Friday, August 7, 2015

Cuckoo Nest, Cosby Sweater, Heel Face Turn, and Upward Inflection

1. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

2. Saw that Toadie (Ryan Moloney) had started a secret bank account to protect himself and his children in case Sonya (Eve Moloney) went back into her scary drug habits.

Sonya told him this was fine; that she wasn't mad; and he did a good thing by protecting his children. I couldn't tell if she really meant this or not.

Well, I think she meant it with her brain—logically speaking. But I think her feelings were probably hurt.

I personally think he did the right thing.

It's lovely to have someone's full trust in us; but if we have a rocky past, sometimes it's good for them to have some sort of insurance against bad things happening.

I think if someone had a serious substance abuse problem in their past; it's always possible that it might return.

3. Started watching an episode of Farscape.

4. Felt very determined, because as I was playing a QuizUp question about the word determined, Zhaan (Virginia Hey) said something about being determined.

5. Looked at the plot of the next episode of Farscape I'm going to watch.
 "Won't Get Fooled Again" sounds very similar to one of the Charmed episodes.  In both episodes, one of the characters is tricked into believing their fantastic adventures never happened.  In Charmed, Prue is led to believe that she's a delusional patient living in a mental hospital rather than a powerful witch.

6. Found the name of the Charmed episode, thanks to Lord Wiki. It's "Brain Drain".

The Farscape episode actually aired first—August 2000. The Charmed one aired in November 2001.

7. Went to the TV Tropes website to see if there are any other TV shows with this premise.

TV Tropes labels the trope as Cuckoo Nest. They describe it as, a character is convinced that they are in an insane asylum (a Bedlam House is a popular choice), where they are told that the events of the series are actually hallucinations.

I'm not sure yet if the Farscape episode involves an insane asylum, I shall see soon.

8. Saw Twelve Monkeys listed as a film that uses the Cuckoo Nest trope.  I think that's a good example.

9. Saw that the Lost episode "Dave" had the Cuckoo Nest trope. I totally forgot about that!

10. Went to the Triple J 2014 list.

I'm on the third song now, and that's "Cosby Sweater" by the Hilltop Hoods. That group is somewhat familar to me.  Well, I've heard a few of their songs, at least.

I'm eager to hear the lyrics to "Cosby Sweater". I wonder if the song talks about the rape stuff.

11. Started watching the video to "Cosby Sweater".

The beginning just has people wearing Cosby-type sweaters.

12. Saw that actually not everyone in the video is wearing Cosby-type sweaters.

There's a girl wearing a sweater-dress and a guy wearing a jacket.

The jacket guy might be the Hilltop Hoods singer/rapper.

13. Failed to understand the lyrics. The guy raps too fast for my ears.

I like the sound of it, though.

14. Heard references to other celebrities, including Oprah and her car give-away thing.

15. Realized I was hearing the name Bobby Fisher—the chess player. I kept thinking they were saying Barbara Fisher, which is the name of one of our family members.

16. Finished watching the video. The basic idea I get from the song is that this guy feels like a winner (like Bobby Fisher) because he wears a Cosby Sweater.

17. Started to look at the lyrics to the song.

It has a lot of pop culture references, which I tend to enjoy.

There's stuff about Tom Cruise jumping on the couch.

18. Started to think that there are references to the rape stuff. I can't tell if I'm imagining it. I'm really bad at deciphering poetry and song lyrics.

But here are the lines that make me wonder:

They're not awakened, stare a lot and vacant  That could about be the drugged rape victims.

Till they're gathering they no longer matter like a black hole. That could be saying that his female victims won't matter until they gang up together to fight him. One person speaking out against a celebrity abuser isn't likely to bring the celebrity down. Many speaking out against them is a different story.

Imma get drunk and dance like your uncle 
Till I'm all hands like your uncle, Could be referring to molestation.

When I'm spitting venom I'm as generous as Oprah You get a scar, you get a scar, you get a scar.  Could be referring to emotional scars that happen from sexual misconduct.

I won't beat around the bush like a seventies porn I'll make you wish that you'd never been born and it's all good  Well, if you're raped by Cliff Huxtable, there could come a time where you wish you were never born.

19. Figured either the whole song is about the rape stuff and I'm stating the obvious here. OR the song had nothing to do with the rape stuff, and I'm totally over-interpreting.

20. Started watching Farscape—the "Won't Get Fooled Again" episode.

21. Saw that Crichton (Ben Browder) is not in a mental hospital—at least not yet.

The story he's getting is that his space ship thing crashed, and he's been in a coma for a week.

His nurse looks exactly like Aeryn (Claudia Black).

22. Liked this episode so far.

I think I have a soft spot for these kinds of stories—the ones that make us question reality and sanity. On the other hand, they make me emotionally stressed. I get very eager for the character's experiences to be validated. I need to hear that the character really did go on these fantastic adventures, and that they're not delusional.

23. Thought that Scorpius (Wayne Pygram) reminds me of Ben from Lost. They're both very evil but also not so evil and sometimes helpful. Ben turned actually kind of good in the end. I wonder if the same will happen with Scorpius.

24. Read more stuff on the TV Trope website.  Both Ben Linus and Scorpius are listed under the Heel Face Turn Trope.  These are bad characters that eventually turn good.  Crais (Lani John Topu), from Farscape is another example.  Others include: Dalek Caan and Dalek Sec from Doctor Who; Cole From Charmed; Sawyer from Lost, and various Harry Potter characters.

I like when bad characters turn good.

25. Wondered about good characters who turn bad. I'm sure there are some of them.

I can't think of any offhand.

26. Saw that TV Tropes has a name for this too. They call it Face-Heel Turn.  They say it has to be someone who was truly good and then something happened to make them evil. It doesn't include people who were evil all along and just pretending to be good.

27. Saw that Anakin Skywalker is an example. Yeah! I guess that's a huge one. I don't know why I didn't think of it.

Also, there's Magneto and Mystique from X-Men, and Michael and (maybe) Claire on Lost;

28. Saw that many characters on their list are ones that only went temporarily bad.

Then again, Anakin Skywalker's evil isn't permanent either.

It's probably very rare for a good character to turn evil and then stay evil.  There's probably redemption, or at least remorse, somewhere down the line.

29. Realized that I'm an inconsistent mess when it comes to writing down actors' names with their characters.

I really started doing it in hopes that people searching for these actors will come to my blog. Sorry. Yeah. It's a traffic thing. It's not like I want a huge amount of traffic, but I'd like a moderate amount.  I have a small bit of hope that putting actors' names in my blog will help.

Of course, I don't randomly name drop just to bring actor-fans to my blog. But if I'm talking about a character, my feeling is, why not add the actor's name as well?  Plus, if someone's a fan of the actor, or at least interested in them, they might like to know what I'm saying about the character the actor has played.  Maybe? Probably not.  I don't know.

On the other hand, I'm lazy and don't feel motivated enough to write down the name of every actor of every character I mentioned. So then I made this rule for myself. I'll only write down Australian actors, since this is an Australian blog. Screw the others.

But recently I've had the urge to skip over Australian actors acting in American TV shows I've mentioned. And today I realized I've been writing Ben Browder's name, and he's American.  Plus, I know I've mentioned several Kiwi actors.

So, maybe my real rule is to talk about the actors appearing in Australian TV shows, whether they're Australian or not. And if an Australian is in an American TV show, I may or may not name them.

30. Decided the American TV show is not much of an issue; because I don't often talk about American TV shows on this blog. It's just that Farscape is often reminding me of Lost and Charmed, and both of those shows happened to have an Australian actor playing one of the main characters.

31. Wondered if maybe I do talk about American TV shows a fair bit on this blog. Well, it's probably not a lot, but I don't think it's incredibly rare.

But most of them don't have Australian actors.

The Walking Dead and Bates Motel don't have any.

True Blood had one.

Modern Family doesn't have any, but they did have strange allusions to Australia-related things. And then I guess they had some Aussie actors when they did the Australia episode.

I don't think The Big Bang Theory or How I Met Your Mother has any.

And American Horror Story. That's my other American show. I don't think that has any Australians either.

32. Remembered Ugly Betty and Torchwood. Those both had Alan Dale. Although he was only in one episode of Torchwood.

Oh! And Alan Dale was in Lost as well. I forgot about that.

33. Saw that Lord Wiki classifies Dale as a Kiwi actor not an Aussie.

I knew he was born in New Zealand, but I wasn't sure if he had made himself Australian, or not.

34. Tried to remember the name of the Australian character on Desperate Housewives. AND...I just remembered there was an Australian character on Ugly Betty.  Coincidentally, both characters were romantically involved with a character played by Vanessa Williams.

35. Found the Australian actor on Desperate Housewives. It's Charles Mesure.

Mesure was born in England, but grew up in Sydney.

36. Saw that Grant Bowler is the guy who played the Australian on Ugly Betty.  He was born in New Zealand, but Lord Wiki says he did his growing up time in Australia.

37.  Learned from Lord Wiki that Grant Bowler was on True Blood.  I think that's something I already knew but then forgot. But anyway, that means Ryan Kwanten isn't the only Aussie on True Blood.

38. Started to watch the two-part Neighbours backstage video featuring Ariel Kaplan.

39. Learned that Kaplan and her castmates are filming a dinner scene at seven in the morning.

40. Got the sense that Kaplan is less serious and intense than Imogen.

41. Started watching part two of the video.

42. Learned that all the actors on Neighbours have their own little chair area in the green room.  Though I guess it would be only the main actors—probably not the ones who appear a few times a month.

How about the ones who have an intense role for a week or two—like Adrienne Pickering? Did she have a spot in the green room?

43. Wondered if all TV/movie sets call the actor's break room the green room. Or is that just a Neighbours thing?

44. Looked up Green Room. It has a broad definition—a place for actors to wait, rest, hang out, etc.

Though from what Lord Wiki says, it seems to be a theater thing.

Is it also often used for movies and TV? Or is Neighbours special in that way?

45. Decided that Kaplan has a highly energetic and bubbly type of personality.

She also sometimes does that Australian thing of making every sentence sound like a question.

Not every Australian does it, and not every person who does it is Australian. But I do associate it with Australians a fair bit.

46. Found Adam Hills video about the Australian accent and the question thing.  I think I watched it before—a long time ago.

47. Thought that maybe Hills got his history stuff wrong. I'm not sure.

He talks about Cook coming to Botany Bay, thinking it was shit, but then deciding to check around the corner for better things.

I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it was Arthur Phillips who went looking for better things. Well, I KNOW he did that.  But maybe Cook did as well?  I'm not sure.

Yeah. I know. Adam Hills is just doing comedy. He probably doesn't need to be 100% factually correct.

48. Consulted Lord Wiki. He seems to agree with me. Cook found Botany Bay. Eighteen years later, Arthur Phillip and the prisoners arrived. Phillip wasn't impressed with Botany Bay and eventually found his way to Port Jackson.

49. Started to read an article about the question thing; or as the article refers to it—the "upward inflection".

Some people believe it started in California with the whole Valley Girl thing.

Other people believe in began in Australia. The article says that there's a belief that it slipped into the UK in 1986 with the airing of Neighbours.

50. Finished reading the article. Basically, there are a lot of different theories about how it began, and no one knows the definite answer.

Also, there are different beliefs about it's purpose and what it conveys. Some say it's a sign of meekness, while others say people in dominant positions use it more.  Some say say it's used to make sure the listener is still paying attention. The article says that lately this is a concern for people, because often the people around us are playing on their phones and not looking at us when we speak.

51. Thought about the dominance thing. The article says; Liberman suggests that uptalk is a way to assert dominance. He points to a 2005 study by Winnie Cheng and Martin Warren, who highlighted that speakers in dominant positions (the chair of a meeting, or an academic supervisor) use uptalk between three and seven times as often as the people they're talking to.

My guess, though, is that it's not about someone feeling dominant. I think it's more likely to be an insecure person who is put into a position of dominance. For example: a nervous professor meeting his new students.

52. Concluded that there are four probable reasons for the upward inflection A) habit B) naturally mimicking other people. I think I've heard Tim and Jack picking it up when we're in Australia; though later they drop it. C) insecurity/nervousness D) trying to make sure listeners are still paying attention.

53. Wondered if I do the upward inflection thing.

I don't think I do it often.

But I might do it sometimes.

On rare occasions, maybe?

54. Realized I do it in my writing sometimes!  Like when I'm writing posts? And I put a question mark where there's not really a question?

In my writing it IS about insecurity.

I do it when I'm not fully sure about something.

55. Decided to watch another episode of Farscape.

56. Saw that this episode has a time warp storyline.

Aeryn leaves for a day and comes back as an old lady.

57. Learned that Aeryn was gone for only an hour, not a whole day.

58. Thought of the Doctor Who episodes "The Girl in the Fireplace" and The Girl Who Waited".  Both those episodes have characters that end up on an alternate time track.

59. Confused. Now I'm hearing that Aeryn was gone for a day.

Day? Hour? I guess that part doesn't matter too much.

The more important thing is Aeryn is old and gray now, and she has a grandchild.

60. Wondered about the random new guy on Moya.

Are we supposed to know him?

It reminds me of that episode of Torchwood. There's suddenly a new guy that everyone knows, and it turns out he put a spell on them to believe they knew him for a long time.  Is that the case with the guy on Moya?

61. Saw from IMDb that the mystery guy is named Spark (Paul Goddard). He appeared in two episodes of season one, so he's not completely new.

I don't remember him.

62. Consulted Lord Wiki's cousin.

He's helping my memory.

Spark's the guy that Crichton met when they were both imprisoned by Scorpius.

I remember him now.

I'm just not sure why and how he suddenly appeared on Moya again.

63. Decided to name the spiders in my bathroom after Farscape characters.

The small one is going to be Moya; and the tiny one will be Scorpius.

64. Realized this episode is also like the Weeping Angel episodes of Doctor Who and also Matt Smith's last episode, The Time of the Doctor.

They're just various episodes where characters age at a different rate than other characters.

65. Decided that although Doctor Who is fun, adorable, and great at provoking strong emotions; Farscape has better writing; and it's much more logical.

Farscape makes sense to me most of the time. With Doctor Who, I was often completely confused. And it seemed like sometimes they were really stretching things in order to push the storyline in a certain direction.

For example, in "The Angels Take Manhattan",  the big question is why does the Eleventh Doctor consider the good-bye to  Rory and Amy to be permanent? He time travels, so why can't he just visit them somewhere, sometime. Some excuse was given. I don't even remember what it was, but it sounded very flimsy to me.

And then there's "Blink" and that whole confusing videotape thing.

The video has the answer to pretty much everything confusing on Doctor Who.  Time is a big bowl of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff.  If there's ANYTHING on Doctor Who that doesn't make sense to you; or you don't understand the logic of that...that's the answer you're supposed to remember.

66. Wondered what would be worse in a time warp—to be the person who lives a long life while the other people don't age or the one who sees their loved one reach old age in a time span of a few hours or days.

67. Tried to apply it to my family; and it made me feel that it would definitely be better to be the one who ages.  It would be really depressing to wake up tomorrow and find Jack, Tim, or someone else in my family is a very old, and they've had this whole life I don't know about.  But with the other way, I get to have this whole other long life; and then come back to be with my young family, knowing that they have their whole life ahead of them.