check it out this Wednesday!