Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Manipulative Billie, Cleo, Jack Thompson, and Bottled Up Feelings

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

2. Saw Phoebe (Isabella Giovinazzo) make the same mistake I've made way too many times—try to vent to someone about a manipulative person's behavior.

Some manipulative people puts on different faces for different people.  Depending on who they are with, they may be extraordinarily nice, quite nice, somewhat nice, not so nice, or downright nasty.
In Phoebe's case, she tries telling Ash (George Mason) about Billie's (Tessa de Josselin) behavior. This was a double mistake, because Billie is Ash's little sister.  Venting to someone about their beloved family member is rarely a good idea. I've made THAT mistake as well.

Put the two mistakes together, and I think it's going to be rare to get sympathy or help.

Ash responds to Phoebe by assuming SHE'S the one who did something wrong—she must have provoked Billie's behavior.

That's one of the hard things about having manipulators in your life. Because these people are often so charming and irresistible, they build up a league of cheerleaders and supporters.

Though I'm getting ahead of myself here. I'm not sure that's the case with Billie. She's manipulative, but not exactly charming and irresistible. I think it's just her brother she has wrapped around her finger.

3. Learned from Home and Away is that maybe the trick is getting someone else to back you up.

Ash doesn't listen to Phoebe's complaint about his sister, but when Kyle (Nick Westaway) talks to Ash as well about the subject, Ash starts to listen.  He goes to Billie and gently talks to her about the drama she had with Phoebe.

4.  Watched the scene again and saw that Ash actually approaches Kyle about the fight. SO, he didn't completely ignore Phoebe's concerns. He acted that way to Phoebe's face, but maybe a part of him suspected Phoebe was in the right.

5. Saw Billie using manipulative tactics again.

Ash gives her a gentle chiding about needing to be careful about not passing on false information. Billie responds with, Well, maybe I did the wrong thing—stuffed everything up as usual. I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't even be here. Then she tells Ash it's best that she leaves.

This is what I was talking about in an earlier post.  A manipulative person takes mild criticism and blows it up out of proportion.  It's very woe is me, and then the person complaining might end up feeling guilty. They may leave the conversation feeling they're the ones in the wrong.

As I've said before, though, I think people sometimes say the type of stuff Billie said because they truly have low self-esteem.  Or maybe they've been caught on a bad day. You criticize their behavior on a day they're already feeling like shit about themselves. Then they ramble on about how they're good for nothing.

6. Amused, because I just watched a scene where Phoebe says some of the things I just wrote. She tells Ash that Billie is a manipulator, and she uses the term, wrapped around your finger.

I'm also a bit envious, because Phoebe told Denny (Jessica Grace Smith) about the situation, and Denny was immediately on her side.

I don't think that happens to me very often.

Or maybe it does.

Well, it doesn't happen often.  I know that. But maybe it happens more than I allow myself to remember.

7. Thought that if it does happen....If I do tell people, and they don't immediately take the other person's side or try to get me to see the other person's point of view, their reaction isn't like Denny's reaction when Phoebe told her told about Billie.

Denny seemed strongly on Phoebe's side.

With me, I feel if people are on my side, it's more like they're sort of on my side. They're reluctantly on my side. They're taking what I've said with a grain of salt.  It's like the difference between telling someone you were annoyed by a telemarketer and telling someone you were annoyed by a green goblin in your bedroom. With the first, people are going to believe you and probably be sympathetic. With the second, people might TRY to be sympathetic, but they're probably not going to believe you.

8. Thought that there is a chance that SOME people believe what I tell them, but I've grown to be too distrustful and paranoid to believe them.

Maybe I see them as the doubter, but ironically I'm the doubter.

I kind of doubt (ha) that's the case.  But I like to look at all avenues. I like to TRY to be open-minded about things.

Actually, I don't like it. I don't like it at all.  It's more like I feel obligated to do it.

9. Thought that there is one crazy variable that's jumping around in my head.

What I feel is that I have three manipulators who play a big part in my life. They're good-hearted people, but they have caused me grief.

I think I have often made the mistake of venting to manipulator #2 and #3 about #1, and vise versa, and so on and so forth.  When I think about it, it seems the people who are most likely to defend #1, #2, and #3 are #1, #2, or #3.

I have no idea why that's the case.

Well, first of all, why the hell would I vent to one manipulator about the others?  That's really stupid of me.

Then second, why do they defend each other?

Well, they do all seem to especially adore each other.  Does having similar manipulative traits play a part in them loving on each other so much?  Or is that just a coincidence?

10. Thought maybe I'm exaggerating the situation by saying I have three manipulators in my life.

It's more like two and a half.  Two are high-grade, and then one is medium or low grade.

Well, I'll say medium.

We're all probably low-grade.

We all manipulate a little bit.

11. Thought that, in the past, I may have been medium-grade....especially when I was a child and teenager.

I think now I'm low grade.


I'm kind of worried that I'm not. There's a part of me that worries I'm the most manipulative person that I know, but I'm delusional and think other people are manipulative.

12. Glad to see Ash giving Billie a hard time.

Now he does see through her games, and he's letting her know it.

13. Saw Billie approach Phoebe.  She gives a sort-of apology by saying her outburst wasn't all due to Phoebe. Some of it was about her own vulnerable feelings.

I'm not sure if Billie is actually trying to make amends, or if this is just another manipulation tactic.

If anything, I don't think she's doing it out of real regret or kindness. I think she's doing it, because Ash gave her a scolding.

14. Saw Billie give a seemingly genuine apology to Kyle.

Is it for real?

I have no idea.

15. Got the idea that Ash managed to magically cure his sister of her manipulativeness with one little lecture.

Is she going to be a nice girl for the rest of her time in Summer Bay?

I wish real life was that easy.

16. Saw Andy (Tai Hara) break up with Hannah (Cassie Howarth) because he suspects her feelings for him have died.

I think his suspicions are right, and I think he's making the right choice.

They both acted badly in this episode.  Andy punched a guy (Oliver Klozoff) for talking to Hannah at the beach.  On the surface, he looked like a controlling guy who won't let his woman have even a short conversation with another man.

HOWEVER, not that I condone violence, but the story is more complex than that.  Andy has seen that Hannah is losing the love, and he saw her dancing with the same guy the other night.

Andy's mistake was being violent.

Hannah's mistake was being dishonest. First, she tells Andy that her and the guy had been just talking at the club.  She negates what Andy saw with his own eyes.  When Andy points out that he saw more than talking, Hannah puts the blame on the club-guy. He wanted more. She rejected him.  I may not be remembering this correctly, but I don't think Hannah did any such thing.  I think her friends are the ones who stepped in and put a stop to the heavy flirting.

17. Hoped that Hannah is honest and mature about the whole thing. I hope she lets Andy go, and doesn't lead him to believe that it's all in his head, or that the break up is all his doing.

18. Realized I get a lot of enjoyment out of analyzing the behavior of pretend people.

19. Got ready to start watching Paper Giants: The birth of Cleo.

This is a story about real people, not pretend people.

I think I might find that I also enjoy analyzing the behavior of real people.  Or sort of real people. It's actors pretending to be real people. That's not exactly the same as real-real people.

20. Saw a note at the beginning of the miniseries saying that some things might have been changed for dramatic effect.  So I might judge something about someone that didn't actually happen.

21. Saw that the movie begins in May 1972. That's six months before I was born.

22. Reminded by the series that in 1972, Australia had been with a conservative government for twenty-three years.

I guess Menzies is included in that.  I remember Holt, McEwen, Gorton, and McMahon.  They wouldn't make up twenty-three years. Menzies took up a lot of years.

So yeah, he'd be included.

My brain is slow sometimes.

I was also going to say that the conservative rein ended in 1975, but that's actually when it came BACK again.

I think maybe it ended in 1972? Or maybe it was 1973 that Whitlam took over.

23. Consulted Lord Wiki.

Whitlam started the PM job in December 1972.

24. Thought the actresses in this film look very pretty in their 1970's fashions.

I think I like 1970's clothes.

25. Liked the miniseries so far.

It seems to have a female-power feel to it.

Ita Buttrose (Asher Keddie) interviews a girl (Leslie Carpenter) who left her last job because of sexual harassment.

I thought it was a good scene.

I can't really explain why.

26. Did not like Buttrose's pants outfit on the series, so I guess I don't like all 1970's clothes.

I did like her dress, though.

27. Wondered what would smell worse—all the smoking in the 1970's or all the zombies in The Walking Dead universe.

28. Saw an actor in Paper Giants that looks familar to me. I'm not sure who he is.

I'll look through the cast list.

29. Saw that it's Rick Donald.

I know him from House Husbands and Underbelly.

30. Amused by lines in series.

Ita Buttrose and Frank Packer (Tony Barry) are talking about the name of the new magazine. Packer isn't happy with Cleopatra.  He wants something more similar to Women's Weekly.  Packer gets frustrated with Buttrose and says, Well, call it the women's bloody monthly or something.

Buttrose says, A magazine named after a menstrual cycle?

Someone should name a magazine after that...if magazines were still doing well.

I guess someone could do an online publication with that name.

31. Loved all the old film clips in the miniseries.  It's probably my favorite thing about it. But I like the story as well.

32. Heard from the miniseries that Jack Thompson was Cleo's first centerfold.

Then I found this article which has photos of various Cleo centerfolds.

The centerfolds were nude, but the penises were hidden.

33. Looked at the various pictures.

Besides Jack Thompson, I don't know of any of the men.

35. Found another website with Cleo centerfolds.

It's men from the 1970's and 1980's.  Did they stop having the centerfolds in the 80's, or is this article just wanting to concentrate on this particular time period?

36. Consulted Lord Wiki and saw that I'm watching the miniseries in a very timely way.

The last episode of Cleo was March 2016.  That's very sad. Although I kind of thought the magazine was already gone. I don't know why.

37. Learned from Lord Wiki that the centerfolds ended in 1985.  Mel Gibson was the last subject.

In the 1990's, Cleo started to have a bachelor of the years.

Aaron Pedersen was the second one, in 1994.  That was before The Secret Life of Us and City Homicide.  I wonder what he was known for back then.

38. Saw that Pedersen was in a miniseries called Heartland. It looks like that was his first film/TV thing.  I guess it made a big impression?  Or maybe he was doing other things, before that, which caught the public's attention.

39. Read more of what Lord Wiki has to say.

Pedersen used to be a journalist for the ABC.

40. Saw that Anthony Field was the Cleo bachelor for 1999.  He got married about four years later.

41. Saw that Firass Dirani was the Cleo bachelor for 2010.

Lord Wiki doesn't say anything about him getting married. So maybe he's still a bachelor.

42. Noticed that most of the bachelors are in their twenties; none are over forty. What's the deal with that?

43. Went back to looking at the centerfolds.

44. Thought that although I like seventies dresses, wallpaper, and interior decorating, I'm not a big fan of 1970's men. Well, I mean their general exterior style. I'm sure many of them had good personalities.

I think I concluded the same thing when I watched Howzat: the Kerry Packer Wars.  That took place in the seventies too, I think.  I'm not positive.

45. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He says the Kerry Packer cricket drama happened in the late 1970's.

46. Went back to watching Paper Giants: The birth of Cleo.

47. Watched the scene in the miniseries with them taking the photo of Jack Thompson.

I'm wondering if the photo was taken before or after Breaker Morant. I have that movie in my mind, because that's the only old one I've seen with Thompson.

48. Looked at IMDb.

Breaker Morant came out eight years later, in 1980.

Thompson's film/TV career started not long before the centerfold—in 1968.

It looks like initially he did mostly just TV show guest star stuff.

He was in Wake in Fright in 1971.   Well, I guess I was wrong above. I've seen two old movies with Thompson.  I wonder if he had a big role in that.

49. Vaguely remember reading that Wake in Fright wasn't popular with Australians when it first came out. So I'm not sure Thompson would be widely known from that.

Also, even if I'm wrong, and it was popular with Australians, I don't think the men in it were portrayed as being very sexy.

50. Wondered if Thompson wasn't that famous when he did the centerfold.  Maybe he was just a somewhat known actor who was willing to get naked.

52. Consulted Lord Wiki, and saw I made my old IMDb mistake. I have a habit of missing TV shows, because IMDb lists them in the time period they were canceled, not when they began.


In 1971, Thompson became the star of a TV show called Spyforce.  He probably was fairly well known for that.

53. Saw a photo of Ita Buttrose.

She looks familiar to me.

Well, I'm sure I've seen photos of her before.

But I feel like I have her voice in my head...like it's someone I've seen interviewed.

I'm thinking, though, that I'm confusing her with some actress.

54. Watched part of a video of Ita Buttrose. She sounds much more like Asher Keddie's performance of her than the voice I'm picturing in my head.

55. Wished I knew what actress I was thinking of.

56. Stopped watching the miniseries for today.

I'll probably watch more tomorrow.

57. Thought back to something I saw today on Home and Away. 

When Andy and Hannah were fighting, Hannah asked Andy why he didn't mention seeing her dancing with the other guy earlier.

This is something I've been asked. I get angry. I hold it in. I keep it secret. Then weeks, months, or years later I spill the beans.

Why do I do this?

Because my theory is that anger earns interest. The longer you hold in anger, the more your anger is worth.

No. I'm joking.

I hide my anger, because I don't feel there will be any value in sharing my feelings.  I predict that people will invalidate me.  And/or they'll get mad at me.  They might use manipulation tactics. There'll probably be a huge drama with angry and very manipulative emails.  Maybe I'll get teased in the future about the whole thing.

Whatever I imagine happening, it doesn't usually involve me winning. And by winning, I mean someone listening to me, understanding why I'm angry, apologizing if they feel the situation merits that, and making serious attempts to change their behavior.

The bigger question is not why didn't I tell people sooner about my anger, it's why am I telling them at all?


One reason is, I think sometimes my anger boils over and I can't stand it anymore.

It's like Andy. He could have probably kept it a secret that he saw Hannah dancing with another man at the club.  Maybe he would have let that sit in his head for weeks, months, or indefinitely but then he saw the same guy again, and the anger boiled over.

The other reason is kind of pathetic. I think no matter how many times opening up goes wrong, I still have this foolish hope that it's going to one day go well.

When I do open up, I usually see right away that I've made a mistake.  Other times, it seems like the other person might be listening and understanding, but later I go over the conversation in my head and realize things weren't as okay as I thought. OR the person later says or does something that makes me realize opening up to them did me no favors.

58. Thought of a better and simpler way of looking at it.

I hold in my anger, because I don't want drama. It's as simple as that.  But then sometimes the drama gets too big for me, and I can't keep it inside anymore.

You know what, I think that's more correct than the thing about having foolish hope that a conversation will heal wounds and fix the issues.  I don't really have much hope. Or maybe I have NO hope. But when the drama gets too big, I have a compulsion to let it out.  It's kind of like when you know you shouldn't eat the second donut. You know it's not going to taste good, because you're too full. You know it's not good for your body. But you still do it anyway.

59. Wondered if blogging helps to make me feel I've opened up about things. Does it make me feel less bottled up inside?

60. Thought about it for several minutes, and realized it doesn't.

It actually doesn't feel that much different from talking to myself.