Sunday, April 17, 2016

Kids of Summer Bay, Bad Billie, Bad Carl, and Bad Me

1. Dreamed that, I'm in a class and the teacher comes in. I soon realize it's William McMahon, and that he's a ghost.  

Other stuff happened, but I can't remember it enough to explain it well.

2. Clicked on a Qantas advertisement and saw that Qantas no longer thinks I'm Canadian.

I'm back to being a USA person.

3. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

4. Learned, from Lord Wiki, that Jett (Will McDonald) is the adopted son of Marilyn (Emily Symons)  and John (Shane Withington).

I thought he was John's biological son and Marilyn's stepson.

5. Thought about how the current Home and Away DOES have a connection to the show in the 1980's. Then and now, there are a lot of fostered and/or adopted children.

6. Felt a little sorry for Matt's (Alec Snow) blind date Sandra (Nhyree Sheldrick), because Matt is acting obviously uninterested in her.

BUT then...when it's revealed that Matt's hobby is playing video games, Sandra blurts out, video games rot your brains.

Actually, I think ignorance is more likely to rot your brains.

Matt fights back by asking how much time Sandra spends on social media everyday. It seems in her eyes, social media is fine, but video games are not.

Also, I don't really blame Matt for acting disinterested in Sandra. He never wanted to go on the date and was very vocal about that. He was pressured into it.

7. Thought Matt was rude when he insulted Sandra's taste in music.

8. Thought that the real ones at fault here are Oscar (Jake Speer) and Maddie (Kassandra Clementi).

They set up the blind date. Maybe they should have done some research to make sure Sandra and Matt had something in common.

9.  Saw John open up his goodbye gift from Jett. He reads the emotional letter that went with the gift, and then starts crying.

That gave me a few tears.

10. Saw that Billie (Tessa de Josselin) is pretty damn evil.

She sets up a whole scenario to make it look like Nate (Kyle Pryor) attacked her.

I was thinking about Billie the other day and how the manipulative people I know are not as bad as her. I mean they're FAR from being that bad.

Manipulative behavior can be divided many ways, but one division I see is offensive versus defensive. Billie does the offensive-manipulation stuff. She wants something and schemes to get it. As far as I know, I've never been manipulated in that least with nothing serious or extreme.

The other manipulation would be defensive-manipulation. This is where a person doesn't scheme to get what they want. Instead they use manipulation to protect themselves from accusations and other interpersonal conflicts.

11. Decided with offensive manipulation, I'd only include stuff that has the intent to hurt or does hurt another person.  If the definition is too broad, it might include a teenager being extra nice to his parents, so they'll let him stay out later on the weekend. I find that kind of behavior annoying, but it's definitely not in the same awful boat as Billie's stuff.

12. Started watching the rest of Felony.

13. Learned that Mal (Joel Edgerton) DID try to confess to his driving crime. Detective Carl (Tom Wilkinson) talked him out of it.

So, I think Carl is the real villain in this story.

14. Decided that if Mal had stronger morals, he could have turned himself in despite Carl telling him not to.

15. Didn't blame Mal.

I think he IS a guy good. He made a mistake, and then he took the wrong advice.

Now he's wanting to confess, and Carl is pressuring him not to.  Why? I'm betting it's not because he cares about Mal.  It's because if Mal confesses, he'll probably get Carl in trouble as well.

16. Thought that one of the themes in this movie is people helping and/or encouraging others to make the wrong moral choices.

Mal does the wrong thing. He drinks and drives. Then when that ends up causing harm to a child, he keeps his crime a secret. He's helped along by his friends who let him leave in his car drunk. He's helped again by the police officer who lets him go without a breathalyzer test. Then after he harms the young biker, another officer encourages and helps Mal keep quiet about the crime.

17. Decided Carl is a perfect example of someone who uses defensive-manipulation.

First Carl outright lies to Detective Jim (Jai Courtney). Jim responds awesomely. He doesn't accept the lies. He asks enough questions to show that he knows Carl is bullshitting him. Then to try to dig himself out of the hole, Carl works on trying to make Jim feel guilty and disliked. He tells Jim, You're the guy that nobody likes. You're the guy who's always complaining.

Jim is a police officer who has the backbone to stand up against crooked cops and a crooked system. I'd say this is a good thing. Carl tries to get Jim to see it as a bad thing.

18. Thought about Mal's wife Julie (Melissa George). She pushes Mal to stay quiet about his crime.

I can't imagine myself pushing someone, who's willing to confess not to confess. I really hope my imagination is right about that one.

Unfortunately, I can imagine a situation in which I know someone's done something wrong, they don't want to confess, and I'm successfully talked into keeping quiet.

Hopefully, at the very least, I'd keep pushing for them to confess.

19. Hoped that if someone in my family did something that greatly harmed or killed someone, they would confess without me having to be the one to push them.

20. Hoped that if I did something to greatly harm or kill someone else, no one would try to talk me out of confessing and if they did, I hope I wouldn't listen to them.

21. Vaguely remembered an incident from my childhood. I was probably around seven or eight. Kids in the neighborhood were plotting to poison another kid by giving him/her berries from local bushes.  As far as I can remember, I did nothing to talk them out of it, and I don't think I tried to turn them in.
Hopefully, my morals have matured since then.

22. Wondered if I even worried about the poisoning-plot.

Now that I think of it, it seems weird that I didn't speak up.I used to have a really hard time keeping secrets. I also had a very strong guilty conscience.

The only explanation I can think of is I didn't take the threat seriously. Maybe it just seemed silly, and very unlikely that the intended victim would eat the berries.They didn't look like the berries you buy in the store. They were the tiny round ones kids pick and throw.

23. Thought back to a time around the same age where I got in trouble. I don't remember why. But it had something to do with a library book. I lied to get myself out of trouble. Not only that, but I think I got someone else in trouble in the process.

Conclusion: I don't think I was as sweet and innocent a child as I'd like to believe.

I was definitely manipulative at times.

I might have been involved in a murder plot. Or I knew of a murder plot and kept quiet about it.

24. Decided that although I do like now-me, and recent-past-me, I'm not sure I'm a big fan of me- from-the-far-past.

It's sad, because when I was a child I often felt unloved and unloveable. I often felt there was no one who loved me for reasons outside of obligation. Even in my dreams, people seemed to dislike me.  I hate to think that, on top of everything else, past-me would also be disliked by now-me.

25. Wondered if I did any other bad things during my childhood that I'm blocking from my memory.

And I'm also wondering, besides the berry thing and the library book thing, was I a fairly decent child? Was I likable? Lovable? Did anyone truly adore me?  Or was my perception about being disliked not just a low self-esteem delusion?

26. Felt depressed a bit about it all. Then I thought of something to make me feel a tiny bit better.  It's about thirty-five years later, and I still occasionally have moments of guilt about the library thing and berry thing. So at least I have a strong conscience.

I think that's important.

27. Remembered more bratty things I did as a child. No, they're not deeply blocked memories—just the kind of things I try not to think about on a regular basis.

I would hit my sister which is probably not unusual for siblings. But I did it so she'd cry. Why? Because I liked comforting her.

I also remember purposely breaking things my cousin made out of building toys.

Yesterday I took a test online about whether or not I'm attracted to drama. I scored low, and I agree with the score.  But when I was a child, I DID purposely do things to create drama.  I think there were some incidents in my teens and young adult years as well.

I'm not sure why I eventually changed.

But I'm glad I did.

28. Felt stupid for the fact that this movie has made me confess all these awful things of my childhood.

But then I thought, how many times in my blog do I bitch about other people? A lot!

Maybe this post will even things out a little more.

29. Thought more about the library book incident.

From what I remember, I got away with it. This is probably because I was usually a very quiet, well-behaved, sensitive, and honest child.  Who would have suspected me?  I look back and can hardly believe it myself.

With Billie, on Home and Away, it's quite different. She has a reputation now of being a manipulative monster.  I think enough people are going to disbelief her accusations against Nate.  It's probably going to be hard for her to get away with it.

30. Thought about how there are probably other people like me. They're usually quite good, so when they take a brief turn to the dark side, no one is quick to believe it.

Then there are the very clever people. They're manipulative fairly often, but they hide it well and they're very charming. People don't usually suspect them.

31. Finished watching Felony.

I thought it was a very good movie.

32. Went to to pick my next thing to watch.

It's another movie with Joel Edgerton!

It's called Wish You Were Here. From the title, I thought it was going to be a comedy. But nope. It's a drama.

According to IMDb, it's about friends who go on a South-East Asian holiday, and some of them end up as missing persons.

33. Saw that Teresa Palmer is one of the stars.

It's funny. I watched a movie that had her. Then I watched a movie that had Edgerton. Soon I'll be watching a movie that has both of them together.

34. Saw that the director (Kieran Darcy-Smith) and writer (Felicity Price) of Wish You Were Here are actors.

Both of them have more acting credits to their name than directing/writing ones.

35. Saw that Felicity Price is also one of the stars of Wish You Were Here.  As far as I can see, Kieran Darcy-Smith doesn't act in it.

36. Saw that Tina Bursill from Neighbours is in the movie.

Besides that, I don't recognize a lot of names.

37. Hoped that I'll like the movie.

38. Thought more about drama.

My feeling is, not liking drama doesn't mean you have a drama free life.

In Felony, Jim brought drama into his life by trying to stand up against the corruption he saw in his colleagues.  This doesn't necessarily mean he enjoys drama. It might be that he doesn't like people doing bad things and getting away with it. He has strong morals.

I stopped liking drama at some point in my life.  I'm not sure that means the drama in my life has lessoned.  I've gotten myself involved in dramas; sometimes because I felt the need to stand up for myself. Other times I've stood up for someone else, or I've stood up for some kind of principle.   I hate the mess that it creates, but I think staying quiet is usually the wrong answer.

So in terms of someone being a drama queen, I don't think it's about how much drama they have in their life. It's more about how they feel about the drama. Do they dislike it? Do they love it?

39. Thought that it's possible that Jim is a drama queen. Maybe he tries to play hero too often, and he's not happy UNLESS he's playing hero.

Maybe he thrives on catching people in their misbehaviors.

I didn't get that sense when watching the movie. My feeling is Jim's a good guy. I'm just saying there are other possibilities.

40. Thought about how there are other people who don't want drama, and it just keeps falling on their lap. They get cancer. Their husband gets cancer. Their child gets kidnapped. Their house burns down. Their sister dies in a plane crash.Their dog is poisoned.

It's not like they choose to have all this happen.

But that's what I like about the drama-test. It doesn't ask how much drama you have in your life. The questions are more about whether you purposely create drama...for the sake of creating drama.

41. Had an idea of why I no longer like drama. It's not a super, wonderful, noble reason.

I think it's because drama is time-consuming.  Would I rather have a long drawn out email fight with one of my sisters, or would I rather spend the day reading books, watching TV shows, surfing the Internet, getting work done, etc?  Even WRITING about drama on my blog today has eaten up too much of my time.

I think before the Internet, there was a lot more empty time.

My other problem with drama is it causes me way too much emotional stress. I'm pretty sure it was the same in the past, but maybe I felt it was worth it, because it could alleviate some of the boredom.

Well, no. I don't think I sat there thinking, Shit. I'm so bored. What can I do? I know! I'll start a big fight with my cousin and sister. That should be fun and exciting.  

I think for the most part, I dreaded and hated the drama I created. But there was also a part of me that craved it, and I think that part of me sometimes won out against the part of me that didn't like it.

Now I don't crave it, because there are too many other things I'd rather do.

Well...and also my created-drama was about testing people.  Do they like me?  Will they still like me if I act this way?  After a few decades, I think I learned that creating drama to try to answer those questions is really NOT worth it.  It's not worth the time. It's not worth the stress.