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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses (Read 17364 times)
Matt
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #30 - Sep 10th, 2010 at 7:08pm
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Over here the police officer would say "yeah right" as he slapped on the cuffs. It's a zero tolerance policy nowdays.

I think the reason being is domestic violence was a real problem the the law kept a blind eye to for years, and now they overcompensate. I have a friend who got arrested for getting into a verbal arguement with his wife. They charged him with domestic disorderly conduct. The neighbors called the cops and even his wife saying he didn't do anything didn't stop him from being hauled out. Shocked
  

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Normandie
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #31 - Sep 10th, 2010 at 7:15pm
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Alba wrote on Sep 10th, 2010 at 5:02pm:
I simply think Mary was and is a pretty daft chick, wherever she appears. Straker really must have had an incredibly soft spot for her and been on a veritable guilt trip regarding her and that failed marriage.

I don't think we were meant to think she was a bimbo - or that he had poor judgement in women. Iirc, her waiting up for hubby was conducted with a pair of horn-rimmed specs and a book rather than a bit of flowery cross-stitch. The book may have been a Danielle Steel or similar pap (sorry to all devotees of DS!) but I never got the impression she was supposed to be an airhead.

Yes, the majority of Straker fans labelled her as a dimbo because she didn't make the connections that would have led her to conclude - and submissively accept - that her husband wasn't all that he now said he was - suddenly a movie studio executive - but I didn't really buy into that analysis.

The script attempted to write her as a woman of the early 70s - or at least a few years on from when the series was filmed, even if she was supposed to represent a woman of the 80s - and I think as written there's nothing to suggest she wasn't a reasonable choice as a (civilian) wife for Straker. The alternative was a blind trust in her man which - even in the 1980s - would have been a touch on the nave side. Although, it was her ma who employed the PI. Also, I don't think Mary blamed Straker for the accident... I think she blamed him for not achieving the miracle of saving Johnny.

I think Mary gets a raw deal from the fans. But I should probably re-watch the episode. Lips Sealed


  
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Normandie
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #32 - Sep 10th, 2010 at 7:22pm
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Matt wrote on Sep 10th, 2010 at 7:08pm:
Over here the police officer would say "yeah right" as he slapped on the cuffs. It's a zero tolerance policy nowdays.

It is treated more seriously in the UK nowadays but I believe that unless a woman was seriously injured, she'd have to lodge a complaint / actually press charges for the man to even get the scent of a pair of handcuffs or see the inside of a police car. But someone with personal experience of this might have factual experience.
  
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #33 - Sep 10th, 2010 at 7:25pm
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The police would need to be called.. and not many women would do that. if it is a hospital job, then they would be called as a matter of course, but again. if the woman won't press charges, there is little they can do.

But there are different attitudes in different areas of the UK
  

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Matt
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #34 - Sep 10th, 2010 at 7:38pm
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Normandie,

You raise some good points, in retrospect they were both victims of curcumstance. Mary expected that her husband would not be working sixteen hour days and couldn't understand what could be so important. And Ed, torn between duty to his wife and duty to the planet. Sad

My problem with Mary has always been that she didn't assume responsiblity for allowing John to run into the road in the first place.

Based on the flashbacks in "Subsmash" Mary never took that mantle of responsiblity and allowed Ed to bare the guilt alone having never forgiven him. Of course that's just my interpetation of how things went. The case could always be made that she contacted him later.

Dragon does quite a good job of defending Mary in some of her stories and certainly adds a different point of view to the mix. Smiley

  

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Matt
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #35 - Sep 10th, 2010 at 8:06pm
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Lightcudder wrote on Sep 10th, 2010 at 7:25pm:
The police would need to be called.. and not many women would do that. if it is a hospital job, then they would be called as a matter of course, but again. if the woman won't press charges, there is little they can do.

But there are different attitudes in different areas of the UK


Here in the US if the police have evidence of any violence or intimidation they will prosecute regardless of what the wife (or live in girlfriend) wants to do.

I think there was a DV case that got national attention in the early 80's that prompted a change in the laws.
  

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Guina
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #36 - Sep 11th, 2010 at 1:31am
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Hi Matt,

as always I have real trouble with the US stance on things, once "the law" decides to act. It is always so blown out of any kind of proportion. I can by now well understand that faction among US citizens who are fiercely against state intervention. Because it's really laughable.

I have US friends who are into an - let's say - alternate lifestyle. If you ever saw the movie "Secretary" you get what I mean. The hub was now arrested and convicted twice for what is their sexual preference, and if it happens a third time he will be in grave sh*it in the state they live in. Sorry, any state has no business being inside peoples' bedrooms!

Oh and editing this in here: the last time he was arrested (inside his home!) they just marched in there and two of them zapped him with tazers before anyone even got in a word edgewise. VERY UNFUNNY. He wears a pacemaker and could have died.

A while ago a boy not yet even into puberty helped his 2 y/o sis pee, somewhere in one of the southwestern states. The result of a neighbourly call for the police was PRISON FOR AN UNDERAGE KID and a trial for sex offenses.

This is really way beyond where it belongs. Shocked

And such as the above stuff sees to it that quite a few Europeans have firmly struck the US from their list of places where to holiday. It's become highly dangerous for anyone not vanilla or having a liberal lifestyle, depending.
  
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Guina
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #37 - Sep 11th, 2010 at 2:27am
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Hi Normandie,

Quote:
I don't think we were meant to think she was a bimbo - or that he had poor judgement in women. Iirc, her waiting up for hubby was conducted with a pair of horn-rimmed specs and a book rather than a bit of flowery cross-stitch.


Err, she was way too unsexy to have been meant as a bimbo. Ealing had more appeal in that department Grin and most certainly Nina or any of the three witches up on Moonbase Wink No, no, anywhere the Andersons wanted women with a thorough sex appeal they knew how to produce that.

Quote:
The book may have been a Danielle Steel or similar pap (sorry to all devotees of DS!) but I never got the impression she was supposed to be an airhead.


Well, I contend that part. See below.

Quote:
Yes, the majority of Straker fans labelled her as a dimbo because she didn't make the connections that would have led her to conclude - and submissively accept - that her husband wasn't all that he now said he was - suddenly a movie studio executive - but I didn't really buy into that analysis.


No, that's not my point at all. Additionally I dunno where everyone gets the impression from that he was a studio exec early during their marriage. He wore uniform quite often and well into it (ref. Confetti Check), so she must have thought him being MI well up to the birth of their son.

Quote:
The script attempted to write her as a woman of the early 70s - or at least a few years on from when the series was filmed, even if she was supposed to represent a woman of the 80s - and I think as written there's nothing to suggest she wasn't a reasonable choice as a (civilian) wife for Straker.


Well, there *are* quite a few working women in the series. So the fact that she isn't is of relevance, I'd say. And that is the beginning of daft and superficial for me.

Quote:
The alternative was a blind trust in her man which - even in the 1980s - would have been a touch on the nave side.


Err no. And - err differently. I positively hate that trope of "woman marries policeman/vet/doc - turns on him for his work hours".

Even at the time of the series it was shallow and idiotic (and means the woman is dafter than a poodle :Smiley). Not that much later "All Creatures Great and Small" was filmed, first as a movie and then as a series (funnily with Christopher Timothy who was submarine crew in Psychobombs) and we get to see loads of nicely conventional women all married to very busily working men keeping totally ungodly hours and they manage to smile and be supportive!

Mary knew ahead what she'd marry, like anyone who marries someone with an exacting job. You just don't marry an ER doc and then expect to have him/her home for dinner spot on every day.

Quote:
Although, it was her ma who employed the PI.


No excuse at all, on the contrary. I mean, she's an adult, married and pregnant woman. How can she have her mother dictate her life and not be rather daft?

It may be a necessary plot point and it - in my book - shows that they wanted to paint her the poor wifey, because had she at least engaged that PI herself she would have shown some pluck, initiative and intelligence, but instead she is the total pushover.

Quote:
Also, I don't think Mary blamed Straker for the accident... I think she blamed him for not achieving the miracle of saving Johnny.


I agree with that.

Quote:
I think Mary gets a raw deal from the fans. But I should probably re-watch the episode.


As I said, she throws a rather - hm - challenging light on Straker's choices in his private life.

She *is* a daft chick - no profession, no real hobbies, no engaging in the local community, no intelligence to speak of, immediately remarried with the exact same dependance spiel, expecting a behaviour from her partner which he can't furnish (and knowing that ahead). That is more than a little daft to me.

My parents and their friends were of that age at that time, and their life was 100% different. Hell, we are talking the swinging sixties and seventies here! The pill, Woodstock, the Stones - ya know? My mom worked and put my father through half of his university studies that way.

As to Straker, either he ought to have chosen a less dependant, clingy wife - if he ever had any plans for a military career (if it had taken a different direction, he'd still have had the same problem), or he should have sat her down and reasoned it out with her to the point where she will take up some own activities with which to fill the time he is not there. Any which way, he sure did not react on any sort of spot here. And he chose poorly, maybe conventionally, but still poorly.

So unlike some I don't see this as a one-sided thing. My criticism goes to Straker as well. Mary might have been the perfect wife for some bank manager with a plushy 9-to-5 job. But certainly not to a career officer.

And if anything, yeah, she should have taken it up with him, but not wailing, clinging and giving the drama queen. That the writers were capable of writing different stuff for women, we have throughout the series (including those scheming to shoot their hubbies), so they must have wanted what we got here.
  
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Guina
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #38 - Sep 11th, 2010 at 2:36am
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Hi Louise,

Quote:
However, you can drop a cigarette stub in the street and get arrested nowadays. Oh.. and absolutely NO smoking in the workplace!!! Wink


That's just as crazy (and I am an ex-smoker!). I used to like the fact that formerly the UK was so exemplarily tolerant of smokers.

  
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Normandie
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #39 - Sep 11th, 2010 at 6:58am
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Alba wrote on Sep 11th, 2010 at 2:27am:
Err, she was way too unsexy to have been meant as a bimbo.
< snip >
That the writers were capable of writing different stuff for women, we have throughout the series (including those scheming to shoot their hubbies), so they must have wanted what we got here.

Hello Guina -

Clearly you feel very strongly about the character.Grin

Bimbo in my usage there was "vacuous" as opposed to overly interested in her sex appeal.

I'm not sure I'm up to addressing so many of your assumptions right now - certainly not without re-watching the episode. I do want to say that for any of us, our perceptions of people - real or fictitious - depends at least partly on our personal experiences in life. The fact my perception of the character differs from yours may simply mean we have different life experiences and our individual interpretations of the character differs because of that.

But I do think it's one of the areas where the writers wrote a character to serve a purpose with no expectation of later detailed analysis and disection. If they'd had a crystal ball, I'm sure many of your concerns about Mary Straker's raison d'tre - other than as scripted: a wife and imminent mother - might have been adequately addressed. Wink

Matt, I did read Dragon's stories where she wove Mary into the mix and I really enjoyed them.
  
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Normandie
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #40 - Sep 11th, 2010 at 7:09am
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Alba wrote on Sep 11th, 2010 at 2:36am:
Hi Louise,

Quote:
However, you can drop a cigarette stub in the street and get arrested nowadays. Oh.. and absolutely NO smoking in the workplace!!! Wink


That's just as crazy (and I am an ex-smoker!). I used to like the fact that formerly the UK was so exemplarily tolerant of smokers.

The reason for an arrest - or at least a fine - would not be related to the cigarette or smoking but relate to "litter laws" now enforced, however patchily. There have been reports of someone being issued with a fine for disposing of household waste in street litter / trash cans.

Apparently opening your post as you leave the house and disposing of the waste envelopes etc in a public bin is illegal as such waste is defined as "household litter" and should be disposed with household waste. Shocked Muppets.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/leicestershire/4792490.stm

No smoking in the workplace is reasonable and has been in place for years - even if informally - but under EU regulations has been extended to pubs, restaurants and bars. Smoking is even banned in French bars and restaurants and is pretty much observed too. For a country that has the right to smoke untipped and exceptionally malodorous cigarettes keyed into the genes, that is quite remarkable.  Cheesy
  
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Guina
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #41 - Sep 11th, 2010 at 7:16am
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Hi Normandie,

Quote:
Clearly you feel very strongly about the character.


I feel strongly about the characteristics she displays, less the character. I dislike clingy, vapid and stupid, especially when surfacing in females Grin

Quote:
Bimbo in my usage there was "vacuous" as opposed to overly interested in her sex appeal.


Okay, as (see below) it arrived differently here Wink

bimbo [sl.: attractive brainless female]

Quote:
I do want to say that for any of us, our perceptions of people - real or fictitious - depends at least partly on our personal experiences in life. The fact my perception of the character differs from yours may simply mean we have different life experiences and our individual interpretations of the character differs because of that.


That is a given in my book.

For some a wife doing nothing but sit at home and wait on her husband may even today be perfectly normal. And if the hub is okay with this and the wife is, I wouldn't say overly much, except maybe that it's a pity.

However, and that was the point I tried to make, we do not get a good, little, brave wife sitting at home, waiting on her hub and doing nothing, we get a wife who does that for a while and then turns shrewish. And she knew before.

Quote:
If they'd had a crystal ball, I'm sure many of your concerns about Mary Straker's purpose in life - other than as a wife and imminent mother - might have been adequately addressed.


  Grin

It weren't my concerns, you defended Mary from being simply a "daft chick" and being treated so badly by the fans.

  Smiley
  
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Guina
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #42 - Sep 11th, 2010 at 7:24am
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Hi Normandie,

Quote:
Smoking is even banned in French bars and restaurants and is pretty much observed too. For a country that has the right to smoke untipped and exceptionally malodorous cigarettes keyed into the genes, that is quite remarkable.


Oh, where? One of my SOs is French (from Southern France), he used to smoke Gitanes Mais. We were all down South this summer and I couldn't see much of a difference, even tho everyone was talking about "les Parisiens" making idiotic rules lately. It's been all the talk in Bavaria and Saxony as well, as here the little pubs and bars are dying out by the droves.

We are all ex-smokers (not because of any smoking laws), but I couldn't care less if anyone smoked across the room or not and find it a bit over the top what currently happens.
  
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #43 - Sep 11th, 2010 at 7:31am
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Hmm... my take on all this; random thoughts....

Quote:
That's just as crazy (and I am an ex-smoker!). I used to like the fact that formerly the UK was so exemplarily tolerant of smokers.


I am really really tempted to take up smoking just to piss the government off!

Quote:
But I do think it's one of the areas where the writers wrote a character with no expectation of later detailed analysis and disection. If they'd had a crystal ball, I'm sure many of your concerns about Mary Straker's purpose in life - other than as a wife and imminent mother - might have been adequately addressed.

I agree. Just as in Thunderbirds (the Hood.. wonderful character.. totally underdeveloped, unused beyond six episodes) and Captain Scarlet..(his ability to 'feel' Mysterons nearby was never developed beyond once episode I think) certain aspects of UFO were touched on, fleetingly and then abandoned with no consideratiopn for future episodes. A serious overall plan for the series would have helped trememdously.

It was a major flaw in much of the Andersons work. They never thought things through. and even if they were unsure if UFO would be accepted, they should have had a simple overall pplan, character outlines, backgrounds, 'reasons for actions' etc. We don't write fanfics without some idea of what our other characters are going to be like, do, etc ...do we? so if anyone was naive, Gerry and Sylvia were!

One of the great things about Babylon 5 was that there was a detailed plan of the whole story from start to finish, and so there are no uncomfortable 'what the hell was that all about?' moments.

UFO, however, is full of them! So we have Mary... why did he marry her? Love. obviously...or more ? Pressure from Henderson etc to be married ( an expectation for astronauts?) The 'obligatory' wifey at home? was Straker hiding the fasct that he was gay? Did Mary have a hold over him.. (I think I am pregnant.. marry me quickly) or simply.. blind love. she promised hiim everything..
as we say over here,, the bride thinks to herself; Aisle, Alter, Hymn and she tried to.

But.. the interesting point, and one that is overlooked in the considerations of the actual marriage, is that Straker could have given up SHADO, needn't have taken the post, but decided to do so. so he must have had guilty feelings over his 'abandonment' of Mary so early inthe marriage. And it does seems that he had retired fairly soon in the marriage.. meeting Henderson with Freeman.. neither in uniform, nor does he appear in uniform afte that (I think.. need to watch it again!)
So Mary is left, suddenly not understanding why hubby is almost ignoring her so soon after the wedding, spending all his time away, Yes. she was naive, but she was probably early twenties? Convent educated? - quite possibly. ,certainly Grammar school. She won't have had much experience of 'life' then. definitley naive, probably totally innocent and left in the dark, wondering what the hell she has done to make her husband 'reject ' her.

Oh Croap. I am beginning to like her..Crappity Smack. Her attitude afterwards was appalling though!!!
  

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Guina
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Re: A Question Of Priorities - Detailed Analyses
Reply #44 - Sep 11th, 2010 at 7:47am
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Hi Louise,

nice points!

Really, I think I'll do the indepth critique of QoP this weekend, because that stuff sure is interesting to discuss.

We do get a few leads on Mary though, and that's where I hang my hat on.

E.g. we know she knew that he is an MI career officer, she says so in Confetti Check. She was pretty forward and flashy during the wedding, tipsy as well. Doesn't spell convent for me. She decorates the house pretty wildly, that's not the stuff a sedate country wife would hang on the walls.

So there's a bit more than just "had wife" and "had a fight" in the series. Actually the shit hit the fan, if I remember correctly, with her making dates for a dinner with an insurance guy and him saying he wouldn't be there, because he had to work. And that is another tell on her behaviour (I wouldn't include any partner in an invitation without having talked to him first and such a thing can't have changed between then and now).

I have the impression they didn't really know where to with that character. It is a difficult thing, as it indeed reflects on Straker himself (and he was very well developed throughout the series).

Part of the problem may be how Neve acted. :Smiley BRRRR.

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I am really really tempted to take up smoking just to piss the government  off!


Absolutely. Had that on my mind as well.  Grin It just raises my hackles.
  
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