Sunday, January 28, 2007
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?