Reposted from Vic Damico’s Facebook
Another much hyped easing of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown restrictions comes into force today, giving live indoor performances the green light. After five shuttered months, venues can reopen their doors tp paying customers – provided they limit the number of people coming through them, ensure all performers and production crew observe proper social distancing, impose a one-way system within the venue and place ticketholders several seats apart.
It may be possible to perform stage plays with actors scattered about and a a two-metre void between them, but musical theatre? What about all those big chorusline numbers and crowd scenes, as when the Parisian communards go to the barricades in Les Mis. And rock gigs, essentially sweaty, close contact affairs will be a joke. No less so orchestral or choral music. A properly socially distanced symphony orchestra will take up so much space there will be now room left for an audience.
In live performance atmosphere counts for so much. Who wants to sit in a socially distanced, half-empty theatre or auditorium? How many theatres can break even when audience numbers are limited to 25% of normal capacity. Add Covid-compliance costs and they will be better off staying closed Few, most probably. The Government may perceive this move as a long-awaited lifeline to entertainment and the arts; in reality it seems more like a sleazy cop out; a way of stopping the funding given to businesses unable to open during the Covid crisis without accepting responsibility for the bankruptcies, job losses and closures and letting as the bastions of our cultural and social life crumble away while we the punters look on horrified, but prohibited by the hought Police and the great fear and panic generator from supporting those businesses look on helplessly.
Whether a business “can” open now or not is not a question of whether it can trade viably: as we have already seen with pubs, the conditions demanded by agencies of The Deep State (the civil service and the armies of advisers, academics and consultants who shape policy, make it almost impossible to trade profitably and in many cases to trade at all. As the first Super Saturday has shown, staying closed remains a less costly way of going bakrupt than trading at a loss and piling up more debt money for many restaurants and bars than reopening to a handful of socially distanced visitors. Eat Out to Help Out was a catchy slogan for a policy that, designed to pump a little life into the increasingly corpse-like hospitality sector, was about as wrong headed and completely useless at it could have been, unless of course it was covertly intended to hasten the demise of those businesses. With numbers of paying customers way down and layoffs way up how can eating and drinking venues survive?
Same goes for entertainment and the arts. Musicians like my son have not been alble tp play gigs since March, same for comedians, magicians etc. There have been 5,000 theatre job losses in the last month; the National Theatre, which has axed 400 employees – casual workers, always first to fall through the cracks – will stage its first socially distant performance in “late October”. A £1.5 billion pot has been promised to museums, theatres and music venues – a drop in the rapidly forming cultural abyss. If the biggest players are struggling to keep their heads above water, there is little chance for anyone else.
I remember another ‘threat’ to our lives – the ‘threat’ allegedly posed by Saddam Hussein and his terrible Weapons Of Mass Destruction, prior to the Iraq invasion.We were told that, despite the curious massing of allied ground troops all in one location just to the south of the Iraqi border, the big issue, as Tony Blair explained, was that he was supposed to be concealing weapons of mass destruction that he could unleash on British Territory, among others, within 45 minutes. Tony Blair actually said on live TV that Saddam could stay if only he would give up his WMD. No talk then of his killing of his own people – perhaps back then it was understood that he only killed Iraqis who wanted him dead and actually, barring the marsh Arabs, he was popular with most Iraqis because his regime, through brutal to its opponents, ran a decent welfare system, thus using oil revenue to buy popularity. And despite all the arguments of the day, the UN pleas for more time, and French opt-out, the allies proceeded to invade Iraq, bombing Bagdad and killing 100,000 innocents, with the stated intention of trying to kill Saddam, [whilst not being prepared to execute him if he was caught].All because of his alleged WMD which Blair still insists were there though they have never been found.
Then, at the time, an awkward question was asked. “If Saddam actually has WMD, why wouldn’t he use them right now, when his capital city is being bombed and his country being invaded, with the intention of killing him, and after his son being killed? Hasn’t he now got the perfect justification for fighting back if he can? What is there for him to lose?”
And the only answer was a PR exercise in rebranding.
WMD became WMD ‘programmes’ and Saddam’s killings of his own people was suddenly brought forward as if Regime Change to avenge them had been the objective all along. It is not hard to see see similarities in the thinking behind the lockdown measure now being imposed on us with the lockdown being imposed on us. Commentators who take a rounded view of society have warned since lockdowns were first announced that the long term economic effects would cause more death and suffering that had we pursued a course of protecting those known to be vulnerable and letting the rest ride out an edpidemic of what is, in over 90% of healthy people exposed to it, at worst a minor illness and in the majority of cases completely asymptomatic.
Yet despite this knowledge government’s, led by their scientific advisers, continue to dream up excuses for prolonging our misery. For example, the mandatory wearing of masks in public places is being extended despite reliable scientific evidence that when we are outdoors the chance of being infected or infecting another person are almost zero, despite several prominent virologists and epidemilogists questioning the effectiveness of masks, and despite the facts that the majority of deaths have occurred in people over 65 with pre – existing serious health problems.
Are we really to believe that destRoying the most powerful economies on the planet is really a price worth paying in order to extend the lives of a few thousand terminally ill or extremely old people by a few months at best?
No wonder more and more people are subscribing to the conspiracy theories suggesting the whole thing is a carefully planned bid to abolish democracy and establish a totalitarian world government.