Monday, March 28, 2011

Everything I Learnt About American’s I Learnt From TV

Part One, Telephone etiquette

There’s a stereotype out there that Americans are rude, snobbish people, but I’ve gotta say that every American I’ve ever met has been really nice and friendly. Pissed off that others naturally assume they’ll be a jerk, but nice nonetheless.
So this isn’t going to be a ‘bash the Americans’ blog, but one that will pose a question that has plagued me for many years.
Do Americans say “goodbye” when they hang up the phone? On every television series, every movie, no one ever says goodbye when they’re done talking! When the conversation has ended, they just hang up, that’s it. No, “see you later”, no “nice talking with you”, just “that information was really helpful” BEEP BEEP BEEP.
Maybe it’s a cultural thing, maybe writers think that there’s no time to add those two syllables into the script, but either way it’s annoying.
In Australia, we end the conversation before we hang up the phone. It’s not always “goodbye”, but there’s some specific hint that the conversation is over. On TV, that never happens. The conversation winds down, but it is never truly ended, like on Hawaii 5-0 (2010):
Danno: “I’ll be over in two hours.”
And that’s it; that’s the end of the conversation. It wasn't like he said "I'll see you in two hours, bye", just "I'll be over in two hours".
I’m waiting for the time when a person gets cut off half way through a conversation:
“Alright, Kowalski is being hidden in the mines, so-”
*rings back*
“Dude you just hung up on me”
“I thought we were done!”
“I was in the middle of talking”
“You gave the vital plot point; I didn’t think there was any need for more talk”
“Well, I was gonna invite you over for dinner, but now-”
“son of a-”

You get the point. Do real Americans do this? Is it not correct to end a phone conversation with a salutation in the United States? Put it in the comments, or if you have had this similar thing happen to you, share the story below.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Everything I Learnt About Life I Learnt From TV

Part Two, Making a scene

It’s a situation we’ve all been in, we’re walking along minding our own business when suddenly, two people start having a fight. It’s really awkward, ‘cause what can you do? As much as you’d like to walk away and mind your own business, the spectacle draws you in. What are they fighting about? Are they going to start throwing punches? It’s the same process that sent you running whenever they started to chant “fight” in the playground, you just want to see what happens next.
But apparently, we’re doing it wrong. Americans NEVER stare when something interesting is going down. At least, Americans on TV don’t. In fact, nobody on TV makes a mention or even a peep when two people are having a shouting match or love making session in a public place. In a recent episode of Greys Anatomy, Callie and her girl friend Arizona are having a screaming match at each other at the airport. Dozens of weary travellers all have a front seat viewing for this fight, but no one is looking! None of the extras are even paying them any mind. Even worse was when Arizona mentions that they are fighting in an airport, acknowledging that this is not an everyday occurrence. Someone on the staff knows that this is odd, and yet no one is looking at this.
I’m no dummy; I know there are rules about this kind of stuff in the “real world” of TV. The only sound that is allowed during filming is the dialogue, so everyone on set including the extras has to be quiet, and if a director speaks to you then you are upgraded from extra to guest actor. And to be fair, it would be extraordinarily hard to do 30 takes of any emotional scene, especially with a dozen or so strangers staring at you. But for the realism of the piece, if two people, especially a lesbian couple, are having a domestic in a crowded airport, people are gonna be looking.

So, should we be more like these American Extras and pretend there’s nothing going on when we see a blue (a fight), or should we just give in to our baser instincts, so long as we only do it out of the corner of our eyes? Leave your opinions in the comment


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Alien encounters redux: More proof

Adding more proof to my aliens theory, I spied one more mark yesterday. I thought I'd post it here because everything posted on the internet is true, duh.

and another, clearer picture

So there you have it. I thought they went away when I called public attention to it, but I guess not.

Also, those funky numbers at the bottom of yesterdays post isn't some weird secret society meeting code (or is it?), but it's to let the good people at that I own this blog.

Comment below if you've got proof of aliens living amongst us, or if you have any ideas for more blog posts. Not that I'm running out, but it's good to know what the readers want to read.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Everything I Learnt About Life I Learnt From TV

Part One, Honesty

We’ve all been in embarrassing situations before, and sometimes the best way out of it is to lie. It sounds mean and kind of immoral, but using the truth could make you look like a dick and hurting someone’s feelings. For example, I once ran into a guy from high school whose name I couldn’t remember. We talked for a little while, and ended up getting the same bus. Before his stop, he said that we should exchange numbers. Perfect, right? I gave him my phone and said that he should enter his details because I wanted to make sure I spelt his name correctly. He looked at me funny, but took the phone. Wanna guess what name was written on the phone? Ron*. Yep, three simple letters. I was embarrassed, but said “I meant for you to write your last name” and hoped that it wasn’t Smith. We talked for a couple of times after that. With a simple lie, an embarrassing and hurtful situation was gone.
But sometimes, lying or omitting the truth can make you seem stupid, and honesty is the best policy. In an episode of Modern Family, Mitch was told by two of his colleagues that the office dresses up in costume for Halloween. When Mitch arrived in a Spiderman costume, it turned out that it was only those two who dress up, and they are the laughing stock of the office. Luckily, Mitch had a spare suit in his boot (or trunk) of his car and put that over the top, but it was very uncomfortable. On his way into the office, his boss pulled him into a meeting. Instead of telling the boss the truth, he went along and was eventually found out in a very public and embarrassing way.
As I’ve said before, these situations are great to laugh at because they are a show. But if this happens to you in real life, be smart and be honest. If Mitch was a real person, he should have owned up right away to the boss and told him that the two tried to trick him into wearing a costume, maybe to humiliate him, maybe as a prank on the new guy. Because the boss already hated the costumed “tools”, the boss would go easy on poor Mitch. If you’re in a similar situation coming clean straight up can solve a lot of problems and embarrassment, and can even turn into a funny story down the line.

*name was changed for the story, totally not because I can't remember his name. 


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Smartest creatures on the globe

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately; are humans the smartest creatures on this planet? We’ve been told that dolphins are incredibly smart, the same with polar bears. We like to think that we’re smarter than these creatures, because look at what we’ve done!!! We have science, we have tall buildings, and we have fast cars. Do the animals have these? No. Dolphin’s live in the sea, not in giant underwater castles, and polar bears in the snow, not in giant snow castles. We created art and pretty things.
But are we smarter, I’m not so sure.
Because see, while we were building homes and offices and cars, we had to use wood and steel and oil; things that we only have a finite amount of. And when we made the labs to find the science that told us this, we didn’t stop, we just kept going.
How smart was it, to create a car when the only way to power it was to use oil? How smart was it to make a lot of cars that released carbon dioxide into the air? Or even going back further, was it really such a genius idea to capture and train wild horses so we could be pulled along in a cart?
Maybe the polar bears and the dolphins already had these ideas, but they didn’t wanna fuck up the planet? Maybe they’re sitting or swimming around waiting to come up with a way to build epic castles and cars that won’t damage the planet. They might have figured this was impossible, so they’ve given up. And we’re still going, using CO2 spewing tractors to cut down every tree to build an office so we can use electricity to find out we’re too late. 
What does everybody else think? Which creatures are the smartest, let me know.

Pic from katman1972

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Movie Time! The Matrix Series: I'm not done with it yet

Not entirely Matrix related, but a couple of funny things I thought of about living in the ‘real world’, outside of the matrix.

In my review or Matrix: Revolutions, I mentioned how awkward it would have been to call everyone by their odd hacker names. MasterBator, JohnnyLovesKate4Eva, SexCGal2468, it would get annoying having to call out to these people in person. But would it be more awkward running into somebody you know from the Matrix in the real world?

Let’s face it, computer lovers (nerds, geeks, whatever) all tend to hang around together, talking about their latest gadget purchase, the newest update in a game, or the latest software they purchased/made. It would stand to reason that hackers, too, would have friends, would have lives. Imagine how awkward this scenario would have been for our fearless leader:

“Tommy? Tommy Anderson, is that you?”
“Chip Matthews? What are you doing here?”
“Ah yeah, you know. Found that real life was a life so they brought me here. You?”
“Same thing, yeah.”
“Wow, I haven’t seen you since tenth grade computer camp, when I kicked your ass at football and at Mario Kart. What’ve you been up to?”
“Ah you know. College, got a job at a software company, found out that life is lie, and then become The One, so...”
“Oh wow, you’re Neo? I thought you’d still be using your old alias; EmoHackerNeedsLove.”
“Erm, no. You?”
“Still HackerNumber1.”
*awkward silence*

Yeah, feel the tension. Especially since, in my mind, HackerNumber1 is a head taller than Neo and twice his width. Trinity must have a past, too. An old boyfriend, perhaps? Who knew her when she was just plain ol’ Suzy Marsh from across the street, went by the name of RainbowUnicorn online? Coz Trinity seems like a RainbowUnicorn kind of girl to me.

Are there any online names that make sense as online names but would be awkward/hilarious to call out in a crowded Zion marketplace? Or have you had any awkward encounters with people you’ve only known online? Let me know below.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Movie Time! The Matrix Series: The Matrix Revolutions

If The Matrix was about waking up to your world and Reloaded was about fate v choice, what was Revolutions about? Because I honestly have no clue.

Neo bucked the trend made by his five predecessors and decided to risk the life of everyone in order to save Trinity. I found this funny, because like I said in my last review, I didn’t really see any type of connection between the two; romantic or otherwise. But Neo chose Trinity and doomed everyone.

This movie had a lot more in it, but again nothing major that got me really all that worked up. I don’t understand how it took Neo around five minutes to work out that Bane is Agent Smith. No one in the real world calls Neo Mr Anderson, so it should have been a dead giveaway. But for some reason, Smith has to literally beat down Neo before he realises what’s going on.

Speaking of Smith, the final battle between him and Neo was quite awesome. I loved it how they would just fight anywhere they wanted; on the street, in buildings, in the freaking sky! Their control over the matrix was so advanced, and it was good to see that here. I loved it any time where there was a lot of Smiths, proving that he was just that much better than everyone else, everything else. All other programs be damned, Smith is the winner, here.

In fact, all of the fight scenes were really well done. I did think that the Niobe and that whole Hammer with the EMP was oddly reminiscent of the humans and their choice to block out the sun; will stop the problem now, but do nothing fifteen seconds from now. It was brave and all that, but terribly short sighted of them all. The whole Battle of Zion was pretty sweet, too.

The effects with flying Neo could have been a lot better, and sometimes it seemed like they didn’t even care that this movie was going to be seen on anything bigger than a thumb nail. I wonder, did people cry when they saw that at the movies, or laugh? Both? It deserved both, that’s for sure.

Something that did make me laugh was the realisation that they call everyone in the Matrix by their computer hacker name, besides those that were born in Zion. I might be a little slow on the uptake, but hear me out. My online name is rosey_angel61, because every other version of my name was taken. How many online names do you know that are an odd mixture of letters and numbers because they couldn’t get the ones they wanted? Were they getting mixed up when they were designating people to their battle stations?

“We need DragonLover over in the west end ASAP!”
“DragonLover1, DragonLover<3, ~~DragonLover~~, or DragonLover1234?”

“MasterBater, I need you to, aw very funny guy, really? You found the matrix was a lie? What are you, 12?”

See, would’ve been awkward.

One thing I realised about The Matrix movies as a whole is the slight similarities to Tron. I don’t know if it was purposeful or not, but the shiny and reflective leather reminds me of the neon lights in Tron.

That’s all I have for the movies so far. If I think of anything else, I’ll post it up here. Did I get anything wrong? Did I miss something that you want me to talk about, or do you want to revel in your “awesomeness”? Put it in the comments.

Next franchise I’m gonna crack is the Borne movies, so keep a look out for them.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Movie Time! The Matrix Series: The Animatrix

Well, this is highly embarrassing. I could blame this mistake on any number of things, and there are some really good excuses that I've been working on, but the sad fact is that I forgot to post The Animatrix before I went ahead and posted Reloaded. Totally my bad.

Anyway, here's the Animatrix review/rant/whatever these things are.

Final Flight of the Osiris:
I don’t know about the inclusion of this movie. It’s good, and the animation is fantastic, but I think it takes away something from Reloaded. It’s something that bugged me in Reloaded, and I thought they could have done more with. In that film, everyone takes it as obvious that the files from the Osiris are true. During the meeting at the beginning, one man doubts their credibility, but Morpheus says that they must be true, so everyone believes it. This annoyed me because these people are free because they didn’t believe what a computer was telling them, and now they are blindly accepting the information that was sent along through a computer. It could all have been a set up, making them move into weakening positions. It wasn’t a set up, obviously, but that no one thought it could be annoyed me.

The Second Renaissance: Parts 1 and 2:
I liked these films. It offered some good back story that wasn’t needed, but still proved interesting. I like that it wasn’t evil computers stepping up to control people, but it was a machine’s will to live that sparked the entire war. No one was at fault; humans can’t be blamed for wanted to destroy a machine that has proven its ability to kill. How many Toyotas were destroyed with that whole breaks thing a year or so ago? Yet B1-66ER can’t be blamed, either. It just wanted to live.

Kid's Story:
Kid’s Story is one of my favourite pieces from the Animatrix, although I feel that it’s way too short. Kid’s absolute trust in Neo comes way too quickly, and I don’t really understand it. He researches him once, and then he’s sold. Even Neo didn’t trust Trinity of Morpheus that quickly.
I also really like the animation used for this film. I like the rough, rush feel of it. Like the story is too important to worry about waiting for it to animate properly. Just draw it and go!

Detective Story:
All I can really say about this film is eh. It didn’t really pull me in, and didn’t much interest me, either. I don’t know if it is meant to put Neo in a good light, because he’s the only one that Trinity met that didn’t die or go crazy, or it’s meant to put Trinity in a bad light because everyone she goes to ends up a whole lot worse off. But it is good to see The Matrix in the world of noir.

Again, not one that really caught my attention. I do like it that the Redpills are trying to fight against another traitor like Cypher; but I gotta say it seems a little harsh. Redpills and Zionists alike shouldn’t be branded a traitor because they’re sick of war, and they shouldn’t be forced to think that they’re killing a friend because of it. But they are fighting a war, so harsh behaviour is necessary.

World Record:
Now this one I like. It was interesting, smart, and it was well animated. I like the character, and the idea that if you go fast enough, if you are focused on something for long enough, then you can break through the matrix into the real world. This guy is so awesome that he woke himself up without even trying, and he had fancy skills in the hospital, too, which shows that he knows he is in control of the matrix, not the other way around. Again, Neo couldn’t do this without going through serious training.

This was pretty awesome, I love that the matrix glitches sometimes. Even though the Oracle mentions them in Reloaded, it was here that my roommate and I extrapolated on other matrix glitches: ghosts and aliens for one, but also things like Schizophrenia, OCD, ASD, and Multiple Personality Disorder. Schizophrenia could be the result of two personalities in one body, and OCD could be a way to distract potential Redpills from thinking too much about the matrix. Autism Spectrum Disorders are characterised by a lack of social skills; these people could know about the matrix and see the code but haven’t been picked up yet by agents or by Redpills/Zionists.
But onto the film itself, especially like when the kids jump off the roofs and stop falling centimetres before hitting the ground, and the bottle fixing itself after it had broken apart was very cool.

I don’t know why they saved this one till last, because for me at least it wasn’t very compelling. It was interesting to see people trying to get the machines to change sides, but the trippy simulation sequence was very weird. I got it, but it was weird. And the end of was of sad, too, with the poor machine left all alone, so instead of a hopeful finish, the entire Animatrix leaves you feeling sad and depressed. Although, come to think of it, none of these short ended happily, except maybe for Kid’s Story, and he woke up to a face full of Keanu Reeves, so that wasn’t exactly a happy day, either.

So let me know what you think. Do you disagree with any of my reviews here? I’ve been told I can be quite harsh with reviews, so please comment if you don’t agree with me.

Next up: The Matrix: Revolutions.