17 November 2006
Puff the magic Camel
Were I five instead of fiftysomething, if I were to mention today that both my parents smoked, I'd expect to see representatives of the State at the door within minutes, their jackboots temporarily replaced by "sensible" shoes, their court orders demanding my removal to a foster home angrily brandished, their Utter Horror undiluted and obvious.
So I tend to yawn at things like the Great American Smokeout. And I yawn further when I reflect on the tendency of present-day media to pretend that tobacco doesn't exist as an actual plant, only as an Evil Cartel, and to attempt to expunge any and all references to it that might possibly come into the field of vision of someone not yet old enough to vote.
A yawn, though, doesn't count for much, which is perhaps why artist Sean Gleeson is presenting a gallery of Great American Smokers. He explains the motivation thusly:
In our opinion, these American statesmen, scientists, artists, and heroes tower above the whiny quitters
whom the [American Cancer Society] would have you take for role models.
Besides, it's cold outside, and as Al Gore reminds us, lighting up contributes to global warming.
Posted at 10:00 AM to Dyssynergy
» One Day They'll Come For You from Electric Venom
Today is the Great American Smokeout, which some people find a bore. Ironically, it's also the day on which a Colorado court upheld a Homeowners' Association rule that prohibited property owners from smoking in their homes. Specifically, tw......[read more]
I think present-day media is yawning at smokers. It seems that their preferred targets these days are obese people. Maybe next year we can have a gallery of The Great American Obese.
And, since obese people can also be blamed for global warming, we have no problem on that front either.
Today's jackboots ARE sensible shoes. McCarthyists aren't from the right anymore, criminals don't carry guns and wear ski masks, and the Nazis don't bust down your door in the night. Oh sure, there are some old-school, desperate types out there that still fit the descrip, but really, that's fighting yesterday's war.
Today's question isn't 'are you a communist' - it's far more likely to be 'why AREN'T you a communist'? Our McCarthyists don't care if you're patriotic enough, they want to make sure you're PC enough. Today's criminals go phishing, push phony stock deals, lobby politicians, traffic in stolen credit card numbers. That's where the real money is. Breaking into the average house today is an act of sheer desperation - you'll find maybe a watch and some jewelry that maybe you cn pawn for pennies on the dollar. (In fact, I invite criminals to break into my house and lug out my old CRT TV. Please.) Nazis will destroy your credit rating or use the 'net to discredit you, all for the greater good, of course. Todays Nazis aren't defined by uniforms (although I'd, you know, avoid fur). Nazis are the mob. They're the ones who know what the greater good is - and that good starts with unswerving, visible fealty to their stated ideals.
I recently quit the habit after 24 years. I recently developed strep throat and while inspecting the area of soreness another condition became visible. That newly discovered, unusual spot caused me to look up Throat Cancer on the www. The photos of the victims of throat cancer cemented into my brain that smoking for another 24 years was not a good option. The smell of cigarette smoke on one's clothes does cause a small twinge in the habitual part of my brain, but I can live with that.