Maybe Quarantine’s Not The Problem. Maybe It’s Highlighting Things That Were Already Problems

I’m afraid this won’t be a very uplifting post. I do plan to end on a hopeful note, but I’m going to be talking about things that simply aren’t easy topics. These are some things I’ve been thinking about since the quarantine started, and I think it’s important to talk about them. I wanted to put that warning here, though, since I understand if you’re trying to avoid reading anything that might drag your mood down any further considering how much negativity we’re hearing right now.

Quarantine is being blamed for all kinds of things such as, “It’s ruining my life,” “It’s causing domestic violence,” “It’s making me hate my kids,” and “It’s causing a mental health crisis” (general examples, not actual quotes from anyone I know). Now, there’s no denying that the stress of a pandemic, and the changes resulting from efforts to stop the spread, are putting increased pressures on our lives. But maybe the quarantine isn’t causing all these issues. Maybe it’s making them so much worse that we’re finally noticing them on a wider scale.

It’s All About Me

One of the most disturbing things to come out of this quarantine (for me at least) is the realization that so many people don’t care about helping others if it inconveniences them. They don’t want to stay home because they feel healthy, and they don’t care that they could possibly spread the infection and lead to more deaths. “I have rights! If people weren’t so panicked they’d never have infringed on how I do things. It’s ridiculous that I have to stay home because other people are sick.”

This is so short-sighted I have a hard time wrapping my head around it. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that this coronavirus really has been blow out of proportion and is no more serious than the flu. Even if that were true (and the facts so far say it’s not), if you could save just one life by obeying the stay at home order why wouldn’t you want to do that? and also take reasonable precautions when you do go out to avoid becoming infected or carrying the illness to someone else? Read more

HSPs, Violence, and Guardians of the Galaxy

Honestly I have no idea what to write about for today’s post. Guardians of the Galaxy, which I recently watched? The book I just read about HSPs? How much I hate the head cold that kept me from attending a friend’s wedding?

Let’s go with a combo of the first two. My sister talked our whole family into going with her to see Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday. After being … less than impressed with the trailers, I found that I actually enjoyed the film for the most part. I’d thought it would be the characters or humor or plot that I didn’t enjoy, but that that wasn’t what bothered me.

It was the violence. You expect a certain level of violence in a Marvel superhero film. But at least in The Avengers they were trying to minimize casualties and none of the main characters enjoys killing. The Guardians (spoiler warning) do save an entire planet, but there’s a lot of collateral damage in a mining colony that no one seems concerned about, and Rocket Raccoon, Drax, and Groot are all seen laughing or grinning while killing people. The deaths are played for audience laughs too, like when Groot grows a tree limb through about 5 bad guys and batters them around inside a spaceships corridor to kill them and their companions. I think Peter Quinn and I were the only ones in the theater not laughing.

Sensitive to violence

If you take Elaine Aron’s self-test for High Sensitivity, one of the questions is “True or False: I make a point to avoid violent movies and TV shows.”

When I first took the test, I answered “false.” I wouldn’t watch things with what I considered excessive violence, but I would watch the occasional Criminal Minds episode and I had seen too many R-rated movies to count on one hand (but just barely, and most in a film class at college). Even so, during our yearly re-watching of The Lord of the Rings, I’d leave the room for most of the Battle of Helm’s Deep and if I was watching Henry V on my own I hit the skip button for Agincourt.

Now I think I’d answer “true,” mostly because I’m becoming more aware of how violence affects me and I’ve stopped trying to pretend that it doesn’t. I had to stop watching Criminal Minds because the nightmares got too bad (and even after I quit, they came back after reading Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue). I wish I hadn’t seen X-Men: Days of Future Past in theaters because the battle scenes were so dark and raw. I’d still see it, but I’d have enjoyed it more on a smaller screen since I’m much more interested in character development than in impressive battle sequences. And now more recently, I find myself troubled by Guardians of the Galaxy.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who flinches when a character gets stabbed, punched, kicked, shot or otherwise maimed? That there’s other people who think even superhero movies could do with fewer explosions, mayhem, and destruction?

I suppose one solution would be to give up watching moves, but I’ll still go see Avengers: Age of Ultron for the same reason I let my sister talk me into seeing Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel films are addictive. And hopefully in this one, there won’t be so much casual violence.