Monday, January 24, 2011

WTH is a WOTY?

by carol

The month of January is not only a time for new year resolutions. It also provides the opportunity to look back and assess certain aspects of the previous year.

As a self-confessed logophile (see blog entry on August 20, 2010), my favorite reviews come from the groups that select a “word of the year” (WOTY). These are words or phrases that came to special prominence during the year or which encapsulate a significant issue of it. WOTY is also one method seized upon by publicists to market dictionaries, which are invaluable but unsexy.

The Macquarie Dictionary group in Australia has its list of nominated words at their website Online voting ends January 28th, so hustle over there if you want to vote for your choice.  It won’t be an easy decision.  Here are some of the choices:

preload - verb  
to consume alcoholic drinks at one's home in advance of going to a social event where such drinks would be more expensive.

koala ears - plural noun
1. patches of pubic hair protruding from the leg openings of a swimming costume or underwear.
2. thick tufts of hair growing over the ears, especially those occurring when a hairstyle is growing out.

tart noir - noun
a genre of crime fiction in which the female investigator is a woman who is tough, independent, and sexy.

fauxmance - noun
a sham romantic relationship between two celebrities, fabricated as a means to gain publicity.

email fatigue - noun
the sense of being overwhelmed by a high volume of incoming emails, resulting in an inability to deal with them effectively.

googleganger - noun
a person with the same name as oneself, whose online references are mixed with one's own among search results for one's name.

ego-surf - verb
to search the internet for instances of one's own name, as in mentions in text, links to one's blog, etc.

self-gift - noun
something bought for oneself as a personal indulgence.

lowbat - adjective
1. of or relating to an electronic device, especially a mobile phone, the functioning of which is impaired by having a battery which needs charging.
2. tired or exhausted: I was lowbat for days after the party. 

vajazzle – verb; noun
verb (of a woman) to decorate the pubic area by applying adhesive crystals to the skin after removal of hair by waxing; the decoration so applied.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dark Humor...not everyone gets it

by carol

Along with geography and pronunciation discrepancies, criticism of CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 has included the use of dark or black humor. Joking at murder sites and while discussing criminal cases has some viewers concerned about the sensitivity of the characters played by Scott Caan and Alex O’Loughlin (Danno and Steve). The recent episode He Kane Hewa’ole (Innocent Man) brings the use of black/dark humor to a “head.” (mea culpa)
A particular type of humor which applies in the critical incident situation is often called black, dark or gallows. It is seen to be a mechanism for coping with life in harsh settings. It proposes an illogical response to irresolvable dilemmas and offers a way of being sane in an insane place.
Is it real? Are the writers portraying police as they behave in real life?

Cops see the grotesque, the inexplicable, the scarcely credible. They have to turn off, not get involved. They handle insane, intoxicated and violent people. They console crime victims and their families. They must cope with the aftermath of criminal violence and the brutal cruelty of people to each other. Black humor can be a safety valve to get them through the day. Along with military, shock-trauma surgeons, ambulance crews, fire departments, and ER nurses, they can hide in black humor.

Humor serves to bring a sense of balance, perspective, and clarity to a world that seems to have been warped and polluted by malevolence and horror. Humor, even sarcastic, gross, or callous humor if handled appropriately and used constructively, ­ may allow the safe venting of anger, frustration, resentment, or sadness.

Does black humor then reflect a heightened or a reduced sensitivity to the crime and the people involved? Many writers use black humor to portray a grim ability to see things as they are rather than deny them. Perhaps people who use black humor do have an even darker vision than most and may present this through a unique mixture of comedy and despair.

Jokes and puns were rampant throughout He Kane Hewa’ole. But in the scene with the victim’s wife at the airport, McGarrett voices what he and his partner have really been feeling and coping with during the investigation: their anger, frustration, horror and sadness over the pain and suffering of a horrific crime.

Kudos to the writers. Keep writing it this way, guys, keep it real.


Fullerton, C.S., McCarroll, J.E., Ursano, R.J. & Wright, K.M. (1992). Psychological responses of rescue workers: Firefighters and trauma. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 62, 371-378.
Miller, L. (1994). Civilian post traumatic stress disorder: Clinical syndromes and psychotherapeutic strategies. Psychotherapy, 31, 655-664.
Silva, M.N. (1991). The delivery of mental health services to law enforcement officers. In J.T. Reese, J.M. Horn & C. Dunning (Eds.), Critical Incidents in Policing (rev ed., pp. 335-341).
Janoff, B. (1974) Black humor, existentialism and absurdity: A generic confusion. Arizona Quarterly, 293-304
Thompson, J. & Solomon, M. (1991) Body recovery teams at disasters: Trauma or challenge Anxiety Research, 4 235-24
Kuhlman, T. L. (1988) Gallows humor for a scaffold setting: managing aggressive patients on a maximum-security forensic unit. Hospital & Community Psychiatry, 39 (10) 1085-1090

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What's Next for Alex O'Loughlin?

By Pam

One might ask, If not for fortune and fame, why become an actor? It’s a fair question. Recently I was talking to a family member who is an accomplished producer. We were discussing Alex O’Loughlin and if he had a manager (managers aid in advancing careers).  I said I thought he did not. I explained that what I know of Alex he wasn’t looking for fame.  The producer’s wife, who was listening in, said, “Interesting.”  I was taken aback by that response. Is it that much of an anomaly for an actor to just want to act because he enjoys it? What happens if Alex becomes famous?  He has said, “I’ll deal with it.”

Alex O'Lachlan is touted as one of Australia's most talented up-and-coming actors but says he's "absolutely terrified" by the thought of fame. "Fame, for all intents and purposes, is not something that I aspire to," he said.

“I can’t really imagine what it would be like to have to be a celebrity…. Not being able to leave the house without getting hassled by paparazzi and stuff like that all the time. That’d be a bit of a nightmare I’d imagine.”
“Fame is kind of frightening. I don’t yearn for it,” O’Loughlin says.  “All of a sudden, you are driving home one night, and there’s your head, 30 feet tall, on a billboard on Sunset Boulevard. I was an actor in theater in Sydney, and I’ve done little indie films that paid nothing. I am not an actor for that kind of recognition.”

Aug. 2010
(On losing his anonymity) "A lot of actors are private people. I think a lot of actors really don't live the life that the rest of the world thinks we would live. I don't know...we'll see what happens."
Q: Are you okay with not being anonymous anymore?
"Not really.  I may have to move to Hawaii or something. [laughs]
Unfortunately, it seems like Alex isn’t able to “deal with it” very well these days because of the circumstances.

Nov. 2010
"You move away from your family and friends to a small island [Oahu] where everyone knows your business..."

When filming Hawaii Five-0 out and about on Oahu, people are always watching. He doesn’t have much of a personal life because of his work schedule, but when he goes out he’s usually approached by admirers.  It’s a sad day when an exhausted celebrity can’t sit and enjoy a bit of food without being pressed by a fan. A paparazzo caught him in an intimate moment with his lady at LAX last week. Then TMZ stopped him before he boarded his plane back to Oahu.

Hawaii Five-0 is one of the most popular shows on TV, and Alex’s star has catapulted because of it. His most devoted fans have been joined by new ones just discovering him, from all over the world. Alex has become what he has feared for years.  It was inevitable. He is famous.  What now?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"We'll get back to you...Next!"

by carol

What do the greatest actors and the lowliest extras have in common? What provokes the same feelings in the celebrity whose name is above the movie title and the bit actor whose work ended up on the film cutting room floor?

It is the dreaded audition, that act of putting your talent, your appearance and your emotions in front of strangers who assess and pass judgment on your ability to make a living as an actor.
“I'm the worst auditioner, really, really bad. I mean, you're being judged and I'm just so aware of it that it consumes me. I can't relax, I'm tied in knots, so the voice is very taut and tense. You're so aware that you're acting 'cause you're sitting across from this lady with a piece of paper who's going I'm. Going. To. Shoot. You. If. You. Don't. Blah, blah, blah in this emotionless voice. It's foul. I hate it." - Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight, Brokeback Mountain)
Auditions could be considered the rite of passage for new actors, each one being a test of their commitment and fortitude.
"The first year I was here I was auditioning all the time and got no work. There were times I was thinking, 'What am I doing, this is crazy'. I was scared because I had no money and no ticket home. 'Why won’t anyone employ me?’ I questioned myself, my talent and my capacity to exist in this industry.” – Alex O’Loughlin (Hawaii Five-0, Oyster Farmer)
One of the unhappy lessons learned from auditions is that selection for a role may not be based on how well you can act.

Jonathan Schmock, executive producer-writer-director-actor, observed in an interview that (a casting director does,) "sadly, less and less. Casting directors used to cast. They had close to final say and were respected for their expertise and knowledge. Now they suggest and bring a group of actors to the producers and now even the Network."

So, does the executive producer(s) have final choice, final say, on who gets the job? According to Schmock, "It’s going more and more to the studio and the Network … Lawyers and business people in other words. There are less and less shows and the decision making keeps moving upwards."

Even after achieving recognition for your work, it doesn’t necessarily get any easier to acquire the roles you want.
"It's hard to maintain a sense of dignity in an audition. I have done so many auditions where I've put it out there and have been met with that kind of blank stare - 'Great! Thanks! OK! Great work! Thanks for coming in!' At the door I'm thinking, 'What the hell am I doing with my life?'" - Ben Stiller (Meet the Parents, Curb Your Enthusiasm)

Of course, there are also those special auditions when a role and an actor are meant for each other, and everyone in the room knows it.
 Can you imagine anyone else playing House except Hugh Laurie?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Most Dangerous Vice of Alex O'Loughlin

by carol

Fans spend a lot of time speculating when Alex O’Loughlin performs his own stunts in Hawaii Five-0. Some he does, some he doesn’t. In the episode "Ke Kinohi," McGarrett takes a motorcycle and uses it to break down a door and climb stairs. 

It’s definitely Alex mounting the bike and pulling out. But there is a cut just before the fishtail turn and from that point on, no clear shot of Alex’s face. As the rider does his wheelie to hit the door, the arm tat of the rider does look like Alex’s. But we know his stunt double will wear tats as needed. Another cut in the filming and someone is riding up the steps.
Q:  Are you a motorbike addict?
Alex: "Yeah, I am. The studios hate it. That’s my most dangerous vice. That's just something I've always loved."
Certainly CBS would not risk Alex doing any stunt that might result in broken bones or a body cast. That’s why they have clever film editors to mix and match shots of Alex and his stunt double. And the fact that we question if it is Alex is a tribute to their skill.

BUT, I firmly believe Alex is quite capable of and would probably enjoy any stunt with a motorcycle.
“Yeah, I’m crazy for motorcycles. I’ve been riding since I was five-years old, so it’s like a part of me. My dad got me into them! I loved them since I was a kid. For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a deep fascination with engines and a longing for danger.
“People ask what kind of kid I was … I used to steal bricks from construction sites, build walls from them, then ride my trike down through them.”
Pshaw, this man would not hesitate to knock down a door with a motorcycle!

The best assessment of Alex’s riding skills comes from Caleb Owens, owner of Cro Customs Inc.*
“He's an avid 2 wheeler and not a fly by night hipster. Loves riding, and man did he put this bike through the ringer. He rides the piss out of it.”

* Alex took his old evo sporty to Cro Customs and they rebuilt the bike from the ground up.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hawaii Five-0’s Writers Provide Oral Lex(icon)

By Pam 

Language is continually evolving, and since its creation TV has contributed its fair share of new words and catch phrases.  A great example is the term “5-0” which came from the original Hawaii Five-0 TV series and has come to mean the police, in general.  The writers of the new Hawaii Five-0 have come up with some clever uses of common words and terms which make us see them in a new and somewhat twisted way. 

Here is a lexicon of the first half of the season’s vocabulary (the ones I can remember). I’ve roughly defined them so they can be used in your every day conversations.

  •  cargument – arguing in the car
  •   triple banana, bitch – the ultimate of anything
  •   eye humping – giving someone the f**k me eyes
  •   aneurysm face – facial expression for WTF
  •   got into some Barry White – had sex
  •   ergo – thus; and so
  •   [they’re] from out of town - something or someone you have no respect for
  •   rationally concerned – scared
  •   Super SEAL – fearless person; knows everything, does everything
  •   Science Guy – a resourceful person
  •   Do you have a pulse? – you’re clueless
  •   doing a thing – concocting a false situation to suit one’s needs
  •   Neanderthal animal – idiot; jerk; moron; loser; a-hole
  •   armed conflict – anger; being aggressive
  •   term of endearment – covers your ass; strictly bullsh*t
  •   Oh God – an embarrassing or “whoa” moment
  •   napalm in the morning kind of guy [person] – hard hearted
  •   You're apology is noted, acceptance is pending – not ready to give in; keeping the upper hand
  •   fear of death – threaten
  •   You are the backup – nobody else is coming (as in to your party)
  •   Choose your next words carefully – better not say the wrong thing
Please, if you want to leave a comment, choose your next words carefully. Should you leave a nasty comment, causing me to exhibit aneurysm face (because I know this lexicon is triple banana, bitch), I’d be rationally concerned that you have no sense of humor. Do you have a pulse? If that’s the case, you just may be a napalm in the morning kind of person, ergo, a Neanderthal animal from out of town. Seriously, you need to get into some Barry White. Then, once you’re more relaxed, any apology will be noted, acceptance will be pending. 

He he….I’m kidding…just doing a thing.

  Thanks to the season 1 writers of Hawaii Five-0