Saturday, June 13, 2015

Freedom Fighters, Drifting Apart, Ruby Rose, and Desires

1. Realized that I didn't really like the episode of The Secret Life of Us I watched yesterday.

The thing is it was a gimmicky episode where it went backwards instead of forward. They showed things happening; then kept going back further and further in time. It might have been interesting if I cared that much about what happened in the beginning of the episode. But I didn't. And therefore I definitely wasn't curious about the events that led to what I saw in the beginning.

I hope the episode I watch today is more interesting.

2. Decided I will play QuizUp while I watch my episode of The Secret Life of Us today. That's what I do when I'm somewhat bored by a show.

3. Bored, so far, by this episode of The Secret Life of Us.

4. Heard conversation on The Secret Life of Us about September 11 and Star Wars, with Osama Bin Laden being compared to Luke Skywalker. And if I understand things right, the United States is the Death Star.

Okay....

So who will we be in the upcoming movie? And will Matthew McConaughey cry over us?

5. Found blog entry that compares Luke Skywalker to a terrorist. It seems less about making a political statement, and more about pushing people to see an alternate view of what happens in the movies; kind of like what Gregory Maguire did with Wicked.

6. Found editorial about the Luke Skywalker thing. The basic idea is that there's not much difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist. It all depends on which side you're on. Or which side the filmmaker is pushing you to be on.

I think the editorial has a valid point.

I was going to say it's only sometimes true, because some terrorists are fighting AGAINST freedom. For example, freedom of religion.  If a Muslim kills a Christian, are they fighting for freedom?

Well...yes. Sort of. They're fighting for freedom against a world in which other religions besides Islam exist.  Or something like that.  I'm assuming that's what Muslim terrorists (Freedom fighters?) are after when they go about beheading people.  Maybe I'm wrong?

7. Saw very bizarre flashback sequence involving Simon (David Tredinnick). It started out with what seemed to be a purpose—showing his feelings for Richie (Spencer McLaren) but then it went totally random. For example, one of the scenes had Alex (Claudia Karvan) talking about traces of urine on bar peanuts. I don't know what that had to do with anything.

8. Thought about how I've heard The Secret Life of Us goes downhill. But I figured it would happen in the last (fourth season); not the third.

9. Felt lost, because Rex (Vince Colosimo) asked something of Alex at the beginning of the episode and I couldn't hear it. And no, it's not because I was playing QuizUp. I was paying attention. Or trying to...at least.

Alex says no to whatever Rex wants. Or she needs time to think. Rex isn't happy about that.

Then towards the end of the episode, she says yes. I'm kind of curious about what the hell they're talking about. Getting married? Making babies? Buying new carpet? Going to a Star Wars movie?

Something work related?

10. Found out what Alex said no/maybe and then yes to. It's moving in with Rex. She reveals the big thing to Kelly (Deborah Mailman) and Evan (Samuel Johnson) at the end of the episode.

So...I'm getting that this season is about ending and changes. The core group of friends from season one and two are moving on and finding new friends.  They did this to some degree in the past seasons. But there was still a lot of scenes with each other.  Now there seems to be much less of that. Or at least there are less scenes between Kelly, Evan, and Alex. I felt a sort of relief to see them with each other at the end of the episode. But there was a bittersweetness to it. There's that idea they're going to drift further and further apart.

11. Had mixed feelings about the drifting apart thing. On one hand, it's very realistic, and maybe cathartic for people to see it on screen.

On the other hand, I find it depressing. I don't like when TV shows have friends drifting apart.  It's hard enough when it's done in a season finale. Is it worse or better to drag it out through several episodes or a whole season or two?

12. Thought of the movie Stand By Me. The drifting apart thing happened within a short monologue at the end of the movie. I think that worked well. But what if the whole drifting apart thing was dragged out for a sequel...a whole movie. I think it would be depressing; and not something I'd want to endure.

13. Figured a long-range drifting apart storyline CAN work if viewers become invested in the new characters and social groups.  So far, that's not happening for me with The Secret Life of Us. I don't care about Evan's new workmates who talk about having sex in bathrooms. I'm not interested in Rex or the other doctor that works with Alex. I don't care about Gabrielle's new workmates. I have no love for Kelly's new love interest. I'm bored by Miranda's maybe-lesbian boss.

This could all change though as I continue to watch the show. All or some of these people might edge their way into my cold-cold heart.

14. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

15. Had sudden realization that I think Mark (Scott McGregor) is adorable.

It could be that I like him with Naomi (Morgan O'Reilly). I think people really do become less or more endearing depending on who they're paired up with.

16. Had a bit of a coincidence thing.

I was just looking through my Google News. On the right side is a list of popular articles. I was curious about one titled "The Hot New Actress Shaking Up OITNB".   Most of all, I was curious what OITNB stood for. And also, since these articles are popular in Australia, I figured maybe it was an Aussie actress.

I clicked on it and saw that the actress is Ruby Rose. She's not an actress I'm very familar with. In fact, if someone mentioned her name to me yesterday, I would have had no idea who she was.

HOWEVER, this morning, I did my usual thing of reading an old post from my blog. Today I read a post from February 20, 2011. There was a whole thing about Ruby Rose and her experience with bullying.

So, it's like I'm being haunted by Ruby Rose today.

17. Learned that Ruby Rose plays an Australian on Orange is the New Black. Good! I hope that happens more and more. It's nice to hear Australians being Australian rather than pretending to be American.

18. Learned that Ruby Rose is engaged to the granddaughter of Roald Dahl.

19. Learned a new term from the article. Gender fluid. If I'm reading this right, Ruby Rose's character is like this on Orange is the New Black; and Rose herself is the same way. It's where someone identifies with being both male and female.

It makes so much sense. It's strange I haven't heard of it before; or considered it before.

Now that I read it, it seems really odd to me that people want to be either male OR female.

It's as strange as being gay or straight. Sometimes I think about the whole thing and it bewilders me. How do we not fall in love with a whole group of people simply because of their gender?

Sexually speaking, I can understand. Sex is different depending on whether there is a penis, vagina, or two penises, and two vaginas.  But with love and romance? Why does it matter?

And it makes a lot of sense to want to wear dresses and wear make-up on somedays; but other days dress in t-shirts and shorts. Or wear a suit and tie.

It's sad and strange that we have all these gender divisions.

20. Imagined that we will never completely do away with gender divisions and expectations. But I do think it's getting better to some degree...despite the ideals of toy companies, toy catalogues, and toy sections at stores.

21. Thought about how Disney World feeds into the gender stereotypes as well. They've started this whole thing where all the employees call the female children "Princess". Well, what if a boy wants to be a princess? What if a girl does NOT want to be a Princess?  Or what if there is a gender-fluid child who is not in the mood to be in a princess on that particular day.

22. Thought Disney World would be a much better place if they replaced "Princess" with "Little Shit".

Have a Magical Day, Little Shit.

Please don't throw your trash on the ground, Little Shit.

Hey, Little Shit. Would you like a hug from Pluto? 

Little Shit is a nice gender neutral phrase. "Mate" works well too. Maybe Disney, and the rest of the US, should adopt it.

23. Thought if I was the God of the world, there would be no gay, straight, transgender, gender fluid, etc. People would just love who they want to love and do what they want to do. There'd be no worries and no labels.

Well, there'd be worries about other things...just not about gender and sexuality issues.

Wait! If I'm God, I can also get rid of cancer, car accidents, pandemics, hangnails, etc.

No, Never mind. I'd keep the hangnails. You have to have some conflict in your world. It builds character.

24. Loved the lesson brought to us by Brad (Kip Gamblin) on Neighbours. There's a teen bullying another student. Susan (Jackie Woodburne) wants to have a talk with the bully. Brad requests the chance to handle things his own way. He has the teen run with him. Then after the kid gets his feelings and aggressions out, they have a nice shot heart to heart talk.

Later Brad says to Susan. Some kids need to talk. Other kids just need to run.  

I think I like the message because I feel we put too much value into talking about our problems. There's this idea that if we talk about things, they'll bother us less. I don't think that's always the case.

Though the kid DID talk to Brad eventually. Maybe what helped there is the combination of running and talking.

25. Figured one of the reasons talking about our problems doesn't help is because when someone invites us to unload on them; what they're really promising is to give us a lecture or gift us with stories of their own similar problems. I make that mistake with Jack sometimes; and my parents pretty much always do it to me. Sometimes the profound parental advice and life stories are helpful, but I think usually they're just self-indulgent.

If we actually listened well when someone told us about their problems; then talking things out WOULD probably be very helpful. But most of us fail at this, so probably better to go running, eat an ice-cream, or play a video game together.

Hugs are nice too.

26. Remembered that Brad DID tell the teen that he had a similar problem. The teen is upset because his parents are fighting. Brad says his parents used to fight too. Then he gives quick advice. I think this short bit of talk was actually helpful. But if they hadn't gone on the run, and just sat there in an office chatting for thirty minutes, Brad might have been tempted to blab on and on about his childhood. Then maybe he'd even talk about his recent marriage problems and how it affected his children. He'd probably go off on tangents, start philosophizing, and give useless advice.

The key is to keep the conversation short and sweet; and spend the rest of the  time bonding in other ways.

27. Thought more about gender and sexuality. I have often made guesses and tried to label people based on certain behaviors or lack of behaviors.

I'm going to make an effort to stop doing that.

If people want to label themselves, and share that label with me...fine. I'll go with whatever they want to call themselves.

But if people don't have a label for themselves; or if they have one, but haven't told me about it; then I should leave it alone. Let it be their business.

28. Decided to watch another episode of The Secret Life of Us.

Maybe I'll like this one better.

29. Felt this episode was more like old times. Evan, Alex, Kelly, and Christian (Michael Dorman) are hanging out together.

30. Liked this quote from The Secret Life of Us. The thing about getting what you want is, it presumes you know what it is you want. But if you don't ever know. What if you're confused? Then somehow you got to work yourself out first.  

I can relate to that. I've been confused the past few years about what I want.

I used to want to be a successful author. I don't want that anymore.

I used to want good friends. I don't want that anymore.

I used to want to be famous. I'm pretty sure I don't want that anymore.

I used to want my blog to be very popular...go viral. I don't want that anymore.

Maybe I still want to live in Australia, but I'm no longer very bothered by that dream not coming true.

31. Decided what I probably want is to eat a ton of Cadbury chocolate, but not ever get fat from doing so.

Ah! Maybe what I desire is very fast and efficient metabolism. Although not too fast, because I need to exercise a lot for psychological reasons. Well, then again...I can prevent overly skinniness by just adding more chocolate to my diet.

7 comments:

Abe Frellman said...

Did you know that Sam Johnson from Secret Life unicycled around Australia to raise money for cancer research and support?

Best wishes from Queanbeyan,

Abe Frellman

Dina said...

Abe,

Hi! No, I didn't know Samuel Johnson did that. It's great! Do you know what inspired him to do it?

I imagine it was fun for people to see him on a unicycle. I'm wondering if they're much harder to ride than bikes....

Abe Frellman said...

His sister has breast cancer. Check out http://www.loveyoursister.org/the-story She lives in Canberra and he donated a big chunk of the money he raised to the ACT Monaro Cancer Support Group, the local cancer support network in the region.

You might like this story... In January last year I was driving from Beechworth (where I had lived 10+ years ago and still like to visit occasionally - it is a beautiful old gold rush town and worth a visit if you drive from Sydney to Melbourne or vice versa on your next trip) towards Milawa along the Beechworth-Wangaratta road and overtook him and his support car (RV, really). I subsequently noticed in my rear view mirror that the car behind me slowed down and drove along beside him for a while and the person in the front passenger seat handed him money - it was a pretty neat trick. An hour or so later, after picking up my cheese from Milawa I was heading back up the hill to Beechworth and he was stopped on the side of the road. I gave a friendly toot on the horn and must have distracted him because he kinda jumped... Then I realised he was 'taking a leak' as we Aussies say. Whoops!

Dina said...

Abe,

Now I will always think of you as the guy who interrupted Samuel Johnson when he was trying to pee.

Maybe every time I watch The Secret Life of Us, I will think of that.

Hey! I just thought of something. Did you comment on my blog years ago? I kind of remember an Abe from the Canberra area? Maybe you suggested some Asian restaurant to me? In the Dickson shopping center?

It would have been years ago.

Abe Frellman said...

Yep, that's me. It was a pho place, but from memory it was closed. And I also suggested the Pork Barrel cafe near Old Parliament House, and the Paragon in Goulburn. Long time no speak. How've you been?

Dina said...

Abe,

I think we went to the Pork Barrel Cafe. But I think in Goulburn we ended up eating Thai.

Oh wait...maybe we did go to Paragon. I think maybe we got dessert there?

It's great to hear from you!

Abe Frellman said...

Thanks!