Monday, January 11, 2016

Parents, Nice-Looking Actors, Sheep, and Sharks

1. Checked out the homeschooling article I read yesterday to see if any more comments were added.

There's something fantastic here.

A guy named Tim comments, Parents need to be professionally assessed for their suitability for home education as many may have hidden dysfunctionalities causing more good than harm.

Then a commenter named Louise responds:  @Tim If many parents have 'hidden dysfunctionalities', perhaps all parents should be "professionally assessed" before they are allowed to bear children, lol .. Most parents manage to raise their children pretty well until school age without any 'professional assessment' by another dysfunctional adult.

I think that's brilliant—so true!  Why is there so much distrust in parents when it comes to teaching their children?  If we can't trust most parents to help their children gain knowledge, values, and basic skills, why do we trust them to raise their children at all?

Why don't we take infants away from their mothers and fathers on their first day of life?  If we can't depend on a mother to teach her child division and multiplication, why should we trust her to properly feed and diaper the child?

2. Started to watch an episode of Home and Away.

3. Finished watching the episode.

Jackson Gallagher was in this episode. It feels strange seeing him as a nice guy rather than a telekinetic psychopath.  I feel small-minded saying this, but it feels kind of refreshing. He has such a lovely physical appearance. In Patrick, I wanted his personality to match that appearance.

4. Decided it's not as simple as wanting attractive people to be nice people.

Some attractiveness fits well with evilness. For example, Maleficient is very beautiful, but it's a beauty that fits well with evil.

Other people are attractive in this sweet kind of way, and it's hard for me to accept evilness from them. Examples that come to mind: Drew Barrymore and Alyssa Milano. They just look like very nice people. Now this could be because I'm used to them playing nice people. I don't know.

But with Jackson Gallagher, I had no preconceived prejudices. Still, I wanted him to be good.

That being said, I usually want ALL people to end up good.  As I've said before, I have a huge soft spot for bad-turned-good characters like Cole Turner from Charmed, Ben Linus from Lost, and Crais from Farscape.

5. Started to watch the rest of Wyrmwood.

6. Pondered over the opinion of one of the characters.

He talks about how the zombie apocalypse isn't the worse thing that's happened. What's worse is his son dying, in his arms, of brain cancer.

I do think if you've lost a child, a zombie apocalypse or any major disaster, might not bring much sorrow to your life.  Grieving parents might be in the state where they have nothing left to lose. Nothing might matter to them.

But if the guy in the movie is trying to say cancer is worse than zombies, I strongly disagree. As sad as it is to have a sick child die in your arms, I feel worse for the guy in the movie who had to watch his daughter turn into a raving monster; then kill her.

7. Thought that the one way brain cancer is worse than zombie outbreaks is it actually exists.

Real problems are usually more awful than fictional ones.

8. Remembered that the kid dying of cancer is fictional too, but it does happen to other REAL people in their real lives. Unfortunately.

9. Finished watching the movie.

I thought it was a very good zombie story.

I saw that there's going to be a sequel. I wonder how that will be.

10. Went to Random.org to pick my next thing to watch.

It's One Perfect day, starring Dan Spielman.

I hope I like it.

11. Read article about vegans being offended by Australia Day commercial.

I tried to be offended, but was mostly bored. I was slightly amused at the vegan part.

I like the whole idea of bringing Australians home for Australia Day.

The lamb kind of made me hungry; though I haven't eaten meat for about ten years. And I've only tried lamb once in my life. I didn't like it much.

One thing I thought about was a post I read this morning from Andrew.  It's about living Australian animals being transported to Israel so they can die overseas.

If we're going to bring Australian humans back for Australia day, how about also bringing the Australian sheep back to Australia as well? How about not forcing them go overseas in the first place?  If they're dead already, that's probably okay. As far as I know, animal corpses don't have emotions and can't feel pain.  With animals still alive, it's a different story.  And from what I understand, the animals do not have a pleasant time on their ocean travels...especially when their ship gets stranded.

12. Wondered if the eating of sheep is really that important of an Australian Day tradition.

Is it like turkey on Thanksgiving?

13. Went to the Tropfest website.

14. Saw that my film for today "Great White Hunters"—a short documentary about three men trying to catch a great white shark.

I hope they're going to be nice to the shark.

15. Looked up Boat Harbour, because it's mentioned in the film.

I thought it was going to be in South Australia. For some reason, I associate that place with sharks; though I know there are sharks all over the coast of Australia.

But, anyway. No. Boat Harbour is a suburb in Port Stephens. We were there.

We didn't see any sharks, though.

16. Told myself to relax and not worry about the men hurting the shark.

I'm pretty sure it's illegal to go out and kill a great white shark just for the fun of it.

17. Felt relieved that the men didn't have interest in killing the shark.

They brought it up to the shore, touched it, and looked at it. Then released it.

It was neat seeing the shark like that. He was adorable.

I do have mixed feelings about what they did. On one hand, I think it's amazing, and there's a part of me that would want to be on the beach so I could see the shark so close up.

On the other hand, it seems like that's a lot of stress to put on the shark.  As far as I know, he can't breath when he's out of the water like that.  I'm sure that didn't feel good.

18. Watched part of the film again.

The shark has a line of bait in it's mouth.  The film doesn't show the men releasing the shark from the bait. I don't know how they got it out of the mouth, but I'm guessing it wasn't pretty and that's why they didn't include that in the film.

I'm personally not a big fan of catch and release fishing.  MAYBE it's not too painful and traumatic for the animal if you have an expert fishermen who's really good at holding down a flapping fish to remove the fishing line. But if you have amateurs trying to impress their children or grandchildren, I think the fish is going to go through a lot of pain.

I'd rather fish not be caught at all, but if someone is going to do it, I'd rather it be for their lunch or dinner and not just for sport.

19. Saw a comment on YouTube that says fishing for great white sharks is illegal even if it's a catch and release activity.

I hope the commenter is right about that.

20. Read the Australian Humane Societies fact sheet about Great White Sharks.

They say one of the biggest threats is commercial fishing.  The sharks themselves aren't always being targeted, but they get caught up in the mess.

Some sharks are harmed by methods used to protect human swimmers from sharks.

Then there're the sharks that are specifically targeted for their fins and trophy items.

The fact sheet says it's believed that some sharks have died from the stress of capture—as in what happened in the film.

The Humane Society says, HSI proposes that tag and release programs of Great White Sharks must be assessed against the risk to individual sharks and the benefit of the knowledge that is proposed to be gained. We do not support tagging programs where it is simply an excuse recreational fishers use to justify targeting the animals for fun.

Yep. I think this is what happened in the movie. As far as I can see the fishermen caught the shark for the fun of it, and so they could make a award-winning Tropfest film. They tagged the shark, but never explain the benefit this brings to the shark or the world.

Well, no. Maybe they said something about tagging the shark so if they fish for sharks again, they know they haven't got the same one. But why? Why does it matter? Who cares?

21. Watched the tagging scene again. The fishermen says, Obviously you tag em, so it sort of gives us the idea we're not catching the same one twice.

WHY does that matter?

We could argue that they don't want to stress out a poor shark twice, but they won't know it's the same shark until they get close enough.

22. Saw that Gary Doust, the director of "Great White Hunters" made a documentary series in 2013 about Australian actors trying to make it in Hollywood.  It seems kind of familar to me.

I wouldn't mind seeing it one day. The show looks at six different actors—follows their struggles and maybe triumphs.

23. Realized it's a reality TV thing, and I usually don't like reality TV.

Maybe I'd make an exception for this.

24. Thought the actors were going to be major newbies, but I'm looking at their filmographies.

For the two I've looked at some far, they had a fair amount of screen appearances before the documentary.  For example, Luke Pegler appeared on eight episodes of Packed to the Rafters, along with many other things.

25. Decided IMDb kind of gives spoilers about the documentary. I can look at the filmographies and see which actors had success in the US, and which did not.

26. Saw that Pegler is going to be in an upcoming film directed by Mel Gibson. It's an American biopic filmed in Australia, about an army medical guy who refuses to kill people in World War II.

There's a lot of big actors in the film—Rachel Griffiths, Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving, Sam Worthington, Vince Vaughn, Richard Roxburgh....

Then there are actors who are not big in terms of being known internationally, but they're wonderfully talented and successful in Australia. This includes Ben Mingay, Ryan Corr, and Firass Dirani.

27. Decided it's wrong to say Mingay, Corr, and Dirani are not known internationally.

What I should say is they're the actors who are known and adored by people (like me!) who watch Australian television.

Not all fans of Australian TV shows are Australian.  There are British fans, Swedish fans, Polish fans, American fans, Japanese fans, etc.

 28. Saw that one of the actors in the Gary Doust documentary is Alycia Debnam-Carey. I didn't recognize her name at first, but I should have. I'm pretty sure I've written about her before. She's one of the stars of Fear the Walking Dead.  We haven't watched that yet. Nor have we started to watch season six of the regular Walking Dead.  We'll get to it eventually. Hopefully.

29.  Went back to Gary Doust's filmography.

His most recent documentary is a marine biology program called Blue Zoo. Xenia Goodwin, from Dance Academy, is one of the narrators.

30. Wondered how Doust feels now about catch and releasing sharks.  Did his opinion change in-between his 2008 short film, and this 2014 documentary? Did Blue Zoo give him a different perspective?  I'm just wondering if he interviewed any marine biologists that would give him an opposing viewpoint about the whole thing.

31. Saw that Gary Doust has his own website.

32. Looked at Doust's film Making Venus. It deals with a filmmaking failure.

The movie failure itself was called Venus Factory. Did Doust make that? Or someone else?

33. Saw that Doust didn't make Venus Factory.

It's a comedy about the porn industry.  The one actor I recognize on it's cast list is Amanda Bishop. (From At Home with Julia and Review with Myles Barlow)

34. Went to the ABC website for Next Stop Hollywood.

I wonder if they'll let me watch any of the show.

35. Saw that each episode deals with all or most of the actors.

I mistakingly thought each episode was about a different actor.

36. Saw that I can't watch the show—at least not from the ABC website. You have to be in Australia.

37. Found a clip of the show on YouTube.

38. Saw that Alycia Debnam Carey brought her mother with to Los Angeles to combat loneliness.

That's such a good idea.

It's nice of her mother to come with her—very supportive.

39. Thought it was sweet hearing Carey gush about celebrities—knowing that she herself is becoming quite a celebrity.

It's funny to think that every movie and TV star was once just a fan of it all—dreaming the dream.

I've been reading Mindy Kaling's book. It's fun to read of her struggles in New York knowing that for her the struggling actually got her somewhere.  And yeah. In some ways, I'm a little jealous.

At least Kaling hasn't said anything stupid along the lines of, My dream came true, so this proves that everyone's dreams can come true. 

For every actor, singer, artist or writer that works very hard and finds great success, there are many hard-working actors, writers, artists and singers who spend their life struggling and never get very far.

40. Reminded myself that I haven't finished Kaling's book and she might very well end up saying something that greatly annoys me.

41. Learned that Cary auditioned for The Carrie Diaries.

I don't remember seeing that on her filmography, so I don't think she got the part.

42. Checked again.

No, she didn't get the part.

43. Saw that Cary DID get the other part mentioned on the documentary. She ended up playing an Amish girl in a horror film called The Devil's Hand.

43. Felt bad for Penny on the Big Bang Theory while watching Carey get told by her manager that she's gotten the lead role in a movie.

Penny is a good example of someone who worked hard, dreamed big, and never had a major acting success.  She had to find money and happiness elsewhere.  Though The Big Bang Theory isn't over yet. Penny could end up crashing into success. I kind of hope she doesn't. I think I'd have more respect for the series if they show how sometimes dreams DON'T come true, but your life can still end up being pretty damn good.

44. Wondered whether actors, writers, and musicians are more likely to find success if they have family members who are supportive and enthusiastic about their talent.

Does it make a difference?

If so, does it make a big difference?

OR is it that very talented people are more likely to have family members supporting them.

Of course I'm thinking of myself. Would I be a successful novelist, screenwriter, or blogger if my parents and sisters had been big fans of my writing?  Would I have had success with my singing if my dad had as much enthusiasm for my singing as he does for Adele and Taylor Swift?

Or am I lacking in talent, and this is why my parents never gave my singing and writing that much attention?

If they had a daughter with more talent, would they have shown more enthusiasm?

45. Realized I don't truly know the extent of Alycia Debnam Carey's mother's support.

Yes, she came with her to Los Angeles. But it doesn't mean she was a huge fan of her daughter's acting. She might have been supportive in a reluctant kind of way.

I think that's how my parents were and are about my writing. They're not enthusiastic fans of my work. They rarely read anything I write, and show very little interest in it. But at times, they have taken small steps, when convenient, to try to help me. For example. They know a famous writer, met her publisher, and managed to get me a meeting with him.

But at another point in my life, they said something along the lines of us needing to enjoy the lifestyle my dad's success has brought us, because we're not going to get that in our own lives.  

Why they believed that? I don't know. The bigger question, though, is why they thought it was a good idea to express that idea aloud.

The general idea I got growing up is I wasn't expect to turn out to be all that much, but I'd always be loved and taken care of...because my parents were generous in that way.  You know that whole, You're not that great, really. But we love you, anyway!

46. Wondered what's worse. My experience or the experience of people who grew up with parents who were overly pushy and enthusiastic.  They might be given the idea that their parents will love them only if they succeed.

47. Felt the luckiest writers, artists, singers, etc. are the ones who grow up with parents who are fans of their work, but understand and give the message that talent and success are not always synonymous.

With my parents I often feel their viewpoint is that success and fame equals talent. They seem most interested in the sports team that's on a winning streak, the movies that are Oscar nominated, and YouTube videos that have gotten over a million views.

I'm not saying that's ALWAYS the case, but it seems to be mostly the case.

My guess is that if I had written a bestselling novel, my parents would have become huge fans of my work.  What I would have preferred, though, is them being my biggest fans no matter what level of success or failure I had obtained.