Covid-19 Therapy Blog 3: Mask Mandates II #COVID19 #COVID19THERAPYBLOG #LIBERTARIANISM

This series of posts might serve as a bit of therapy for me and help me work stuff out.

Me, December 2021

Introduction to this series of posts
Link to all posts in this series

Introduction

In my first post on this Covid-19 Therapy Blog, I talked about my Libertarian instincts and why I think mask-wearing should be a personal choice, not something mandated by the State. Here I explore this a bit more (in this short* post).

For your own good?

We let people engage in all sorts of risky behaviour, even behaviour that can harm others. For example, we don’t enforce mask-wearing for those who have a cold or other sicknesses, nor in my opinion should we.

But okay, let’s say for argument’s sake that this virus is sufficiently lethal that we needed to be told to mask up at threat of criminal sanction, the question remains: for how long, and at what cost?

My daughter is three. She has never known a normal world. We used to laugh at the East Asian fetish for the mask. Let’s get sick, let’s build our immune system! That’s what we used to say. But yes, let’s look after our vulnerable so they are not at undue risk (by keeping them at home, for example). This is the way it always was: humane, free, but responsible.

We also used to scorn the niqab and other garments which veil a person’s face and take away their humanity. Yet now those who don’t mask up are seen as scum. Worse, they will be fined or arrested.

My daughter

What affect will it have on my daughter not growing up seeing people’s faces? This thing has gone on for two years. Two years is nothing. But for my daughter, two years is her whole world. I’m thirty-seven. It’s no exaggeration to say that her last two years are equal to my last thirty-six; it’s all she’s ever known. I fear for my beautiful girl and what this normalising of not seeing people’s faces, what this fetishisation for a lack of germs, is doing to her.

*My personal definition of “short” is less than 300 words, maximum; more than that, and a blog posts starts to feel like an essay.

**The Wikipedia page on Libertarianism which I linked you to says this: Libertarianism is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association.

© 2021-2022 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image taken from https://www.fsb.org.uk/static/351a084c-3d5f-4d75-8dfabfa5f0c5d993/COVID19-Header-Image.jpg

Film Review “A Classic Horror Story” (2021) #NetflixReview #150WordReview

Should be called A Classic Horror Story Medley

Strangers carpooling together across Italy get stranded in the woods and stalked by an evil presence and must fight tooth and nail to get out in one piece. As one of our characters remarks, “It’s like the set-up of a classic horror movie.”

A Classic Horror Movie, ironically, won’t go down as a classic horror movie. Indeed, it doesn’t even have the storyline of a classic horror movie. It does feel eerily familiar, however, with hints of Evil DeadSaw, and Cabin in the Woods thrown in. The spooky house in the woods (another classic horror trope) was well-designed and very unsettling. What the movie sometimes lacks in acting it makes up for in atmos.

A suspenseful and gruesome flick with a wonderful post-credits sequence which is just perfect. However, it thinks it’s a bit cleverer than it actually is. Should be called A Classic Horror Story Medley.

3/5

© 2021-2022 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://www.themoviedb.org/t/p/original/xERFvMxDCWtcxgo3oJ1BXaEjvs4.jpg

Film Review “Haunt” (2019) #NetflixReview #Haunt

you are in for a treat

originally published on moviereviewsblog here

A group of friends out on Hallowe’en stumble upon an “extreme” haunted house which promises a real life nightmare. However, it soon becomes apparent that something is very wrong in this haunted house, this is one nightmare they won’t wake up from.

A kind of Halloween-cum-Saw-cum-Escape Room, this movie is in no way derivative or exploitative. It’s thrilling, disturbing and tense. I have to say, I haven’t enjoyed a horror this much for a while. From co-writer-director duo Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, the minds behind the wonderful A Quiet Place, you are in for a treat.

This kind of movie usually ends with a stapled-on plot twist which “explains” the motivations of the baddies, even though this ending never follows on logically from the movie itself. Ya know the kind of ending: “It turns out the baddie done it because (s)he’s mad with grief after his son killed himself with drugs as a result of depression caused by failing a single physics class paper set by his teacher — the mother of the protagonist!” On one hand, it was a relief not to have to deal with this kind of movie-ruining ending; on the other hand, the total lack of rhyme and reason for how, why, when the baddie did all of this stops the movie being five stars. There just is no reason or sense to why the baddies do what they do, how they were able to set up their elaborate trap, where our baddies came from, and why nobody have rumbled them before.

Having said that, a wonderful movie!

4/5

© 2021 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://horrornews.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Haunt-2019-movie-Scott-Beck-Bryan-Woods-1.jpg

Covid-19 Therapy Blog 2: What Is “Libertarianism”? #Covid19 #Covid19TherapyBlog #Libertarianism

Introduction to this series of posts
Link to all posts in this series

In the first article in this Covid-19 Therapy Blog, I talked briefly about why wearing face masks can be good and why it can be bad. I also mentioned my instincts coming at things from a “libertarian” approach.

Yes, I am a “libertarian”, but what does that even mean? It’s becoming a much-maligned term, especially slandered by those on the left as uncaring fat cat capitalism, but also sometimes by those on the right as “libertinism”.

Given that my libertarian instincts inform most of my thoughts on this current Covid-19 situation, I thought it might be a good idea to attempt a brief definition of what Libertarianism actually is for my readers.

The Wikipedia article which I linked you to in the previous posts starts by summing it up pretty well:

Libertarianism is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association.

We believe that respecting individual rights in this way is the only moral way to live. Sadly, when there is a public panic, people often lose their minds, and many unfair and illiberal things become law… Surely, “my body, my choice” still holds, does it not?

© 2021 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image taken from https://www.fsb.org.uk/static/351a084c-3d5f-4d75-8dfabfa5f0c5d993/COVID19-Header-Image.jpg

Random Quotes 4: Mormonism

Mormonism, it seems to me, objectively, is just a little bit more idiotic than Christianity is. It has to be; it is Christianity *plus* some very stupid ideas

Sam Harris

featured image from https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2000/0*zcpHl1Uailr9UG8i.jpg

Film Review “Terrified” a.k.a. “Aterrados” (2017)

originally posted on this blog

Like much Argentine cinema … a great idea … but ultimately an unsatisfying mess

Strange events and a murdered wife brings a motley collection of investigators — a cop, a doctor, and a paranormalogist — to this Buenos Aires neighbourhood to investigate. Will they get to the bottom of the case and stop this evil from spreading?

Terrified a.k.a. Aterrados is a disturbing horror film. It never allows you to get your bearings. And asides from a dodgy bit of special effects early on, the film is darkly creepy with a disturbing evil presence.

Unfortunately, the film’s apparently deliberate decision to have no character-based central narrative thrust or fixed protagonist makes it hard to get into and stay with this movie. The effect is that a bunch of weird and disturbing stuff is happening, but without any reason focus or point. It’s frankly hard to care about what happens.

Like much Argentine cinema, there is a great idea here, and some wonderful acting, direction, and film design, but a film that none-the-less is ultimately an unsatisfying mess that goes nowhere. No matter how good these other things are, if the central narrative doesn’t work, it’s game over for the film. Sadly.

2/5

© 2021 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://es.web.img2.acsta.net/pictures/18/06/08/12/54/5116397.jpg

Genres: “Howdunnit” #howdunnit #whodunnit

howdunnit is like a “whodunnit“, but where we already know the culprit from the get-go — either because we see it happen at the beginning like in Columbo, or because it’s pretty obvious — but where the fun of the film is to see how, exactly, (s)he dunnit.

© 2021 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://doggerelizer.files.wordpress.com/2021/12/67f18-columbo.jpg

Covid-19 Therapy Blog 1: Mask Mandates #Covid19 #MaskMandate

This series of posts might serve as a bit of therapy for me and help me work stuff out.

Introduction

I’m trying not to do too many political posts on this blog anymore, but I feel I want to record some of my thoughts here on a current issue which is vexing me greatly. This series of posts might serve as a bit of therapy for me and help me work stuff out. If it’s a good read for you, too, then all the better.

I will try to keep this series of posts short* and non-polemical. Let’s see if I can resist the urge to rant(!)

Mask Mandates

We can all understand the logic of wearing masks. It more-or-less stops a virus spreading in much the same way that wearing a rubber johnny stops one getting pregnant or getting an STD; it’s not perfect, and it depends on how well you use it, but it is essentially effective.

On the downside, we don’t get exposure to sicknesses which we need to in order to build and maintain a strong immune system. This is an especially big deal for young kids, and being the father of a young child, this is something I am constantly aware of.

Conclusion

As a libertarian**, my feeling is that the wearing of masks should be entirely up to the individual in public spaces and up to businesses / landlords in privately-owned spaces such as shops. A virus that has a low percentage of killing you — and I absolutely do not belittle the many millions of awful deaths that we have suffered, but the fact remains that the percentage is fairly low*** compared to, say, the Black Death**** — I feel should leave the mask-wearing up to us.

My daughter is three. She has never known a world where she can see people’s faces. God knows what psychological effect that will have on her in the long run.

Notes:

*My personal definition of “short” is less than 300 words, maximum; more than that, and a blog posts starts to feel like an essay.

**The Wikipedia page on Libertarianism which I linked you to says this: Libertarianism is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association.

***About 2%; see here.

****30-75%; see here.

© 2021 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image taken from https://www.fsb.org.uk/static/351a084c-3d5f-4d75-8dfabfa5f0c5d993/COVID19-Header-Image.jpg

Netflix loses “Star Trek: Discovery” @StarTrekOnPPlus @paramountplus #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery

I refuse to get another service. And I mean it. Are you listening, Paramount? … You’ve just killed your baby.

Bad news:

I’m not going to let myself blow up over this in text form, or else this post will become a book. But here it is in short:

Netflix have lost the rights to show Star Trek: Discovery just days before the launch of the fourth season on its platform.

Paramount have pulled it, like other companies have pulled and are pulling stuff from Netflix, in order to develop their own streaming platform.

Customer choice is always best, isn’t it? Usually. And in the world of streaming, it has to be a good thing that the magnificent Netflix isn’t the only game in town.

However, it isn’t economically viable for me to sign up to another service. Nor do I wish to bin off my Netflix subscription. Therefore, broken-hearted but with no doubts, this Star Trek fan will not be able to continue watching the magnificent series Star Trek: Discovery.

I refuse to get another service. And I mean it. Are you listening, Paramount? I only have so much money.

Double bad news: without the backing of Netflix, I bet the wonderful Discovery crashes and burns. People with Netflix hardly know of it as it is. It’s over for this fantastic series. So sad. Well done, Paramount, you’ve just killed your baby.

© 2021 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://aws.boxofficebuz.com/articles/2021/11/17/star-trek-discovery-season-4-premiere-date-announced.jpg

Film Review “Prey” (2021) #NetflixReview #PreyMovie

Pointless, hangover fodder

Five friends decide to celebrate a stag do in an alternative style: with a manly cross-country hike in the deepest darkest woods. Uh-oh. They inevitably end up getting stalked by a lone marksman who terrorises them.

The whole point of Prey is to see how pressure exposes unseen cracks in the fellowship causing our team to battle against each other and themselves as their friendship threatens to self-destruct. Can they keep it together, will they destroy themselves? Sadly. this descent doesn’t work at all, as it was impossible to understand why these friends were friends to begin with; they hated each other from the get-go. So it’s all rather undramatic and boring.

As for the marksman, the film’s pathetic attempts to explain their actions makes no real sense whatsoever. Indeed, there’s no real motivation for anyone’s actions, including the decision to go on a hike instead of a booze-up. It wants to be a German Ritual (2017), but it’s really not.

Pointless, hangover fodder.

2/5

© 2021 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://www.themoviedb.org/t/p/w600_and_h900_bestv2/reUazKPuZSQzEAVG8ehVPX6BOLw.jpg