Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Suburban Mayhem (3 Stars)

I checked out this film on the recommendation of a friend. He's a big fan of Australian cinema, which is something I know almost nothing about. I asked him for recommendations, and this was the first film he named.

Well, as you can guess by my rating I wasn't exactly overwhelmed. I wouldn't say it's a bad film, and it has won a few awards, but it has nothing to say to me. It's about Katrina, a self-centred young woman, a single mother who lives with her father. Maybe that's what puts me off. I have nothing against self-centred young women, but when they give their social life priority over their children I draw the line. Katrina is sexy and gives first-class blow jobs, a skill that makes her able to manipulate men. Every time she wants to party she leaves her daughter Bailee with a boyfriend and disappears for days on end. It's not that she doesn't love her daughter, it's just that her party life comes first.

The only man that Katrina really loves is her brother Danny. No, it's nothing sexual, but for Katrina the men in her life are objects to be used; Danny is the only man she can take seriously. When Danny is given a life sentence for murder she resorts to desperate measures to get him out of prison.

I was surprised to see Mia Wasikowska in a small role as a friend Katrina makes in a beauty parlour. She was the only familiar face I recognised. This was the first film she made when she was 16.

Do you hate telemarketers as much as me? The so-called cold callers? I don't see how anybody could possibly like them. While I was watching the film the phone rang three times. Every time it was an offensive caller. One of them was a recorded message about PPI, which ended with the words, "If you do not want to receive this reminder again, press 9". So I pressed 9, even though I know it won't make any difference. I pressed 9 the last time I got the message.

One of the callers, who sounded from his accent like he isn't even located in England, started his call with the words, "I have a quick question for you that will only take up 20 seconds of your time". Fine. Then he started reading off some standard legal disclaimer, something like, "This phone call is being recorded and may be used for training purposes, etc". When he finished I told him, "Your 20 seconds are up", and I hung up. I don't know what he wanted, and I don't want to know. I'm sure he'll call again. The cold callers never give up.

What's the best way to deal with them? I don't know. They've been bothering me for years. A few months ago I decided to be rude. For a couple of weeks I kept telling them to fuck off and slammed the phone down. In itself it's a good idea. If I'm rude to the caller he'll feel bad, which will make him hesitate before his next call, maybe even have a bathroom break, sparing other people. If everyone did it he would feel so bad about his job that he'd quit and go work somewhere else. The trouble with this method is that I'm a polite person by nature, someone who never swears. After saying rude words I feel uncomfortable about myself, like I've dirtied myself.

Maybe I should just hang up without saying anything. I've tried that in the past, but sometimes they think it was a mistake and ring back immediately. It's not any good just politely saying that I'm not interested. I did that for years, and it doesn't help. I need to let them know that I'm not just not interested in their product, I also find their call offensive. Maybe I should tell them something like, "Look, you're probably a nice person, but you have a really shitty job. I'm sure you can do better for yourself". I haven't tried that yet. Tomorrow.

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