Thursday, June 25, 2015

Soap Operas, In the Same Boat, The Code, and Diagnostic Labels

1. Thought of what I heard Paige (Olympia Valance) say yesterday, on Neighbours, about the Incredible Hulk Syndrome. I'm having an episode this morning. It's not the one where I turn into a monster and become scary. It's the one where I'm boiling inside.

It's mostly about family. I'm angry with one person about a recent thing. But because of my Incredible Hulk Syndrome, past grievances are leaking into my anger. And my anger with one person is leaking into anger towards two other family members.

 I'm also angry and disappointed with Haley on Coronation Street.  I feel disillusioned about her.  I had her so high on a pedestal. Then, when I watched an episode last night, she came tumbling down. 

What happened is she met with her estranged son who is a bigot towards transgender people. Haley is transgender. So the reunion was strained and awkward.  And in the past, the son was so bigoted that he punched Haley. Yeah. That's bad. But it was years ago, and in the reunion scene, he was TRYING to be decent. He stumbled a lot, but he tried to explain that he needed time to adjust. Haley gave up on him and walked out.  

The thing is, I think we need to have a little more patience with bigots, especially if they're our own children. Some people are small-minded about things, and what they need is love and patience. Then maybe slowly their minds might open.  

See, though, once I had anger towards Haley about this, I also started to realize I have anger at her for other things that I had been pushing under the rug. I hate that she's using her terminal illness to get Roy to agree to things he doesn't want. He hates parties, but she pushes him to have a huge birthday party. He doesn't want to drive, but she pushes him to learn before she dies. It's like she's taken on the attitude, Well, now that I'm dying, I have the excuse to mold you into what I've always wanted

2. Wanted to say that my anger towards fictional characters is never as strong as it is towards real people. So maybe it doesn't qualify as an Incredible Hulk Syndrome.  

3. Felt conflicted about using so much space to talk about a show that's not Australian. But I really wanted to get that Haley stuff off of my chest. 

I actually feel a little better. So maybe the fictional characters had more influence on this morning's Incredible Hulk Syndrome episode than I imagined. 

4. Learned from Lord Wiki that, in the 1960's, Coronation Street was more popular in Australia than the UK. If I'm understanding things right, the show is no longer available on Australia's free TV.

I wonder if the show is still popular in Australia despite that.  

5. Wondered how many Americans are addicted to an Australian or British soap opera. Any of you out there?  

6. Thought about how there might be people in the world who are watching old episodes of Neighbours or Coronation Street, and they might be on the same episode I am.

There is probably someone out there, right now, who is watching Erinsborough get ready for their Erinsborough Festival, and someone else who recently saw Haley reject her own son for his outdated prejudices. 

There might be someone who recently finished watching season three of The Secret Life of Us.

7. Wondered if there are other people out there who are going to start watching The Code on Netflix today.

I'm doubting I'm the only one.

8. Thought it would be cool if Netflix and Hulu had a thing where, on an episode, they tell you how many other people watched that episode today. It would be like what they have on On there, they tell you how many people are looking at a particular location or hotel.

I think there's another website that does that as well, but I can't remember what it is.

9. Thought it would also be cool if Hulu and Netflix had a map thing that showed the location of people tuning into a show. 

10. Started to watch an episode of Neighbours. 

11. Started to watch The Code.

12. Loved the colorful striped shirt that the student is wearing. 

13. Saw that some scenes take place in Canberra. I think this might be the first time I've seen an Aussie TV show having any Canberra scenes.

14. Realized I'm wrong. I saw At Home with Julia, and that took place in Canberra.

15. Saw from IMDb, that although At Home With Julia, takes place in Canberra, it was filmed in Sydney.
Yeah. See the thing is I don't remember any shots of Parliament.
The Code shows Parliament.

16. Impressed with Dan Spielman's and Ashley Zuckerman's acting.

17. Liked these lines from The Code.

Ned (Dan Spielman) talks to a woman about his brother (Ashley Zukerman). 

He says: You know Jesse has a condition.

She says: Really? Selfish, manipulative, pain-in-the-ass-itis is a condition now?

Now it seems Jesse is autistic—judging from what I saw in earlier scenes. And I think autism does provide a reason and possible excuse for certain behaviors.

But I don't think diagnostic labels can be a full blanket excuse for all bad behavior.

For example, if someone has a diagnostic label of Bipolar Disorder; they can use it to explain why they're very sad and having trouble getting out of bed to go to work. But it really wouldn't excuse them hitting their spouse and children or going on a shooting spree. 

18. Decided that I might be okay with someone using their diagnostic label to help explain their bad behavior...IF they still take responsibility and take action to change or fix what they've done.

I am not okay with someone using the diagnostic label as an excuse, with the attitude I can't help myself. This is the way I am. So you better feel sorry for me and accept any of my bad behavior.  

19. Thought that a pedophile would be a good example. If someone is sexually attracted to children; well, that's a good excuse for being sexually attracted to children.  I don't blame them for feeling this way. I would respect them for doing what they can to fight against the urge. I'm not going to hate them for something they can't help.

But I WILL hate them if they molest children. I will hate them if they try to blame their condition for their actions and take on the attitude that they're going to keep up with hurting children, because it's in their nature.

20. Wanted to say that this is one of the reasons I don't like the born-this-way argument for homosexuality. If we use that for homosexual behavior; then it seems logical to apply it to pedaphiles as well.

I prefer the argument that love between two consenting adults is the business of the two people in love. Other people should stay out of their business unless they plan to be supportive. If someone has a problem with it, that's the problem of the people having the problem.

It's like me being obsessed with Australia. Maybe I was born with this way.  Maybe it's in my destiny. Maybe it's something I have chosen. But it's my life, and I'm living it the way I want to live it.   

21. Wondered if the born-this-way argument could also be used for a sociopathic serial killer. Can they help that they were born that way? Should we excuse and allow their behavior?

There is ALWAYS a reason for bad behavior, but that doesn't mean it's excusable.

There's always a reason for decent and harmless behavior. There doesn't need to be proof that it's caused by predetermined biological factors in order for it to be legalized and accepted by broad society.  

22. Looked at the credits of The Code again, and saw that Lani John Tupu is in one of the episodes.  He was the voice of Pilot on Farscape and also played the villain Captain Crais. 

23. Saw that Tupu is on the episode I'm watching now. I'll keep a look out for him.  

24. Realized I kind of miss Farscape.

25. Intrigued by the mystery in The Code, and also a bit creeped out and scared. 

26. Looked at location on IMDb for The Code, and Sydney is the only place listed. Is that a mistake? Or do exterior shots of Parliament not count? 

27. Found article that says some of The Code was filmed in a South Australia town called Cockburn.

Yikes on that name.

But anyway....IMDb is incorrect in listing only Sydney for The Code. So maybe At Home with Julia was filmed in other places besides Sydney as well. 

28. Consulted Lord Wiki about The Code. He says parts were filmed in Canberra.

Other locations used were Silverton and Broken Hill. 

29. Saw that Jesse from The Code is super smart. He's a computer brainiac. I'm very impressed.

30. Started watching the next episode of The Code.

31. Wondered about the use of music as torture, because they're doing that on The Code. Apparently, hearing "We Built This City" too many times can break a person. 

I can believe it. I've just heard a tiny bit of the song while watching the show, and I kind of feel on edge.  

32. Found website that lists songs used by the CIA to torture people. 

They say the Barney theme is one of them.

33. This article has a quote from the Nine Inch Nails singer. He says,  It’s difficult for me to imagine anything more profoundly insulting, demeaning and enraging than discovering music you’ve put your heart and soul into creating has been used for purposes of torture

Yeah. It's quite awful.

I don't think it's a condemnation of any particular song, though. I think most songs becomes torture when we hear it too many times.  

34. Saw that Dan Wylie's character works with the torturer people. I wonder if he's bad. 

The torture guy (Steve Rodgers) seems VERY bad.  

35. Felt saddened and chilled by one of the scenes from The Code. Actually, it was two scenes.

In the first, Lyndon Joyce (Dan Wylie) plays good cop to Jesse in the torture room. He's very gentle, and gains some of Jesse's trust. Jesse asks Lyndon if he'd put his hand on Jesse's neck.  I think what was inferred here is that this is what Jesse's brother does for him to provide comfort.

Then later Jesse is returned home, and soon he's reunited with his brother.. Ned doesn't yet know that his brother had been kidnapped, but he can see that his brother is distraught.  He puts his hand on Jesse to calm him down, and it doesn't work. Jesse completely freaks.

I feel like I'm not explaining it good enough.

There's just something about it.  I guess it brings back memories of when Jack was very young—that need to protect him and comfort him when he's terrified.  

And so much is brilliantly conveyed in that scene.  Because they never show Dan Wylie doing anything evil towards Jesse. We don't know exactly how and why the neck comfort thing became a scary thing.  But we're shown that what once brought Jesse comfort now feels horrible to him.