DR. VAXXLOVE (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love The Block ((Button))

Ah, the block button. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, etc. etc., it has become a true friend of mine since the beginning of 2021. I used to think it was cowardly, and so in the years previous I would unblock those after a certain amount of time, only to end up regretting it later. But it isn’t cowardly anymore, it is…therapeutic. Brave. Stress-reducing. And to those that think I have deeper problems if I’m cutting people out of my life at the drop of a hat? I’d rather have those deeper problems than to be ignorant. Ignorant to what is going on around us: THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. I used to be mad at the people that went along with the headline: “If you want to get the vaccine, I’m with you, if you don’t want to get the vaccine, I’m still with you. I still love you.” Now? I feel sorry for the lot of you. Sorry for your ignorance. I mean, did we seriously all forget that we (still) have vaccine passports that we have/had to have in order to even be considering to be in daycare and/or school for all these years? Do you realize the lot of us already have vaccines in our systems against smallpox, rubella, etc. etc. and the reason why you don’t see many cases of these going around is BECAUSE EVERYBODY IS VACCINATED FOR THEM?!?!?

So why is getting the COVID-19 Vaccine so hard for some of you? I don’t get it. You were complaining when the pandemic first started, complained about the lockdowns, complained if you lost your jobs because of the lockdowns, but mostly complained and asked, “when is everything going to get back to normal?” Well, a solution is here, nay, TWO SOLUTIONS. Get the vaccine and keep wearing your mask around strangers and the unvaccinated until cases go down and we can start living a normal life again. But noooooo, you don’t want it because Fox News has been lying to you, giving you countless COVID-19 Vaccine misinformation, or you love Trump so much that getting the vaccine (EVEN THOUGH HE GOT THE JAB AWHILE AGO) and you’d feel like you’d be betraying him because he was “cheated out of the election,” or you aren’t getting it out of spite or “my body, my choice,” or “the government is putting chips in them to track us” (you have a phone, don’t you dumbass?) or “Freedumb,” or countless other lazy pathetic excuses that is just going to push and delay getting back to normal life by months, maybe even years.

The “My body, my choice” excuse should not be applied during the pandemic. I’m not going to get into abortion issues here, or whatever else that saying has been applied to over the years, I’m only going to get into the topic of it when it relates to getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Come on guys, do simple research, go to http://www.cdc.gov, the ONLY website you should be doing research about vaccines on, and try to learn that the vaccine may not just save your life, but your families, your friends, other loved ones, etc. etc. etc. Also, if are are trying to question my credibility on this subject, my wife is a nurse, she’s seen it first hand. I’ve heard a shit ton of horror stories AND vaccine saving life stories from her. And if you still don’t want to get the vaccine…well, there is nothing left to say except that you are probably one of THE MOST selfish people on the planet, and I feel sorry for you…until you end up contracting COVID and possibly be hospitalized and or die… and then possibly spreading it to your loved ones. Then, instead of feeling sorry for you…it’s now going to be one simple word: “Meh.”

“But what about those that can’t get the vaccine?” Can’t…or WON’T? Huge difference. Lately people have been telling me that they can’t get the vaccine, I ask them to elaborate, and that elaboration quickly turns into the WON’T definition more than it does the former. “Can’t” is only if your doctor and/or physician say that it isn’t a good idea for you to get the vaccine because you have adverse reactions to vaccines in general or some other medical condition. That is it, that is the only way that “Can’t” be applied. EVERYTHING else is “won’t.” And if you are really a “won’t” person, then again, you are one of the most selfish people on the planet, and I feel sorry for those around you that don’t feel safe because you aren’t doing everything as humanely possible in order to eradicate this disease. “But…but…vaccinated people can end up having a breakthrough case, still getting the disease and spreading it to others just as much as unvaccinated people.” THAT’S ONLY BECAUSE HALF OF THE COUNTRY IS UP THEIR OWN ASSES AND REFUSED TO GET THE VACCINE RIGHT AWAY. If everyone had gotten the vaccine as soon as humanely possible when it was available, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

And the reason I’m advocating for everyone to get the vaccine isn’t solely on movie release delays. That is a very distant #2 reason. My #1 reason is that I have a small four year old boy that isn’t eligible for the vaccine yet. But believe me, the day he is, he will be one of the first in line. Since small children aren’t eligible for a vaccine yet, we need to do everything possible TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN. If you refuse to get the vaccine, you are basically saying that you don’t give a shit about any of our children. I’m sorry but you are. So to those that are telling their unvaccinated loved ones that they are okay in your eyes if they refuse to get the vaccine…do you realize what you are really saying is that if this loved one doesn’t get the vaccine, ends up contracting COVID-19, the Delta Variant, spreads it to your children, and your children end up being hospitalized and/or die because of that person, YOU ARE SAYING YOU’D BE OKAY WITH THAT?!?!? “Well, that’s not what I….” No…bullshit, think again. If my child end up getting COVID-19 from an unvaccinated person, and he ended up hospitalized or even died…I don’t know what I would do. I can tell you this much, FORGIVING WOULD NOT BE AN OPTION.

I am not only blocking and throwing people out of my life just for the peace of mind of not having to get into arguments anymore with them. I’m blocking and throwing them out of my life because they are a risk to me, friends, family and loved ones around me, specifically my 4 year old son. “Well, why don’t you just keep your son at home more and not around people if you are that worried about it?” Oh okay, so my son doesn’t get to have a childhood because of morons that keep prolonging the pandemic? Yeah…that makes complete fucking sense. No, my child will go out and do activities in public, but he will be wearing a mask around strangers. And you know what? My 4 year old son is smart. He knows that something dangerous is going on around him. Do you think he complains about wearing a mask? No. He puts it on without complaint when told. Do you think he will complain getting two jabs when he is eligible so that he has a chance to live a full life? No. He won’t complain. So why are you?

I started my blocking and throwing people out of my life spree with a person, who I thought was a true friend to me, right before 2021 began. Have I regretted it since? Absolutely not. In the 8 months following, I realized that friend was not only toxic to my mind, but to my body, and I have felt this…freeing feeling ever since. I’m not depressed by what he thinks of me anymore. I don’t have this sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. I don’t have this sickening feeling in my mind anymore. It is…liberating. He doesn’t respect me (for reasons unknown), so why should I keep on respecting him? I have come to realize that I should’ve thrown him out much sooner. I realized that he is the biggest hypocrite I have ever met. “Well, why don’t you talk to these people and try to convince them to be better people or convince them to get the vaccine.” BECAUSE THERE IS NO PERSUADING THEIR SELFISHNESS. If you have convinced someone who wasn’t going to get a jab to get one, first of all, good for you, secondly, they were already on the fence. I’m talking about people cemented onto their side of the line with no going back. This person, who I think actually got the vaccine, I didn’t unfriend him because of that, had cemented onto their side what he thought of me. He would’ve kept putting me down over the years, he would’ve kept making fun of me, he wouldn’t have changed. So…why should I be more forgiving toward that kind of behavior?

Why can’t all this blocking and throwing people out of our lives for our mental and bodily health apply to the unvaccinated unwilling to get a jab? I realize that some of you are more forgiving. But really? When we are in a pandemic, with thousands upon thousands of people dying because of a deadly disease that could’ve been controlled by now if everyone had immediately gone out and gotten either the Phizer or Moderna shots, WHERE IS THE GODDAMN LINE TO YOUR FORGIVENESS? You are essentially telling me there is no line? If you are…that is, very, very, very dangerous right now. So yes, I’m throwing people out of my life. Haven’t thrown out any family members yet because guess what? THEY ARE PRO-VACCINE and are already fully vaccinated and will get the booster shots when available. Sure, a couple of them are overdoing it with having family members, all vaccinated, still wear masks inside their homes, but at least they are pro-vaccine. The people that I’m throwing out of my life are peons. They are insignificant to the larger picture in my life. There have been a couple of significant ones, but when I think about it, not really. If you aren’t pro vaccine and pro “protecting those around you while trying to get life back to normal,” then you are anti-American. You are anti-humane. You are anti-life. And you need to rethink yourself before it is too late. Because, now more than ever, Karma’s a bitch.


Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE WITCHES (2020 remake, HBO MAX)

I know the exact moment I uttered “Stick to the original” while watching the new Roald Dahl’s The Witches remake. It was about 30 minutes in when Anne Hathaway opened her mouth to speak for the first time and she was too over-the-top and sounded like Russian Borat. I know the exact moment I moaned “oh…no…” twice, once when it showed how jarringly awful the CGI animals and rodents looked and then when the witches reveal themselves for the first time in their overabundance of CGI glory and none of the practical effects from the 1990 classic. But…at least it wasn’t as offensive to me as watching the Rebecca remake that debuted on Netflix yesterday, certainly making everybody involved in that 1940 classic rolling over in their graves, Hitchcock probably a dozen times on repeat. Still, there are plenty of eye rolls to be had in this forgettable adaptation. This remake was originally supposed to come out this holiday season in theaters before being delayed to April 2021, but then HBO Max just last month, since they really don’t have that many original movies or new content in general, surprised announced that they were dumping it onto their streaming platform today so families could enjoy something in the comfort of their own homes. But again, why are we even remaking a film that is considered a classic by many in the first place? This film is completely unnecessary. And why did they get Robert Zemeckis to direct it? He adds literally none of his stylistic visual flare to this movie (it’s so standard point and shoot anyone could’ve directed it), and instead puts together a film that feels like it is just Tim Burton doing the same monotonous remake/adaptation crap on autopilot. Unfortunately this movie just proves my theory…that everything that was supposed to be released in theaters during the pandemic, if put on a streaming service for no extra charge (or an overcharge in the case of Mulan), is a giant waste of space and the studio didn’t have any confidence in the movie in the first place. I want to coin a two or three word phrase that explains exactly what I just said without having to spell it out in a run-on sentence everytime…maybe P.M.F? Pandemic Movie Formula.

Instead of candy that Hathaway and her coven offer to children in this movie, you’ll instead be craving three things by the end credits: 1. Angelica Huston 2. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Special Effects 3. The witches claws coming through your television screen, gouging your eyes out so you don’t have to ever endure watching this again. Almost forgot to give IMDB’s description of the film in case those of you living in your dumb pandemic bubbles have never heard of any iterations of this story: “Based on Roald Dahl’s 1983 classic book ‘The Witches’, the story tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale set in 1960s Alabama, an orphaned young boy stumbles across a conference of witches, while staying with his grandmother at a hotel, and gets transformed into a mouse by the Grand High Witch.” The descriptive words scary, funny, and imaginative I would use to describe the original novel (which I’ve read) and the 1990 film (which I’ve seen), but not this film. The three words I would use to describe are unimaginative, unnecessary, and uninspired. This is just another almost shot by shot remake with a couple of added things here and there to make it a small piece of cheese crumb worth of a difference. Roald Dahl has famously said that he doesn’t like the 1990 version of the film because they completely botch his darker and more bittersweet book ending (which they did, I’m not going to lie). One of the differences here is yet again the ending, but I don’t think Roald Dahl would be pleased with this one either. In fact, he’d probably would think it’s worse than 30 years ago. After watching the movie I’ve read a couple of the reviews of major well known critics and they keep repeating one after the other that this movie is too dark and scary for children. Pfffft, this wasn’t even close. The novel and 1990 film easily tell this film to hold their beers. This was laughably silly, and not in a fun or charming way either.

Another one of the differences from this adaptation to the rest is a race switch of the young boy and his grandmother (white to black), which explains why Black-ish creator Kenya Barris has a screenplay credit. But if you are going to do that, which I didn’t mind (in fact it’s the only part of this remake that works, I enjoyed the young actor and Octavia Spencer’s performances), why not have also something to say with it…even subtly, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT TAKES PLACE IN 1960s ALABAMA!!! But there are absolutely no racial identity messages in this and the movie has absolutely nothing to say about racism and how bad it is. This is where the movie could’ve stood out from the rest of the pack! If you are going to do a remake to something and hire someone like Kenya Barris to co-write the damn screenplay…YOU. MAKE. IT. DIFFERENT. ENOUGH. TO. REMEMBER. I’m not saying to bonk the audience on the head with “DO YOU GET IT?!” racial morals every five seconds, but I mean you got the creator of Black-ish to do a draft, where he created and once was the show runner to a television comedy, that in its prime, was filled with racial wit and subtlety (I’ve only seen a couple of early episodes). But no, it seems like he just re-wrote some of the dialogue and that’s about it. And how the fuck did Guillermo Del Toro get a screenplay credit in this? I’m betting he was simply attached to direct at some point, stepped down, and was just given a credit for his two second involvement before the production started filming. The third and last screenplay credit goes to director Robert Zemeckis himself, and based on his dull directing here, probably took the dull way out screenplay wise as well and just had a copy of the book and of the first adaptation’s screenplay and copied it almost word for word.

I hate to repeat another conclusive paragraph with another “I told you so” statement, but yet, my reviews wouldn’t be zany if I didn’t. Remakes, especially of classics or other beloved films, DO…NOT…WORK. Not only do they not work, they are unnecessary and the studios’ obvious cash grab intentions are exposed in direct sunlight. They already don’t look good right now, keep on keepin’ on delaying major theatrical releases, saying that their true intentions are to release them when they are “safe,” when we all fucking know that it’s because they are greedy and selfish. (**RANT WARNING** Someone needs to get it into their heads that if they keep delaying the releases, that there won’t be any theaters left to play their movies on when the dust settles. WE HAVE GOT TO START LIVING OUR LIVES, ALBEIT SAFELY. We can do it. It’s called compromise. At some point some movie, a more established franchise or series, MUST BE THE GUINEA PIG to see how they can get butts back in seats. It couldn’t be Tenet, an original film that makes modern movie audiences scratch their heads because they are too fucking on the spectrum to follow along. It’s gotta be something simple and easy going such as Wonder Woman or James Bond or Black Widow or Ghostbusters 3. ADAPT OR DIE movie studios, ADAPT OR DIE. **END OF RANT**) Instead these studios, letting some of their flicks go direct to streaming, avoiding theaters and thinking that they are doing us all a favor watching it at home…what they are really doing is just slapping us in the face even harder because their movies are mediocre or abysmal. But to try and bewitch us and “surprise” release forgettable, inferior REMAKES of all things, is more of a sledgehammer to the face than it is a hard slap.