To scapegoat…

or not to scapegoat? That is the question.

Also, there is something rotten in the kingdom of media.

It has come to my attention that the only times I sit down and write a blog entry recently is in one or another way related to Johnny Depp. What can I say? I’ve grown rather fond of him lately. Or I just dislike scapegoating (can I make it a verb? Screw it, of course I can; we live in the digital era and correct grammar and syntax is unnecessary. By the way, and after a research of a second I knew it is a verb thus the title on top) him… if you know what I mean.

And hypocrisy. Heaven knows I hate hypocrisy.

What is a scapegoat?

«A scapegoat is a person or animal which takes on the sins of others, or is unfairly blamed for problems.»

What is scapegoating?

«Scapegoating (from the verb «to scapegoat» -I can almost hear you laughing or see you rolling your eyes) is the practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame as a scapegoat. Scapegoating may be conducted by individuals against individuals (e.g. «he did it, not me!»), individuals against groups (e.g., «I couldn’t see anything because of all the tall people»), groups against individuals (e.g., «Jane was the reason our team didn’t win»), and groups against groups.

«A scapegoat may be an adult, child, sibling, employee, peer, ethnic, political or religious group, or country. A whipping boy, identified patient or «fall guy» are forms of scapegoat.»

It’s easier to recognise and possibly fight scapegoating if the object of it is a minority, or an underprivileged person. On the other hand, it has become popular and -as it seems- acceptable to scapegoat a white, rich, middle-aged male.

«People with Personality Disorders are particularly susceptible to showing dysfunctional differential treatment because they sometimes allow their feelings to override facts. This means their feelings become so intense that what they feel about a person or situation can receive more of their attention or take a higher priority than what they know about that person or situation. This can then lead to distortions in how they interpret a given situation which are then used to rationalize or justify the way they feel and the way they behave as a result.

Scapegoating can occur in all aspects of life, however, it is most clearly demonstrated and can be most destructive when the person showing favoritism has some form of power or authority over others, such as in parent-child, teacher-student and boss-subordinate relationships.»

And you are going to ask «come on, what’s that having to do with Johnny Depp?» Well, if you’ve read my previous entry you have already read me taking on media and their treatment of him. Or at least attempt to. I’m pretty certain media don’t care about my blog, damn them all.

Remember the Bean Pears’ article in slashfilm that wanted us to punish Johnny Depp, and I quote «it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than that for Depp to get back in the good graces of the rest of us» because of » the only thing we can do is continue to point it out and hope that the broader issue of domestic abuse is eventually looked down upon in an industry which has a notoriously noxious history with women»?

Of course you do. Remember, that is.

Basically the author doesn’t know if Johnny Depp actually abused his wife, but also disregards the fact he should be presumed innocent and wants to make him an example of a «broader issue«. Insert «scapegoating» definition.

So, this week was the world premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (or Salazar’s Revenge, because, unless a movie has two titles is… seriously why does the movie has two titles?) and instead of being excited about it or not (personal opinions on franchise are welcome even if they are negative), we have his ex financial managers leaking stuff in magazines, tabloids, newspapers -unfortunately, I can no longer see any difference between the last two- and taken as more or less granted.

The latest story is that «Johnny Depp’s former managers have claimed the star is fed his lines through an earpiece so he doesn’t have to memorise his scripts

This information changed the course of my whole life.

No wait, it didn’t. I don’t particularly care. Acting is more than memorising lines, acting is… magical. Personally, as a student I couldn’t memorise a damn thing but I knew my subjects. I even understood them better than my fellow classmates who memorised them but had no clue what the hell they were about. If the teacher asked a question differently they couldn’t answer. But I digress…

Nevertheless, the rest of the groundbreaking story is that it comes from a new court filing in an increasingly bitter battle between the actor and his ex-managers. He’s suing them for mismanaging his money and they’re countersuing him. Among their claims about his spending, they say he paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to employ a sound engineer to read him his lines on film sets. The actor has used the method «for years to feed him lines during film production«, according to a court document that was filed.

«Depp insisted that this sound engineer be kept on yearly retainer so that he no longer had to memorise his lines,» according to the papers, written by attorney Michael Kump on behalf of The Management Group’s Joel and Robert Mandel.»

So what do media do? They use this little titbit (I love to write little and titbit together even though titbit is more than enough; so sue me!) to ask a question to actress Jessica Chastain.

Mashable’s take on the issue:

«Johnny Depp spends an inordinate amount of money to have someone feed him his lines in an earpiece so he doesn’t have to memorize them. It’s one of those facts that seems to confirm that some things in the universe are exactly as they seem.»

They don’t question it. Like, at all! They take it as fact!  And their writer continues:

» Sort of like how Jessica Chastain shows up and does her job in a professional manner. When asked whether she has a trick for memorizing her lines, Chastain responds, “No, I guess my technique is working hard.”»

Huge applause for Ms. Chastain.

Jessica Chastain’s roll eye made headlines.

 

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Seriously, I feel like I am the odd one out. Truth be told, it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last, but I hated this. But hey! Making fun of Johnny Depp is trendy, no?

Admit it; it is.

I almost feel sorry for her too because she has a great film in Cannes Film Festival and media care more her rolling eyes at Johnny Depp. Do you wonder why? Because «Johnny Depp!» She made these particular headlines because of Johnny Depp whom everyone adores to hate at the moment; by «everyone» I mean media and social media.

Alternative #1: The whole thing is real. Johnny Depp has hired someone to tell him his lines in his ear piece. Unless said someone is acting in his place, I can’t see the problem. Especially, considering Johnny Depp is a. dyslexic (according to the internet, don’t take my word on it) and b. almost blind from one eye, according to the man himself

«His glasses are prescription, and he needs them badly, though they don’t do anything for his left eye. Since birth, he’s been «basically blind as a bat» in that one, in a way that’s impossible to correct. «Ev­erything is just very, very blurry,» he says. «I’ve never had proper vision.» The right eye is simply nearsighted (and lately, far-sighted). So whenever he’s acting – un­less he’s lucky enough to be in a scene where his character wears sunglasses – Depp can see only a few inches away from his face.»

If it was anyone else social media would be up to arms to call her out for ableism. As we said, it’s Johnny Depp though so «she’s Queen».

Alternative #2: The whole thing is BS with TMG running a smear campaign against their former client, something that is supported by Ms. Dunst interview from 2008 that Mr. Depp likes to listen to music when he acts.

«But Johnny Depp has music playing in his ear when he acts,» she said. «He has an ear bud. That’s why he’s so great.»

A decade ago, he was great, now?

On top of that, Brenton Thwaites, who co-stars with Depp in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean, said it was «impossible» he was having his lines fed through to him.

«I’d say it’s normal for older actors who have memory problems. Johnny’s too impulsive to do that, every take is different»

Hush now, child, we don’t care about that. Ad-libbing and improvising nonsense. Media have the true story.

Ms. Chastain took the gossip, rolled her eyes, and made herself to be studious and hardworking. As opposed to Johnny Depp being lazy? Whatever her intention, media took it as such. And she hasn’t corrected that impression yet. She hasn’t gone out to say the rolling eyes was because of the question and it was in no way directed at Johnny Depp. Let’s be honest here, the rolling eyes was directed at Depp. She and the media insinuated he’s too lazy to learn his lines.

And it’s so damn unprofessional.

If someone came to me and asked me how I work by stating how my colleague in the library next town works and I rolled my eyes at the sound of his name and then continued praising my work ethic, I would consider myself unprofessional. And lame. Kinda pathetic. Personal opinion here.

It’s easy. Ms. Chastain could have started her reply with: «People have different methods of working; whatever Johnny does works for him for over 30 years. To talk about me…» insults no one, demeans no one, accepts no gossip as truth. That’s not what she did.

Why?

Because it is easy to scapegoat Johnny Depp based on rumours. But damn it all to hell and back, it is not professional.

And it is not right.

 

Food for thought:

«Being publicly accused of a crime one did not commit could lead a person to jump off a bridge. Once the information is out there, defending yourself, clearing your name, fighting suspicion and tolerating disdain is a horrible predicament.

People with little information can form strong opinions and take unwarranted retaliatory action from expulsion from the clan to spreading the false word. In Jane Eyre, the cruel headmaster tells the girls to let no one be her friend, take her hand or comfort her. You get the sense that this is the worst for Jane, worse than the head blow and the lack of bread.

If the accusations are not true, the person is in a situation that is similar to being bullied. Even if one is rich, successful, famous or “has it all,” the psychological devastation can be ruinous. If you are not believed, if you cannot fight back with the true story, if now you are distrusted and under scrutiny, the sense of helplessness is overwhelming. People with inner vulnerabilities are easy targets. Others sense the fragility and find it thrilling to gang up or attack. Having a scapegoat can help a group form a strong bond and find meaning in what could be otherwise empty lives.»

 

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scapegoat
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scapegoating
  3. http://outofthefog.website/top-100-trait-blog/2015/11/4/favoritism
  4. http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-39778178
  5. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-creativity-cure/201402/false-accusations-scapegoats-and-the-power-words

 

Trial by media/social media

Media/social media ethics or not

 

The principle is easy enough to understand; everyone has the same rights. Only, not really. Underprivileged and over privileged seem to not have any rights at all. Weird isn’t it? OK everyone knows underprivileged have to fight against poverty, for one thing. How can this compare to over privileged? Don’t get me wrong; it doesn’t. Fighting hunger is comparable to nothing.

However, many media nowadays have forgotten that over privileged people have the same basic human rights like the rest of us in the civilised, western world.

Rights like:

innocent until proven guilty

or

privacy (medical, financial etc)

or

even work

Let’s take Mr. Johnny Depp as an example. Until recently, one of the most loved, most acclaimed Hollywood actors. For the last half decade or so, numerous media articles have been publishing fabricated news in regards to him, and while this particular trend was always favourable to tabloids (loved celebrities means sales/clicks in paper or digital form) the intent to viciously attack him is kind of new.

Move forward to almost a year ago, in late May 2016, when his now ex-wife, after filing for divorce due to «irreconcilable differences» a week prior, appeared in court favouring a facial bruise and asking for a DVRO on the grounds of domestic violence, which was granted temporarily to her until the hearing would take place two weeks later, a hearing that got postponed for two months due to Mr. Depp’s ex wife’s resistance to being deposed, a hearing which never took place due to her withdrawing her request a few days before its hearing on August 11th.

Read more

Dos and Dont’s in domestic abuse

according to very famous divorce case of Mr. Johnny Depp and his soon to be ex wife Mrs. Amber Heard.

Harper’s Bazaar.co.uk made an aricle about Inspiring Women and Feminists in 2016

10 women who changed the world this year

«From Hillary Clinton to Amber Heard, we celebrate the women who inspired us in 2016»

ah-stupidity-hb

My personal opinion is that -regardless if you believe Amber Heard was abused by Johnny Depp or not- the above lines about Amber Heard and especially the last sentence is dangerous. For the abuse victims.

It’s been circulated among media outlets that Amber Heard did everything a victim was supposed to do and people still questioned her.

The problem isn’t that people questioned her. The problem is deeper and it can cause harm to victims/survivors of abuse.

Ella Alexander of Harper’s Bazaar writes «Her bravery and candour will doubtlessly help others in similar positions to come forward».

Let’s talk about protecting yourself from your abuser and compare it to Mrs. Heard’s actions.

1. Don’t alert your abuser if you are planning to leave.

Mrs. Heard sent a letter, not only alerting Mr. Depp she was asking for divorce, but also demanding spousal support, his range rover with Mr. Depp to continue to make all payments for any encumbrances thereon, his condos (the place she’s been systematically abuse since before their wedding) with Mr. Depp to continue to pay mortage utilities, etc associated therewith, and a contribution towards her accounting costs, to be paid to her lawyers’ firm by close of business of a certain date (the same date she asked for a TRO, because he refused to pay her)
Amber Heard’s letter to Johnny Depp’s lawyer before filing for a TRO

Let me rephrase the above, Mrs. Heard blackmailed/extorted her alleged abuser while he had free access in their home.

2. Call 911 and report the incident. Write down the police report/incident number and keep with your records.

Mrs. Heard (or her friend) called the Police, but didn’t file a report, didn’t press charges, didn’t report the incident as domestic violence.

Wouldn’t that just aggrevate an abuser more? She had no protection from the Police, and she was in his house.

3. Know your abuser’s red flags. Be on alert for signs and clues that your abuser is getting upset and may explode in anger or violence. Come up with several believable reasons you can use to leave the house (both during the day and at night) if you sense trouble brewing.

Or make sure you don’t push their buttons while openly filming them. This isn’t victim blaming, it’s self protection. It’s one thing installing hidden cameras to record the abuse, and a whole different thing to have your mobile camera on your abuser’s face while your abuser aggressively cuts trees in the backyard attempting to remind them that besides the poor trees withstanding their aggression, you are there as well.

On top of that, do not embarrass your abuser by uploading the incriminating video in youtube while they still have access in their home.

4. File for a Protective Order that will tell your abuser to stay away.

Do not drop the Restraining Order request after making your abuser the ridicule of the town. It will most probably enrage them and you will not be safe.

I get it. It is totally great to feel a hero, putting your abuser down and making what they are known to everyone. But will that keep you safe? Will media care about you like they did for Mrs. Heard? How much will your abuser be angry if you do what she did?

Mrs Heard isn’t in the hospital (or in a morgue) only because she accused Mr. Depp and that’s for two reasons.

Because.

a. maybe there was no abuse from his part to begin with,
or
b. she has all the spotlight of the world on her, because she’s Mr. Depp’s ex wife.

Do NOT do what she did regardless of what you read in media. What she did was a fine way to enrage him and make him angry, not really asking for the Police’s protection, or even the Law’s protection (she dropped her RO request).

Have a safety plan. If your partner is abusive, have a plan to protect yourself and your children in case you need to leave quickly.
Try to find a way to put aside some money (blackmailing your abuser is not the best of ways to go about it), clothing, documents for the time you will have to leave your home. Find a place -friendly- to stay in emergency. Join a support group for survivors of domestic violence, get help from a therapist of hotlines. Take precautions not to be noticed by your abuser.

Stay safe.
You won’t be safe if you do what Mrs. Heard did.

The media that present what Mrs. Heard did as the right thing to do most probably don’t care about your safety. After all, you have not been married to Mr. Depp.

Protect yourself.

Instead of attempting to become a hero by the media, your first priority is safety.
http://msmagazine.com/blog/2015/10/30/what-to-do-in-a-domestic-violence-situation-a-guide-for-survivors-and-supporters/
http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/domvic.htm
http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/help-for-abused-and-battered-women.htm

Inspirational music

I used to write hours upon hours. The last year and a half, I had lost my will to type. I’m sure if typing could be done on its own while I was narrating to my computer I’d have at least three books finished by now. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. It would have been writing exercise.

Now, that I’m getting slowly my mojo back, I remember that I liked listening to music while writing. And what music was that? Well, my favourite of course. Strangely enough, I mever listen to instrumental when I write or jazz. I prefer my favourite melancholic tunes accombanied by lyrics written by great lyricists like Jarvis Cocker (Pulp) and heart breaking voices such Brett Anderson’s (suede) and Stuart Staples’ (tindersticks), or Nick Cave’s and Leonard Cohen’s.

So one of the added good restarting writing did to me was relistening to my favourite songs and artists and discovering new bands like Beecake.

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To write what you fear…

…not to fear what you write

Words on their own have no strength, no power. There’s no beauty. A writer needs more than words. The Writer needs grammar and syntax, they need ideas and passion. Writing is an experiment destined to either succeed or fail.

There are times the words without the passion or the idea succeed. And you just sit there and read and wonder. How’s that possible?

And then there are works that were meant to become classic but where pushed aside at their own time. That, however, is possible and awfully comprehensible. Time periods, values, ethics and all that jazz.

Magic is created with the right time, with the right ingredients. And a fire is lit that won’t go down.

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I use my fears

I depend on them

Emotions created during their time

Are powerful

Their strength consumes me

My fingers bleed while inside my head

The demons play

It’s so wrong until the right moment comes

And I turn those fears to my advantage

Until they’ll hide from me in tears…

© https://randomthoughtsofaromanticmind.wordpress.com/

Kristen Stewart and cheating. Man vs woman world.

I am not certain if I should indulge in this (I don’t really care about her one way or another) but let’s get facts straight.

Kristen Stewart started working in front of a camera at the age of 9, her parents knew the ins and outs of the “business”, she got it easy. Now at 22, she was last year the most well paid actress in Hollywood.

Hollywood isn’t exactly the place for values and ethics and correct me if I’m wrong KS isn’t the first to cheat on her boyfriend. Why is anyone shocked is above me (especially since she started so very young)! Intrigues, sexual passions, cheating, divorcing and the likes are the cherry on top of the money these actors take. It’s what they offer to the public for consummation.

KS isn’t the first to entangle herself in a scandal. I’ll bring into consideration another actress, whom I don’t particularly like either. Do we remember Angelina Jolie in her teens & 20s? Do we? Getting married at a really young age, divorcing, rumours about lesbian relationships, her second marriage to Billie Bob Thornton, walking around carrying a little bottle of her husband’s blood on her necklace? And then of course, being the reason of America’s favourite couple’s separation! How much did any of this hurt her career?

No KS isn’t the first to involve in a scandal and will most definitely not be the last. I’ve seen so many posts and reblogs about the poor young woman and how her career is suffering because of her actions and feminists talk about how the same thing isn’t hurting the married older man with whom she had the affair (we don’t know that though).

So no! It’s not the man vs woman world that makes her look bad. Seriously? I don’t even get it! It’s the game she played from the beginning with the media; that of the good girl and innocent role model, that’s been turned on her like a boomerang. It was her decision to be shown that way (virginal girly etc) and so now she pays the price. Not because she’s a woman as many want to put it. Many actresses have done the same thing and their careers were just fine.

When you target a specific kind of audience said audience will turn against you if you decide to change the way you present yourself.

What worries me the most is that this whole thing will actually benefit her in the future and we will be subjected to her awful acting again.

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Nothing to read because this was a pointless post.

I want to talk about my country. And my people. Or possibly rant. Most of us are not hungry, most of use don’t have a huge economical problem. Most of us can live nicely. Most of us are those who shout and rage though.

Sure, there are people who lost their jobs (I’m unemployed; I don’t like it because I can’t give and because I have no income). When I did work I saved money so no! I do not starve. Granted I live with parents. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have been able to survive. So I live with my family. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

However, things are not as bad as we make them to be. There aren’t homeless people in every block in every town. Yes, big cities have it bad, but life in towns and villages is not that bad. We don’t starve, we’re not hungry, we have everything we need.

Unfortunately, we never tried to see what brought us though. For twenty years people took loans to go on vacations, used credit cards to buy materials they didn’t need. Mercedes jeeps were bought by the dozens, each household had two or three cars, twelve year olds bought jeans that cost 120E, have their mobiles (with internet connection). Nightly out means return home after 06.00, after drinking and eating as if it’s the last time you’ll drink and eat. And repeat, for many years.

We have a saying in Greece; «stretch your legs as far as your quilt is» (it loses some of its prestige when translated). Needless to say it, we didn’t follow through. Why? I think it was because of the easiness of spending money that was borrowed and media.

Media are so very much responsible for today’s condition. Since the mid 1990s numerous tv shows presented in Greek TV station showing the guileless,  naive us how celebrities lived, what they bought, where they were going in the summer, in the winter, how many houses they had, how many clothes they had… which, personal opinion, they shouldn’t have had in the first place. Greek show business is not like the American one and still money was given away like paper towels. And everyone wanted to have a second place by the sea, in an island or two, and have the luxury to go skiing every weekend.

Well, some things simply cannot happen! And that’s what we pay today.

However, besides those who have actual problems, most of those complaining are those who are overcommitted to stop paying 300 euros monthly for their mobile phones, or go to the hairdresser every Saturday.

My thoughts are for those, who like me, have no job and a family. But first we should change bad outlook/attitude of years and attempt to live with what we have.

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What to read:

Beryl Bainbridge’s An Awfully Big Adventure (1989)

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