A Volunteer in the New Great War

But for the smoking ban, I think I would have carried on slowly developing Idle Theory, as I had already done for 30 years, tinkering away at it like some eccentric English inventor in his garden workshop. But when the war began, I joined the King’s Own Smokers. Or would have, had it been formed.

My grandfather had a garden workshop. It was so small that only one person could stand inside it. It was full of saws and hammers and chisels and nails and screws, in boxes and shelves and hooks and racks that completely covered every wall. It smelled of sawdust and glue – a glue that he used to boil up on a Bunsen burner, and whose smell I’d probably recognise today. My grandfather always seemed to have three of every kind of tool, and so he had three different vices along the front of his workbench. There was one for holding metal things, and another for holding small wooden things, and another for holding large wooden things. And he had saws to cut metal things, and little saws to cut small wooden things, and great big saws as long as his arm to cut large wooden things. And he spent hours and hours in his little workshop, boiling up glue and building piles of sawdust and wood shavings. I don’t remember anything that my grandfather actually made. Somehow or other I never saw the finished product. But I still  vividly remember all the tools and the vices and the sawdust and shavings.

My grandfather also went off to war. He didn’t volunteer, so I suppose he must have eventually got conscripted. And he must have joined some brigade or battalion, and been shown how to use a rifle and a bayonet. And then he was shipped across the Channel to France, where he arrived in November 1918. I suppose he must have been assigned to some trench somewhere in Flanders. But I don’t think he ever got to fire his rifle, because WW1 came to an end on 11 November 1918. And so he was sent back to England, and to his little workshop in the garden.

I used to think that, in my own life, I’d managed to avoid being called up to fight in a war. But these days I don’t think I really did manage. Because the war I’m now engaged in fighting is another Great War, and another World War. It’s a war that’s been launched by antismokers against smokers, everywhere all over the world. WW1 only lasted for about 4 years, but this new Great War has been being fought for 100 years or more already, and will probably continue to be fought for another 100 years. And I think it’s going to become more and more bitter, more and more intense. For the past 50 or 60 years the antismokers have been winning. In fact, they think that they have more or less won the war, and that all they need do is liquidate the last few pockets of resistance. But I think that resistance from smokers is only just beginning to stiffen. And there are about 1.5 billion of them in the world.

It’s a war between two opposing visions of life. It’s a war between those people who want to live planned, ordered, ideal lives and those people who want to live free, spontaneous lives. It’s a war between order and chaos, freedom and constraint. And I’m fighting for freedom – and for the chaotic little freedom to be able to sit in a pub and drink a beer and smoke a cigarette. It was a freedom everyone used to enjoy until the antismokers took it away, because it didn’t fit into the planned, ordered, regulated world that they were set upon constructing. For theirs was to be an ideal, “smoke-free” world. It’s probably also going to be a beer-free, alcohol-free, and pub-free world. They just haven’t got round to telling us about that yet.

I don’t make plans for myself. And I don’t make plans for anyone else either. I’ve never wanted to rule the world, and if I ever did my first act would be to set everyone free of my rule. I don’t even have any clear idea of what the world will be like or should be like in the future. But the antismokers all have a detailed vision of a future ideal world guiding them and inspiring them. They know exactly what it will be like, right down to the last windmill and solar panel and smoke-free, alcohol-free, meat-free, sugar-free, fat-free, salt-free, music-free, laughter-free restaurant (if even restaurants are even permitted in their ideal world). And if they ruled the world – and they very nearly do – they’d make it into a prison in which their every command would be obeyed by everyone everywhere. Because they want to control everyone, order everyone, constrain everyone, and eradicate every trace of chaotic, untidy, dirty, spontaneous freedom from everywhere.

And it’s precisely because there’s such a fundamental clash lying at the root of it that it’s going to become such a Great War. For we’re either going to live in a planned, regulated, constrained future, or an open, anarchic, spontaneous future.

One day maybe I’ll get back to my little workshop in the garden, and go back to gluing the various bits of Idle Theory together. And, just like my grandfather, my little workshop has got three of every kind of tool: I’ve got at least 3 computers. But, unlike my grandfather, I’m a fairly early irregular volunteer for this war, and I suspect I won’t ever manage to get back home. I’m probably going to spend the rest of my life fighting the antismoking controllers in the new Great War.

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About Frank Davis

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24 Responses to A Volunteer in the New Great War

  1. Dirk says:

    Beautifully written and I totally agree with you, Frank.

  2. Roobeedoo2 says:

    I don’t think of it as a ‘New’ or ‘Great’ War. If anything it’s a seedy, little war, waged by puffed up, petty generals, who have been raping science and language to spread their dis-content and dis-ease in order to make their backsides more comfortable at the expense of everyone else.

    Let’s not big these arseholes up more than they have done for themselves already. I love smoking; I cede nothing…

    • Frank Davis says:

      That may all be true, but I think you’re underestimating the power of the enemy we’re facing. It’s not just antismokers we’re up against. We’re up against people who have lots of plans for everybody. Outfits like ASH wouldn’t exist if they weren’t surrounded by like-minded control freaks throughout government.

  3. Rose says:

    But, unlike my grandfather, I’m a fairly early irregular volunteer for this war, and I suspect I won’t ever manage to get back home. I’m probably going to spend the rest of my life fighting the antismoking controllers in the new Great War

    My Grandfather had a similar shed and I don’t think I’ll be going home either.
    Once you’ve had your eyes opened to the propaganda and political science in one area you see the same template being used in the other small wars that are just beginning to bubble up.

    After all, it’s not like I didn’t know that anti-tobacco were lying from the very first but as long as they left me alone, I left them alone, after all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
    What they are not entitled to is their own version of science or their own law.

    Maybe I’m beating my head against a brick wall, but it’s my head and I couldn’t have lived with myself if I had kept quiet and not even tried.

    I am grateful to Frank and his online cyber pub too.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Maybe I’m beating my head against a brick wall

      Maybe I am too. But since Tobacco Control have devoted a page to me on TobaccoTactics, I guess I must be getting to them a bit. And so also is every one of the commenters both here and elsewhere.

      • Manfred says:

        Frank,they’ve awarded you the equivalent of a VC. Meanwhile, The War goes on, from generation to generation. There’s no cumulative evolving social contract. Each baby born is required to climb out of the cave and join society. ‘Push back’ is in the genes. Mankind has sought to smoke and ferment since the time homo erectus strode out onto the savanna. That’s never ever going away.
        Meanwhile, a stricken Irish yatchsman washed up down the road in Port Chalmers, Dunedin NZ, and celebrated his larger than life presence with an impressive smoking habana cigar clamped firmly between his broadly smiling teeth. He stated he’d made a New Year’s resolution while sailing to take less risk and he obviously relished the moment of landfall. In the background one could hear the grinding and gnashing of politically correct TV NZ having to endure the visual microaggression. It was utterly priceless and it restored one’s faith in human nature.
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/boating/88173620/Stricken-racing-yacht-arrives-in-Dunedin-harbour

    • Timothy Goodacre says:

      Hi Rose, i had a great holiday in Copenhagen in November. Proprietor owned bars permit smoking. It was great everyone inside puffing away and having a great t
      Ime X

  4. Claudia from Germany says:

    I’m not a smoker anymore because I’ve become a vaper. But I see the template – and therefore, I’ll join you in beating of heads against brick walls.

    • Rose says:

      Well there are plenty to go round, Claudia.

      Sugar and the Brain

      “Glucose, a form of sugar, is the primary source of energy for every cell in the body. Because the brain is so rich in nerve cells, or neurons, it is the most energy-demanding organ, using one-half of all the sugar energy in the body.

      Brain functions such as thinking, memory, and learning are closely linked to glucose levels and how efficiently the brain uses this fuel source. If there isn’t enough glucose in the brain, for example, neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers, are not produced and communication between neurons breaks down. In addition, hypoglycemia, a common complication of diabetes caused by low glucose levels in the blood, can lead to loss of energy for brain function and is linked to poor attention and cognitive function.

      “The brain is dependent on sugar as its main fuel,” says Vera Novak, MD, PhD, an HMS associate professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “It cannot be without it.”
      http://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/sugar-and-brain

      But following the tobacco template they are only ever going to tell you half the story and they’ve started on addiction already.

      Is sugar the world’s most popular drug?
      5th January 2016

      “Imagine a drug that can intoxicate us, can infuse us with energy and can be taken by mouth. It doesn’t have to be injected, smoked, or snorted for us to experience its sublime and soothing effects. Imagine that it mixes well with virtually every food and particularly liquids, and that when given to infants it provokes a feeling of pleasure so profound and intense that its pursuit becomes a driving force throughout their lives.

      Could the taste of sugar on the tongue be a kind of intoxication? What about the possibility that sugar itself is an intoxicant, a drug?”
      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/05/is-sugar-worlds-most-popular-drug

      Doctors renew war on sugar
      5 January 2017
      https: //www.bma.org.uk/news/2017/january/doctors-renew-war-on-sugar

      Conflicting interest, I make jam out of home grown produce for my own consumption, but though they say they are after Big Food, as usual, it will be the private individual who will be made to pay.

  5. nisakiman says:

    For the past 50 or 60 years the antismokers have been winning. In fact, they think that they have more or less won the war, and that all they need do is liquidate the last few pockets of resistance. But I think that resistance from smokers is only just beginning to stiffen. And there are about 1.5 billion of them in the world.

    “The old get old, and the young get stronger.
    May take a week, and it may take longer.
    They got the guns, but we got the numbers.
    Gonna win yeah, we’re taking over.”

    From one of my all time favourite bands.

    As you say, Frank, they think they’ve won the war, but in fact they’ve merely dominated the latest battle. And as you also point out, as the battle wears on, resistance is stiffening. The war itself is far from won.

    The internet has introduced a new battleground, and it’s one that we are comfortable in because we are able to deploy our own weapons of fact and reason, which they find difficult, if not impossible, to defend against. You can only maintain a lie as long as people don’t have access to the truth. And as more and more people use the internet for news gathering, we reach an ever widening audience with our comments and links.

    No, they haven’t won the war yet, not by a long shot.

  6. Clicky says:

  7. Vlad says:

    Speaking of this war that the antismokers wage – on culture, on science, on basic common sense. I got some pipe tobacco from Germany – on one pouch it says ‘Rauchen kann ihr ungeborenes Kind toeten’ – ‘Smoking can kill your unborn child’. I guess this one is meant to scare young female smokers. It got me thinking – any rational person can figure out that this is false. So what kind of respect or trust can a rational person have in the ‘public health’ bodies that put this kind of lies in big bold letters on a pouch of tobacco? None whatsoever.

    Back in the day when the warning (small, unobtrusive) read: ‘Tobacco is injurious to health’ or something along those lines, one tended to either to ignore or believe it and perhaps cut down or even give up smoking as a consequence. But since these bald-faced lies and medical porn ‘adorn’ tobacco products, the reaction, at least in my case was: whoa, wait a minute. What’s going on here? This is war now.

    • ‘Rauchen kann ihr ungeborenes Kind toeten’

      I forsee 20 HB (kinda like the Benson & Hedges of Germany) becoming the bottle of “Mother’s Ruin” of the next decade among the teens of the Fatherland.

      All together now: ♫♫”I fought the Law Of Unintended Consequences & the Law won, I fought the Law and the Law WON!”♫♫

  8. Smoking Lamp says:

    Frank, Excellent essay! I agree a war is on against choice and liberty. Tobacco is the first campaign. Next (already in motion) are alcohol, sugar, meat… I like you am volunteer against this totalitarian attack on individual liberty. We can’t rest until we roll back the smoking bans. Hopefully the first cracks in their subjugation of man will arrive soon. Until then they are increasing their operational tempo seeking full bans in Japan, China (both mainland and Taiwan), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and US… Sadly the mass accept the prohibitionist lies and propaganda and even join in the calls for their own ultimate enslavement. We must fight and hopefully one day enjoy the fruits of our victory smoking in a pub or bar. I’d lime to do so once again in New Orleans, New York, London, Paris, Washington, DC, and oh yeah Sydney, Montreal, and San Fransisco…

  9. Lepercolonist says:

    The anti’s have billionaires Bloomberg and Gates. Where are the freedom loving billionaires ?

    • waltc says:

      Afraid to be labeled as baby killers and cancer promoters. And why stick your neck out for a bunch of filthy, addicted, suicidal scum? You can’t even publish a scientific study disproving TC dogma w/o paying a price (see James Enstrom) and it’s the same with global warming. As for wars, well, there’s ww2, won against odds in 4 years on 3 fronts… and then again there’s The Hundred Years War.

    • Darryl says:

      The money power love an ordered regulated world because that’s the way to maximum profit. Can’t have the Plebs coming in on Monday with a hangover and being less productive or taking time out for a smoke. Fascists, Bolsheviks, Nazis all had backers in the big end of town.

  10. Darryl says:

    “It’s a war between two opposing visions of life.”
    I totally agree Frank. 100% spot on.

  11. “But for the smoking ban I would have carried on slowly developing Idle Theory”

    Even from an ex-light smoker and unapologetic born-again smoker’s perpective like myself, these seemingly all-powerful zealots have been messing up with, and derailing, my *vital expectations*, as opposed to said zealot’s beloved, but statistically contrived, promises of increased *life expectancy*.
    As for smokers in general, apparently they don’t as yet care enough to check the facts and fight back.

  12. Manfred says:

    Simply put, the b’stards reinforce my desire and enjoyment of smoking. I savor every single cigarette. And you know, each one comes with an additional quiver of pleasure, that of kicking them in the proverbial nuts. I don’t think by a very, very long way I’m the only one.

    • Furtive Ferret says:

      Manfred you are spot on. Paradoxically it was TC and their anti-advertising that convined me to pick up the pipe. I hadn’t smoked a cigarette in 25 years and had all but forgotten about smoking, not even being concerned on nights out with friends who smoked. But the smoking ban brought out my rebellious streak and a few years after that started on smoking a pipe. Like you I savour every puff that I take. TC have jumped the shark with their medical porn and I simply no longer believe their rubbish.

      • Manfred says:

        FF, I enjoy between a single to three cigs of an evening, sometimes none. Each carries enormous enjoyment as I mentioned. And I know something the anti-smoking nazis don’t, that at that level of consumption it remains an entirely ‘sustainable’ activity. Once again, I doubt I’m the only one who’s figured out ‘sustainability’.

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