"I'll just get my gear."

Programming note

Hey friends,

I’m going out of town for a wedding, so I’ve  decided to take this week off from posting reviews. But I’ll be back next week in time for another one of the most important Summer of ’91 classics.

thanks pals

This entry was posted on Monday, July 5th, 2021 at 4:45 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

62 Responses to “Programming note”

  1. Gotta be Boyz in the Hood or Point Break (which came out the same day!).

  2. Franchise Fred

    July 5th, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Thank God you’re not skipping Problem Child 2. :)

  3. Thank you, Vern! Have a nice trip!

  4. Enjoy!

  5. Good travels to you.

  6. Thanks, Vern. Travel safe, and enjoy.

    I’m holding out for a POINT BREAK+BOGUS JOURNEY Keanu double bill.

  7. Have an awesome and (hopefully) relaxing trip, Vern!

  8. Wait, if Vern goes on vacation who’s going to be in charge of us? We might start spouting all kinds of nonsense. We could descend into madness! I mean, have fun Vern. You deserve it. Wrangling this crowd has got to take its toll.

  9. Safe travels; have a great time and it’s perfectly fine. POINT BREAK deserves the extra care.

  10. Ok, I’ll volunteer to be that substitute teacher that everyone mocks when his back is turned. To wit:

    I just finished CONSPIRACY THEORY as part of my ’90s/Donner Memorial Day and I gotta agree with Mr. Ebert down the hall (gimme a break, I’m a sub)- the movie is not well served by starring two of the biggest movie stars on the planet. What that movie needed was $5 million and Matt McCoy & Yancy Butler (the Tracy & Hepburn of ’90s DTV). Professor X was fine as the bad guy, tho- him, you can keep.
    The love story had me rolling my eyes for whole chunks of the movie and all of the action was just too forced. As a result the movie ended up being about 45 minutes too long. I still like it but ultimately it was a test of both my patience and my sobriety. Ok, I’m about to move on to SPEED 2, so goodnight, kids!

    Oh, and have fun and be safe, Vern! I hope you enjoy being out and about again!

  11. I’ll concur on CONPIRACY THEORY, my least fav Donner/Gibson collab. Watching Gibson ramp up his Riggs-ian tics but without any of the corresponding bad-ass action chops was painful. And even during the height of her stratospheric A-List phase, Julia Roberts never quite did it for me.

  12. Have a nice trip, Vern. By the way, can we expect a study of wedding movies next? I like MURIEL’S WEDDING, BETSY’S WEDDING, MY BEST FRIENDS WEDDING, THE WEDDING SINGER and Altman’s A WEDDING.

  13. I do agree about CONSPIRACY THEORY being a bit too long and having an awful love story, but in terms of that particular brand of 90s studio thrillers, this one is one of the best !

  14. Safe and Happy Journey, Vern! With Malaysia experiencing it’s THIRD lockdown, and all theatres closed, a small part of me is Hulk-Skinned at the thought of Americans being able to travel freely, not to mention settle back with a bucket of freshly buttered popcorn to catch F9 or BLACK WIDOW. Can I just throw out a question to you guys, and apologies for dragging the dreaded COVID into a chill space designed for passionate film discussions, but are the cases in the US on the downswing? Or if you’ve reached optimum vaccination numbers so people are confident enough to step out? Or people don’t give a flying fig anymore? I also realize I’m asking opinions from American commenters here scattered across a land mass that’s half the size of a continent.

  15. Daniel Strange

    July 7th, 2021 at 7:30 am

    Funny, the wife & I watched CONSPIRACY THEORY last night too. Correction: we tried. Turned it off after an hour, sorry Mr. Donner. For me, the premise has a fatal fundamental flaw: the protagonist is a conspiracy theorist, and there is only so much of a character like that I can take. About one hour’s worth, in fact.

  16. KayKay – It’s hard to get good information about what’s going on with Covid here. Or maybe it’s more that I’ve lost all faith in being able to get good information. From what I can tell, it’s gone down significantly but there are areas and times that we have spikes. Especially with the new Delta variant. Our biggest problem is that everyone who wants the vaccine can have it, but a large number are choosing not to get it. Not just that they can have it, but could have had it and been fully vaccinated by now. So, the only people who don’t have it are dumbasses who are refusing to get it, which is a way bigger number than it should be. I’ve heard that most, if not all, new cases are unvaccinated people, which is worrisome because that’s just a petri dish for building a newer, stronger, vaccine-resistant strain. But I’ve also heard that as of right now it is possible for a vaccinated person to get it, even the Delta variant, but that with the vaccine it’s not deadly.

    So, who the fuck knows what’s going on. People are going out now, me included. Some are going around unmasked, but a lot, including me, still wear masks. I don’t wear one if I’m outside, but otherwise I do. I think most people think it’s safe. I think a lot of people are telling themselves it’s safe, whether they really believe it deep down or not, because they’re broken and need to feel a sense of normalcy again. I think some are just hoping it’s safe and taking the chance. Personally, I’m all three, depending on when you catch me.

    Also, I should be nicer about the unvaccinated. They just make me so mad. There probably are some people who would like to get it but for some reason are unable to. I’m not talking about people who can’t get it for health reasons – those poor people really have my sympathy. I mean people who work in situations where they can’t take the time off and can’t make their schedule work, or people who are living in isolated places and can’t get somewhere to get it. Stuff like that. Plus, a lot of those dumbasses are probably perfectly nice people who got suckered by Fox News and the GOP into thinking they don’t need it or it’s not safe, meanwhile all the assholes at Fox and in the GOP were some of the first in line to get it.

  17. In the USA, virtually all hospitalizations and deaths are unvaccinated folks, which makes sense b/c the major emergency use-approved vaccines are incredibly effective. There is also a strong regional element. Vaccination is correlating pretty heavily with being Republican or leaning Republican, and with that, it’s associated with rural or southern areas. By and large the USA is doing comparatively quite well with vaccination rates but have a ways to go (the below link is from April, but the embedded data feed is current).

    Of course, the drug manufacturers who got most all the fundamental R&D from govt-funded research and then have already made back there investment and plenty besides from US government purchases, have fought to prevent the sharing of the vaccines with other countries. We can think Bill Gates, who is a billionaire based off of patent monopolies, for this.

    The World Loses Under Bill Gates’ Vaccine Colonialism

    As many countries wait for Covid vaccines, the world needs a patent-free “People’s Vaccine”—not more of Gates’ intellectual property stubbornness.

    What Does Vaccine Inequality Look Like? See Chart

    Namibia's president says disparate global rates of vaccination represent "COVID apartheid." If you compare percentages of people vaccinated in the most populous countries, you can understand his ire.

  18. Incidentially, this issue re: Gates nad the TRIPS waiver for the vaccine has to do with waiving intellectual property protections — in this case, the intellectual property is the recipe to make the vaccine. Efforts to strengthen intellectual property protections, which exist primarily to protect corporate shareholders and information workers, are a major feature of all of these global trade agreements, and typically the industry lobbies have a substantial role in structuring those agreements behind closed doors (see below link). The trade agreements are all about the free movement of unskilled labor across borders and protectionism for intellectual property companies and information workers, as well as various educated professional occupations with aggressive lobbies (medicine is a good example of a case where American lobbies create artificial scarcity, resulting our physicians getting dramatically more pay for dramatically not-any-better health outcomes compared to other countries). It’s how we do!

    The Pacific free trade deal that's anything but free | Dean Baker

    Dean Baker: The draft TPP deal may grant new patent privileges and restrict net freedom, but it's secret – unless you're a multinational CEO

  19. Here in Norway we’re slowly opening up after what’s basically been a year long lockdown. Not being able to go to the cinema is one thing, but I haven’t been to a concert since March 2020, and that stings even more. Just ordered tickets to one in late July, so fingers crossed.

  20. @Pegsman, would The In-Laws count, since it’s set in the lead-up to a wedding?

  21. Only if we can imagine Vern ending up as a guest at a dictator’s mansion in South America.

  22. Sadly here in Germany, we are in the middle of a huge election year and most politicians are more interested in keeping voters happy instead of safe. Not that we ever had real lockdowns*, but as soon as the numbers were low enough, a shit ton of regulations were cancelled and they keep re-opening more and more, although only 50% here are fully vaccinated (I only got my first shot last Friday!) and today it was on the news that the Delta variant is now the dominant one here too. The numbers are rising again, but hey, let’s make sure people don’t have to wear masks anymore!

    A German lockdown basically meant “Wear a mask, all stores that don’t sell food are closed, so are restaurants and cinemas, but apart from that, you can go wherever you want and do whatever you want”.

  23. Thanks a lot guys for the feedback!

    Maggie: Yeah the Delta Variant is definitely the Big Bad Mutant of the world currently. In UK, they’re giving out the THIRD dose as there are cases of people getting Covid AFTER getting 2 vaccine shots. Sydney where my sister is, is back on lockdown. India is a shit show. Malaysia, notoriously slow with their roll outs has just ramped up the vaccine dispensation over the last couple of months. I have mixed feelings about the unvaccinated lot too. Part of me wants to call them out for being selfish assholes, but then I hear through doctor friends of mine where there have been deaths due to blood clots from the Astra Zeneca Vaccine (I believe both UK and Australia have stopped giving them), a miniscule percentage but can I blame the loved ones of the deceased for then not going through with their own shots? And they then spread this message to 100 of their friends and another 5000 on social media? Next thing you know they’re reporting a bunch of vaccine appointment cancellations. Thankfully, we haven’t put all our eggs in one basket and there are also Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines available. Good solid information is the only way to counter rampant ignorance and misguided fear. Of course, the “Bill Gates is microchipping me” brigade is a lost cause. Can’t speak for the smaller towns but everyone’s masked here when they go out and all restaurants, pharmacies, shops or any other commercial establishments will refuse entry and service otherwise. The people are compliant by and large but we need to hit a decent percentage of herd immunity and do it soon.

    Skani: I firmly believe anyone with more than 2 brain cells to rub together never bought into BILL GATES: PHILANTRHOPIST. Everyone knew it was a Windex job on his smudged reputation after the Anti trust lawsuits. I’ve tried to be as objective as possible about the whole issue of intellectual property. Giving away the “recipe” can lead to less funds or impetus to research an even better product, will other countries mass-producing it have the same levels of stringent quality controls, will it lead to a ” back alley black market” where it’s sold at exorbitant prices, thereby negating the whole idea behind giving it away for free in the first place? But I always come back to this: Motherfuckers, it’s a pandemic and people are dying. Do NOT put a potentially life saving vaccine on par with Windows 11 or an iPhone 12.

    pegs: Man, I miss concerts too. Last one: Dec 2019. U2 in Singapore! Kinda feels like it happened in an alternate timeline.

    CJ: Yeah we have this problem too. When cases went down and the govt eased the lockdowns, and all restaurants and entertainment outlets opened, suddenly people didn’t give a fuck anymore. I went to a pub just once, with 2 friends and we sat at a table with adequate social distancing but around us were tables jam-packed with groups of a dozen or so, elbow-2-elbow like a subway during rush hour. It’s like “You may now walk into a restaurant and order a meal” also became “leave all precautions at home”. People can be idiots too

  24. One dumb thing over here is that lockdown or level of openness has been done on a state level, so one can be pretty stringent and its next door neighbor can be loose and people are traveling between states, so it really was chaotic. Honestly, I’m surprised it hasn’t been worse here than it was and it’s been really bad. My brother had a mild case, but who knows what long term effects are going to be. My cousin and his wife had it – he recovered and she died. She was in her 40s. She had pre-existing health conditions, but she was living a full and mostly healthy life before covid.

  25. OK, I’ll play, or I would if so much of this wasn’t so serious.

    Maggie: Social distancing and mask wearing will, for the most part, end on July 19th in England, despite the fact that cases are increasing and only around 60% of the population have received two doses of a vaccine. Wales and Scotland are being more cautious. Even government ministers have admitted that we could see 100000 new cases a day, and even with better care a small proportion of those will die. We should expect to see thousands more deaths and those may be more among the young than we have seen until now, as they are among the largest number of unvaccinated and, possibly, will be most socially active. One of my kids is in self-isolation as a write having had two separate notifications of possible exposure in the last week. I know people want some freedom, but I’m quite pessimistic right now.

    KayKay: In fact, the UK continues to give the AstraZeneca vaccine to people over 40, as the rare blood clotting events have been skewed towards the young. I received the AZ vaccine with no adverse events, but 40 was a long time ago for me. For perspective, the risk of blood clotting associated with the AZ vaccine is lower than that associated with smoking, or intercontinental flight, or using oral contraceptives; things which many people are perfectly comfortable with. The risk is also much, much lower than the risk of a blood clot caused by getting COVID.

    Skani: Many scientists have been arguing for some time that there are useful analogies between software development and drug development. No one thinks Android can’t make money just because it is (kinda) open source. For anyone interested, here’s a useful intro to the open source pharma movement:

    How open-source medicine could prepare us for the next pandemic

    The old drug discovery system was built to benefit shareholders, not patients. But a new, Linux-like platform could transform the way medicine is developed—and energize the race against COVID-19.

    Pegsman: I know how you feel, but don’t come here with half a story: who are you going to see? I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you anyway.

    CJ: Seen from the outside, and in the absence of anyone seemingly more competent, Angela Merkel has often looked like the leader of the free world in recent times. But I’m aware she’s well to the right of me, and I’m wondering how she really looks in Germany where there are doubtless domestic headlines that undercut all that. Also, where are the AfD in the polls? Please tell me Germany is over all that.

    Stay well people!

  26. Borg, while Merkel was far from awful (but also far from perfect) during her long run, I am really pissed at her how she handled the pandemic. She announced before it, that she was retiring after this period and I wish she would’ve used her last two years in the office to stomp her feet more often and say: “Fuck you! Who cares if you people can’t get a haircut? This is a fucking pandemic! We keep everything closed and make sure you are vaccinated, if you want it or not, until the whole thing is over! And let’s make sure all the businesses get compensated while they have to be closed, assholes!” Instead it seems that she too is sadly more interested in making sure everything is opening again and restrictions are ended, because voters are complaining that tHe ChIlDrEn CaN’T bReAtHe UnDeR tHe MaSkS aNd GeTtInG dEpReSsEd FrOm SpEnDiNg SuMmEr InSiDe. (Seriously: Kids seem to have less problems wearing these masks all days and since we never had a real lockdown, they were hanging out outside all day and night anyway.)

    Well, the AFD is sadly not off the table yet. They lost lots of voters in the last few years, but unfortunately still have enough supporters.

  27. Borg and KayKay – This guy Dean Baker (who wrote the Guardian piece) is worth a look. He wrote a book that you can get for free called RIGGED. He also has a blog called BEAT THE PRESS. He runs a small think tank, but he’s legit (worth an Amazon search or a Google). He’s been very big on dramatically limiting IP restrictions and then using government funding to subsidize R&D. His upshot is that, yes, you’d need to create govt funding vehicles to incentivize R&D (which US already does on a massive scale via NIH, DARPA, etc.). The question is whether you make taxpayes pay for it upfront with R&D funds or make them pay even more downstream by paying exorbitant prices downstream. The latter is tantamount to an extremely regressive tax / inequality engine, while the former is more of a public good model. See starting pp. 77

    Borg – Thanks for sharing. Guy Dean Baker I mention has been very active advocating in this space for years.

  28. Maybe this link will work…

  29. Yikes! Okay, you know how google works and get the idea…

  30. The main problem with these right wing leaders is that they want to fight covid as cheap as possible. Instead of a good, strong lockdown, where everybody gets compensated until the vaccines takes hold, they close, open up, close and open up again until people are fed up. Meanwhile big companies get handouts in the billions, which they use to give their board members bonuses. It’s how the world works, I know, but it’s a little bit more out in the open now.

    Ernest, sorry for saying A and not B. The last gig me and my far better half went to was Simple Minds, in March last year. Not massive fans, but it was fun seing them again after almost 40 years. And little did we know what was going to happen only a week later. Later this month we have tickets for Per Persson & Det Nya Packet. A Swedish band that’s been around for 30 odd years. Massive fans. And we’re seeing them in Sweden, so fingers crossed that we’re able to get back into Norway. Right now both countries are green, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

  31. Thanks, Skani. Although those links above are no good, the URL still shows up in my RSS feed reader, so it was a simple case of cutting and pasting, rather than a job for Mr Google. I appreciate the page pointer too, as I doubt I have the will to read an entire book on this. Shame on me! I’ll see how I go with that chapter.

    Pegsman, no apology required I’m sure. My wife is petitioning to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds next summer already, although as yet there are no UK dates (but Øyafestivalen in August!), and that feels about as close as I care to plan. I hope your Sweden trip works out.

  32. In Boston, where the politics are decidedly non-Republican, but we got hit kind of hard early in the pandemic, we have been pretty much fully open for about a month and I am finally feeling non-weird about going to restaurants without a mask. My wife and I have been vaccinated for months and we are sick of home life so we have been going out to eat several times a week and trying new restaurants just for fun. There are a lot of college kids in the area who may or may not be vaccinated and may or may not be super spreaders… Hopefully the sane vaccinated people are protected well enough that it doesn’t matter a whole lot.

    My wife is an ICU nurse and she has had 3 covid patients die on her in the last couple months, all unvaccinated, all older people, mostly typical Fox-watching assholes who love their freedoms more than their and others’ safety, and now they are fucking dead as a result. One guy’s wife said they didn’t get vaccinated because they heard people were feeling sick after the shot. Yep, I felt sick for a day after both shots. And I’m not dead, and her husband is.

    I have zero sympathy for any of them. These morons are the reason it got out of control in the first place.

  33. I have family that frustrate me a great deal, but it varies. I’ve known false consciousness Republicans who have a bit of “soft” racism going but are more just bought into the fiscal conservatism idea that wealthy people earned their wealth and poor people are lazy free-loaders trying to defraud the government.

    Then I have religiously conservative Republicans on the other side of the family, and the past 5 years have revealed how rotten American evangelicalism is (I was an evangelical for the first few years of my 20s and continue to identify as Christian and a theist, which I think makes me a minority on these boards).

    At least when it was purely homophobic and patriarchal, there was some sense that American Evangelicalism’s particular hetero-male-centric moral code was coming from a very specific notion of puritanical morality that was prevalent in both the black and white churches which was also widely observed elsewhere (e.g., orthodox Judaism, observant Islam). In other words, it wasn’t a unique feature of white nationalism but was a pretty general feature of non-white churches and other faiths that are not historically WASP-y or associated with rural and southern America.

    What was revealed over the last 5 years is just how craven, hollow, and morally inverted the whole thing is. In the Bush years and maybe pre-Tea Party, you could believe that evangelicals were at least principled in their very exclusive, patriarchal, heteronormative morality. You didn’t have to like it or agree with it, but it had deep historical roots and transcended geography and sect. What Trump revealed is that the moral posturing is really just posturing, and its pretty much all naked will to power and a fear of change or loss of status quo power relations. The faith really is just a means of preserving a preferred social order and hierarchy and a fear of change and loss of power — having to share power with marginalized folks and having to broaden and re-examine one’s identity and morality.

    In some ways, this is not really shocking. People will go to great lengths to preserve an identity and community and a sense of personal righteousness. When dissonance emerges, it’s very easy to resolve the dissonance in ways that preserve the group status quo. It’s really not that different from any other type of special interest coalition politics. Who is the guy who is going to fight specifically for me and for others who feel the way I feel. People say these people don’t vote their self-interest, but the flaw in that is assuming that their self-interest is purely economic (that they’re economic rational actors). But they’re not, just like Joker in TDK was not motivated by money. They’re motivated by a sense of identity and an idealized vision of the country where their identity has a place of honor and where the social order that makes them most comfortable is the dominant one. It’s a desire to return to or fight for a previous time when we didn’t have to confront all these diverse lifestyles and belief systems and moral-ethical challenges.

    Which is a long way of saying that I often feel similar to rainman as far as the “zero sympathy for….[t]hese morons.” However, as someone who was once in that lifestyle / group and who knows people who are, I have more compassion. I see them more as lost or blind, and even though I think we all are accountable moral agents, I think self-righteousness and hatred are counterproductive in a lot of ways. So, how do you oppose and challenge these ideas and behaviors from a place other than hatred or self-righteousness, because I think that once you get into that you start distorting and escalating things and then the bad stuff overwhelms and overtakes you and you’ve become a part of the problem. A different part, but still a part.

  34. I should clarify that, in talking about the white evangelical community, I’m taking one big chunk of the Trump / GOP coalition. There are other factions and then at the top of the heap is the business class which is socially liberal, not religious, and generally just trying to con the government and have it both ways (low taxes but also lots of corporate welfare and bailouts and such). The Kochs and Milton Friedmans and Heritage Foundations and business lobby knows that indulging evangelical moralism and racism is the price of keeping taxes and regulation and government oversight low, and it’s not like they’re going to have to live by any of the moral prohibitions of the religious right, even if they become law (Roger Stone and Trump are great examples of this cynicism).

    The bad thing is that the Democratic party is not much better. They take liberal social positions but have been very business friendly and economically to the right of Eisenhower and possibly Nixon. It seems like maybe Biden is breaking with this trend, but we’ll see. He backed off raising the minimum wage and has backed off of raising taxes on the wealthy and cancelling student debt, and he’s not extended these cool new tax credits to the poorest people So, it’s a bit of progress, but still pretty depressing. The Democratic party started veering off course into pro-business neoliberalism as early as Carter and never really found their way back. Where Biden is at now on economic justice is like if we went back to the timeline at around Eisenhower / Kennedy times and picked up there (i.e., 60 years of wheel-spinning and, mostly, regression).

  35. While Vern’s relaxing, corridor crew got Scott Adkins on to talk through some notable stunt clips. Great stuff imo

    Stuntmen React To Bad & Great Hollywood Stunts 26 (ft. SCOTT ADKINS)

    Brought to you by Raycon. Go to http://buyraycon.com/corridorcrew for 15% off your order!Join OUR WEBSITE ► https://bit.ly/Crew_MembershipCheck out Scott's "...

  36. A doc to look out for, “Hollywood Bulldogs: The Rise and Falls of the Great British Stuntman” (currently available in the UK via BritBox but hopefully’ll get a wider release soon)

    YouTube

    Comparte vídeos con tus amigos, tu familia y el resto del mundo

  37. Apologies, I’m not sure why that link has generic Spanish Youtube text but it does link to the right trailer.

  38. I’m vaccinated but still wearing masks when I go to movies. Despite venue efforts at distancing, people are still crowding too close for my comfort.

  39. I probably won’t go to the movies until next year. Even going to the grocery store is still stressing me out, but I’m currently only half vaccinated. Well, if a nearby-ish arthouse theatre plays THE SPARKS BROTHERS, I will check it out. I doubt that this will be a well attended movie. But it’s supposed to start here in October and I know that by then everything will be closed again, because everybody stopped wearing masks and went abroad for summer.

  40. Masks are only mandatory on public transport here in Norway now. But I still use one when I’m in small shops or other crowded places. We don’t have to use them at work anymore, and that’s a relief. But like CJ I suspect they will make a comeback over the summer. At least until everybody are vaccinated.

  41. I have now experienced quite a swing in regional attitudes toward Covid. I was very careful for the last year plus and did not feel ready to just pretend it’s all over. I’ve been fully vaccinated for I think 5 weeks, but still wear a mask to the grocery store (that mandate lifted I think 2 weeks ago in Washington) and have only gone to one movie and one restaurant… which I specifically did to prepare myself mentally for traveling to Knoxville, Tennessee. (And I would not have been traveling yet if it was not for a wedding. When it was announced I wasn’t sure I’d be ready to travel by now.)

    I was told Knoxville took masking and social distancing more seriously than some of the other cities in the state, but went back to normal a couple months ago – I only saw a handful of masks in my week there. It was a shock to suddenly be in crowded bars and dance floors, and no, the pandemic did not end the practices of shaking hands or hugging, as some had predicted. Since I wanted to participate in the family time I really had no choice but to cross my fingers and trust in the Pfizer vax. It was really throwing myself right into the fire, so depending on if I caught anything or not this will either make me feel more comfortable from this point on or be one of those cautionary tales that you still have to be careful.

    Federal law still requires masks in airports and wow did that underline how fucking stupid people look when they cannot or will not perform the basic fucking task of wearing one properly. IT GOES OVER THE FUCKING NOSE! Jesus christ.

    I think KayKay had his question answered well last week, but I wanted to add that some expect these regional differences to play a part in another wave in the fall. Many parts of the country may be able to stay open and continue improving, but low vaccination areas might have new surges in cases and deaths because of Delta and other variants.

  42. In case you haven’t heard, Covid is currently making a huge comeback in the Netherlands, which also happens to be the closest country next to where I am (As in “get in your car, drive for less than 1 hour and you are there”), so I definitely will keep that fucking mask on until the European numbers are down to zero for at least 6 uninterrupted months.

    And yes, unless you are The Shadow, wearing your mask under your nose looks extremely dumb. (Not to mention that it also IS extremely dumb.)

  43. I’ve been fully vaccinated for a month but I still wear a mask in indoor public spaces. And I’m in Connecticut, which, not being a Republican state, did pretty well during the pandemic. I don’t know if I’m helping myself or anybody else but I figure it can’t hurt. Besides, I have thoroughly enjoyed not catching any random colds for the past year and a half, so I see no reason to stop that winning streak now.

    Besides, I look like the goddamn Winter Solider when I wear a mask with my long-ass quarantine hair. I’m not giving that up without a fight.

  44. The Undefeated Gaul

    July 14th, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    Wearing a mask is to protect others from you though, it doesn’t do much for your own safety. And indeed, here in NL there’s a big surge in numbers, mostly coming from young people who were finally allowed to go out to clubs again for one weekend and immediately contaminated the hell out of each other. Though I suppose it’s not so much their fault as it is the government’s for easing up on the restrictions a little too soon and not putting any effort towards making proper ventilation mandatory. The good thing I guess is that since it’s only young people getting it, the hospitals are not being flooded like in previous waves since they don’t tend to get as sick.

  45. Properly worn masks also protect the wearer by reducing the number of droplets that are able to reach them.

  46. One of the more important sides to this is of course to look cool while wearing a mask. That’s why I don’t use those blue paper ones that surgeons wear. It has to be black and sort of intimidating looking.

  47. I would love to wear the black ones, but I’m worried that someone won’t let me into the grocery store, thinking that this isn’t an official mask with the necessary industry standard or shit like that. Y’know how Germans roll. The brief window, when you could wear selfmade fabric masks, was cool. None of us bought these things, thinking we would use them forever, but I got a bunch of cool ones. (Including christmas and new years masks.)

  48. I’ve got a handful of makeshift ones from old material around the house; one from old 80s TRANSFORMERS material and another with the M&Ms characters on it. Did you know JK Simmons is (still!) the voice of the Yellow M&M? Before I gave up on it the most amusement I got from THE TOMORROW WAR (in fairness it does have one good short set piece too) was imagining his beefy character was the Yellow M&M.

  49. I just got back from visiting my family in Utah (I’m literally in the car on the way home from the airport) and I was not ready for everyone to be unmasked everywhere. I almost had a panic attack yesterday when we went to a restaurant that was jam packed and then stopped at a big store (think farm supply store that also sales everything from board games to whisks) that was also crowded and no one was wearing masks.

  50. Are there people who are fully vaccinated but still anxious about being out and about without a mask, and if so, is that just working through the emotional adjustment process and needing some time and whatnot to get through it, or are there concrete reasons (perceived risks) for it that I don’t know?

    We were in super-double covid lockdown mode for over a year — I did not get together with a single friend in person, even for a distanced masked thing. However, once we were fully vaxxed (still have two younger kids who can’t be, but their risk of issues is vanishingly low — they’re at greater risk of dying from the regular flu) — I have pretty much done the full pivot to laid back. I’m still masking when doing errands and not eating indoors at restaurants, but that’s mostly b/c my wife is nervous and wants me to wait til the youngest can be vaxxed, and I’m being a good boy. If she were chill about it, I’d be doing things indoors without a mask without anxiety. If I couldn’t be vaxxed, that would be a whole other story.

    If you can be vaxxed and aren’t, that’s on you. I don’t think the solution to certain people and regions being unwilling to mask is for the people who are already vaxxed to imagine that they can somehow carry the weight of the world and offset the people who are not following the science. If you’re in a situation or at an age where you can’t be vaxxed, then that just sucks.

  51. I’m fully vaxxed and while I don’t think that means I have zero risk, my reaction was more of the generalized anxiety of not being socialized any more and not being able to quite let go of the past year’s heightened danger mode.

  52. Yeah, it is weird, for sure.

  53. It doesn’t scare me anymore (especially after Knoxville) but like you I’m still masking for public indoor areas, despite it not being required (as well as the bus, where it is required, but people are getting more lax). It’s unlikely to get seriously sick, but you can still pass it on and the more that happens the more this goes on for fucking ever and possibly gets to a variant that makes us all have to get re-vaxxed. I think L.A. County going back to masking and other countries going back into lockdown are good reminders that we can’t just throw caution to the wind.

  54. Yeah, we have this complicated relationship to freedom here in the USA. If we had a more functional government we could do something like a tax credit for getting vaccinated and a possible fine for not doing so. And if all else fails, we would look at mandatory vaccination. I think more places (the military, employers) need to step up make it mandatory. Insurance companies could raise premiums on those who fail to comply. I think there are still levers there, but people are reluctant to use them. As a fan of not having polio, smallpox, etc., I think people need to get over it.

  55. Two of my favourite artists for something like 20 years (give or take a few respectively) have outed themself as antivax this week and I have honestly no idea how to deal with that. I mean, I know how to deal with that (In one case I will safe some monthly Patreon money from now on.), but that shit is heartbreaking. Especially because it came out of nowhere.

    (Also I’m not saying that there is a connection, but it’s odd how both were blonde women who are quite prolific in dance music.)

  56. The Undefeated Gaul

    July 17th, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    So, antivax, does that mean, against any and all vaccines including polio and what not, Bill Gates microchips, the great reset, politicians drinking baby blood? Or does it also apply to, geez guys I’m not sure about this weird new mRNA vaccine technology?

  57. I had no idea you were a Rob Schneider fan?

    I’ve dealt with anti-vaxxers in my family. It’s a tough line. I don’t think it’s helpful to create moral litmus tests around ignorance. A lot of anti-vaxxers are otherwise kind people (and ignorant but not “stupid” in the conventional sense of lacking cognitive ability). They’re just ignorant.

    It’s incredibly frustrating, but I think the more we demonize anti-vaxxers, I think that makes things worse. I just think it’s important to speak truth / facts and give no quarter to ignorance without being an overbearing or condescending asshole. That’s tough when you’re scared or you care. My brother was vaccine hesitant. I was able to have some persausive influence (I’m sure I wasn’t alone), and he and his wife ended up getting it. Disowning him and telling him what a stupid piece of shit he is would not have helped anything. Besides, he’s not a stupid piece of shit. He’s a complex and in many ways awesome person was just wrong and apprehensive about vaccines.

  58. Sorry, the “it” is the vaccine. Although I think he also did get covid at one point before the vaccine was available (he didn’t have a sweet work-from-home gig)

  59. It’s definitely easier to forgive antivaxxers if you know them in person, because you actually CAN talk to them and try to convince them. And most of all: If they aren’t celebrities, they are just spreading their bullshit to a small group of people.

    But when suddenly one of your favourite artists starts talking on Instagram to her thousands of followers about how “only sheeple get vaccinated, you should inform yourself and I do that because my daughter is a fan of a singer who took a picture with Joe Biden last week”, there isn’t anything you can do, outside of taking a deep breath, unfollow her and not give her any more money.

  60. Yeah, I think it would be tricky if it was a favorite artist. There are some nuances here, and maybe some of it has to do with the difference between really appreciating and enjoying someone’s work vs. feeling closely emotionally identified with the person. There are lots of artists with bad views whose work I appreciate, like Clint or Stallone or Jim Carrey (he’s historically, been an anti-vaxxer), Jon Voight. But I don’t have a lot of emotional investment in what they are like as people or feel like I look to them for mentorship or anything. Actually, I do look to Stallone and Clint as far as some of their characters and philosophies of personal grit, but I also know they have bullshit politics, and I just don’t let that get to me. If I remind myself that he’s just a person who has his flaws and is going through shit, I feel less of a need to keep monitoring and re-negotiating my fan relationship.

    Come to think of it, for me it actually is easier with celebrities and artists than with family, because I have a greater emotional investment in those relationships, and there’s more day-to-day drama (for instance, my in-law won’t vaccinate or mask, and other things, too — that’s a pain in the ass).

    There are situations like Roman Polanski or something, where the guy seems like he’s done such dirtbag things and never really made amends. But I still love the NINTH GATE (not his most beloved, but I dig it!). I’m not going to go out and cape for him hardcore, but I’m not going to stop liking the move in protest or something. Likewise, if it’s true that Stallone raped someone (I never followed that up), than that is a shitty thing, and I hope there is some justice there. But I’m not going to stop liking Rocky over it, because Rocky has his own existence.

  61. I guess the conclusion that I’m talking myself into here is that it is great to be a fan of a particular performer or character or body of work, but the idea of developing an emotional connection to the artist is generally not a good bet, because your relationship is to a public persona of a person, not the actual person, and the actual person does not know or care about you. My continued engagement with Stallone’s work is not really a function of whether he is a good person that I like but of whether his work has the potential to challenge or move me.

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