Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Misinterpretations, Muriel's Wedding, Criticism, and Population Growth

1. Looked up Star Trek on IMDb.  Tim was watching it, and I couldn't remember which Australian was in it.

It's Eric Bana.

2. Turned on my Jimmy Barnes station on Pandora, and heard Good Times.  I love that song.  It makes me think of The Lost Boys.

3. Went to bed and had Australia related dreams. The first was semi-lucid.   I won't go into the whole thing because it's too long.  I'll just share some of it.   

I am flying in the dream, but I can't fly very high.  Sometimes I hover right next to the ground.  I'm flying around our neighbourhood (not from our real life) and I know I'm dreaming.  (But it's more like I think I'm having an out of body experience; and in the dream, it seemed like a totally normal thing to do).  I think about our neighbours that I like.  There's an Aboriginal woman whose name starts with the letter N.  Maybe Nancy?  She has a three-year-old daughter.  She's young for Jack, but I still think it might be fun for them to play together more.  The problem is we don't have their phone number or email address.  We can see them only if we happen to run into each other.  I'm thinking maybe I can sneak into her house while dreaming and get the information I need.  I decide though that this probably won't work.  At one point, I pass some bananas growing and consider taking one. I decide that would be stealing and I don't do it.   

In the other dream, I'm with my family and Muriel's Wedding comes on TV.   I want them to watch it; and I want to watch it with them.  But I've already watched a lot of TV, and there's other stuff I want to do.  I decide to watch the beginning. (In the dream the beginning is the Bali scene...not sure if that's the real beginning of the movie).   I'm wondering if my family will recognize Toni Collette.  

There's other stuff that happened here, but it's too hard to explain. I'm not even sure I understand it.

4. Related strongly to a line from Walking Naked.   Whenever you do something, make something that is of yourself, other people will misinterpret it.  So you might as well keep it to yourself. 

When I write and someone reads what I write, there's the hope and expectation that they'll read it carefully and try to understand what I'm saying.  Now even if we read carefully, there's always going to be occasions where we misunderstand something.  But if it happens often when I'm communicating with certain people, I get to the point where I don't want to bother trying to communicate anymore.  I'm tempted to say For now on, let's avoid each other; or just give a friendly smile and say Hey, what's up?   There's no need to go beyond that.  I don't want to waste my time writing out what I'm feeling, and what's going on in my life, unless you're going to listen carefully and give me a response that's at least semi-rational.  

Anyway, I've dealt lately with emails and people that made me feel that way.  Then I started thinking about my blog and wondered, how many people read my blog and then judge me based on things that aren't even true?  I don't expect ANYONE to read my blog posts in their entirety.   I know they're very long.   I figure people skim through the posts and then stop to read a couple of the numbered items that interest them.  I would hope that when they read these, they read them carefully and don't jump to conclusions based on quick skimming.  I'd especially hope they'd do this if they plan to respond in some way. 

On a positive note, though. When I do get responses to my email and blogs, MOST people do seem to listen well; and they seem to understand what I was trying to say. I appreciate their listening; and I appreciate their well-thought-out and rational responses.

5. Learned from Elliot Freeman's Facebook Page that he's going to be having some event thing.   It's on June 12 at the Veludo Bar and Restaurant.    Elliot Freeman will sing to you, and there's some kind of Queen birthday theme.   It's a Sunday afternoon thing (3-5).   I wish I could go, and I don't even do live music events.  But I like Elliot Freeman, and if I went, that would mean I'm in Australia. 

Then again, I wouldn't want to be in Melbourne during the winter.  So never mind. But if you're already in Melbourne during the winter, you might as well make the best of it.  

What pleases me is that Veludo Bar and Restaurant is on Acland Street, and I know where that is.  I remember seeing it when reading about St. Kilda.  It's the place that has the chocolate restaurant I want to go to.  

I'm very proud of myself when I remember things I've learned. 

6. Learned that The United States of Tara has been canceled.   This is the show starring Toni Collette.  Then her co-star of Muriel's Wedding is in Brothers and Sisters.  That's been canceled as well.  These things plus other news makes me think it's not been a good time for Muriel's Wedding alumni.  

7. Watched some scenes from Muriel's Wedding.   It fits perfectly in with the themes of Walking Naked.   It's those mean girls (whether young or old) who do a fantastic job of making other people feel they're not good enough to be included.   One of the worst things about the situation is the rejected individual often WANTS to be included.   The girls are great at manipulating people into thinking in order to be worth something, you must be welcomed and accepted by them.   This power play can be strong enough to cause formally decent people to act cruelly. If you ridicule him, we'll think highly of you.  We'll let you join our club.  

Yesterday I read an insightful article about the female form of bullying.  It's often very subtle, and hard to pinpoint.  It's not the stuff that usually gets attention; and I think victims of this type of bullying often end up getting less sympathy than those who are bullied in the more traditional way. 

Female bullying involves exclusionary behavior, teasing, and criticism.  Sometimes the criticism is verbal and direct. Other times it involves a look of exasperation or a shared look between the girls (against the victim)   Each criticism on its own isn't a big deal.   Sometimes we point out mistakes to each other, especially if we're anal perfectionists.   But when it's one criticism after another; it's said in a snarky tone; and it's agreed upon by a group of people, it can start to get hurtful. 

But as I said earlier, a lot of times kids don't get sympathy in these situations.  They're told they're being too sensitive.  They're told they're imagining things.   This is especially the case when the bullying children are good at manipulating adults into believing they're little angels who would never say or do anything to hurt others.  But like many people, I've personally been in these situations.  I think it takes being there to understand the difference between friendly constructive criticism; and the type of criticism used to make the mean girls feel big and important while making their victim feel small, unliked, and rejected.     
8. Took Jack to the dentist. They had an animated movie playing that featured a koala.  We were trying to figure out what it was.  The koala had a NY zoo t-shirt on.   And the movie had lions.    Since it wasn't at all familiar to me, I was wondering if it was one of those straight-to-video Bible type videos.

9. Looked up the movie.  It's not a straight-to-video Christian movie.   It's The Wild. I vaguely remember hearing about that.  Maybe. 

I'm going to watch the trailer

It was nice, but nothing too exciting.

10. Started watching more of the first episode of the second season of Offspring

11. Noticed that the hospital Nina Proudman works at is St. Francis Hospital. I was born in St. Francis Hospital...not in Melbourne.  I was born in Illinois. I'm betting there's not a St. Francis Hospital in Melbourne. It's probably a fictional place. 

12. Struggled to figure out who I love more Nina Proudman or Billie Proudman.  

13. Read article about Lindsay Fox urging Australians to have more babies. Yes, because our planet needs more people.

Whatever.  From what I've been hearing, we're a bit too crowded.

Yeah.  People could say Australia itself needs more people.  But then many are wanting to turn away immigrants who are desperate for a safe place to live.   Remember immigrants sometimes have children.  Those children will learn the language and the accent. They'll adopt the culture. They'll become Australian.

Let's look at my cousin.  She was born and raised in America.   She also spent a lot of her adult years in America.  Even if she gets Australian citizenship, she'll always be more of an American than an Australian.   I don't think I'll ever really see her as a true Aussie; and neither will her neighbours...probably.   But if her family stays in Australia, her children will have been raised in Australia from a VERY young age.   They'll be very Australian.   And then there's my cousin's grandchildren.  They'd be totally Australian, even though their family originated in America. 

In the end though, isn't that the story of all Australians?   Their ancestors came from somewhere else, even if it was thousands and thousands of years ago.

14. Looked at the population clock on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.  Babies are being born more frequently than people are dying.  And babies are being born more frequently than immigrants are migrating. 

15. Looked at more population statistics.   The Bureau of Statistics says there's been an increase in 0-9 year olds in Australia, but a decrease in 10-14 year olds. I guess there was less sex happening in the late 1990's?  

All the states except Tasmania have had an increase in children. The largest increase comes from Western Australia.

All the states have had increases in elderly people.

16. Looked at the chart at the bottom of the page.   It compares Australia's population make-up with other countries.  Australia's population is broken down like this:  18.9% are children under the age of fourteen, 67.5% are ages 15-64, and 13.6% are over 65.

The United States is not that much different from Australia. We have a little bit more children and a tiny bit less elderly.

Papua New Guinea has the highest percentage of children; 39.5% of their population is under the age of 14.   Hong Kong has the lowest at 11.5%.  

Hong Kong also has the highest percentage of people in the age group 15-64.   Papua New Guinea has the lowest.  Japan has the highest percentage of people over aged 65; and in Papua New Guinea, only 2.5% of people are over aged 65.  What is it, Children of the Corn over there?    No seriously, it seems like there's lots of babies being born in Papua New Guinea, but not many of them survive into old age.  

I think instead of worrying about making more and more babies for a country; it's better to worry about taking care of the people who are already there.