The Drowning

With Julia Stiles, Avan Jogia and Josh Charles amongst the actors.

A psychiatrist is confronted with his past influence in court, when he saves a drowning young man who turns out to have been his patient, years ago.

This film is actually quite boring and it feels, at times, a lot is left out, without being explained. That doesn’t make it better. In itself Josh Charles’ play is good, but it seems out of character for any loving husband to not tell his wife so much. Julia Stiles is a properly annoyed wife, not understanding what’s bothering her husband about certain contacts she has.
Avan Jogia is brilliant as annoying bastard. Too pretty, too young, too luring. In that sense it’s a bit too obvious that he is the dangerous factor in here. His actions seem weird and aren’t too well explained either, not until the end.

The people in court aren’t of much help either. The colleague of the psychiatrist asks him for favors, but in return doesn’t give any information either.

It’s not a bad film, and the tension is properly build up at times, but the only moment where you think ‘ah, finally something is explained’, it’s only one thing and you agree with the character there: ‘why didn’t you tell me before?’

If you’re a Julia Stiles fan like myself, you will probably enjoy yourself. Josh Charles is doing a far better job in The Good Wife.

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Posted by on October 4, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized


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Our Souls At Night

With Jane Fonda, Robert Redford and Iain Armitage.
A curiously dull film, to be fair. One night, Addie Moore (played by Jane Fonda) knocks on Louis Waters’ (Robert Redford) door. She has a proposal of sorts.
She would like to sleep together on a regular base.

‘Not for sex, I’ve long lost interest for that’, she explains, making the proposal a little less awkward and in a way funny, but still: Louis Waters doesn’t know what to say to that??

The storyline itself is very unsignificant. It’s basically what happens when two elderly people who are alone get together to spend the night -just to talk and not be alone. They are the talk of the town amongst their peers, but it’s not really that shocking. It still is two people who have the age and the maturity to choose for themselves. Louis Waters does get angry with his peers for a bit, but that’s about it.

For people looking for an exciting film: this isn’t it. It’s a very demure, peaceful story about two elderly people who spend time together, with minor incidents like a grandchild coming over, some friends who become curious and so on. The biggest event is one of their children protesting against the parent being happy.

Given that Jane Fonda currently also stars in the series Grace & Frankie, this film will disappoint. Jane Fonda actually tries to look attractive in that series and is a lot more progressive. Besides, the film Barefoot in the Park, that has both Jane Fonda and Robert Redford in it, has a lot more to offer when it comes to weird and sillyness entering the building.
Robert Redford actually has feelings in that film too. He is far more of an introvert here. He barely talks about himself. He asks her why she picked him. In the end you still don’t really know.

In short: if you love the actors, go for it, but don’t expect much of it. It’s really quite dull.

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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized


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Rights to your own body.

You know that scene from Sissi, in which she tells Franz that their first child is on its way? Just in case you haven’t, here’s his response:


Unless your response as a man is the same as the above, I don’t think you have any rights at all to judge a woman who is quite unsure what to do next, once she has found out she is pregnant.

For ‘normally’ pregnant females, there are websites, which tell you what feelings are normal to experience when you find out you’re pregnant. Also that it’s normal to feel quite ambivalent about it. To be scared. To want to get rid of it. To feel ill equipped. Those websites tell you to talk about those feelings. That it is normal to feel that way.

This is true. I have several friends who admitted to being scared shitless after finding out they were pregnant. No matter how much the unborn child was wanted, those thoughts were among the happy ones. It happens. Mostly, I’ll admit, with friends being heavily nauseous during that first trimester. Pregnancy isn’t always jolly good fun, after all.

It’s also true that types like Jacob Rees-Mogg wake up another type of disgust. Because what if your pregnancy is the result of a rape? The result of a rape by someone you trusted to be your protector? Or just someone who brutally grabbed you, pulled you into the bushes and made you his? Rape itself is traumatising enough, it’s disgusting that a man in suit and tie also claims abortion is wrong in all circumstances.
I was astounded to hear that Jacob actually has a wife and no less than six kids. After his bold confessions that he is against abortion in any case, I thought to myself: that poor daughter of them! Because this also entails that whatever will happen to her, she now has the security that her father will always assume that it was her fault, should something happen to her. Even if Jacob Rees-Mogg did it himself. Or his sons. He has enough of those.
With what kind of world view will these boys be raised? That it’s OK to rape a girl, because she denied him? That it’s OK to rape in general? Because yes, that’s basically what someone with those views, is saying. It is actually denying that rape exists at all. It is beyond the pillory, even. I wanna bet that Jacob Rees-Mogg was mourning the loss of the Magdalene laundrettes in Ireland when they were closed?!

And yes, I know those are his personal views, but still I consider this man to be very dangerous. And a bloody hypocrit, given that he profits from the sales of abortion pills. I’m pretty sure your God will kick you out of heaven, Jacob Rees-Mogg!

Then there’s yet another point of reasoning to consider. What if your child has a chromosomatical deficit, or is handicapped in a different way? This is, again, a very personal point of view. But that’s it: personal. There’s people who say a handicapped child shouldn’t be included in the pro choice process. Why is that?
I know there are experts and lots of people who are very willing to accept any type of people into their lives. But there’s also those who don’t. Why would you force a child to have a parent who will never fully love their child? Don’t forget that many of these children have needs that are mostly costly within health care. A health care that’s slowly bleeding to death, in nearly every country that even has this type of health care at the ready. There are lots of possibilities for people who have money, but not so much for those who don’t. Are you going to be the one who judges if a live is compatible with the current life? Or are you gonna leave that to a professional (the doctor) and the parents who actually need to take care of such a child?

I saw the other day an article about men talking about their side of the story when it came to abortions. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the link any longer.
One man I felt for. He had wanted to have children with the love of his life, and I do think that if he would have had more time with this girl, they might have had a shot at being happy together. I did think: if she would have known how much he loved her, and how much her hormones were possibly confusing her, she might have kept it. Of course I can never be sure. It could be he wasn’t the love of her life, in which case it’s not all that brilliant to be tied together forever because of a child you have to raise. Parenting is tough enough if you are in harmony about things, as children will try to play you out at every single occasion possible.
Another story was from a man who had also unwillingly supported his girlfriend during her abortion. He later forced another woman to carry out her pregnancy, even though doctors had told them their child would not live out of the womb. Of course I felt sorry he had the traumatising experience of his girlfriend undergoing an abortion, but I could not, for the life of me, think why he would punish another woman for that?! He said in the end it was a healing experience, but I thought he had been very cruel to that woman. He had no right to do so, in my opinion. You’re not going to force someone you love, to loose someone if that’s not necessary.

And for those who are still not convinced it’s the choice of women themselves: I’ve read a website where women who had had an abortion could leave their story. I was astounded, shocked and disgusted by how many of these women had been chaised by their angry partners with knives, belts, bats and lovely promises (‘I’ll kill you and that unborn of yours if you keep it!’) before they went to indeed have an abortion. Imagine what that would be like if you did that where it’s illegal. How safe are you going to feel as a woman or a young girl in trouble, if everyone is opposed to any action you can think of?

If you want to help, then really help. Not short term. Don’t say ‘you are a murderer’. Try to actually foresee what could happen to this child if it was born. Are you gonna take care of it? Is that a solid promise, no matter what? Or are you just prolife because you once had an abortion and you’re sorry about it now? Your life isn’t the life of the other. You literally have no idea what you’re up against.

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Posted by on October 2, 2017 in Daily life, Opinion


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Knock, Ireland

To say I ended up here by accident is weird. You don’t end up in a city or small town such as Knock by accident, right? People don’t end up at a pilgrimage that way. You were supposed to go there. Or the sweet Lord himself has guided you there.
To be fair I would have thought the same if it had happened to anyone else. Not just because I’m an atheist, though that has a strong correlation to the why I don’t believe that, but still. The ‘ended up there by accident’ in this scenario is simply because I was guided through the loveliness that Ireland has to offer by my two aunties.
Both lovely, but severe nutcases. Each in their own right and each with their own set of charming characteristics. I’m named after one of them, so how bad can they be, eh?

So how did we end up there, then??
I’ll tell you. First one thing you have to know: both my aunties are incredibly sweet and funny, and incredibly stubborn. The one who was doing most of the driving, hates maps. Even satnav. She refuses to use any of those. It’s not that she can’t read a map, but during driving, she likes the whole experience, thank you very much! She literally drives the car the way vikings and skippers sail(ed) their boats: by looking into the sky. She looks at where the sun is and she keeps in mind where she wants to see it at the end of the day, that’s the direction she will drive in. This could be by highway, but she takes D-tours just as easily. She is the kind of person to like the tour just as much as a the destination. Yes, really.

My other aunt will give away how we ended up in Knock: she collects holy water trays. You know the ones you keep on your wall, for instance, to make a quick pray? Yes, we are an atheist family in general. Don’t give me that funny look, I’m not the one collecting them.
They are a hard find. This is one of the things collectors of anything get a kick out, yes I know. To find a trinket of your collection when abroad is the big thing there too. But her collection is really quite specific, so as soon as we saw signs for a carboot sale, she would go: ‘oh, let’s check it out, they might have some!’ and most of the time, she was right about that, too. She had collected a few during our roadtrip. Given that we were travelling with a camping van, there was quite enough room for her collection to grow. Then, one morning, without any specific plans -except for ending up in a place I do no longer recall the name of, we drove there.

We were driving through, what we didn’t know was the main road in Knock. Whilst the aunt driving was watching for directions to go (she doesn’t use maps, she does use roadsigns), the other, collecting aunt, goes:
‘Hey, this place has holy water trays!’ and after that (as the car/van was riding at the time):
‘This place too!’ and so on. And so on. And so on.
So, we parked the van, auntie tried to remember exactly where she saw the trays, then noticed:
‘Oh wow, every store here has those trays?!’ it was like hitting the Holy Water Tray Jackpot for her. She went nuts in one store after another (from having to search for any, she now suddenly had to pick, as buying all of them would’ve left her penniless) and then there was the chapel and the whole story of Knock.
Because of course, as true idiots, we had entered the city backwards (typical), so the explanation came last.
While being in awe of all that we had just discovered, the square where one can actually fill up anything that might contain fluids with Holy Water showed itself to us. I was reminded of the many holidays I’d had as a small child on campingsides in France instantly. Because yeah, basically that’s what they looked like. With far smaller taps, as the stores all sold bottles in a massive range of varieties of shapes. Mother Theresa, Mary, Jesus, Joseph, anyone who looked holy enough. With a small blue cap. All to fill up these beauties of Holy Water Trays that my auntie collects. We saw cars stopping by, opening their trunks and getting coffeecans and teapots out to put under those taps, causing a traffic jam. It was truly bizarre. Well, for me.

It was a magnificent find.

Later, I visited the place with my (then) fiancé. We then actually went to the museum to see what had happened, to learn about the story of Knock. It’s a lot more convincing than anything I could put here. So knock yourselves out and go visit Knock. Even if you’re not religious, it is a friendly and not so crowded pilgrimage to take.



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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. 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, series 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.

Insurance companies build plans. Until about a decade ago, the plans were devided between people who could actually afford care and people who couldn’t. 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 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 Lot

Usually you pay the first if you don’t actually have (much) money. You pay the latter if you’re chronically ill and can’t bare life without medical assistance.
Also, the insurance companies have a huge influence on medical supplies in any way. The idea was to persuade doctors to prescribe medication that was less expensive, so that pharmaceutical companies would be forced to kneel down and ask less high 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 say they’re 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 become one. 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 actually pay quite a lot) for medications they need. As a pharmacists’s assistant, that’s who you are. 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 give it. I’ve had colleagues who had their faces scratched, being spat on, kicked in the shins and all that, for frustrated patients who needed to go somewhere with their agression. Inexcuseable, definitely, but sort of understandable, in a way.

And also, 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, why not?
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. 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.
Or 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.

So, when I hear someone say: the government should meddle less in people’s health care, I think: that’s something one could say here, at times. Insurance companies should definitely been told that they’re not the doctor.
But in the USA, where everyone tries to work just for themselves? You’re only just getting started.

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Posted by on September 17, 2017 in Opinion, Uncategorized


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Stalking vs attack

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.


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