I gather there’s a movie out called A Billion Lives. I think it’s about ‘vaping’ or something. And Aaron Biebert, its director, has said:
It seems that many pro-smoking advocates would like to hurt our film because they are delusional veterans of a lost war. Lost.
It’s laughable to me that they are still fighting. It reminds me when they found Japanese soldiers on an island many years after WWII was done. They were still on alert, waiting for orders. They were still at war.
However did he guess?
I instantly recognised myself, of course. I had, after all, just returned from my look-out post on the island’s lone peak, from which I gaze out daily upon the distant blue horizon, waiting for the fleet to arrive.
But are we veterans really ‘delusional’? Who says the war is lost? He mentions ‘an island’, a single island with a few soldiers on it. But I think there are many, many such islands. And they form an archipelago that stretches all around the entire globe. And I reckon that there’s at least 1.5 billion veteran smokers on those islands. That’s half a billion more lives than he’s got. Surely the war is only lost when all those islands have been invaded and declared smoke-free, and all the soldiers on them taken captive? And that most certainly hasn’t happened yet.
I know this because I have constructed a sort of radio set, from bamboo and wire and glass. It has allowed me into a sort of “global information web” which simply didn’t exist in the past. And it has let me make contact with veterans all over the world. A month or two back I was chatting to some Russian smokers. And yesterday to an Israeli smoker. And I’m in regular communication with numerous British and American smokers. There are still a lot of us!
So, yes, I’m still at war. And I’m still on alert.
I think this Aaron Biebert is bit of a defeatist. We used to shoot people like him. And after deciding that one war has been lost, it seems that he’s now fighting some other war that he also thinks has been lost.
Sadly, the vaping war is nearly lost as well. If vaping is going to survive, the tactics must be non-conventional. The people fighting it must actually rally around something. They must stop fighting each other…stop fighting their few remaining allies.
I don’t know much about this ‘vaping’. I grow tobacco on the hillside below the peak, and I smoke it in a coconut pipe.
But if he decides not to surrender in this new war of his, I agree that the tactics must be unconventional. But I’m not sure that people need to rally around something. I think they just need to rally together. They must discuss ways of resisting, ways of fighting back. They must be imaginative. They must try out a few ideas.
Anyway, I must get on. Today’s the day when I strip down and clean my rifle again. I do it once a month. I’ve still got four bullets for it. I used to have seven, but I used up three of them on defeatists.
I’ll never give up. I will never surrender. And I want my rifle to be clean and polished. Because one day the fleet will arrive.