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Tom Cruise Makes Sense!

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
I know that Tom Cruise is often attacked for excessive behavior.

But in this case he is right on.

Most of the people who work in the entertainment industry aren't privileged millionaires like Tom Cruise. They are working stiffs just trying to put food on the table, and they deserve respect.

 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I know that Tom Cruise is often attacked for excessive behavior.

But in this case he is right on.

Most of the people who work in the entertainment industry aren't privileged millionaires like Tom Cruise. They are working stiffs just trying to put food on the table, and they deserve respect.


That's may seem fine on the surface ( to some people ). However if we look at this a little deeper, what Cruise is doing is casting blame, not because the people he barked at were actually sick and irresponsibly transmitting a disease. It was because they were breaking social distancing rules. So the danger isn't the disease here, it's the consequences the government would levy against his industry and film project for breaking the rules.

Some believe those rules ought not to be questioned. Others ( myself included ) disagree. The first problem with rules that put excessive limits on normal behavior, it that it has a trickle-down effect where it causes excessive punishment ( like this example ) for individuals that break the rules, which in this case was simply standing closer to another human than the rules allow. Prior to this pandemic such a rule would be considered completely ludicrous.

Another problem is making the assumption that people who are not following the rules are responsible for causing viral infections, when in fact, they may not even be infected. It is a presumption of guilt for which no actual danger may have been present. This is like assuming a person is guilty of shooting others with an invisible gun, when there is no evidence they have such a gun or that anyone has been shot by them.

Another problem is that these rules are leading people to treat others as if they are a disease instead of people. Reducing people to the status of a disease so as to deprive them of rights and justify punishment, is a common theme in history. We ought not to be so quick to fall back into that mode of thinking, even when there is a real disease involved. We need to have respect for people, and Cruise's barking of threats seems to lack that consideration.

On the COVID-19 News thread, I've provided several posts that describe how the management of the pandemic may very well result in seriously increased poverty, the consequences of which could cost more lives than the virus itself, and that for this reason, there are now over 50,000 medical professionals, including scientists who do not agree with the lockdown measures and have signed the Great Barrington Declaration.

It is far easier for Cruise to put the blame on a couple of stage hands than it is to put it on powerful government bureaucracies that have the power to shut entire economies down. So I can understand why he would want his people to follow the rules, but rather than bark at them the way this article describes, I would suggest that there are other better ways to get the message across.
 
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Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
You can argue that his outburst was overly emotional. But his point is that there have been outbreaks of COVID-19 on film sets, and shutting down a film set, even if for a short time, means hundreds of regular workers aren't getting paid. It could mean, in the end, shutting down a project as well resulting in lost jobs. So I understand where he's coming from even if he might have found a more nuanced way of saying it.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
So George Clooney said he agreed with the point, but not the approach. That tends to be what other Hollywood people have said about it.
My point was to question exactly what "point" people are agreeing with. Depending on the answer to that question, and factors we may not be aware of, the approach may or may not have been reasonable.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
Yelling at the workers is overblown, but subtle is not Cruise's approach.

But I can't disagree with wanting the people on set to just be careful and observe pandemic precautions.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Yelling at the workers is overblown, but subtle is not Cruise's approach.
Like I said, we don't know all the factors. I can readily imagine that before anyone went back to work they were given the lowdown on the rules they need to follow and how breaking them could cost everyone their jobs, not to mention their health. I can readily imagine that message being reinforced during meetings and in other ways. So maybe these were two bozos who just walked out of one such meeting and Cruise lost it on them. That would be perfectly justified. But we don't know if that was the actual situation. What if they were asthmatics with medical exemptions who had tested clear?
But I can't disagree with wanting the people on set to just be careful and observe pandemic precautions.
Me neither. Despite my skepticism around all the measures, and the fact that I lean more toward the Great Barrington Declaration approach, I haven't broken the rules here once, and they're a lot more restrictive than some places. So I'm still doing my part, while having my say. But even that has caused some rather harsh criticism. It's become harder and harder to have a rational discussion based on reasoning and data. It's to the point where just questioning the legitimacy of the restrictions means you're a horrible person who is out to kill somebody's grandmother.
 
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marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
Meh. It’s time to take off the gloves with the anti-maskers and covid deniers.

Once they risk other people’s lives, they lose both the benefit of my doubt and the benefit of my civility.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Meh. It’s time to take off the gloves with the anti-maskers and covid deniers. Once they risk other people’s lives, they lose both the benefit of my doubt and the benefit of my civility.
Let's take a closer look at the issue of mask bylaws. First, I don't buy the argument that guilt should be assigned to individuals based on assumptions about what might be the case within a larger group. In other words, it's not a coherent position to assume that because dangers exist in the world, that anyone who doesn't take precautions against them, is automatically guilty of endangering someone else, or even themselves.

It may be the case that a person will never actually encounters the specified danger, making the precautions for them entirely pointless. Therefore, without conclusive evidence of imminent infection, it's completely presumptuous to assume that someone without a mask is endangering anyone. On an individual level, this makes mask bylaws a presumption of guilt.

One might counter with a number of "social responsibility" arguments, but each one has serious weaknesses. We can go through them if you want, but my personal stance on the issue in this particular pandemic, is that despite my own objections, there are certain environments, like medical facilities, long-term care facilities, and other high-risk situations in which a mask requirement is entirely reasonable.

There should also be no law preventing a person from wearing a mask for health & safety reasons ( or for that matter almost any other reason ). Note that my view on this is also with respect to this particular pandemic, not one where there is far more risk to the general population, and this brings-up the issue of "covid deniers". There is a difference between denying that there is such a thing as COVID-19, and just how bad it really is.

There has been a lot of politicization and sensationalizing. The statistics are misleading due to the way they are collected and counted. I've posted several articles on this already. There is also a lot of fear mongering in the media, to the point where anyone who points out evidence contrary to their perspective, is seen as a "denier" who is out to kill their grandmother. Then off come the gloves, and out goes civility, along with objectivity.

Minds like ours can do better. And during these times it's more important than ever that we do.
 
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marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
Let's take a closer look at the issue of mask bylaws. First, I don't buy the argument that guilt should be assigned to individuals based on assumptions about what might be the case within a larger group. In other words, it's not a coherent position to assume that because dangers exist in the world, that anyone who doesn't take precautions against them, is automatically guilty of endangering someone else, or even themselves.

It may be the case that a person will never actually encounters the specified danger, making arbitrary precautions against it entirely pointless. Therefore, without conclusive evidence of imminent infection, it's completely presumptuous to assume that someone without a mask is endangering anyone. On an individual level, this makes mask bylaws a presumption of guilt.

One might counter with a number of "social responsibility" arguments, but each one has serious weaknesses. We can go through them if you want, but my personal stance on the issue in this particular pandemic, is that despite my own objections, there are certain environments, like medical facilities, long-term care facilities, and other high-risk situations in which a mask requirement is entirely reasonable.

There should also be no law preventing a person from wearing a mask for health & safety reasons ( or for that matter almost any other reason ). Note that my view on this is also with respect to this particular pandemic, not one where there is far more risk to the general population, and this brings-up the issue of "covid deniers". There is a difference between denying that there is such a thing as COVID-19, and just how bad it really is.

There has been a lot of politicization and sensationalizing. The statistics are misleading due to the way they are collected and counted. I've posted several articles on this already. There is also a lot of fear mongering in the media, to the point where anyone who points out evidence contrary to their perspective, is seen as a "denier" who is out to kill their grandmother. Then off come the gloves, and out goes civility, along with objectivity.

Minds like ours can do better. And during these times it's more important than ever that we do.
My thinking on this is quite simple.

People are dying, and so is our economy. Wearing a mask is a minor inconvenience that will help move the needle on all that, and get us out of lockdown sooner.

Therefore, we should do it.

This isn't about liberty. It's about rationality. Look at how our province totally dropped the ball, mostly because Kenney is aligned with the Neo-Trumpian nonsense about many things, including covid.

Just wear the mask. Vaccines are rolling out. It will all be behind us soon hopefully, and if we all do what we need to do, it will be over even sooner.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
My thinking on this is quite simple. People are dying, and so is our economy. Wearing a mask is a minor inconvenience that will help move the needle on all that, and get us out of lockdown sooner. Therefore, we should do it.
That's oversimplified. The economy doesn't have to be any worse off, and the data shows that it is entirely possible that more lives can be saved over the longer term by letting it function normally. In the meantime, nobody is saying that everyone should run around irresponsibly infecting everyone. So that is not the alternative, despite it being the go-to criticism.

With the billions saved by not enforcing lockdowns and having to give all these handouts out, more resources could be put toward protecting high-risk individuals, including vast improvements in the quality of care at those facilities. Overall, there could be a huge boost in healthcare, education, and jobs, all of which would raise our standards of living while at the same time lowering mortality rates.

In the end, regardless of what is done, some people are going to die, but that is to be expected, especially in the high-risk categories. So the idea all you have to do is wear a mask and wait to be rescued by a vaccine while millions of lives and livelihoods are put to ruin, is incredibly shallow.
This isn't about liberty. It's about rationality.
Why can't it be about both?
Look at how our province totally dropped the ball, mostly because Kenney is aligned with the Neo-Trumpian nonsense about many things, including covid.
I didn't vote for the Conservatives, and I think they dropped the ball right away by cancelling 11,000 jobs, and now they want to kill 11,000 more in the healthcare sector. And that's after killing who knows how many tens of thousands more with these lockdowns. There's probably even more, but his stance on the COVID-19 pandemic has actually been more balanced than others.
Just wear the mask. Vaccines are rolling out. It will all be behind us soon hopefully, and if we all do what we need to do, it will be over even sooner.
Maybe. Maybe not. More studies are going to have to be done to determine the cost of the fallout from the whole thing. But it seems really plain to me when you look at the relationship between the data on the disease, the economy, and the money spent on pandemic management, that there are some gaping holes.

Putting millions of perfectly healthy people out of work, and in the process destroying their livelihoods, leading to even more lives being lost, isn't the solution to caring for a relatively few sick people.
 
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