Douglas Murray has provided a horrifying account in the New York Post of being harassed by an enforcer of New York’s mandatory masking policy on a night out at the theatre with Dr. Jordan Peterson. They were at a performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for which tickets ranged in price between $149 and $329. Murray says he now wouldn’t go back if he was paid.
While thousands packed into the Super Bowl stadium last Sunday, schoolchildren in California, like New York, continue to do physical exercise outside with masks over their faces. A New York friend relates that last weekend he watched his double-vaxxed son play soccer outside in a mask. For the first time, parents were allowed to observe. Also in masks. Only to be policed by officials threatening to expel parents should their masks slip below the nose.
I had a taste of this fresh hell last Saturday. Some Canadian friends were in town and generously took a group of us to see “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” on Broadway.
On the way into the theater, bouncer-like staff screamed at us to form the correct queues and have the right documentation ready. We appeared to be visiting Azkaban, not Hogwarts. It was just the first of the evening’s delights.
Inside the Lyric Theatre, they had tried to recreate the atmosphere of an English boarding school. As a survivor of such an establishment, I can tell you they did a grand job emulating the most sadistic aspects of such institutions.
The trouble started when one of our party bought water and a couple of beers for the group. With not much change for $100 for this pleasure, we took our seats. All through the auditorium prefects marched around with signs saying, “Masks Up.” We were in the welcoming arms of the Ambassadors Theatre Group.
Soon a member of staff came to warn me that I had failed to pull my mask up fast enough after my most recent swig of beer. As the show began, someone with a name badge saying “Libby” came over and told off another member of our group for failing to bring their mask up swiftly enough after sipping another of the overpriced drinks the Lyric Theatre had just sold us.
As the show began, it seemed that Libby (a k a Dolores Umbridge) had identified us as troublemakers. Flagrant sippers. After the lights had gone low, I noticed Libby standing at the end of our row staring down it, hands on hips. There she stayed, glaring through the dark.
To say this distracted from events on stage is an understatement. Impressive though the effects are, the 3¹/₂-hour plot was already pretty arse-numbing. What made it more so was knowing Libby was monitoring us throughout. Whenever she slipped out briefly, another monitor took her place. Eventually, Libby got what she wanted. About an hour into Act 1, she spied through the dark that a female member of our party had failed to replace her mask swiftly enough over her nose and mouth. Libby clambered behind our row in the stalls and startled my friend by spitting at her loudly to pull her mask up.
By the time the interval came, one of my Canadian friends – Jordan Peterson – and I decided it might be a good idea to do that regrettable thing and ask to speak with the manager. We asked. At which point we were reintroduced to Libby. Libby was the manager, and explained that we were under suspicion because our group had already received three warnings for insufficiently speedy remasking after sips. Jordan and I both asked for further guidance on what exactly constituted permissible sip length.
It sounds like an absolute nightmare. Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Jordan Peterson tweets: “Masks up! Between sips! Instantly! Not fast enough! Or else! Masks up! Between sips! Instantly! Or else! Such a fun evening out with @DouglasKMurray dealing with the compassion fascists.”