Smoking is bad for your health. You probably know that. So are lots of things. In a semi-free society you should get the adulterated facts, and make your own choices. I understand banning cigarette smoking in bars and restaurants. A lot of people don’t want to smell like an ashtray after a night out, and cigarette smoke spoils some people’s appetites. If you’re old enough to have slept in a hotel smoking room, you know they could stink something awful.
But smoke free parks? Outdoor campuses? Residential buildings? Come on. In New York City, you can be fined for smoking in Central Park (or any park), yet those parks are surrounded by cars exhaling tailpipe exhaust- exhalation strong enough for a closed garage suicide slumber. Industrial smokestacks, and charcoal barbecues cooking meat slaughtered in planet killing factory farms cause far more harm to the environment than a guy blowing smoke into New York City’s air.
If smokers can’t enjoy their proclivity in the privacy of their own apartments, what’s next? Orwell 1984 televisions and computers that let the NSA spy on you in your home. Oh wait, that already exists. In case you hadn’t heard, the Fourth Amendment was abolished. Without a search warrant, the fascist corporate welfare state listens and looks through your laptops, car GPS, smart phones, and any other electronic blink blink that mesmerizes us talking monkeys.
I don’t know if it’s coincidence, but America’s decent into corporate totalitarianism seemed to coincide with the rise of the anti-smoking movement. During WW2 most American GI’s had a Lucky Strike perched between their lips- and we wrapped that conflict up in four years. The Afghanistan War is in its 17th year. A group of determined rag tag Islamists beat the American Corporate Empire. Dear Trumpster Dumbster MOAB lovers, and Obama Afghan surge scatophiles- we lost the Afghanistan War, like the Soviet Empire did right before their collapse. The Taliban run most of that country.
So why are we still in Afghanistan? To save face. To get a cut of the heroin trade that the US backed Afghan warlord pedophiles control. To shovel our last tax dollars and borrowed money into the Military Industrial Complex bank vault. To wait out a deal with the Taliban, so the multinational corporations can claim trillions of dollars of Afghan mineral deposits and energy pipelines routes. Enjoy the show, you paid for it. With your medicare, social security, legacy, and former republic.
What would cigarette smoking Humphrey Bogart have thought of our endless war paradigm, and abolition of the Bill of Rights by the Patriot Act and NDAA? Chesterfield in hand, would Twilight Zone host Rod Serling surreptitiously mention our plight in his opening monologue? How about Black Panther Huey Newton, who smoked during his famous televised jailhouse interview? Or writers James Baldwin and Jack Kerouac, with the familiar cigarette dangling from their mouths? Or even chain smoking Martin Luther King Jr? What about on air puffing news casters like Edward R. Murrow. Most importantly, what about the 1945-1965 Great American Middle Class Experiment working man ? A man who earned a decent wage with benefits. A man who could see a doctor, buy a house and car without drowning in a cesspool of debt. A man whose wages increased with the cost of living. Those guys smoked- and earned a fair wage for a day’s pay. His progeny have lost or will lose their jobs to outsourcing, robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence. In this Koch Brothers-Milton Friedman Utopian wet dream, the American working man’s descendants will be thrown into mega-slums, where they will succumb to privation, or more proactive measures.
You know where they still smoke a lot? China. And when the former American republic/ current corporate neo-feudal debt internment camp collapses like the Third Reich, China will be poised to fill the void. Unless the Chinese start enforcing smoke free buildings. I dig many aspects of Chinese culture and customs, but I prefer Western civilization- the good stuff, not the genocide, planet killing, and racism. Western civilization put a man on the moon, and gave us Thomas Paine, Raymond Chandler, Curtis Mayfield, Hemingway, Erich Maria Remarque, Mart Crowley, Paul Schrader, Patricia Highsmith, and Martin Scorsese. If only we kept the good stuff, and threw out the trash. Maybe if we took some Chinese philosophy from the Master Po Shaolin Kung Fu temple, and mixed it with Western imagination, we could escape our dystopian factory farm slaughter house fate. Light up a smoke, and think about it. Or meditate. It’s healthier.
I don’t advocate smoking. It’s a bad habit. I try to avoid cigarettes, at least until my second scotch on the rocks. Unfortunately, booze and cigarettes go together like Jayne Mansfield and tits, or a low info dullard’s skull and a Make America Great Again red hat. The police state took away smoker’s rights, and then went for bigger stuff. Like the Constitution. First they came for the cigarettes…
P.S. Nazi Germany started the first anti-smoking campaign.