Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mean Tweets, Rocks, Chameleons, and Joel Edgerton

1. Dreamed that there's a local Australian store. It's a pretty popular store even with people who don't care about buying Australian stuff. They shop at the store to get their food and toiletries, and don't care much that what they're buying happens to be Australian.

Then the store is making some some of major change. Maybe moving? They ask customers to fill out a form making suggestions about changes they'd like to see. I worry they're going to stop being an Australian store. I consider writing this, but end up not doing it.  

I also dreamed about tickling a shark and making it giggle.

2. Read article about a woman named Susan Carland. She's decided to donate a dollar to Unicef each time someone sends her a hate Tweet. 

I think it's a strange idea, but I'm not sure if it's bad strange or good strange.

I guess it's good, because she's turning a bad thing into a positive.  

On the other hand, it's almost like she's encouraging bad behavior.

Or maybe not.

Maybe the haters will be annoyed that their hate is being used to help Unicef.  

3. Wondered something.

How does one define a hate Tweet?  

I think it might depend on the person.

For some, it's a personal attack. For others, it could be someone disagreeing with them. 

Then also, how do you define a personal attack.  Here's an obvious one. You're an asshole; I hope you get hit by a truck. 

But how about this. You're agreement with him shows you're lacking in morals. I'm boycotting your movies.

Both Tweets are mean, but one has much more civility.  

I think personally I'd be hurt by both Tweets, but I wouldn't be disgusted with the second Tweet. I'd see it more as a criticism than a personal attack.

4. Felt there's a difference between personal attacks and harsh criticism; though it's hard sometimes to draw a line between the two.

5. Thought about how Susan Carland seems to get a ton of positive quotes. I did an advanced search to see Tweets she was getting in October. I had a hard time finding the mean ones; but saw a lot of very warm and supportive ones.

I think if Carland gave a dollar to charity each time she got a positive Tweet, she might soon need charity herself.  

6. Thought it would be funny to have to give to the charity that relates to the insult.

So if someone called you an asshole, you'd give to some charity that gives money to donkeys. Or maybe the dollar could go to rectal cancer. 

If someone calls you a bitch, you give money to a charity that benefits dogs.

7. Imagined that then people, who wanted support for their charities, might start getting very creative with their insults. 

8. Thought that, with Susan Carland's plan and the celebrities-reading-mean-Tweet things, maybe eventually mean Tweets are going to become a positive thing. Maybe they'll be seen as a sort of badge of honor. 

Maybe, one day, these Tweets will be seen as a funny thing rather than a hurtful thing.

On the other hand, maybe people will write even crueler Tweets in order to bypass the whole humor and/or badge of honor things.

Yeah. Unfortunately, I think that's what will happen.

Sometimes if people want to hurt you, they'll keep working on it until they succeed.

9. Got ready to watch my first episode of The Secret Life of Us with no Samuel Johnson. 

My unhappiness with his absence is making me think that he and Deborah Mailman were the heart of the show.  At least for me.  

10. Considered the possibility that I see Mailman and Johnson as the heart of the show because they stayed around the longest. If they had left in an earlier season, maybe I'd be less attached.

11. Thought that this episode asks a great question. Is it better to be a rock, the type of person who wears the same face no matter what the situation; or is it better to be a chameleon who changes himself based on the social situation?

I think both extremes are a mistake.

If someone is always completely changing to fit in well with their present company, then they're being very fake. It's impossible to know who they really are. Do they even know who they are?

They're ass-kissers. Brown-nosers. 

I've encountered the opposite, though, and I find them to be annoying too. I've noticed it with two people who are very right-winged. When they talk to me, they don't seem to take it into account that I'm on the left. 

It's not that I expect them to pretend to be on my side of things. I think there's a way, though, that we can tone done our opinions to find a middle ground.

One of the right-winged persons was also very anti-unschooling.  Since I was an unschooling mother, it might have made sense for her to tone down her negative opinions. But she just let them hang out.  

12. Wondered if I practice what I'm preaching.

I'm also worried that I sound like the type of person who doesn't want people to be themselves.  

I do want people to be themselves. I just think sometimes it's better to be a toned down version of ourself.  Get people to digest your opposing views in small doses.  

13. Thought of the various reasons people let it all hang out.

A) They're aware of the other person's opinions and this makes them feel oppositional. 

B) They like to create anger and drama

C) They're very self-centered and are not aware of, or choose to ignore, the other person's opinions.  

With the right-winged people I know, it FEEL more like C.  I get the sense they're blocking out the fact that I'm more on the left.  At times, I feel like they imagine they're talking to someone on the same team. Although I've let both know that I'm not on their team.

They talk to me as if they're singing to the choir; even though I'm clearly not in the choir. It's like they've decided to just pretend that I am.  

It's hard to explain, and I'm afraid I'm doing a bad job of it.  

14. Thought the best way of going about things is to stand your ground; be true to yourself; but also try to find a common ground with the other person.  

For example: Yes, I homeschool my child, and you send your child to public school. But we both strongly believe in staying involved with our child's education.  

15. Thought that if there's no common ground and both people are disgusted with each other's opinion, sometimes it's best to change the subject.

16. Saw that Christian (Michael Dorman) actually has a storyline in this episode. I think it's the first time this season.

17. Thought that Nikki (Anna Torv) is such a bitch.

I wonder if she's going to get better as the season progresses.

18. Felt that Nikki is the most unlikable main character they've had on the show so far.

Other characters have had negative traits. Kelly is a bit idealistic. Evan is a slut. Alex (Claudia Karvan) and Richie (Spencer McLaren) received more love than they were willing to give out. At least three of the characters indulged in adultery. 

But I think all of these characters were nice compared to Nikki. She has a real mean streak about her.

19. Annoyed and conflicted by situation on the episode.

Nikki tells Adam's (Nicholas Coghlan) work colleagues about a poop accident he had on a pirate ride.

Adam didn't want his roommate Nikki working at his office in the first place. Now she has further annoyed him by embarrassing him.

Adam vents to Lucy (Alexandra Schepisi) about what happened.  Instead of being sympathetic, Lucy acts amused—tells him the poop thing was a funny story. She asks Adam what he did to provoke Nikki. Then she tells him she's not going to take sides. I was annoyed with her saying this, and then annoyed with myself. Because didn't I recently say that people shouldn't take sides in other people's conflicts?

But then I realized why it annoyed me. Lucy actually did take a side. By acting unsympathetic and insinuating that Adam did something to deserve Nikki's rudeness, she took Nikki's side. 

20. Felt that not-taking a side doesn't mean refusing to listen and give sympathy. It means not egging the angry person on; and not stepping into fight the other person's battles.

I had a situation fairly recently where I was caught between two people angry with each other. I was actually on one person's side more than the other. I can't say I was 100% neutral. 

What I did was listen to the first person's grievances; and I did kind of participate in putting down the other person.  I was a more active listener.  I was vocal in my agreement that the other person acted inappropriately. 

A few weeks later I heard the other person's side of the story. I don't think this person realized I already knew the story. I kept that quiet...not sure if that was wrong or not.

Anyway. I listened to the person, and didn't argue with them, or give the other person's point of view. I just kind of gave my ear.  I listened with as much sympathy as possible, but I expressed much less agreement with this person.

Is this the right approach? I have no idea.  Maybe it is in some situations. In others, it would be very weak. For example, if one person kept the other person chained up in an attic and fed them only cat urine.  Then it might be fair to take sides...as long as you know for sure that the chained up person isn't a monster whose powers can be lessoned with cat urine.  

21. Thought of a time that someone used the line with me about not wanting to take sides. And what it really felt like was that they were on the other side.

22. Thought that one of the best approaches is to listen, agree with the negatives that someone is pointing out, but then also remind the angry person of the positives.  

For example: Yes, I know. She's so bad at returning phone calls. It's like she doesn't care. On the other hand, she always comes to birthday parties and acts very festive and awesome.  

23. Thought that there are also times where we can't help but be on the other person's side. Someone vents, and we're thinking the venting person is the one in the wrong.  Maybe then it's fine to speak up—be honest.  I think that's better than lying and saying you're not going to take sides.

24. Concluded that it's best not to take sides in most cases. But if we feel compelled to take sides, we shouldn't lie and say we don't want to take sides.  

25. Saw, at the end of the episode, that Kelly and I are on different sides. She thinks when choosing between being a chameleon or rock, it's better to be the rock. I think both extremes are a mistake. 

Also, being a chameleon isn't always about being fake. I think we naturally have different sides to ourselves.  Someone might have a brainy intellectual side, a party-person side; a parenting side; a sex-maniac side, a serious hard-worker side.

Do our partying friends need to see our hard-worker side?  Does our boss need to see our partying side?

Well,  if our friends are our true friends they'll be at least aware that we're hard-working on the weekdays. It's sad if we feel forced to lead them to believe otherwise. 

It's also sad if we have to pretend to our boss that we sit home doing crossword puzzles on the weekend. But do they need to see photos of us drunk at Mardi Gras?  Probably not. 

16. Thought of another too-much-rock example.

Lawrence goes to the beach with his not-in-the-closet gay cousin Carl. 

Lawrence sees a woman he thinks his hot. He nudges Carl in a way that says in body language. Hey, isn't she something. I know we both want to have sex with her. Right?

It's not that Lawrence needs to pretend he's gay too; or hide the fact that he finds woman attractive. But he can do it in a way that shows he recognizes the fact that he and Carl have different sexual preferences. He doesn't need to treat Carl the exact same way he treats his horny, heterosexual friends.  

17. Started to watch the third season of Farscape.

It's going to be weird seeing Matthew Newton not being a sociopathic heroin dealer. Though I'm not sure his character on this show is very nice.

18. Saw a very gross and painful scene.

Scorpius (Wayne Pygram) uses mind control to get another character to bite off his own fingertip.

I'm still cringing.

You know how some scenes just do that to you?

19. Wondered if Zhaan (Virginia Hey) is going to die soon.  She's dying in the episode I just watched, but I see from IMDb she's going to be in a few more episodes. 

Are they going to drag out he dying?

Is she going to die in the next episode, but return as a spirit or flashback?

Or maybe she's going to be saved from death; and then, in an upcoming episode, she'll find her home planet and make her exit.

20. Went to palg1305's Flickr account.

Tonight I'm looking at his Noosa Heads album.

21. Thought this picture of a beach at Noosa National Park was very beautiful. 

22. Realized that I already looked at photos of Noosa Heads from palg1305.  There was that whole violent crime issue—the two cases of innocent people being violently attacked by strangers.

23. Wondered if palg1305 has two Noosa Heads albums; or am I looking at one I've already seen?

24. Saw that there is only one Noosa Heads album.

Oops.

Well, that's kind of embarrassing.

25. I'll look at his Tasmania, album then.

I'm pretty sure I haven't seen that one. 

26. Thought that Freycenet National Park looks very nice in this photo

This picture of the park is very nice as well. 

Maybe I'd like to go there someday.

27. Thought this was a lovely photo of Lake St. Claire. I love the combination of trees, water, rocks, and clouds.

28. Loved this picture of Cradle Mountain.

Tasmania is a very beautiful place. 

29. Saw a picture of the famous Cradle Mountain shed thingie. 

30. Saw another photo of Cradle Mountain looking incredible.

It's getting a little bit annoying.

Enough, already.

It reminds me of what I saw on Coronation Street today.  Steve was having birthday blues, and talked about how it's unfair that guys like Brad Pitt get all the goodies in life. 

Cradle Mountain is like the Brad Pitt of geographical locations.

31. Thought about The Grand Canyon.

It's beautiful, but I personally feel Cradle Mountain looks even more fantastic. And I haven't even seen it in person. Some places look even better in person.

32. Decided to stop linking to the Cradle Mountain photos. There are too many beautiful ones.

33. Imagined that Cradle Mountain would get very few hate Tweets.

Speaking of Tweets.

34. Went to find the cast member of The Secret Life of Us that I'm going to stalk on Twitter or Instagram.


How's he doing?

Wasn't he in some kind of Egyptian movie? Or has it not been released yet?  

35. Saw that the movie was released in 2014.

Oops. I'm behind on that.  

26. Saw that Joel Edgerton wrote, directed, and starred in a movie called The Gift

One of the stars is Busy Phillips from Freaks and Geeks. She's someone I haven't thought about in awhile.  

27. Went to Joel Edgerton's Twitter

His most recent Tweet was on November 10. It's a link to an article about a doctor in Nepal who has restored sight to 100,000 people by removing cataracts.

That's fantastic.

28. Started to read the article.

The surgery costs only $25.

This guy is like the Fred Hollows of Nepal.

29. Read about incisions being made in eyeballs, and started to have that cringing feeling again.

30. Learned that some folks were skeptical about the surgery, because usually treatment is expensive and demands the use fancy medical equipment. But then studies were done that showed the cheap surgery had the same outcome as the fancy, expensive one. 

Nice!

31. Grateful to Joel Edgerton for leading me to that article.

32. Saw that Edgerton has a Retweet from Stephen King recommending the movie The Gift

Oh! This is so sweet. Edgerton replied to King. Wow. @StephenKing that truly made my day. Huge fan.

33. Wondered what Edgerton's favorite Stephen King book is.

34. Saw that Edgerton's character name in The Gift is Gordo. I was wondering about the name, because I saw some people mentioning it on his Twitter. 

Edgerton has a Retweet about someone dressing up as Gordo for Halloween.  That's creative.  

35. Checked to see if The Gift is on Netflix yet.

It's not.  But they do have the Cate Blanchett movie with the same title. 

36. Realized it was stupid to think The Gift would be on Netflix already.  It was at the theater in August.

37. Started proofreading and saw the part about Christian having a storyline on The Secret Life of Us episode. Now I realize it's not really true. He just had events happen to him that were really part of a storyline for Stu (Stephen Curry).