Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cameos, Leaders, Avoiding Conversation, and Success

1. Read article, in a tabloid, that says Ryan Kwanten is willing to return to Home and Away in a cameo role.

Apparently Chris Hemsworth did the same thing.

2. Looked at Chris Hemsworth's filmography.  I don't see a cameo. Maybe it's not listed?

All I see is that he played a character named Kim Hyde from 2004-2007.

3. Found article about the Hemsworth cameo. It's pretty funny. It sounds like he was just an extra in a scene. He ate a hamburger, in the background, at a cafe.

I wonder if the appearance was announced, or if it was a surprise.

I hope it was the latter. Then that's fun and exciting.  Fans of the show might notice Hemsworth, but question what they're seeing. They'd probably think he just LOOKS like Hemsworth. Then later they might learn that Hemsworth was actually on the show, and they'd probably gasp in surprise.

If a big deal was made out of it beforehand...well, it cheapens the whole experience.

4. Wanted to say that I sometimes take notice of the extras on Neighbours. Twice I've seen a guy who sort of resembles Michael Caton. I don't think it's him, though. It's a mild resemblance; not a strong one.

5. Started watching an episode of Neighbours. I shall be on the look out for big Aussie stars masquerading as extras.

6. Felt bad for the residents of Ramsey Street. The rubbish collectors have gone on strike. Now the whole town stinks.

7. Started to read another Anthony Dillon editorial. It's similar to his other ones that I've read. Dillon wants an Australia where Australians help Australians rather than Aboriginal Australians being the only ones seen as qualified to help Aboriginal Australians.

Dillon says: Does identification as an Aboriginal person necessarily mean that one is better qualified for helping other Aboriginal people? Even when Aboriginal Australians discuss these matters, there is much disagreement amongst them about the problems they face and the associated solutions, making it difficult to choose and implement a solution. This is normal for any group of people. It is a fallacy that people identifying as belonging to one race of people will be in agreement simply because they belong to that race. 

There was a similar viewpoint presented on an episode of John Safran's Race Relations.  It's the idea that people are individuals, and being in the same group doesn't guarantee they're going to agree with us on important issues.

I'm a bit loss about whether I agree with this idea or not.

I remember in the past I complained about a Caucasian woman being the Minister of Indigenous Affairs for the Labor Government. So far, I haven't changed my mind about that.

If I joined a Jewish group, I wouldn't want it to be led by a Christian or Muslim. If I joined a woman's group, I wouldn't want it led by a man. Maybe they'd do an okay job, but there's this underlying message I wouldn't like. It would be almost like saying, There's no Jew good enough for his job, so we found a Christian instead.

I still cling to the idea that the leader of a people should be of the people. But besides the leader, it's probably great for other people to join in and contribute.

8. Wondered if I'm wrong.

I'm thinking of a Cystic Fibrosis camp I volunteered at. The director of the camp didn't have Cystic Fibrosis. She seemed to do fine with the job. Would it have been better if she herself had Cystic Fibrosis?

9. Decided maybe the camp is a bad example. I volunteered there in the late 1980's and early 1990's. At the time, people with CF didn't often live into adulthood. And if they did, they were often fairly ill. There wouldn't be a huge pool to choose from, and those in the small pool might not have been qualified enough to become director.

These days it would be different. The life expectancy for CF is in the late thirties. There are probably many CF adults out there who'd make great camp directors.  Having a director with CF would  be inspiring to the campers and counselors. But that doesn't mean people without CF (like me!) should be banned from the camp.  I think people without CF can contribute a lot to the camp. Maybe they just don't need to be the director.

10. Thought about how there can be positives in having a leader that is NOT of the people.

If you have a leader who is not of the designated religion, ethnic group, medical disorder, gender, etc.; then they might be sensitive to that.  It might humble them a bit. They MIGHT have the attitude, I can't fully understand, but I will try hard to do my best.

I imagine if you have a leader who is...whatever.  They might lack this humility. They might falsely believe they understand the whole group, because they are of the group.  So...a director with CF might be insensitive to some campers, because if he's okay having to do this certain treatment; then they should be okay as well.  Or if he can keep his weight up, they should be able to keep their weight up as well.

A Jewish leader of my Jewish group might believe that since she observes the Sabbath, I must want to do the same.

11. Decided I'm probably wrong.

There can be similar problems with a leader who is not of the designated...whatever.  They can get cocky as well.

It's like the head counselor in my CF camp cabin. She declared that all "Cystics" like to sleep in. They're not good at waking up in the morning. Did she do a world wide survey of people with Cystic Fibrosis? Or did she simply know a few people with CF that weren't morning people; then decided that was true of all people who have CF.

Someone who knows a few Aboriginal-Australians might get the ridiculous notion that they are an expert on ALL Aboriginal-Australians.

It's like me feeling I understand all Australians because I know a few Australians.

Or an Australian who feels they understand all Americans simply because they read this one blog.

12. Decided humans should just identify as humans. And the one thing we all have in common is stupidity.

We have it in different degrees. Yeah. But we all have it.

13. Saw, from end of episode preview, that a former cast member of Neighbours is returning. It's an older guy with glasses. I don't know his name, but I've seen him before. Maybe in flashbacks?

14. Googled and found out the actor's name is Ian Smith. He plays a coffee shop owner named Harold Bishop.  Lord Wiki says he was on Neighbours from 1987-1991; 1996-2009; 2011; and now he's back for 2015.

15. Saw that Smith's birthday is tomorrow! He'll be turning 77.

16. Started watching an episode of The Secret Life of Us.

17. Liked Richie's (Spencer McLaren) dog costume.

18. Reminded by the high school bathroom bullying scene with Evan (Samuel Johnson) that I should clean the toilets today.

If Evan can survive his head going in a public toilet; I surely can survive my gloved hands going in our home toilet.'s gross.

19. Saw Arnott's Shapes for the fourth time on The Secret Life of Us. This time, it's shown as Gabrielle (Sibylla Budd) is unpacking groceries.

20. Felt sympathy for Tidy (Dan Spielman). Gabrielle pressures him to call his girlfriend, and he doesn't want to. He says he doesn't want to talk at the moment.  He just wants to relax. Gabrielle's argument is that the girlfriend will feel anxious if she doesn't hear from him. I get that. But I also can relate to not wanting to call someone.

I don't like the phone...period. But I especially don't like talking to certain people, because ending the conversation with them is close to impossible.

I'm not sure if that would be the case for Tidy's girlfriend.  Hopefully not.

21. Thought about how talkers don't just hold people hostage on the phone. Sometimes it happens in person.

I recently talked to one of my sisters about socializing. She's an extrovert and I'm an introvert. What she said was helpful to me.  Her feeling is it's okay to want to be alone and not want conversation.  But I should go to my room and do what I want to do. If I'm out in a public area, I should be open to talking. That made sense to me, and it seemed fair. Or at least I can tolerate it.

As an introvert, I personally can respect someone quietly reading a magazine on their own and not feel offended if they don't want to be interrupted. Well, I mean if they snapped at me, Leave me alone, please. I'm reading; then I'd think they were rude. But if they gave short non-conversational answers and kept going back to reading; I'd take the hint and find something else to do.

Anyway...what I think is NOT fair is if I'm heading to my room, and someone pushes me into staying so I will talk to them. Maybe they keep talking as I'm walking away, and it makes me feel rude to continue with the exit. (Though I might have done this to Tim on occasion) Maybe they ask me where I'm going. And that makes me feel like wanting to watch my TV show isn't a good enough excuse to leave them there on their lonesome.

22. Thought about Evan's bully storyline. He plans to go to his high school reunion, and obsesses about a bully that tormented him. He wants revenge. He wants to find that this past bully is a complete loser in life.

I wonder how often that happens.

I think it's the dream of most of us to be extremely successful; then rub it in the face of those who never believed in us and/or treated us like shit. Sometimes that happens for people, and it's wonderful.

But I wonder if the opposite ever happens. Does the victim ever go to the reunion without something that makes them feel they have bragging rights. And do they ever find that it's their bully that's become super successful?

23. Wondered if any celebrities and/or highly successful people were once bullies. I imagine, if that's the case, then it would be torment for their past victims to have to see them in the media.

24. Liked quote from Evan. How can your nemesis not know that you exist?

Even if it's not a nemesis. Let's just say it's someone who has hurt you. What's the worst—them understanding that they hurt you but refusing to apologize or make amends; them knowing they hurt you and being delighted by that; or they don't even realize that they've hurt you.

I think we've all hurt someone without knowing it. If we've said something that wouldn't offend the average person and the object of our offense acts like all's okay; it's understandable to be fooled.

It's different, though, if the offense was big and the victim showed signs of feeling hurt.

25. Remembered a time that I offended someone and didn't realize it or remember. Someone showed me a painting they did of Jack. It was from years ago. Apparently this wasn't the first time I had seen the painting.  They said that, in the past, I had told them it didn't look like Jack. I have no memory of that! I could tell by the way they said it, that I had offended them.

I feel bad that I said it.

Did I say it purposely to hurt them? I hope not. Although I do have moments of bitchiness. I'll lash out at people on occasion.  Though I think I'm more likely to criticize personality traits than artwork.

Was I asked my opinion and opted for honesty?

Maybe I wasn't blunt but just not enthusiastic enough.  Maybe when asked if the painting looked like Jack, I kind of hesitated and said, Well...yeah. I guess. Kind of.

OR it could have been that they asked me to guess who was in the painting, and I failed to give the correct answer quick enough.

26. Loved the inspirational stuff that Chloe (Nina Liu) reads to Miranda (Abi Tucker). Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. 

I think that's beautiful.

27. Learned the quote comes from Winston Churchill.

28. Loved the twist on The Secret Life of Us. It's almost giving me goosebumps. Evan finally confronts his bully.  He demands an apology. But then it turns out that the bully feels like he was the one bullied, and he thinks Evan should be the one apologizing. The thing is that while the guy caused physical grief for Evan; he claims this is because Evan caused him emotional grief with all his name-calling.

Now I know that some people are very clever manipulators. If you call them out on something; they will twist things to make themselves the victim.  But I'm guessing there are other times where both parties feel legitimately grieved.

29. Liked the other twist on the episode as well.  Before the reunion, Evan has flashbacks of his high school buddies. Then when he reunites with them; it turns out one is a white supremacist asshole.

I guess the general message of the episode is that the person you hated in the past might not be as bad as you remember, and the person you liked might be awful.

30. Glad that Richie defended himself against his Sugar Momma (Pamela Rabe) She buys him very expensive gifts; and then expects him to do whatever she asks. Like growl for her friends.

It's never a good situation when you feel compelled to behave a certain way because someone is buying you expensive things. If they're just very nice and generous and don't make demands, your compulsion to behave in ways that impresses them is your issue. It's not theirs. But if they have the attitude that you owe them something because of the expensive gifts; then they're the ones who are wrong.

31. Felt that if someone gives someone a gift, all they should expect in return is gratitude; not sex, friendship, love, or favors.  It's okay if they DESIRE these things. And understandable. But giving gifts is not the way to obtain them.

Sometimes there is no way to obtain them.

32. Decided that I'm being a hypocrite. Because I recently bitched about someone not following me back on Twitter.  I said it's bad enough that they rejected me, simply because of my relationship to them. But I felt I was even more deserving of a follow-back because we have given gifts to this person.

I think I was very wrong. The person SHOULD have followed me back because of our connection. And they're shit for that. The gift thing really makes no difference in the story.

My bitching about it was very wrong.

33. Thought more about the whole revenge by success thing—wanting to do well in life so you can rub it in the face of certain people.

I don't think it's only bullies that make us feel that way. Sometimes it's simply someone who makes us feel invisible, rejected, and worthless.  This could be their fault, due to the fact that they're self-centered, arrogant asses. Or they could be innocent; and it's simply an issue of you loving them much more than they love you. They never noticed you, and you imagine that your success might finally make you attractive to them.

34. Saw that the bully thing, on The Secret Life of Us, turns out to be a case of the perpetrator being a manipulator who twists the story to make the victim the villain.

I'm kind of disappointed about that. I prefer the story where it turns out that the bully truly felt bullied.

35. Started watching another episode of The Secret Life of Us.

It looks like there's going to be another cast exit. Miranda is heading to the US.

36. Delighted to see that Damien Richardson is one of the guest stars. He's become one of my favorite Australians.

37. Wondered whether Richie is right regarding what he tells Miranda about acting in the US.

He says if you're not successful in Australia, you're not going to be successful in America.

Is that always true?

Has there ever been an actor who couldn't find work in Australia, but found some success in Hollywood?

38. Wondered also what, on an Aussie resume, would impress an American casting director. If you guest-starred on a few TV shows, would that be enough? Would it matter if the casting director had never heard of the show?

39. Decided that if I were a casting director, I'd probably put Damien Richardson in everything.

40. Disagreed with Michelle's blog post about alpha males. She feels this is a complementary label, while queen bee, the female equivalent, has a negative connotation.

I don't see alpha male as being positive. If I had to face the alpha male of the group, I'd feel as weary and as intimated as I would facing the queen bee.

41. Saw that someone in comments agrees with me.  Jill in a Box says, Alpha male sounded agressive and bossy to me before I read the rest of the post. My understanding of alpha males is that they fight (sometimes to the death) if their power is challenged.

I think if it the label was meant to be positive, I'd probably prefer the term "leadership qualities" or "popular".

I guess popular has some negative connotations as well.

Maybe it's best to just say she (or he) is well-liked by the group.

42. Found myself relating to Kelly, on The Secret Life of Us, because she finds it very difficult to get along with their houseguest.  He's staying much longer than she wants.  He's taken over the common room. He smokes. And he's given her a strange t-shirt that she doesn't find amusing or appealing.

The same thing has happened to me.

43. Decided our houseguest wasn't as bad as Kelly's, because ours made sure to do his smoking outside.

He still caused an odor issue, though.

44. Feared that something bad is going to happen between Kelly and the houseguest.

45. Decided that if you're going to have a houseguest that scares you, it would be nice if you had a lock on your bedroom door.

46. Felt grateful that although our houseguest annoyed me, I don't think I ever felt scared of him. He didn't seem dangerous to me.

We did have a female houseguest that scared me a tiny bit. I could imagine her going crazy in a Hand- that-Rocks-the-Cradle kind of way.

47. Had lots of unsettling thoughts about that episode. The basic plot was that Kelly had a bad feeling about the houseguest. Her fears were dismissed by Evan. Then it ended up the guy was bad. He sexually assaulted Kelly.

So then I start thinking about how I've pushed someone into doing something that they felt uneasy about. Is that wrong?  Maybe? But the thing is, it turns out fine.  In the last incident, the person enjoyed themselves and the bad feeling went away.

I didn't force them into anything. They thought a certain business looked dodgy and didn't want to go there. So I asked them to read up about it and see if it sounded okay to them. They did and were then fine about going.

But what if it turned into disaster? I'd feel very guilty. I'd feel wrong for ignoring this person's intuition.

The thing about intuition is, how do we know when it's based on true danger rather than prejudice?

What if Kelly and Evan's houseguest didn't end up being a violent rapist-type? What if he had been a relatively decent guy who was simply lacking in social skills?  What if Kelly's ill feelings had been based on her own prejudices and intolerances?  Should Evan still have felt guilty for not getting rid of the houseguest?