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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Ricki and the Flash

A remarkable filmchoice for Meryl Streep. AGAIN. Though I genuinely enjoyed watching her in Mamma Mia, it didn’t make sense to me at all. Why would a class actress do such a film? But then it hit me: because it was simply just a FUN project. Even actors and actresses need fun projects, the in between snacks, right?

This film is probably a bit like that. Meryl Streep can sing. Not like a songstress (she would’ve become one of those if she were that good), but still: she can sing. I think this is why she ends up in films that contain music and involve her singing. She can do it and she likes it. She won’t pull it off like Kate Winslet did for that Christmas Carol film) but still: she can carry a tune.

This film is about Ricki, part of a very dated and mediocre band, called The Flash, who receives a phonecall from her ex-husband. Their daughter is going through a rough period, he would like her help to pick up the pieces for their daughter Julie (so very fine portrayed by Meryl Streep’s real life daughter Mamie Gummer).

Basically, it’s a trip down memory lane for the family. Because, as it turns out, all of her children will be there, and the new Mrs of her ex is out, as her father is having an episode and therefor needs care and isn’t present.

To be fair I’m not sure if Meryl Streep had a say in how her hair was done, but it’s distracting quite a bit. Especially as anyone could tell you that that’s not especially any type of ‘rock’ hairdo. They either should have gone with an actual rock look (her face worked out far better) or she should’ve just not washed her hairs for weeks or months or something like that. It’s really weird. I can’t think of any rocker, male or female, who would go for such braids/plaits. They’re the type your little sister would make, not a grown woman.

Other than that, the film is fine. It’s not the best acting you’ll ever see, but it’s certainly not the worst. Can you skip it and live your life with a clear conscious? This is also very possible….

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Posted by on September 27, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Health Care in The Netherlands vs USA

It’s an interesting comparison at the very least.
Especially between these two countries.
For the contrast couldn’t be bigger, it seems.

We have proper health care in The Netherlands. We do. It’s nearly unaffordable these days, but up to a certain point, people who fall ill, have the security of being cared for and it doesn’t cost them (too much).

The sights you see (in films and series like Breaking Bad, Good Girls etc) where people, upon arriving at the hospital, are handed out a form to fill out, is something that doesn’t happen here.

In order to achieve that, everyone who works, pays taxes and also a part of insurance for all the people in this country. If you have a better paying job, that means you pay more, as it’s a percentage of your wages. We are taught from a young age that paying taxes is a good thing to day. That our country and everyone in it, thrives on it. That you help people who are sick and needy, that it’s like giving to charity, in a way. Of course there’s still lots of (rich) people who still prefer to keep their money theirs, but there’s always exceptions to that rule.

Insurance companies here build plans. Until about a decade ago, the plans were devided between people who could actually afford care and people who could afford less. If you see that as seats in a plane, it was devided between ‘Economy Class’ and ‘Business Class’. In Economy Class you didn’t actually have a say where you were seated or how comfortable you were, but given that you didn’t have to pay that much, it made sense that someone else should make the decision (more) for you. Business Class was the opposite: you pay more, you had a say and at times even a choice of Care.

As I said, about a decade ago, this changed. We all became Economy Class people. It is now illegal to not have insurance. It is now no longer possible to have a choice between things needed in Care, you only have a choice in amounts of money to pay. Which is:

-A Lot,
-A Very Big Lot, or
-An Insane Mountain of Money

Automatically you pay the first if you don’t have (much) money. You pay the latter if you’re chronically ill and can’t bare life without medical assistance. It is usually hard for these people to find an insurance company. They have to find one that ‘accepts’ them, the medications they’re taking, the therapists they like and need and so on.
Also, the insurance companies have a huge influence on medical supplies. The idea was to persuade doctors to prescribe medication that was less expensive, so that pharmaceutical companies would be forced to kneel down and demand lower prices for their meds. It now has come down to insurance companies having so much power that no human being has a right to any Care, unless they can proof they’re not lying and really need it. This also means giving up a lot of privacy. Even the privacy one would expect at their doctors’ office.
You see, in order to get a prescription, you need your doctor to write down what it’s for. The dosages are restricted to certain diseases, illnesses and this also includes mental illnesses. So unless a doctor declares on a form what the meds are for, you won’t get the right amount, And yes, the insurance companies really are that strict.
Then there’s pharmacists. Pharmacists have actually studied medicins (along with doctors) and know the chemical base of the patient. They know what medicins can and can’t be combined, something that a doctor doesn’t always know. S/he is your GP, not the one you see for absolutely everything. So, sure, if you’re a diabetic, s/he’ll know more or less what meds you take, but not necessarily if it will or won’t effect other meds you’re taking. When there’s other doctors involved, that’s even trickier. That’s where a pharmacist comes in.

Then there’s insurance companies. Who are just part of this Health Care System.
They’re (sort of) willing to pay you (some) of the money you have to pay in order to get well again. The problem is: they see you as guilty of lying. They do not believe you actually NEED these meds/therapies/medical supplies until you proof that you DO. And everything that’s not in your health plan, you need to pay for yourself. This even includes (nowadays, it didn’t used to) the instructions pharmacists’ assistants give you when you go there to pick up your medications. Which makes people furious at these assistants for even trying to explain.
I have studied to become a pharmacist’s assistant, and this was the main reason not to go through with it. Insurance companies are such vile bastards, they need human boxing balls for the patients who become more angry for not actually getting any meds for ‘free’ (they already pay quite a lot) for medications they need. As a pharmacists’s assistant, that’s who you are. A boxing ball. I was instructed to tell patients why they had to pay for their meds. There was no real reason, it’s just that the insurance companies don’t want to loose that much money. I’ve had colleagues who had their faces scratched, being spat on, kicked in the shins and all that, because the assistant would tell them they now had to pay for even the instructions of their meds, thanks to the insurances.

And insurance companies don’t listen to doctors. I’ve had a mother in law with cancer. For her treatment, she had discussed with her oncologist (chosen by herself, approved by her insurance company) how to take her pills, a chemo.
She wanted to take 10 pills each day, for 10 days, so that she could feel like bloody shit for a relatively short period, then three weeks of feeling quite OK.
The other option was to take a pill each day and feel relatively shit the entire year.
That sounds like an option one should have, no? To take pills in the order that you want. If you have your doctor’s approval?
Not for the insurance company. They told her that if she wanted to take her pills that way, there was a certain bonus of 50 euros she wouldn’t receive.
It’s a mild amount of money, I am aware. But the guts this insurance bastards have, to tell a terminally ill patient how s/he can/has to take their meds! Sometimes I hear prisoners complain about inhumane behaviour. I think insurance companies here are going that same direction. Who the f*** are they to tell patients of doctors who have been verified, accepted and acknowledged, to tell that they want the treatment to go elseways, or otherwise you won’t get money?

I do understand why something like crowdfunding is a thing in the USA. Insurance is completely unaffordable if you’re only one of the few who actually pays taxes and so on.
If you don’t have insurance, it’s pretty much the only way to go. That or suing a company who you believe is responsible for the lack of health in your life.
The thing with crowdfunding is, people can decide whether or not you are cute enough, have a point in not getting treatment for free or affordable prices yet. But it’s a tricky business, as you give up all the privacy you have.
After all, you’re gonna have to show people you don’t know, exactly how sick you are. Your name, your family, your neighbours etc: everyone will know who you are. People will see to it that their money is well spended. You are being watched. You’re an investment of sorts.
And people don’t want to save just anyone. If you have had an unhealthy lifestyle, or people don’t like your race, your gender, your religion or the place you’re coming from, they get to tell you: no, you had it coming, you’re not worth saving.
They simply will not give you any money.
With insurance companies, you don’t have that ‘convincing’ part of others, who simply have no other choice than pay taxes etc. You have to convince the insurance company you’re not a fraud, yes, but other than that: it doesn’t matter who the hell you are, if you fall ill, things will be taken care of. They don’t have your face with it, nobody wil recognise you in the streets.

So, when I hear someone say: ‘the government should meddle less in people’s health care’, I think: people should care more about each other. And for real. You shouldn’t care about whomever receives the care that you are paying for by paying taxes. It shouldn’t be necessary that Breaking Bad is a true possible scenario. I can’t watch that series as it’s so unreal to me on specifically that level (OK and I hate both the wife and the sister, but that’s quite a different story).
How many lives could be saved in the USA alone by being insured for proper health care? And it’s not ‘meddling’ if you’re making sure that someone gets better. If you put it like that, no-one wants to have health care, indeed. A government should care for its people and not withdraw their responsibility. Because that’s factually it. It’s not ‘less meddling’, it’s less caring. It is saying: I take my hands off my responsibility for you. Given that it’s Trump, who doesn’t care about anybody but himself, I do get where he comes from. But the rest of the USA? I don’t get that. Obama had a proper plan, and people are still shooting at it. For heavens’ sake why?
Less meddling is what our insurance companies could use. Shut the f*** up about people’s plan of health. If you accept a doctor to your health plan, then indeed accept their plans of caring and don’t tell their patients that eventually you’re not gonna cough up the money.
But that’s The Netherlands for you. It works so well here, we get to complain about how it doesn’t work in other scenarios. Meanwhile, we all pay, the CrowdFunding is barely ever used for Care supplies. Only when meds are very rare and therefore, very expensive.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2017 in Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Stalking vs attack

https://www.nu.nl/binnenland/4919072/hof-wil-meer-onderzoek-vader-wraak-nam-lastigvallen-dochter.html

Een op z’n minst opmerkelijke zaak. Een man die een andere man het ziekenhuis in slaat. Dat mag natuurlijk niet. Daar is de Nederlandse rechtspraak tamelijk duidelijk in. Maar het ‘slachtoffer’ was feitelijk een dader. Het stalker type. Had al een veroordeling staan en gezeten. Had zich voorgedaan als iemand anders, om zo de dochter van de man die hem het ziekenhuis in sloeg, voor zich te winnen. Een meisje van 14. Het ‘slachtoffer’ werd geslagen met een schep, is 47 jaar oud, in tegenstelling tot de 17 jaar die hij tegenover het meisje beweerde. Een regelrechte smeerlap dus. Die dat ook al vaker had gedaan.

Dan wordt het wel een béétje een ander verhaal, niet?
Niet volgens -nota bene- het Openbaar Ministerie.
Die ziet gronden voor poging tot moord. Omdat er met een schep geslagen is. En de man de politie meerdere keren gebeld had, voor hij tot geweld over ging. Omdat de politie hem duidelijk had gemaakt dat er niet veel gedaan kon worden.
Het feit dat er gestalkt werd, dat wordt compleet buiten beschouwing gelaten. Dat de 47-jarige in het geheel niet van plan was om het 14-jarige meisje met rust te laten. Niet voordat hij had wat hij wilde. Naaktfoto’s, intiem contact. Dat waar je je kinderen nu juist voor behoef.

Waarom?

Als (mede)slachtoffer van stalking, vind ik het ronduit schandalig wat hier gebeurd. Het OM probeert feitelijk om het stalking gedrag nog te belonen ook, door de vader van het meisje zwaarder te willen straffen dan de TBS-er Jack S.
Het enige wat Jack S heeft, is lichamelijk letsel. Botbreuken op diverse plekken, zaken die vanzelf helen. De psyche van de meisjes (Jack S heeft dit vaker gedaan) interesseert het OM geen mallemoer. Want de vader heeft geslagen. En dus kan Jack S zich nu tot in de lengte der dagen rijk rekenen. Elke rekening gaat naar de vader. De vader die zijn dochter verdedigde. Ervoor zorgde dat Jack S écht eens mocht voelen dat zijn levensstijl bepaald niet uitnodigt tot vriendjes worden met de vaders van de meisjes die hij via internet, onder valse voorwendselen, dwingt tot uitkleden, sexy poseren, om ze feitelijk via datzelfde internet te exploiteren, te chanteren en zo digitale pooier wordt. In de Nederlandse wet heb je daar aanzienlijk meer bewijs voor nodig. Mannen komen overal mee weg. Het meisje is degene die verweer moet zien op te bouwen. Als ze ook maar enigszins toegeeft aan z’n grillen, is het haar schuld al. Kijk maar naar de rechtspraak, en kijk maar naar de maatschappij.
Nogmaals, dat interesseert het OM niet. Die hadden het liever op de weg van de rechtspraak zien gebeuren. Nog een beetje TBS, nog een lullig taakstrafje, want zo belangrijk zijn jonge meisjes niet hier in Nederland. Dat is net als met die Robert M (die maar 20 lullige jaartjes heeft gekregen -waar nog zeker een derde van afgaat, want het is wel Nederland, straffen stellen geen reet voor hier- voor het verkrachten van ruim 75 baby’s en peuters, weet u nog?) Kinderen interesseren de rechtsstaat en vooral de rechtspraak niet. Als het de rechtspraak interesseerde wat er met kinderen gebeurde, dan deelden ze wel therapie uit na zittingen. Voor alle geleden schade die ze hadden berokkend. De zwakkeren in de maatschappij dienen per slot van rekening beschermd te worden, niet?
Niet als het IQ van zo’n paasei lager is dan degene die hij leed heeft aangedaan, zo blijkt.

Voor mij is de vader die de stalker van zijn dochter sloeg een held. Hij deed hem kwaad, ja. Maar de Druiloor leeft nog. En zal waarschijnlijk, na dit gebeuren, de Zielige Mannetjes Factor gaan gebruiken om nog veel meer meisjes te misbruiken.

Maar daar kijkt het OM niet naar.

Eigen rechter spelen mag niet.

Dus wordt niet de achtergrond van Jack S verder onderzocht, maar die van de vader van de dochter. Want voor je kind opkomen, dát mag niet in Nederland.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Room

Very impressive film about a young woman whose been a captive for about seven years, and her child, which she bore from her captivator.
This film begins when the boy becomes five years of age. The narrator is the voice of the child, which gives the situation a unique point of view.

Despite the fact that his mother doesn’t seem to have taught him very creative names for things (he sees objects as both a thing and a friend, and yet they are just called ‘Skylight’, ‘Wardrobe’ and so on). In a way you’d -nearly- expect a parent would try to cozy it up a bit. For the time being at least. But I guess not everybody is creative, so that could be it.

The boy, named Jack, is becoming five years of age. His mother bakes him a cake, and you notice how he’s getting in that stage of asking more questions. He wants to know about the ‘Old Nick’ his mother calls their captivator, who comes in every night, after his mother puts him to bed in Wardrobe, so he won’t have to be a witness. Thanks to the fact that this is where he has his own thoughts, his own logical way of thinking, there’s only the knowledge of what might happen between his mother and their captivator. This gives the film the possibility of being less heavy. It also explains why the boy is still being nursed, and why there aren’t more children involved.

His mother comes up with a plan to escape one day. When she explains it to Jack, you hear why she hasn’t tried it for so long.
Given that the attempt to escape happens quite early, you do wonder what will happen.

The other interesting part: you get to see what it’s like for a child that has grown used to being captivated, what it’s like to suddenly not be anymore. He is confused in every possible way, longs to Room and Wardrobe. You can’t even blame him for that: a regularity of rituals, in captivity or not: it is the only thing the child knows and likes because he knows it. Besides, it was the only place where he had his mother around him all the time. Which child doesn’t like that? He is not interested in regular toys, as he has had eggshells that his mother made into a snake etc.

It’s remarkable to see how so many things that aren’t explained in itself, are subtly explained anyway. That’s perhaps what I even liked the most.

The last scene is also a powerful one, again because of Jack. He is like a pet, in a way, in need of closure.

 

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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