Monday, October 24, 2005

Everyone's trying to get in on the act

Yeah, we blur the line between saying things that are real and things that are absurd. We hold the right to do that because we truly don't see a difference between the two. All life is absurd. While we do it to no real purpose, other than to see how much we can blur that line, I found a real article that could have been one of our jokes but was actually serious.

I found it in The Week, under Best Columns: Europe. It's from Madrid, Spain's ABC, written by Juan Manuel de Prada. Check it out:

"Maybe we had it coming. For years, we Spaniards gleefully mocked the U.S. for it vicious persecution of smokers. The vilification of tobacco users, we said knowingly, was "just the clearest symptom of the raging paranoia that is rotting American society like gangrene." The ever-widening bans on smoking showed the growth of "latent fascism" in U.S. politics. With sneering conceit, we congratulated ourselves that such a thing could never happen here. We were wrong. Parliament is outlawing smoking in the workplace. Opposing parties that can't manage to agree on a bill to combat terrorism have miraculously united over "harassing smokers." Spanish smokers will now have to cluster furtively outside their office buildings, just like those pathetic Americans. Such behavior will be terrible for office morale. Either smokers will be resented for their cigarette breaks, or they will find them more trouble than they're worth and stop hiring them. This type of "social segregation" is the "beginning of totalitarianism.""

Does anybody else feel like shooting themselves after reading that? That was a real, printed opinion. The only thing more painful than reading it is the thought that someone gets paid to write something that I do for free as a joke. I'm sorry I have to stop a moment and weep.

11 Comments:

Blogger Epictetus said...

When are people going to realise that the debate over smoking bans is not about smoker's rights, but the health and safety of non-smokers who have to work around them? If smokers were doing something that didn't pose a health risk to others around them then nobody would care.

On a related note, Northern Ireland will be smoke free by April 2007, the gov't announced last week. In England, however, the ban is being debated and it's a 50-50 split. Politicians can't decide if they want a blanket ban or partial ban (smoking sections/rooms)

-ross

Thursday, October 27, 2005 9:38:00 AM  
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Tuesday, November 01, 2005 5:13:00 AM  
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Oh, the Cat furniture man is back. Why didn't he leave message on my entry that was dedicated to him. Oh, right, because it's not a real person just another form of spam.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 12:29:00 PM  
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Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, November 04, 2005 6:18:00 AM  
Blogger Erasmus said...

I read in the newspaper today that the "Peoples Republic of New York" in an attempt to further inflate government and protect the citizens from themselves is looking at banning smoking outdoors.

I think it is time that we outlaw sex outside of heterosexual marriage as a way of stopping sexually transmitted disease.

Friday, November 04, 2005 9:28:00 AM  
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Monday, November 07, 2005 5:07:00 AM  
Blogger Epictetus said...

Erasmus, I agree banning smoking outside sounds absurd. And your joke about banning sexual intercourse outside of marriage highlights another absurdity in all this...the public and media's fixation on this now socially unacceptable habit of smoking. It has become a slippery slope.

The UK is considering the ban but there is also legislation going through the House of Commons that will make 24 hour drinking legal in bars, nightclubs and off-license stores. So we'll get people with healthier lungs and rotten livers. The fact is that drinking is more acceptable just like smoking once was.

True, there's no such thing as second hand drinking. Or is there? Should I worry about the guy next to me at the pub who's been drinking double vodkas all night or the group of 18 year olds out on the tear. Your damn right I should.

I've yet to see a rumble ensue from a pipe shop or any one commit vehicular manslaughter because they smoked an entire pack of Camels. If we'ew going to go down the "in the interest of public health and safety" route let's look at a variety of habits, not just the unpopular ones.

Monday, November 07, 2005 7:49:00 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

At the risk of sounding completely off the map, there has never really been proof that second-hand smoke causes cancer. In fact, the source often pointed to as solid fact, The EPA report on Second hand Smoke, actually says that second hand smoke is casually associated with 3,000 lung cancer deaths a year to nonsmokers. It's casual becasue second hand smoke has carcinogens in it. That's about it. Still I'd rather not take my chances and refrain as much as possible from any kind of smoke. It's near impossible for me to avoid air pollution, because I live in New York City.

I tend to think that any restriction on vice is futile. I applaud the 24 hour drinking rule. I could, if I really wanted to drink for 24 hours right now. I may not be in a public place for the hole 24 but for about half of that time I could be.

Is alcoholism a problem, yes. Are health issues linked to smoking a problem, yes. What should be done instead of restricting these actions? We should be offering life fulfilling alternatives (idle hands, blah blah blah). May I suggest forced racing between smokers and drinkers. The winner of each race will eba llowed to coninue their training regiment, the loser will be sterilized.

Monday, November 07, 2005 5:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Cat furniture make said...

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Monday, November 07, 2005 5:24:00 PM  

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