One Of Us

I was sitting outside in my favourite pub garden this afternoon. A couple of other people were also sat outside, eating. I wondered if they were smokers or not. Eventually, after they’d finished eating, one of them lit a cigarette. ‘Good,’ I thought. ‘One of us.’

I wasn’t wondering whether they were eastern Europeans. I wasn’t wondering whether they were Welsh or Scottish. I wasn’t wondering whether they were left wing or right wing. I was only wondering whether they were smokers or not. Because that was all that mattered.

Because these days that’s how it is. My life is framed by the smoking ban. And I’m no longer English or Irish or Welsh. No longer Catholic or Protestant or atheist. No longer left wing or right wing. I have become… a smoker.

I think that if someone had told me 10 years ago that this would be how I’d be thinking one day, I would have laughed and told them they were crazy. Back then I didn’t give a damn about smoking. It was no more important to me than drinking tea or eating apple pie. It was just something else I did.

It’s become this way because, while I may not have given a damn about smoking, quite a few other people did. These people were utterly obsessed with stamping out smoking. And many of them – like New York mayor Michael Bloomberg – were in positions of sufficient power and influence to be able to do something about it, and start driving out smoking – and by extension smokers – from society. And in the process, someone like me has been transformed from a perfectly respectable member of society into an outcast, and has had his identity entirely defined by the single trait of smoking.

Probably Jews and Gypsies and homosexuals in Nazi Germany had a similar experience. They probably didn’t think of themselves in those categories either, anymore than I thought of myself as a ‘smoker’ 10 years ago. They probably just saw themselves as people like anyone else. It took somebody else to apply those labels to them, and impose a new identity upon them. And it was an identity that they wore as a coloured star or triangle on their lapels.

And when this happened, they ceased to be ordinary members of society, with the cares and concerns of ordinary members of society, because they were no longer members of that society. They would no longer be trying to advance themselves within that society, as artists or scientists or anything else, because they no longer belonged to it. They would instead be simply trying to hang on to their jobs and their homes. Later, they would be trying to hang on to their lives.

The same Nazis are back again now, and with the same eugenic ideology, and doing the same things. They never really ever went away. Only this time the targets aren’t Jews and Gypsies and homosexuals, but smokers and drinkers and fat people. These are the new unwelcome. These are the latest vermin that need to be cleansed from society. And they in their turn are being excluded from society, refused healthcare, fired from their jobs, and evicted from their homes. All of which passes unreported in the mainstream media, just as it passed unreported in Nazi Germany.

It is utterly horrific that this is happening all over again. And most people don’t wish to believe that it is – and so prefer not to believe it. Yet it is indeed happening all over again, only this time more or less everywhere, rather than in just one country as in the past.

And it’s happening because the underlying eugenic ideology never went away. It’s the modern orthodoxy, and it’s been the orthodoxy for 100 years.

The best that can be said about this newly resurgent Nazism is that it is not overt. The new Nazis don’t wear jackboots and black uniforms: they wear well-cut suits. And they largely conceal their hatred of smokers by feigning to care about them, and by masquerading as concerned healthcare professionals, while all the while pushing for measures that will exclude and harm them. And while so far they aren’t yet actively murdering smokers, their programme of eradication is inherently murderous, because its goal is to rid society of certain kinds of people, and in the end this must lead to murder, just as it did in the past.

And at present, most people have been successfully duped into believing that these antismoking healthcare professionals really are primarily concerned with health and well-being, despite all the evidence to the contrary. And it’s very important for them that people continue to believe this, because the moment that they are identified as Nazis will mean the end of them.

One inevitable consequence of these various persecutions is to build solidarity within the ranks of the persecuted. And that’s what I was experiencing today, sitting in the pub garden with my beer and cigarettes. The more people are persecuted, the more they bind together. In this respect, it might be argued that both the post-war Jewish state of Israel and the post-war rise of gay activism were the product of the Nazi holocaust, and wouldn’t have happened without it. And the same will happen with smokers and drinkers and fat people. The future is going to see proud smokers and proud drinkers and proud fat people, smoking more, drinking more, and getting even fatter.

And that’s why smokers are talking to smokers all over the world. They’re the latest persecuted minority, and they’re reaching out to each other. They might be right wing, or they might be left wing. They might be artists, or they might be engineers. They might be black, or they might be white. But increasingly those differences are ceasing to matter in the face of the existential threat which they all share, and which supersedes and negates all other differences.

They’re one of us.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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36 Responses to One Of Us

  1. magnetic01 says:

    “…Only this time the targets aren’t Jews and Gypsies and homosexuals, but smokers and drinkers and fat people.”

    Smokers, drinkers and fat people were also targets then (both in America and Germany).
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2352989/pdf/bmj00571-0040.pdf
    But this time the behavioral dimension – anti-tobacco/alcohol, dietary prescriptions/proscriptions, physical exercise – has become the central obsession.

  2. Marie says:

    The smokers paradise is the internet, but it needs to be more physical ;)

  3. BrianB says:

    As ever, Frank, I find your thoughts and attitudes are totally in concordance with mine. I, too, have developed a tendency to judge anyone I see smoking as a ‘kindred spirit’, and I often have ridiculous desires to want to go and shake their hands! I will now even readily hand over a cigarette if asked by one of the ‘beggars’ who always seem to hang about outside Birmingham New Street station – something that I wouldn’t have dreamed of in the past.

    Coincidentally, I was recently transported back to a more sociable time, when ‘bumming’ cigarettes was perfectly acceptable, and not just among close friends. Earlier this month I had a short break with friends in Barcelona and Tarragona, and enjoyed the relative freedom of a country with a still quaintly civilised attitude towards smoking. On my first full day there, I was sitting with my friend, having a beer, and, in my case, a smoke, while our wives were off ‘shopping’. I was approached by a well-dressed, polite young man who asked for a cigarette – which I was happy to give – and then “some fire” (a light!). Within the next hour another two people approached me and, similarly, asked for cigarettes. Again, I obliged. “I must have a kind face” I said to my friend.

    A while later, a very attractive young lady, who had been standing nearby with friends (we were, by now, waiting for a train – smoking on the station platform, naturally), came over and spoke to me in Spanish. I didn’t understand, so she tried French. This I did just about grasp, but when she then realised I was English she asked, in near perfect English, if I would mind giving her a cigarette. “Of course” I said (while experiencing long-forgotten stirrings in the loins!) and asked if her friends would like one too. “No they don’t smoke” she replied. I enjoyed the still faintly erotic pleasure of flipping open my Zippo (oo-er missus!) and lighting her cig.

    Anyway, over the course of 24 hours, I was actually asked for cigarettes no less than eight times! Not one of those eight could be described as ‘beggars’ or ‘down on their luck’, all were totally normal, and well-dressed. One, even, was fully suited up, and carrying a briefcase – likely on his way home from work. The most ironic example was at the central hospital in Barcelona (my friend’s wife needed treatment – it’s a long story). While my friend and I we were sitting in the sun, outside the Emergency Clinic, having a coffee (my attempt to calm his strained nerves), and me a cigarette, a young chap on crutches and with a Heath Robinsonesque contraption encasing the lower half of one of his legs hobbled over and, again, bummed a cigarette. He was very polite and apologetic, explaining that he did have cigarettes, but that they were in his jacket (in the clinic) etc. I gave him the remains of a packet of Marlborough Lites (yuk! well he was happy with them) that I had to buy to keep me going – until I picked up my 6,000 pre-ordered B&H from a downtown Barcelona Tabac ;o) .

    I don’t know if my trivial little story has any point, never mind a moral, but It did engender a huge sense of well-being in me. It also gave me that poignant little reminder of how things used to be. I felt at home.

    My (non-smoker) friend, who witnessed all this, was seriously impressed. I did suggest that if he wanted to ‘pull’ attractive young Spanish ladies, he should really consider starting smoking!

    • Messalina says:

      Great story Brian, thanks for sharing. Yes it’s true, in other European countries they don’t have the hatred of smokers and the massive anti-smoking drives that are prevalent in the UK.

      • BrianB says:

        Yes, Messalina, I can vouch for that. In tha last two years I have felt equally ‘at home’ in Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Austria – all openly smoking, generally raising two fingers to restrictions, and looking totally relaxed about it!

        That’s why I am seriously considering leaving sh*t-hole UK when I stop working.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Funnily enough, I never had that experience in Spain, even though I went there regularly. But then, I smoke roll-ups. And I hardly ever saw anyone smoking them in Spain. So maybe they thought I was smoking ‘something else’, and didn’t ask.

      • BrianB says:

        Maybe it’s down to the current state of the Spanish economy (or not)? :o}

        Mind you, with cigarettes at only €4 or so for 20, I would have thought that there are easier economies available.

        I would also say that Barcelona doesn’t, to me, look like a city in the depth of financial crisis!

        • Frank Davis says:

          Well, if you’re spending any time in Barcelona, Brian, perhaps you might visit Esplugues de Llobregat and see how its bars are faring. It’s in the southwest of the city, inland from the airport. Mi amiga en Espana lived there, and I used to hang out in the little bars dotted around it. In 2009, as the smoking ban loomed, I combed its streets looking for bars and cafes, noting their streets and names, because I thought that the smoking ban would kill off many of them. I constructed a map showing where they were. And the last time I was in Barcelona, in November 2010, on the eve of the introduction of the total ban, I updated the map. I haven’t been back since, but if I were to go back, I’d head straight for Esplugues, to check out the bars.

          If anyone else is in Barcelona, near Esplugues, perhaps they might do the same. And they might even find the ghost of me sitting in the mirrored Caseta, or the Chico D’Oro, or the traditional Bar Canarias with its goat-hoof coat hooks, or the little El Gran Jaguar, or the dark, wooden interior of La Jarra y La Pipa.

  4. junican says:

    I empathise entirely with Brian B’s experience, but, in my case, it was at Bolton Hospital when my wife was ill. She was there for seven weeks. Many were the times that I exchanged pleasantries with fellow smokers just outside the entrance while I was having a fag during visiting hours. I never exchanged pleasantries with anyone inside the hospital. Is it any wonder that, in all of the seven weeks, I NEVER saw an ‘official’ approach anyone about smoking on the ‘non-smoking site’? They wouldn’t have dared! Their ‘abuse’ would have been returned a hundred fold.

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Yes indeed an army a world wide army of pissed off citizens of the new world order of jackbooted health thugs! Is this how it was 100 years ago and how it was eventually defeated. All walks of life that were attacked all along the way for every concievable sin the nanny nazis chose to go after!

    My great grandma told me stories of prohibition as a child back in the 1960s and not just alcohol but tobacco prohibition. Those stories never took any significance until todays world unfolded and I found myself a criminal for doing what I always did,SMOKE!

    No doubt my granny would be proud of all of us today for fighting back and especially me.
    Fighting for the right to exist,the right to grow a crop of tobacco,the right to the public table but most of all she would be proud we fight just for our RIGHTS!

    She would say go get arrested,go to jail and fight the bloody prohibitionists in everyway you can.
    Get in their faces,shake your fist at em and if need be fist fight em……………

    But then she was a Kentuckian of the frontier era and really its still a frontier, a frontier needing taming from those who deny us the right to exist. They are the outlaws and criminals,NOT US!

  6. beobrigitte says:

    I think that if someone had told me 10 years ago that this would be how I’d be thinking one day, I would have laughed and told them they were crazy. Back then I didn’t give a damn about smoking. It was no more important to me than drinking tea or eating apple pie. It was just something else I did.

    10 years ago we smokers could settle down inside a pub, enjoy a drink and there were ashtrays on most of the tables. In the years that followed first the smoking areas were moved and reduced in size; some pubs had a small – usually packed – smoking bar and a huge, empty, non-smoking bar. We usually piled into the little smoking bar but usually I went home with plenty of tobacco left. Yes, we did smoke there but smoking wasn’t important. When the smoking ban was dictated, smoking became important and we smokers simply stopped going to the pub.

    When recently taking a little old lady to the hospital for tests, I sat outside on a bench, smoking a cigarette. Almost instantly there were a couple of people settling next to me, lighting up. Then a woman approached, asking if she could buy a cigarette, offering 1£, as she had left her home in a rush after receiving a phone call. Of course I didn’t take the money! Within 5 minutes we all were talking away, laughing and even joking.

    Frank, you are not alone when seeing someone light up a cigarette, thinking: ‘ah, good! One of us…’

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Oceanside CALIFORNIA reverses course, drops smoking ban
    OCEANSIDE — The Oceanside City Council on Wednesday dropped its proposed ban on smoking at sidewalk cafes, a day after Vista rejected a similar ban.

    In Oceanside, the council had voted June 5 to craft an ordinance that would ban smoking at outdoor eateries where tables were on public sidewalks, not private restaurant patios. The council was scheduled to vote on the ordinance Wednesday.

    But after several business owners complained that the rules would infringe on their right to provide areas for smoking patrons, the council backed away from the measure.

    The proposed ordinance died after no one on the council made a motion to approve it.

    Restaurant owners who opposed it said the ordinance would create an uneven playing field by treating outdoor spaces differently.

    “I don’t think it’s fair,” said Sara Black, owner of the Red Rooster Bar & Grill in Oceanside.

    Several groups — including the North Coastal Prevention Coalition and the Vista Community Clinic — had lobbied for the ordinance, but no one spoke on behalf of them at Wednesday’s meeting.

    Mayor Jim Wood said he favored a more comprehensive smoking ban that would have included all restaurant patios, whether they were on private property or public sidewalks.

    Councilwoman Esther Sanchez — who initially proposed the ban, saying secondhand smoke was hazardous to patrons and restaurant employees — was absent.

    She voted against the June 5 compromise offered by three of her colleagues limiting the ban only to eateries on public sidewalks and streets.

    Councilmen Jerry Kern, Jack Feller and Gary Felien, who voted in favor of the water-down ban, reversed course.

    “I think a compromise requires broad support,” Felien said.

    He added that the council should “go back to square one and start over.”

    Wood said on Wednesday that the proposed ban was “flawed” and that it would likely lead to lawsuits from businesses.

    On Tuesday, the Vista City Council voted 3-2 against a ban on outdoor smoking. The majority on the council said it should be up to business owners to decide whether to provide smoking areas.
    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/26/oceanside-smoking-ban-drop/

  8. magnetic01 says:

    A story that just aired on national TV in Australia. Note the comments of the thoroughly brainwashed 20-something that exposed the practice.
    http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article/8681248/cigarette-supermarkets

    Also bear in mind:

    Proctor (1997) continues that “throughout this period, magazines like Genussgifte (Poisons of taste or habit), Auf der Wacht (On Guard), and Reine Luft (Pure air) published a regular drumbeat against this ‘insidious poison’ [tobacco], along with articles charting the unhealthful effects of alcohol, teenage dancing, cocaine, and other vices. Dozens of books and pamphlets denounced the ‘smoking slavery’ or ‘cultural degeneration’ feared from the growth of tobacco use. Tobacco was branded ‘the enemy of world peace’, and there was even talk of ‘tobacco terror’ and ‘tobacco capitalism’ …. The Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls both published antismoking propaganda, and the Association for the Struggle against the Tobacco Danger organized counseling centers where the ‘tobacco ill’ could seek help” (p.456-457); “Hitler Youth had anti-smoking patrols all over Germany, outside movie houses and in entertainment areas, sports fields etc., and smoking was strictly forbidden to these millions of German youth growing up under Hitler.” (www.zundelsite – January 27, 1998.htm)

    • Rose says:

      Yes, but they seem to have been fine with chemical company concoctions

      “After it was first introduced into the market in 1938, Pervitin, a methamphetamine drug newly developed by the Berlin-based Temmler pharmaceutical company, quickly became a top seller among the German civilian population.

      According to a report in the Klinische Wochenschrift (“Clinical Weekly”), the supposed wonder drug was brought to the attention of Otto Ranke, a military doctor and director of the Institute for General and Defense Physiology at Berlin’s Academy of Military Medicine. The effects of amphetamines are similar to those of the adrenaline produced by the body, triggering a heightened state of alert.

      In most people, the substance increases self-confidence, concentration and the willingness to take risks, while at the same time reducing sensitivity to pain, hunger and thirst, as well as reducing the need for sleep. In September 1939, Ranke tested the drug on 90 university students, and concluded that Pervitin could help the Wehrmacht win the war.”

      “During the short period between April and July of 1940, more than 35 million tablets of Pervitin and Isophan (a slightly modified version produced by the Knoll pharmaceutical company) were shipped to the German army and air force. Some of the tablets, each containing three milligrams of active substance, were sent to the Wehrmacht’s medical divisions under the code name OBM, and then distributed directly to the troops. A rush order could even be placed by telephone if a shipment was urgently needed”

      “In isolated cases, users experienced health problems like excessive perspiration and circulatory disorders, and there were even a few deaths”
      http://www.spiegel.de/international/the-nazi-death-machine-hitler-s-drugged-soldiers-a-354606.html

      “An overdose of methamphetamine can result in seizures, high body temperature, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, stroke and death”
      http: //knowledgex.camh.net/amhspecialists/resources_families/Pages/methamphetamine_dyk.aspx

      “Late in the war nicotine was suspected as a cause of the coronary heart failure suffered by a surprising number of soldiers on the eastern front. A 1944 report by an army field pathologist found that all 32 young soldiers whom he had examined after death from heart attack on the front had been “enthusiastic smokers.” The author cited the Freiburg pathologist Franz Buchner’s view that cigarettes should be considered “a coronary poison of the first order”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2352989/pdf/bmj00571-0040.pdf

      Which is presumably why the true believers have to write “Heart Miracles” to hide the lack of any predicted effect.
      .

  9. Rose says:

    In fairness, I doubt that anyone would be brave enough to tell Hitler that the soldier’s heart attacks were probably from the drugs they’d been giving him and supplying to his soldiers.

    Adolf Hitler’s medical care.

    “For the last nine years of his life Adolf Hitler, a lifelong hypochondriac had as his physician Dr Theodor Morell. Hitler’s mood swings, Parkinson’s disease, gastro-intestinal symptoms, skin problems and steady decline until his suicide in 1945 are documented by reliable observers and historians, and in Morell’s diaries.

    The bizarre and unorthodox medications given to Hitler, often for undisclosed reasons, include topical cocaine, injected amphetamines, glucose, testosterone, estradiol, and corticosteroids. In addition, he was given a preparation made from a gun cleaner, a compound of strychnine and atropine, an extract of seminal vesicles, and numerous vitamins and ‘tonics’.

    It seems possible that some of Hitler’s behaviour, illnesses and suffering can be attributed to his medical care. Whether he blindly accepted such unorthodox medications or demanded them is unclear.”

    “For example, there is no doubt that he gave intravenous glucose and Pervitin (methylamphetamine) to Hitler on any occasion when he needed a boost, and especially before his famous ‘rabble-rousing’ speeches to assembled thousands of devotees.”
    http://www.rcpe.ac.uk/journal/issue/journal_35_1/Hitler%27s_medical_care.pdf

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      If only the Fuhrer had maintained his smoking ie self-medicating he might have had control of himself. After quitting smoking he became deranged,Madd and totally out of control with hate for the whole world. Deep down all Hitler wanted was just to have a fag again……………..smoking would have saved the world!

  10. cherie79 says:

    I have always found smokers much more sociable and more so since the ban. I used to get people coming into the smoking part of the train, in the good old days, saying it was the only place anyone talked to them. I have also noticed that a few people I know who gave up after smoking for decades have become quite seriously ill soon after, wonder why?

  11. garyk30 says:

    Do you think the leftist/progressive antis will offer ‘equality’ to smokers?
    As they feel must be for gays.
    (DOMA = defense of marriage)

    Wednesday, the Supreme Court correctly ruled that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act violates the Constitution and our nation’s principles of equal treatment under the law. The ruling, which is as legally correct as it is morally correct, reinforces our nation’s real traditional values of fairness and equality for all.

    In a 5-4 ruling in United States v. Windsor, Justice Kennedy on behalf of the majority, wrote decisively, that “DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.”

    The Constitution’s guarantee of equality “must at the very least mean that a bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot” justify disparate treatment of that group.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      I would say Owebummer has threatened the court that he will increase the number of judges on the supreme court if he doesnt get his way. FDR made the same threat over his RAW DEAL COMMIE LAWS that kept getting struck down.

  12. garyk30 says:

    Can you Brits top this?

    We have, in Congress, an immigration reform bill- right?
    S-744 is the number, as quoted by the MSM, it is supposed to be about solving our problems with illegals from Mexico.

    Do you know the actual name of the bill, S 744?
    Well, it’s not the ‘Immigration Reform Bill’ that people in the media keep spouting. Nope!
    It’s actually called ‘Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act of 2013’.

    Do the talking heads know what they are talking about?
    OK, silly question!!!!!

  13. magnetic01 says:

    One-stop-shop guide to smoking friendly places courtesy of Imperial Tobacco:
    http://www.smoke-spots.co.uk/search

  14. jon34234er says:

    lol at comparing yourself to jews in nazi germany.

    the blog should be deleted from the internet for that comment alone.

    also looks like a new tobacco directive is in place and a (soon) increase in taxes. hopefully you all die off sooner rather than later.

    • garyk30 says:

      As with all of your kind, you are sooo conpassionate

    • prog says:

      ‘hopefully you all die off sooner rather than later’.

      It could be argued that statements like that merely reinforce comparisons with Nazi Germany. Though, thankfully, you speak for a very small minority – anti smoker trolls.

      Anyway, I wish you a long and healthy life. In the meantime – go fuck yourself Fascist.

    • highstump says:

      jon34234er…got it.
      “I’m writi’n your name in me book and striki’n a line through it.”
      Squire Will Danaher

    • beobrigitte says:

      also looks like a new tobacco directive is in place and a (soon) increase in taxes. hopefully you all die off sooner rather than later.

      I know you do – and you are being disappointed yet again. And again. And again.
      Inn the meantime you might be glad that I am alive – at the latest when you come off your bicycle or worse even, a car running you over.
      Remember: My EMERGENCY DONOR blood has a wonderfully high Hb content. You might need it to survive! Wishing for my death might speed up yours!

  15. prog says:

    You can’t always judge a book by its cover Frank. The only thing you can be sure of is that they are people who smoke. I’ve met some smokers who are pro ban, particularly those stood outside pubs.

  16. Frank, I don’t see a way to contact you directly, so I am using this method. I have a small, one man web-site business selling briar pipes, and on my home page I post whatever thoughts come to mind; half the time they have nothing to do with smoking. However, I have been introduced to your site and would like permission to post some of your thoughts on my site…with attribution, of course. Thank you for the consideration.
    Sincerely,
    Marty Pulvers
    http://www.Pulversbriar.com
    P.S. I actually think that smokers can band together and apply enough economic clout so as to redress some of the more ridiculous anti-smoking laws; I don’t think it would be hard, but it would take a leader with enough

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