Sunday, January 28, 2007

Good and Bad (but not in the greater philosophical sense).

It occurred to me that I have been griping a bit more than usual lately, and I am trying to be generally less gripey. Therefore, though I have something I really want to gripe about I will balance it out with something cool. Ying, Yang, Ohm.

I am not a smoker. I was raised with smokers, and have tried it in the past, but it never stuck. There are times it bugs me, and I believe that people who want to smoke should extend courtesy to others who choose not to. I am however pretty damn tired of anti-smokers. I am tired of crying soccer-moms on TV crying over the fact they have to take lozenges to quit. I am tired of bars and restaurants being told they can't allow smoking; if a restaurant owner wants to restrict smoking, good for him- but it should be the business owner's choice. If I don't want to be around smoking when I eat, I won't go to that restaurant that allows it.

I'm tired of lawsuits against tobacco companies. Yep- they're assholes. Yep, they make their product more addictive. Yep, they suck. So don't smoke. You want to damage them? DON'T BUY THEIR PRODUCT!

"Oh, but mean blog-man, I'm all addicted now and it's their fault I can't quit."

Yeah, Joe Camel came into your house with Phillip and Morris, shoved the cigarette in your mouth and lit it- enough times to hook you. Commercials? You fell for commercials? Most people start as teenagers, giving into peer pressure. Grow up. Put the pack down. Just don't smoke.

"I'm addicted! I can't stop!" You put the pack down and you don't smoke anymore, it's that easy. Yes, you're going to be cranky, and uncomfortable, kind of like I am when I start exercising again after a break in fitness. Please claim a little bit of personal responsibility.

"I didn't know they were dangerous!" OK- if you grew up in America, and you didn't know cigarettes were bad for you, this is Darwin at work trying to pull you out of the gene pool. In 1947 Tex Williams released "Smoke, Smoke Smoke that Cigarette" with such lines as:
Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
Puff, puff, puff until you smoke yourself to death.

Yes, elsewhere in the song he says:
I don't reckon that it'll hinder your health
I smoked 'em all my life and I ain't dead yet...

Tex Williams died of lung cancer. The "whack" sound he heard at death was the irony stick hitting him in the skull.

The point is, who hasn't heard the moniker "cancer stick"? "Coffin nail"? There's been a label on the side of the things for the last 38 years! Smokers consider their habit an acceptable risk. As do alcohol drinkers, doughnut eaters, fried food consumers, people who don't wear seatbelts, coffee drinkers, skydivers, and people who participate in democracy. I don't smoke, and I think it's rude. Should there be a law? No, there should be courtesy.

I've lost people I loved to lung cancer... but no one forced them to smoke.

So what's the good news? I saw Casino Royale, Oh-Shit Guy be damned. Finally, FINALLY someone made a movie about Ian Fleming's Bond. He's callous, brutal, and arrogant. He has no real gadgets, and has to rely on wits and fists as much as nice cars and guns. Daniel Craig is perfect as this steely killer, and this movie has immediately taken the spot of my favorite Bond film (unseating "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" with George Lazenby- oh yeah, I was one of those).

The movie serves as an origin for 007, playing off a lot like "Batman Begins" in that it is a realistic look grounded firmly in our world. He's a little sloppy, but we see Bond learn the tricks of his trade, pick up some certain habits essential to the Bond myth. The movie has plenty of action while still having a lot of the film's tension play out in a poker game. Yeah, I said poker, not baccarat, but for God's sake, who among us could keep up with an onscreen baccarat game? Well, OK, I could, but I only know baccarat because of the original Bond books.

See it, it is the real Bond, James Bond. Can't wait for the next one... Although, should I complain that we don't see him smoking?


ProsePetals said...

*high five*

I am a smoker...and though I know it's an addiction, it's an addiction that I happen to enjoy. Do I plan to quit?

Dammit, I quit each and every day...somewhere 'round 9 in the evening. Winners never quit; quitters never win...that sort of mentality. Nah, seriously, I do plan to quit, because it's true - the health complications that are exacerbated by smoking aren't worth the expense (and my stars, cigarettes have gotten pricey).

In all, though, I completely agree with your perspectives on the whole restaurant/bar owner things...when I was up in Washington, there was a Bingo hall I went to on occasion where the those lovely soccer mom types were bitching about the smoke. In a friggin' BINGO hall, for crying out loud. *sigh*

Ah well. Good rant there, Spock.

Rob said...

>> "I'm addicted! I can't stop!" You put the pack down and you don't smoke anymore, it's that easy. <<

Apparently, you're still not clear on the concept of addiction.

Rob said...

I give Casino Royale an 8.0 of 10. That's about as good as the other good Bond movies, but no better. The initial action sequence was great but the poker and torture/betrayal sequences were flawed.

Good thing this Bond had a defibrillator in his glove compartment. Otherwise, he would've been dead meat. I wonder: Is there a whole operating room in the back seat, or what?

Anonymous said...

Dan ~ I remember candy cigarettes when I was a little kid. I'm not sure if they were still around by the time you came along though. In fact, if I remember correctly, you didn't even really like candy of any kind. ???

As a non-smoker, (my vice is Coca Cola - the REAL thing), I am not only sick and tired of people trying to outlaw smoking in ALL public places, and PRIVARELY owned bars and restaurants... but even in our personal homes and on our outdoor patios?!?!?

This is government intervention that has crossed the line and yet, we the sheeple accept it. We are pathetic.


Anonymous said...

New (Muslim) Rep. Ellison calls the cops to snuff Tancredo’s cigar
By Betsy Rothstein

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) believes it is his right as a Muslim to be sworn into Congress with the Quran. But apparently, the freshman lawmaker doesn’t believe it’s Rep. Tom Tancredo’s (R-Colo.) right to smoke a cigar in his congressional office.

Ellison’s office called the Capitol Hill Police on Tancredo last Wednesday night as Tancredo was in his office smoking a cigar. The lawmakers have neighboring offices on the first floor of the Longworth House Office Building.

Tancredo was still stunned a day later. “It’s very bizarre,” said Tancredo, who has never met Ellison. “Seemed to me not a good way to say hello.”

And let’s face it. Calling the cops on a colleague takes the cake for the nerviest behavior so far among members of this year’s freshman class of Congress.

This is how it all went down. On Wednesday evening, around 6 p.m., Tancredo was preparing for his trip to Mississippi. And as he so often does, he was unwinding with a cigar.

Soon enough, however, a police officer walked in to check on the smoke. The officer told Tancredo that the officer came because he was required to do so and not because the officer wanted to. The officer had already told Ellison that Tancredo was permitted to smoke in his office. The visit was more a formality.

Tancredo said he would not stop smoking in his office. “Heck, no!” he said. “If he [Ellison] would have [had] the courtesy to say something I’m sure I would have been more accommodating to his wishes.”

To help keep his office free of impurities, Tancredo has three air purifiers. And he has no plans to meet Ellison anytime soon. “I’m sure we will, but I’m not going to make a point [of it],” the presidential hopeful said, adding that he supported Ellison’s right to be sworn in with the Quran.

Ellison’s press secretary, Rick Jauert, made the call to the Superintendent’s office when he noticed the smoke. “I called because the smoke was coming through the walls,” Jauert said, adding that the Superintendent’s office referred him to the Capitol Police.

Jauert said he then informed his boss what he had done. He said “fine,” Jauert said. “He’s complained of the smoke before.”

LOL - the libs want US to talk to Syria, Iran and the terrorists, but one of them can't even walk next door to speak personally to a smoker? Too phunny.