Everybody’s Talking


 

Everybody’s Talkin’

Harry Nilsson

 

Everybody’s talking at me
I don’t hear a word they’re saying
Only the echoes of my mind

 

 

People stopping, staring
I can’t see their faces
Only the shadows of their eyes

 

 

I’m going where the sun keeps shining
Through the pouring rain
Going where the weather suits my clothes

 

 

Banking off of the northeast winds
Sailing on a summer breeze
And skipping over the ocean like a stone

 

 

I’m going where the sun keeps shining
Through the pouring rain
Going where the weather suits my clothes

 

 

Banking off of the northeast winds
Sailing on a summer breeze
And skipping over the ocean like a stone

 

 

Everybody’s talking at me
Can’t hear a word they’re saying
Only the echoes of my mind

 

 

I won’t let you leave my love behind
No, I won’t let you leave
I won’t let you leave my love behind

Source: LyricFind

 

Songwriters: Fred Neil

Everybody’s Talkin’ lyrics © BMG Rights Management

 

 

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“Unbelievable” (miniseries)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unbelievable_(miniseries)#Episodes

 

 

This article is about the American miniseries.

 

 

Unbelievable is an American drama web television miniseries starring Toni ColletteMerritt Wever, and Kaitlyn Dever. It is about a series of rapes in Washington and Colorado. The show was co-created by Susannah GrantAyelet Waldman, and Michael Chabon. All three co-creators and Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, and Katie Couric were executive producers. It was released on September 13, 2019, on Netflix.

The miniseries is based on the 2015 news article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape“, written by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong, and originally published by ProPublica and The Marshall Project. The series received critical acclaim.

 

Premise

A dramatization of the 2008–2011 Washington and Colorado serial rape casesUnbelievable follows “Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the two detectives who followed a twisting path to arrive at the truth,”

 

The program draws from “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” (2015), a Pulitzer Prize-winning article by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong for ProPublica and The Marshall Project.

 

Episodes:

 

Episode 1:

In Lynnwood, Washington in August 2008, Marie Adler, a former foster child now taking part in a social services program for troubled teens, is sitting traumatized in her apartment while her former foster mother Judith consoles her. Marie tells a uniformed police officer that she has been raped and he asks her multiple questions while he takes her report. Detectives Parker and Pruitt arrive to investigate and make her retell her story multiple times. She is then taken to the hospital where she submits to a physical examination and evidence collection, and is again compelled to retell her story. The police collect evidence from Marie’s apartment, but do not recover much. Colleen, Marie’s foster mother before Judith, helps Marie move to a new apartment in the same complex. Judith tells Parker that Marie has engaged in “attention seeking” behavior in the past and wonders whether the rape allegation might be a similar act. Parker and Pruitt decide that Marie’s report is untrue and pressure her into retracting, costing her the trust of her program counselors and friends.

 

Episode 2:

In Washington state in 2008, Detective Parker closes Marie’s case. Someone leaks Marie’s name to the news media and she tries to avoid the reporters who stake out her apartment complex. In Golden, Colorado in 2011, Detective Karen Duvall responds to the sexual assault of Amber Stevenson and learns that she was raped by a man who had a birthmark on his left calf. In 2008 Washington, Marie has difficulty concentrating at work. The counselors at her program impose a stricter curfew and other measures to monitor her movements. She tries to visit Colleen, who is not home, and Al suggests that under the circumstances it is not a good idea for the two of them to be alone, so a disappointed Marie leaves. In 2011 Golden, Karen’s husband Max, who works for the Westminster Police, informs her that Westminster has an open case with details similar to hers and suggests that she call Grace Rasmussen, the detective assigned to the case. Grace conducts late night surveillance of a site where a recent sexual assault took place and observes a suspicious man wearing a backpack.

 

Episode 3:

In Colorado in 2011, Rasmussen determines that the man she surveilled is not the rapist for whom she has been searching. Duvall visits Rasmussen to say she has a similar case and they visit Rasmussen’s victim, Sarah. After a strained start, they decide to work their cases together. Duvall surmises that their suspect knows police departments don’t share information well, and therefore strikes only once in each jurisdiction so police will not realize that the attacks are the work of a serial rapist. Duvall and Rasmussen spend all night reviewing six years of Colorado rape case files and calling the assigned detectives for additional details. Duvall finds video of a white pickup truck that may be the rapist’s and Rasmussen finds a similar case in Aurora. In Washington state in 2008, Marie is overwhelmed by negative social media posts and news stories, and turns to her friend Connor for support. She is notified that police have charged her with making a false report. She worries that she will be dropped from her program, but Ty promises to help her find out what the notification means.

 

Episode 4:

In Colorado in 2011, a witness from Amber’s college reports someone who might be the rapist but Amber cannot make a positive identification. Duvall interviews the suspect and determines that while the witness is right to be suspicious, the suspect is not Amber’s attacker. Duvall and Rasmussen consider the possibility that the assailant is a police officer. Rasmussen asks her husband Steve, who works in the attorney general’s office, to share information on police officers with sealed records related to domestic violence, but he refuses. In Washington in 2008, Marie secures help from public defender Donald Hughes, who expresses surprise that the police charged her for a false report. He remarks that police almost never file charges in such cases and promises to work out a plea bargain with the prosecutor. While Marie visits Colleen and Al, Colleen sees a news report about a woman who was raped in Kirkland, with details similar to what Marie initially reported. She presses Marie to admit her first report was true, but Marie fears dealing with the police again and refuses. In Colorado in 2011, Duvall and Rasmussen learn that a rapist has struck in another Denver suburb.

 

Episode 5:

In Colorado in 2011, Rasmussen interviews Lily, the victim of a previous attempted sexual assault, who saved herself by jumping from her second floor balcony. She claims that despite her injuries, Harkness, the detective assigned to her case, was dismissive. Evidence matches the other crime scenes, confirming Lily’s cases is linked. Duvall checks on a Kansas case that turns out to be unrelated but finds the evidence includes a textbook for investigating sexual assaults, which a rapist could use to avoid detection. In 2008 Washington, Marie’s store manager assigns her to the loading dock and she is accosted by her supervisor. Marie yells at Connor out of frustration and her manager reprimands her for yelling in front of customers, so Marie quits. Colleen wants to contact Kirkland police about a case similar to Marie’s, but Judith thinks continued interactions with police will be too disruptive for Marie. Colleen calls anyway, but when a Kirkland detective contacts Pruitt, he says Marie’s case was a false report and is not connected. In 2011 Colorado, Amber has trouble coping and engages in atypical behavior, including sex with strangers. Rasmussen and Duvall investigate a potential suspect, police officer James Massey.

 

Episode 6:

In Colorado in 2011, Steve reconsiders and gives Rasmussen Massey’s confidential file, telling her even if he is not the rapist, he should not be a police officer. Rasmussen’s attempt to surreptitiously obtain evidence on Massey backfires because Massey recognizes her. He spits in her face before daring her to continue investigating him. In 2008 Washington, Hughes obtains Marie a favorable plea bargain – probation, a fine, and expungement of her record if she does not re-offend. Unhappy at the probation’s restrictions on her activities, Marie drinks and smokes marijuana, then returns to her apartment after curfew, so she’s removed from her program. Marie moves back in with Judith and Judith loans Marie the money to pay her fine. In 2011 Colorado, Elias identifies a car that was near several crime scenes and provides details on the owner, Christopher McCarthy. Duvall shadows a man leaving McCarthy’s house and collects his DNA. Rasmussen and Taggart knock at McCarthy’s door to verify no one is home before entering to search. They are surprised when Chris McCarthy answers the door and realize Duvall is shadowing Chris’s brother Curtis. Rasmussen provides a cover story for their visit and they hastily leave.

 

Episode 7:

In 2011 Colorado, Rasmussen and Duvall consider whether Chris and Curtis McCarthy are working in tandem. Elias creates a timeline using social media posts and cell phone records to demonstrate that Curtis is probably uninvolved. In 2008 Washington, Marie attends court-mandated therapy. She is initially uncooperative but is eventually persuaded to talk about topics unrelated to her assault. While discussing film plots, Marie admits her initial sexual assault claim was true but that police coerced her into retracting it. The therapist believes Marie and asks what she would do differently if she could revisit the situation. Marie replies that she would lie sooner and more forcefully in order to stay out of the justice system, because people in authority dislike the truth if it is inconvenient. In 2011 Colorado, police arrest the McCarthy brothers, with Rasmussen giving Duvall the privilege and the credit by declining to participate. Taggart and Duvall find evidence tying Chris McCarthy to numerous sexual assaults. Rasmussen and Duvall question Curtis and determine he is definitely not involved. Rasmussen and Duvall examine the photos recovered at the McCarthy home and discover pictures that identify Marie.

 

Episode 8:

 

In 2011, Rasmussen emails McCarthy’s pictures of Marie to Parker, who realizes he was wrong to disbelieve her. Parker informs Marie that Chris McCarthy has been arrested and gives her a city government reimbursement check of $500 for her fine. McCarthy pleads guilty but refuses to allow police to access a large hard drive containing evidence of additional crimes. Several victims begin to reclaim their lives by providing impact statements at his sentencing while Amber does the same by silently observing from the back of the courtroom. McCarthy is sentenced to 327½ years imprisonment and requests that Taggart interview him so he can provide information to help stop other rapists. Marie sues the city of Lynnwood and her lawyer obtains an offer of $150,000 and an official apology. He recommends negotiating for more, but Marie accepts. Marie buys a car and plans to move away, but stops at the police station first and tells Parker that no one has personally apologized. Parker does so, but Pruitt stands by silently. Before leaving, Marie admonishes Parker to “do better”. She later calls Duvall to thank her for catching McCarthy, then continues the drive towards her new home.

 

Reception

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 97% based on 64 reviews, with an average rating of 8.57/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, “Heartbreaking and powerful, Unbelievable transcends familiar true-crime beats by shifting its gaze to survivors of abuse, telling their stories with grace and gravity.” On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 82 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating “universal acclaim”.

 

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THIS AUTHOR’S IMPRESSIONS:

 

The beautiful song, “Everybody’s Talking at Me” is from the 1969 movie named “Midnight Cowboy.”

 

This blog will make no reference at all to the story / essence of this movie – it has been chosen by this author for an entirely different reason altogether.

 

In my opinion, the lyrics of this song refer to the harm to other people that is created by rumour-mongering and idle gossip.

 

The latter are very similar to wild fires that spring up suddenly and for no good reason in vast forested areas of the earth that we all inhabit. We all know that it takes the tiniest spark to ignite a raging, uncontrollable inferno. Such fires cause widespread damage and irreparable harm to the basic existence of our very ecosystem. They destroy the flora and fauna of forests and there is really not much that can be done to stop Mother Nature’s Fury. What’s done is done and cannot be undone – ever.

 

In the context of basic human behaviour, it speaks of gross callousness towards one’s fellow human beings. It is attention-seeking behaviour that makes idle people feel important and the consequences of such thoughtless actions are often unjustifiably irreversible. Each and every one of us knows what harm such selfish and egoistic behaviour can cause.

 

UNBELIEVABLE BUT TRUE, ISN’T IT?

 

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THIS WRITER’S IMPRESSIONS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE NETFLIX LIMITED SERIES NAMED “UNBELIEVABLE:”

 

This series is about true facts and actual events. It’s about Rape and Violence – among other things – and is highly distressing and disturbing in itself.

 

I would be dishonest if I didn’t tell you that I was not at all inclined to watch this miniseries – I did not want to watch a miniseries that dealt explicitly with crime and undue violence since I feel that our lives are complicated enough without having to add other people’s problems to the ‘soup’ so to speak. Later, I felt that such behaviour speaks of my own thoughtlessness because even though we may actively choose to ignore dealing with the continuing existence of crime and violence, it’s an undeniable fact that these vices are very much  a part and parcel of contemporary times. By turning a blind eye, it solves nothing.

 

UNBELIEVABLE, ISN’T IT?

 

This miniseries is an excellent study on how we should make an active attempt to try to understand why people behave in the way that they do. To a very large extent, such observations and perspicacious behaviour determine our  own attitudes and behaviour towards other people; they determine how to act and react in certain situations.

 

In essence, it’s a story of how innumerable, innocent women become the  unwitting victims of a series of brutal rapes, lasting several hours, at the hands of a serial rapist who expresses no remorse for his actions. The rapist was  finally arrested and later sentenced to 327.5 years in prison. He had the cheek and audacity to state later in an interview that he would have been very willing to continue such evil behaviour interminably till such time that the police arrested him.

 

NOTE: It is NOT the purpose of this blog to explore why the rapist – a unconscionable man – repeatedly committed evil acts that could never ever be undone – not ever – not even in a million years!

 

Let’s get back to the story behind these true events: The first known victim of these series of rapes is that of a young, highly misunderstood woman called Marie Adler – all names are mentioned here, of course, in the context of this miniseries.

 

Marie had no childhood to speak of, leave alone any talk of a happy one at all– she was shunted from one foster home to another since the time she was still a child. Hers was a tragic story of abuse of all kinds – the miniseries even revealed the shocking truth that she had even been forced to eat dog food at one time – such was her plight. A sorry state of affairs indeed! Marie grew up in the best way that she knew how – her real concern was truly just about survival in a cruel and unfeeling world of strangers. It is no great surprise that she grew up to be sullen and defiant. Naturally so – she had never received unstinting love or affection from anyone – except probably from two of her foster mothers who she considered to have been kind and good towards her, on the whole. If she could lie to save herself trouble, she was willing to do so because she honestly felt that even though people may claim to love and care for her, she was inevitably all alone in this world. She felt that people might want to show they care but that life turns out differently.

 

When the police keep questioning her doggedly, hour after hour, day after day, she is forced to start telling ‘her version’ of what had happened within the constraints of her already disturbed mind. In this way, she is forced to tell numerous, different versions of the crime committed that fateful night – all done, with the sole intention to get the police off her back and to get a modicum of peace if she were to be left alone to deal with her own demons in the best way she could.

 

People deal with painful and unpleasant situations differently – they may be in a state of total denial and shock or they may totally block out the whole event from their mind – it’s as if it never happened at all.

 

Marie had never been given the time to process what had happened to her and why – she dealt with it in the way that she thought it best as a coping mechanism. So, Marie told a series of lies to the police. In the end, the police accuse her of wasting their time and later, she even pleads guilty, in a court of law, for having knowingly provided false testimony in her various statements to the police and to the investigating officers while reporting the crime of her savage rape. The court insisted that she pay a fine of USD 500/- among other correctional activities that were imposed on her as punishment for her various falsehoods and she was to be closely monitored by her counselors, as a consequence. Her court-appointed lawyer informs her that it’s a “good thing.” 

 

UNBELIEVABLE, ISN’T IT?

 

It is really only the unrelenting efforts of two women detectives (Detective Karen Duvall & Detective Grace Rasmussen), on the police force, from 2 separate locations entirely in the USA, who concur to pursue these series of crimes relentlessly even though they essentially have no concrete proof to convict the rapist. Several more women are savagely raped because no proof was forthcoming at all. However, against all the odds. these police women and their respective teams never relent in their true grit, sincerity, diligence, commitment and courage to arrest the rapist – finally, after much heartbreak, disillusionment and frustration – with all the proof in the world that would prove the rapist (Chris McCarthy) guilty beyond a reasonable doubt during his trial. As a result of their faith in each of the victims and in their thirst for the truth, justice is finally done and McCarthy faces a very, very long term of life imprisonment, with likely no possibility of parole for good behaviour.

 

One of the greatest obstacles in this investigation is when the detectives and their team realize that the serial rapist is either a cop himself or an ex-military officer. He seems to know all the possible loopholes about how he can evade the law – the detectives were always saddled with loads of information but no proof that could be used in a court of law to get a conviction. Of course, they finally get a breakthrough in the case and the rapist is finally apprehended.

 

When such horrific crimes of great violence, savagery and brutality are committed, it is just not the victims that suffer. Invariably, such crimes affect innumerable people, such as family members, friends and other loved ones. It leaves the victims faced with a life of social ostracism and the crime itself attaches an unwanted stigma on their lives. Time may heal some of their wounds but nothing can ever be the same again.

 

Victims lose out on so much – a rape makes them feel humiliated, ashamed, angry, bitter and mostly defiled. They lose their jobs; they lose their friends and the victim and the family  inevitably suffers. People have nightmares constantly; they suffer severe clinical depression; they weep all the time and they constantly feel unsafe as if they have to keep watching their backs. Victims and their families alike are left feeling totally overwhelmed with shock and despair. They feel helpless, bereft, enraged, bitter, frustrated, angry and they are forced carry around an immense burden of guilt with them. One way or the other, the victim and their loved ones need tons of counselling even before they can think of getting on with their lives, in as ‘normal’ a manner as possible.

 

I repeat – the world of crime sends ripples all around and nothing can ever be the same. I wish we could change it but we can’t.

 

UNBELIEVABLE AND SAD – BUT STILL TRUE, ISN’T IT?

 

Unbelievable 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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