Sunday, April 12, 2015

the secret? maize.

Have you ever seen the Australian version of the TV series called The Slap?

Well, if you have, you might understand why it's so difficult for people of a certain temperament to attend parties in a certain Northern Rockies "mountain town".  It's due to the frequency of encountering children like spoiled, boundary-free, still sucking Momma's tit at age 4 named Hugo and overindulgent, uninvolved parents like Rosie and Gary who would let their little Hugo break a video game controller, bite another child, get into a record & CD collection and leave it a shambles with possibly ruined vinyl and/or discs, spit on an adult, pick up a cricket bat and swing it at other children threateningly, again spit on yet another adult.  Who will set boundaries for this child as he terrorizes the setting and people there?  Obviously not his parents!  They are progressive!  They are pacifist!  Boundaries are for bogans!

The show sets up one of the most pervasive problem dynamics in human culture during the 21st Century, and milks it for 8 episodes.

Of course the terrible beastly reactionary woggy bogan is typed in the one human whose patience with Hugo the Heroic wears to the breaking point by the time Heroic Hugo is swinging the cricket bat at children including woggy bogan's own child.  Woggy bogan picks up Heroic Hugo and carries him away from the cricket bat and the children at whom the bat was swung repeatedly, and deposits him nearer his uninvolved father.  Heroic Hugo then kicks the shin of woggy bogan, whose now-exhausted patience finds him delivering a slap to Heroic Hugo.  Hence, violent reactionary.

To the progressive, woggy bogan shouldn't even be alive.  No response from woggy bogan would have been adequate for the progressive.  The progressive thinks Heroic Hugo should just be allowed to fuck with everything and anything in his Hugosphere.  Which, incidentally, is the entire universe.  It's all Hugo's.  Everyone else is just an annoying hindrance for Heroic Hugo.  Everyone, except for overindulgent momma Rosie and her always-available teat.  Rosie, you see, is Earth Mother.


Having lit the match, thrown it onto a well-created pile of fatwood kindling, and then tossed napalm onto the roaring fire lit in the first episode, the series creators spend 7 episodes exploring different perspectives on the event that gives the series its title.

The primary tension suggested by the series is that Rosie's friendship with others requires the others to defer greatly to Rosie's Earth Mother role.  Only one character is allowed to tell Rosie what she thinks about Rosie's parental skills (non-existent with a child for whom leave-it-alone is destructive rather than needed; there is a continuum between hovering and uninvolved), the rest walk on hot coals around Rosie, who sees herself as the champion of Violence Against Children, Which is Bad.


Violence is a piss-poor way to get points across with children.  It teaches them about violence as power tool and usually has the opposite result of what's desired.  Well, with certain children its result is opposite.

But as with involvement in a child's life, violence sits on a spectrum.  What Rosie imagines herself defending against is not what woggy bogan actually did.  Woggy bogan did not set up and continue a pattern of violence against Heroic Hugo.  It is the pattern that destroys a child, not the single occurrence.  If you have a leave-it-alone style of uninvolved parenting like Gary & Rosie, you get a child like Hugo.  If you have a constantly-hovering style of overinvolved parenting like some other humans I've encountered, you get a child who is a different isomer of the Hugo model.  You get a different kind of can't-support-self child.  You get the kind of child who thinks someone will take care of me no matter what rolls my way.

Both styles create, or tend toward creating, the kinds of adult who later become Social Justice Warriors if their aggression is passive, and manipulative Carl Icahns or Ivan Boeskys if their aggression is free-range and overt.  Sometimes you get a John Wayne Gacy, if the behind-closed-doors activity involving parent(s) and child are, shall we say, sexually questionable.

Several scenes with Hugo in his own home suggest the sexually inappropriate setting is there.


The hype potential for this series is massive.  It's obviously inflammatory.  It lets progressives and reactionaries pick up their rhetorical pugil sticks and commence the warfare.

I have 2 episodes left to watch.  Will the Social Justice Warrior perspective prevail?  Tune in anon.


Chet Redweld said...

I have encountered observations suggesting Heroic Hugo is autistic or Asperger's.


Hugo is cruel. Pay attention to Hugo, rather than seeing him as victim. I listed his destructive acts at the party. We also see him pulling up plants in the garden, demanding that a yard-chicken play with him as he insists/desires and then saying "stupid chicken!" when the chicken won't yield. These are the acts of a child with an egocentrism that has no room for empathy.

Cruelty is not part of the autism spectrum.

Rather, the autism spectrum human feels empathetically, often in overwhelming amounts. What the autism spectrum human lacks is not empathy, but the neurotypical human's social language for empathy. The autism spectrum person doesn't know how to show others that empathy dwells within. But that's entirely different from lacking it.

Little Hugo lacks it.

Rather clever of the creators to make the villain a 4 year old.

Harald Purnow said...

Shitfuk sumerdrapp hatecar play jarism luvvit know eyedeez mineown shitfuk rackshinerry fuk crakah thuggakin fukre.

Al Paulzandry said...


Kallen So-Al said...

Pythagoras, Euclid, Turing
antagonist, puke-lid, boring

saddle-up and ride
tan your partner's hide

Double-X, why?
Priapus Rex, guy!

po' (telem)etry
Sir Kitt
fry (no fish, not -day)
'n' kappas

got a P?

Chet Redweld said...

Well, we're always happy to hear from the frustrated professoriat, the ersatz activist, the homoerotic sock puppet. Especially when they write such terrific insights for us all to stand back and marvel, stunned at the wondrous creativity of a dragon with 6 heads whose first novel rates 0/5 from those who judge a work by its inherent quality rather than its author's preference, gender-wise, in sexual companionship.

Paul Behrer said...

It's a tough one, Chet, when your self-opinion is up there around 125% while the detached observer rates you around 35%.

I think it's their way of saying they definitely would support Rosie in her ego-preserving attempt to have the government prosecute and punish Harry, and by extension that they'd like to see you -- as our friend diane! would say -- die in a fire.

They probably don't know you have a Nomex suit.

Pedro delPuente said...

It is quite unclear to me why you would reference one of my many miraculous creations, inasmuch as you do not appear to be a race car driver, nor an astronaut, and neither are you a pilot or an industrial fire-fighter. Shortly after 9AM EDT on April 13 2015, you will be hearing from our intellectual property litigation counsel, and it would behoove you to heed counsel's admonitions, lest you find yourself filing for protection under Chapter 11. Regards, etc., and mind your rear-view.

Chet Redweld said...

Excuse me, Pedro, but to whom was that cryptic bit of politely passive aggression addressed?

As counsel to this blog, I can assure you that we fear no threat. We do not care if your lawyers wear white shoes and send simple 1-line monthly bills. Intimidation from the clenched-jaw brahmin caste fails to move us in any direction save the comic one. In the spirit invoked by the immortal words of Dr Ben Marble, we invite you to take an onanistic perspective when following your manipulative urges. Slainte!

Padraig de Fada said...

Your spelling. Rubbish.

Phonetic red-hander.

diane! and I'm tough! said...

OMIGOD you are SUCH a misogynistic child-bashing cracker christer redneck repthuglican Bircher breeder Randite asshole who is corporate. The only good character in the whole show is Rosie. THE ONLY ONE. Even her husband is a misogynist. She's trying to raise her child to be a good feminist, like Jack Crow, and the character is given the name Hugo to honor Mr Crow's meatspace personage, Hugo Schwyzer. GO DIE IN A FIRE!

Chet Redweld said...

Episode 6, the Manolis perspective, might be the best one of the series.

Episode 7, the Aisha perspective, shows her duplicity and hypocrisy. On the surface she's quite a dynamo of super-motherhood, but beneath that is vindictiveness. How many times will she rebuff Hector's honesty and tries at reconciliation, while enjoying her little affair with Doctor Exotica?

Episode 8, the Richie perspective, was unwatchable. Despite the fact that Hector was guilty of age-advantaged affection for Connie, he definitely did not "rape" her, since they only kissed. And only twice. And neither was what teenagers of my era would have called a "make-out session". Not only that, the Connie perspective begins with her internal thoughts which are constantly affectionate and lustful toward Hector. This doesn't stop Richie from harassing Hector with RAPIST! texts throughout the day. Richie is a Crowbar.

The revelation of Harry's jaw-breaking in Aisha's episode is not surprising, during the Harry episode we see him grab his wife by the hair violently. It's clear he's explosive and dangerous. But that doesn't make his slap of Hugo a "bashing" (as Gary and Rosie label it) and it doesn't mean Hugo wasn't well out of bounds the entire time at Hector's birthday party BBQ, nor does it make up for Gary and Rosie letting Hugo be a total shit.

Chet Redweld said...

The key to the whole story is found when Aisha, Rosie and Anouk are talking briefly about Anouk's in-process novel, a thinly disguised story of their younger days. Anouk describes it as "three girls fucking their way around men in an attempt to figure themselves out," or something like that. It's clear Rosie never figured herself out and identifies as an Earth Mother, and has latched onto little Heroic Hugo in a disturbingly erotic way that tries to make up for the way Gary has become disillusioned with Rosie's perpetually immature and unrestrained/unresponsible self-image. If Gary's response is to drink himself to oblivion, Rosie's response is to sexualize Hugo.

Hugo is both the villain and victim here. Villain by acts, victim by circumstance -- and the circumstance easily could have been different, had Rosie not been such a 12-year-old-identity-in-an-adult-body. In other words, if Rosie had taken her parental role seriously, she could have established boundaries and begun nurturing Hugo's identity in a way that didn't make him blameless and imperial in outlook.

diane! and I'm tough! said...

OMIGOD. It is SOOOOOOOO obvious that you are a misogynist. Every comment about a woman is NEGATIVE and every comment about a man is POSITIVE. You are BLIND to men's negative qualities and BLIND to women's positive qualities. GO DIE IN A FIRE!

Paul Behrer said...

It looks like our friend diane! is experiencing incremental personal growth.

She didn't accuse anyone of being a closeted homosexual. She omitted the "corporate" accusation.

Hey Chet, were there any good female characters in this show?

Chet Redweld said...

Anouk. Hamstrung by her day-job but making the best of it. Willing to be honest with her friends, while also supporting them. Sure, her ____________ (relationship?) with the young soap opera star reveals a flaw, but it's the minorest flaw of all the characters. Compared to her 2 childhood friends Aisha and Rosie, she's come a long way since childhood, while Aisha only superficially has become mature, and Rosie has, if anything, regressed since childhood.

Chet Redweld said...

Also a side note based on discussions I've read on the subject of this show and both its US and AUS versions. Melissa George plays Rosie in both versions, the only actor to do that.

George is praised for her portrayal of Rosie. I'm not sure that George's acting is all that impressive. If Rosie is like Melissa George, or vice-versa, then it's not acting. So it requires no chops.

I don't know anything about actors, I don't follow their lives or anything outside their portrayals as I've witnessed them on-screen. It may be that George had to stretch to play Rosie. I wouldn't know. I couldn't conclude that unless I got to interview George personally, and asked her some questions about Rosie the character and how George imagined Rosie, how she inhabited Rosie.