Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Smog When Smoking

Whenever I hear someone use the term ‘minority’ or ‘minority group’, my mind immediately jumps to those who have been subjected to discrimination, be it a result of race, religion or disability, but there is one particular group of people that my mind has never gone to when minorities are the topic of conversation, and that group is smokers. If there is anything that I hate more, it's when smokers try to minoritise themselves as a group. We have Africans, Asians, Natives, people suffering from Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, Down syndrome - all examples of people under unavoidable circumstances - and yet smokers have this audacity to speak like smoking is as unavoidable as a paraplegic having to use a wheelchair. I look on talk of that nature with a big ‘shut the fuck up’ painted across my face.

On the special occasion, out of leisure, I’ll smoke a cigar; with that said, I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. I mention this for two reasons: to illustrate the fact that I am not a smoker and to make the point that if I had a particular place where I have always smoked when I’m out and about, and management decides that it would be best to ban smoking there, I would ash my cigar and stop smoking at the place straight away. Simple. Don't get me wrong, I would be more than peeved, but I wouldn’t disagree and I wouldn’t argue, because what would I dispute if I did? That I need it for my health? No. I realise that I say that from the stand point of someone who isn’t addicted, but be that as it may, addicted or not addicted, I don’t understand when, where and how smokers acquired this bullshit mentality that it’s our tolerance that needs to mould around them, not their dirty and unnecessary habit around us. Please tell me, because I can't even pull a cynical remark out out of my arse to solve that mystery.

Considering the basic facts that smoking is socially acceptable and that governments around the globe chase their own tales in where to stand on big-tobacco, here’s another hypothetical to put things into perspective: we live in a parallel universe exactly the same as the one we live in now, however, the advent of drugs never came about, the world is absolutely drug-free, but instead people become addicted to lighting up small fire crackers. These aren’t normal firecrackers though; these ones release toxins into the air which are harmful to the user and anybody nearby, but they are big business which is why the government doesn’t outlaw them. I know; it sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? I have a strange imagination, ‘people in the street lighting up toxic fire crackers’, what a bizarre idea, but can anyone demonstrate to me that toxic and irritating fire crackers is anymore ridiculous than cigarettes? That letting off loud cracks in public which are a nuisance to our sense of hearing and detrimental to everybody's health is anymore absurd than people burning sticks of smoke that are an insult to our sense of smell and have adverse repercussions to the health of not only the smoker but those with the displeasure of being in the vicinity? The short answer is no, it isn't, but whenever somebody wants to ban smoking somewhere, that little nugget never seems to stop smokers from jumping up and down and carrying on like children, no sir. Whenever some apartment building owner wants to ban smoking throughout or some educational facility is considering remaking itself as a smoke-free facility, they all band together like Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels and waste precious breath about phony rights they have that seem to ignore everybody else’s existent ones. Fuck them if they think that that shit is on, because it isn't.

The brass tax of this post is that just because something is popular and has become a social norm does not, on any level, make it a human necessity and, therefore, is not something that we – non-smokers - have to deal with. As a wide-practice, Australians used to kidnap Aborigines; the Americans used to enslave Africans, if we took this rationale that smokers have and applied it to how we eventually dealt with those particular widespread social norms, well, they would still be normal. How about we apply it to murder? People get murdered every day; should the bible prepare for a tweaking? 'thou shalt not kill...but y'know, if the international figures begin to peak, then...yeah, it'll be fine'? Speaking of murder, speeding in our cars is always popular with people my age, should we start petitioning to just turn our streets into speedways? We could just turn this whole country into a circus, just turn Sydney into an all-out downtown Baghdad if we applied this thinking to everything, but we don't, so why do it with smoking? If only smokers, at the very least, could find a patch that stops them from complaining when human rights come into play, because if they did, I’d stick it right over there obnoxious mouths. That’s all I have to say, so I will leave you with something that I have been saving for quite a while: the next time they ban smoking somewhere and a smoker even twitches a lip, remember...

Happy World No Tobacco Day
Thank you, Larry David!
…and, you know, if that still hasn’t helped, check this out.