Sunday, February 7, 2016

Molly, Not Quite Nostalgia Eye Contact, and Inclusion

1. Saw Mako Mermaids on Netflix while searching through TV shows.

It's listed as a Netflix Original.  My assumption was that Netflix had remade the Australian show into an American one.  But when I looked closer, I saw it was the Australian one.  

2. Saw from Lord Wiki that Netflix is the exclusive Internet provider for the show.

That's what constitutes a Netflix Original show?  What's the difference between that and buying the rights to a show?

3. Found an article that hopefully defines Netflix Originals.  

4. Learned that there are original-original Netflix shows. That means Netflix actually created the show. An example of this is House of Cards.

Then with some Netflix Originals, it just means Netflix bought a lot of rights and you won't be able to legally watch the show elsewhere.  

5. Saw from Twitter that the Molly Meldrum movie is a a big topic in Australia right now.

I also saw an article about it in Google News.

From what I briefly saw, I'm getting that there a bio pic starring Samuel Johnson.

6. Saw that the Molly movie has made a Twitterer named Jared McLoughlin very nostalgic for the 1970's and 1980's. Although he wasn't born until the late 1980's.

Is the term nostalgic appropriate for a time period that didn't include you?  Or would another term work better?  

Anyway, McLoughlin Tweets,  What a brilliant first-parter that was. The seventies/eighties were the golden era of Australian music and those who invented it. And he also Tweets,  Watching #Molly and I feel envious that my parents had a cascade of Australians who were lyrically and instrumentally gifted.

McCloughlin's lack of faith and love for modern talent reminds me of a brilliant blog post I read this weekend.

7. Looked up the definition of nostalgia.

Dictionary.com defines it as, a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time:

It sounds like it should be a time period that includes you.

8. Wanted to clarify that Jarad McLoughlin himself didn't describe his 1970-1980 yearnings as nostalgia. I'm the one who did.  I'm just wondering if there's a better term to describe his state of mind.

9. Thought if we include the concept of reincarnation, then we can include ourselves in any time period.

That aside, though, I think people do have an attraction to time periods before they were born. OR maybe that's because of reincarnation.

10. Saw there is a whole language message board about my question.

I guess I'm not the only one who has wondered it.

There's no consensus about what the word should be, but there are various ideas.

11. Thought about how we don't really need reincarnation as an explanation for why we're attracted to the past. We see and hear so much about it.

It's the same way we might long to go to a country we've never visited.

Or...how many people in the 21st century have longed to go to Hogwarts.

12. Looked at Molly on IMDb.

Samuel Johnson did play Molly.

Kate Atkinson played Mother.  Is that Molly's mother? Because Johnson and Atkinson seem close in age to me.  Maybe she was Molly's mother when he was a child?

I mean not that he got himself another mother later in life. But maybe she died young?

13. Wondered if Mother might not be Molly's mother. Maybe Mother was just her nickname.

14. Realized that Meldrum's mother might have lived into his adulthood. They could have used aging make-up on Atkinson.

15. Learned that Meldrum often lived with his grandmother or aunts, because his mother was hospitalized for mental illness.

16. Watched a promo for Molly.

It looks pretty good.

17. Started watching an episode of Wicked Science.

18. Saw that this episode is about time travel.

I'm not sure if I've seen this particular type before.

The boys accidentally send one of their grandmothers back in time. In return, the child version of the grandmother comes to their time.

19. Tried to imagine going back in time to my childhood while a child version of me shows up at our house in 2016.

20. Wondered if Tim and Jack would recognize me as a child.

I think they would...eventually. They've seen photos. I wonder how long it would take them, though.

21. Figured they'd probably know something is up if it involved a child randomly appearing inside our house.

22. Wondered how long it would take my past-parents and past-sisters to realize the strange adult in their house was me.

23. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

24. Wondered about something Sasha (Demi Harman) says regarding Matt (Alec Snow) breaking up with her.  She says the worst part is that she knows he still loves her.

I can't see how that's the worst part.

It seems it would be worse being dumped because someone has stopped loving you.

If the other person still loves you, there's much more hope you'll get back together. Plus, your self-esteem gets less of a blow.

25. Wondered about affairs. If you get dumped by a married person, would it help knowing they love you, but want to do the right thing by their spouse?

I don't know if it would help, but I can't see how it would make things worse.

26. Thought it was similar to losing a job.

It's usually a bad thing. But if a company still likes you-they just needed to make cuts; I think that would be much better than a company firing you because they don't like you anymore.

27. Decided the character I like least on Home and Away is Rickie (Bonnie Sveen). She annoys me for some reason.  

28. Decided Rickie reminds me of those princess-types. They act like they're the center of the universe, and all of their problems are high drama.

29. Didn't know if I've encountered these princess-types in real life.

30. Realized I might have seen them on Facebook.

I'm picturing the type of person who updates multiple times a day, and uses vague-posting to get attention.

31. Realized I should probably cut Rickie some slack. She's pregnant, and her lover is in prison for twenty years.  At other times, she might be more sweet and mellow.

That being said, Maddie (Kassandra Clementi) has cancer and Hannah (Cassie Howarth) is dealing with paraplegia.  Those are big problems, and I still find those women endearing.

32. Thought about how all three women are getting a lot of attention from their family and friends And so, they should. They need a lot of TLC at this difficult time in their life.

So being the center of attention doesn't make a person an annoying princess type.

It's how they handle the attention. Are they always in a bad mood?  Do they show interest in other people? Do they act like they're the first person in the world to have such a problem?

33. Realized there's a term for these princess-types I have in my mind. Divas.

I believe as there are talent-divas and wealth-divas, there are also problem-divas.

But not everyone with talent, wealth, and/or problems are divas.

34. Learned from some Home and Away dialogue that Maddie and Josh (Jackson Gallagher) used to be romantically linked.   If I'm understanding things right, Oscar (Jake Speer) helped Maddie through the break-up.

I wonder if this is how Oscar developed his feelings for Maddie. Or did he already have feelings? Did he have to play the role of friend when he really wished to be much more?

35. Saw Sasha demand that Matt look her in the eye and tell her he doesn't love her.

He can't do it.

I don't get that. I see it often on TV shows.

If someone can lie without looking you in the eye, why couldn't they lie while making eye contact?

36. Read some of an article about eye contact.

They say it's a myth that people avoid eye contact when lying.

The biggest body language myth about liars is that they avoid eye contact. While some liars (most often, children) find it difficult to lie while looking directly at you, many liars, especial the most brazen, actually overcompensate to “prove” that they are not lying by making too much eye contact and holding it too long.

37. Started to watch "Be My Brother" which is the 2009 Tropfest winner.

38. Liked the film so far.

It shows a standoffish  woman slightly annoyed by a stranger.  But as a stranger talks to her, she warms up to him.

39. Thought about the film and how it can be interpreted in different ways.

The film has three people at a bus stop.

There's a seemingly standoffish woman; a sulky young man, and an outgoing man with Down Syndrome.

The standoffish woman and sulky man seem annoyed with the man with Down Syndrome because he's loudly talking to himself. Then he begins interacting with the woman. She seems put out at first, but then her coldness melts away.  Meanwhile, the sulky young man continues to seem annoyed. He looks even more annoyed when the man with Down Syndrome comes over to his bench and talks to him directly.

The twist subtly revealed in the story is that the sulky young man and the man with Down Syndrome are brothers.

I think the message behind the story is that the sulky young man is embarrassed to have a brother with Down Syndrome. The man with Down Syndrome pushes this idea by pressing play on his tape recorder so we can hear his heartfelt monologue about how he can't help the way he is, and he wished his brother understood.

The film COULD be about a bratty awful young man who has no tolerance for his own brother.

I find that situation kind of hard to believe.  I think if anyone is going to be understanding and compassionate towards people with mental and physical disabilities, it's going to be immediate family members.

With that idea in mind, this is how I interpret the film.  The two brothers love each other and get along fairly okay.  But like most siblings, sometimes they don't get along.  Sometimes one might be embarrassed of the other. Sometimes one brother might be resentful of the other.

40. Thought of another interpretation of the film.

The brothers DON'T usually get along, but the dislike isn't completely related to Down Syndrome. The film doesn't necessarily have to be about an asshole who's chronically intolerant of intellectual disabilities.

41. Thought that even if the man with Down Syndrome believes his brother is intolerant, that doesn't mean it's true.

Sometimes people have negative feelings towards us for one reason and we assume it's another reason.

Someone might hate me, and I might assume it's because I'm Jewish, American, a woman, white, a Texan, etc.

42. Thought about one of my novels. Thirty Cats.   In it, Gabrielle has sworn off men, because she was rejected by a guy after telling him she has Neurofibromatosis.  Gabrielle's brother tries to get her to see that the guy might NOT have dumped her because of NF.  Maybe he didn't like her personality.

43. Thought about a time that people were abusive towards me and said both anti-semitic and anti-American things.

Though they probably have some levels of anti-Americanism and anti-semitism; that wasn't the main reason they were hateful towards me.

People have underlying prejudices. When we get angry, sometimes those slip out.

Or it might not even be about prejudices.  It could just be that when we get mad, we strike low and sometimes become temporary bigots.

I can imagine two brothers getting in a fight and one shouting out. You're such a retard.  Or a brother gets mad at his schizophrenic sister and screams, You're a psycho bitch.

I'm not excusing these things. Hell, I still hold grudges against my sisters for some of the stuff they've said to me through the years.  But I know my sisters love me to death, and I love them just as much.  We may think cruel things. We may say cruel things. Some of these things might have an element of truth. But they represent a tiny sliver of our feelings for each other.

44. Looked at the filmography of Gerald Odwyer. He's the one in the movie with Down Syndrome.

He's in an upcoming Aussie horror movie staring Dee Wallace, called Red Christmas.

45. Started watching a trailer for Red Christmas, but I'm pretty sure it's not for the correct Red Christmas.

The girl speaking in the beginning has an American accent, which I would expect if she was Dee Wallace. But she's not.

Plus, it's about Tara, and I don't think there's a Tara in the Aussie Red Christmas movie.

46. Saw that Genevieve Clay-Smith, the director of "Be My Brother" has worked on a lot of short films.

IMDb says she started her film career doing documentaries for a Down Syndrome charitable organization.

47. Saw that Gerald Odwyer cowrote the film with Genevieve Clay-Smith.

48.  Saw that Bill McGuire, the guy who composed the music for the film, works in both music and visual effects.

I don't know if I've ever encountered that before.

I'm sure he's not the only one out there, though.

49. Thought about how there are patterns that can be seen on IMDb.

Directors are often writers, and also sometimes actors.

Sometimes directors are also editors.

People who work in the art department usually do not also work in the sound department. And vice versa.

But like I said, I'm sure McGuire isn't the only exception.

50. Saw that Clay-Smith has a lot of variety on her IMDb filmography. She's done writing, directing, acting, producing, editing, camera work, costume designing, and make-up.

51. Looked at the filmography of Eleanor Winkler.

She's the caterer for the film.

She's done catering for a ton of short films.

52. Saw that I'm totally wrong.

Eleanor Winkler was a caterer for only "Be My Brother".

She's usually a producer.

53. Counted.

She's been a producer for thirty-seven short films.

Her first producing credit was for "Be My Brother".  She was one of three producers.

54. Surprised to see that Lord Wiki has an entry on Genevieve Clay-Smith. That's usually not the case for makers of short films...even if they have won a Tropfest award.

BUT Clay-Smith isn't just a Tropfest winner.  She was the NSW Young Australian of the Year in 2015.  I think that's the last one, right?  Is it like the Oscars where the winner of this year's award is winning for a film from last year?

55. Saw that they've already had the 2016 Australians of the Year.

So Clay-Smith won for last year.

Anyway, Clay-Smith's big cause is inclusion in the film industry.

That's a cause I could definitely stand behind.

I think it's important to have a variety of people in film and television. It's not just so the audience can be exposed to a variety of people-types.  It's so people of various backgrounds, sizes, strengths, weaknesses, ethnicities, etc. can have hopes of working in the industry.

Shit. It's hard enough for a thin white person to break into film and television acting. I imagine it's a million times more difficult for people who don't fit a certain mold.

56. Looked at the Vimeo page for Bus Stop Film's Clay-Smith's inclusion-film company.

57. Wondered what the term inclusion includes.

From looking at the films on the Vimeo page, I get the idea that Clay-Smith has a special place in her heart for people with Down Syndrome.

Does inclusion usually include only people with mental or intellectual disabilities?

How about people with physical disabilities, or deformities?

58. Started to watch a video about Bus Stop Films.

59. Learned that the inclusion aspect of Bus Stop Films refers to disabilities.

It's not just people with Down Syndrome

60. Saw that Bus Stop Film's inclusion isn't just about the acting. The people with disabilities are given offscreen jobs as well.

61. Got the idea that I was wrong about Bus Stop Film including all types of disabilities. They said something in the film that makes me think it's intellectual-disability only.

That's not very inclusive!

I'm joking...sort of.

62. Did wonder if anyone has ever wanted to be part of Bus Stop Films, but was turned away because they had the wrong type of disability.

63. Thought if you added up all the people with Down Syndrome, other genetic disorders, birth defects, and traumatic brain injuries, there might be a lot of folks with intellectual disabilities.  Bus Stop Films might have their hands full.

64. Decided to watch another one of Bus Stop Films. It's called "The Interviewer".

65. Saw that Gerald Odwyer is in the "Interviewer".

After I saw him, I remembered seeing the film in his filmography.

66. Thought that the interviewer in the film is pushy and not a very good listener.

He gives the interviewee a choice between Coke and water. The interviewee chooses Coke. The interviewer tells him water is better, and gives him water. Then the interviewer takes the Coke for himself. What's up with that?!

Next the interviewer asks the interviewee if he likes Star Wars and Harry Potter. The interviewee says no on Harry Potter and the interviewer blabs on and on about Harry Potter.  It's like he wants to be oppositional.

67. Wondered if the interviewer is doing some kind of psychological test on the interviewee.

68. Finished the film.

I liked it a lot.

It was very touching.

The basic idea is that people might have more abilities than we give them credit for.

This could be applied to not only those with intellectual disabilities, but anyone really.

69. Googled and learned that Genevieve Clay-Smith is also the director and co-founder of something called Taste Creative.

70. Learned that Genevieve Clay-Smith enjoys smelling jasmine.

That's an interesting hobby.

71. Learned that Taste Creative is an ad agency. Like Bus Stop Films, I think they have inclusion as one of their goals.

72. Found the Taste Creative website to be a bit slow and hard to navigate.

73. Jumped over to their Vimeo site.

74. Started to watch a Taste Creative project about diversity.  It's for a company called EY.

It talks about how research shows diverse teams work better than homogeneous ones.

It also talks about something called unconscious bias. The video presents it as a normal thing, but something that we need to fight against.

I think that's the thing with people who are against affirmative action and similar ideas.  They don't believe that unconscious bias exists. They especially don't believe it exists within themselves.

75. Watched a video promo for a project called Real Stories Project. It's about diversity and inclusion in the Australia Post.

For a moment, I was thinking the Australia Post was a newspaper. Then I remembered it's the mail service there.

76. Went to the Australia Post website.

They say they especially want to hear stories from women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people with disabilities, and Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people.

However, they do the inclusion thing by saying,  But of course, we welcome all stories of inclusion and respect, so please contribute and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

The thing is sometimes the roles are reversed, and the person from the dominant group is the one that's not easily included.

For example, how about a group of coworkers who are all Jewish, and then there's one Christian in the mix. She might have a tough time fitting in.

I know MANY people don't believe that people from the dominant group can be victims of prejudice and discrimination.  If you're white, male, Christian, etc...there's no complaining.

I strongly disagree.

I do think prejudices against people from dominant groups is small compared to the atrocities that other groups have had to endure.

A white man being teased and belittled by a group of black women is not in any ways equal to what black people, as a whole, have had to endure through the centuries.  An able-bodied person being ostracized by a group in wheelchairs doesn't come close to what disabled people have had to deal with throughout history.  

But no matter who you are, being teased and excluded can hurt a lot.  Decent individual people shouldn't be pushed to grin and bear it simply because other GROUPS have had it a million times worse.

Anyway, that's why I like the fact that Australia Post invites everyone to share their story.  It kind of ruins the spirit of inclusion, if you fully exclude certain groups of people.

77. Thought that maybe it was sometimes fair for organizations targeting/empowering specific groups to exclude folks who are not of that specific group.

But if you have a group that's supposed to support and celebrate diversity, it's not fair if certain groups are purposely not included.

78. Thought it's also not right if you have an industry that SHOULD be supporting and celebrating diversity, and only those from the dominant group get honored.