Disapproval

I suppose that some people need lots of approval. Maybe some people even live for approval. And they can’t stand disapproval. Smoking Lamp yesterday:

There are many ‘hidden smokers’ these days. They usually are found in alleys and car parks.

Also TBD yesterday:

Most recently the guy, well dressed, good job, maybe mid 40s and judging by his accent and speech from a good , if not very good, school; tried pressing actual coins of the realm into my hand as he asked and dragged me off the street out of view.

These are people who can’t stand disapproval. They’ve met with approval all their lives, and now they’re meeting with disapproval, and they can’t handle it. And if you’re well dressed, with a good job, and a very good education, you’ve probably won a lot of approval. You were probably always top of the form at school. You probably won a lot of prizes.

That guy I was talking to in the pub garden let drop, very casually, that he’d been in “college” in “Cambridge”. Later on in the conversation, he added that he’d been in some sort of hall of residence in Cambridge. That almost certainly meant that he passed a lot of exams, won a lot of prizes. You don’t get to be a student in a Cambridge college unless you belong to the top elite student group. And he was a handsome man too. Even slightly athletic. He mentioned how his swimming had improved after he’d stopped smoking. That almost certainly meant he was one of those swimmers you find in swimming pools, cruising up and down the lanes, doing those somersault turns at each end, and timing themselves with waterproof watches. He probably won prizes for swimming too. I can swim, but after I learned to swim, I never got very much better at doing it.

And he was probably a smash hit with the girls. Particularly given his curiously direct, level gaze. A girl sitting on the other end of that gaze would have felt she’d got his complete attention, and he had eyes only for her.

And now he was skulking at the far end of a pub garden, worrying that someone might see him smoking. He’d met with approval all his life, and so couldn’t handle disapproval.

I could have said that I went to university too, although not quite as good a one as Cambridge. I could also have said that I could swim, although not as well as him. Instead, I only said that I’d done things that quite a few people disapprove of, like smoking pot and growing pot plants. i.e. I’d been at least as bad as he had.

“Women know what’s good for us,” he said, after I’d said I thought my mother had pestered my father into stopping smoking.

“Women only think they know what’s good for us,” I replied. “They don’t really know a damn thing.”

“Smokers are a dying breed,” he said, at some other point in the conversation.

“There are always going to be smokers,” I replied.

I like people who can handle disapproval. It’s why I greatly admire Donald Trump. He gets about five tons of disapproval in the mail every morning. And he gets lots more disapproval all day long. He’s the most disapproved man in America. And it all just washes right off him. I bet he gets quite a lot of disapproval from Melania and Ivanka too. But I bet that also just all washes right off. The man is a bulldozer. I couldn’t do it.

I think it’s because he comes from the wrong side of the tracks in New York. It was always an uphill struggle to just get level with the rich, cultured socialites in Manhattan. He’s never fully won their approval. He puts ketchup on his steaks, FFS.

As a blogger I’m not looking for approval. Or disapproval. I don’t worry much about whether people will agree with me or not. As a blogger I’m always trying to find a new perspective, another way of looking at things. I don’t mind being out on the edge of accepted opinion. Idle Theory is out on the edge.  So is my opinion that asteroid 2012 DA14 was a companion of the Chelyabinsk fireball – because everyone in NASA says it wasn’t. They’re disapproved opinions.

When they started out, the mop-top Beatles met with disapproval. And the Rolling Stones met with even more intense disapproval. But now they’re a global cultural institution. Like Bob Dylan, who’s now won a Nobel Prize, even though he can’t sing.

The artists known as Impressionists met with disapproval. People said they couldn’t paint properly. They said the same about Pablo Picasso. And now their paintings are worth millions.

Albert Einstein met with disapproval. People have always been trying to disprove the theory of relativity. They still are.

If you can endure disapproval, you’ll eventually meet with approval. And if you love approval, you’ll eventually meet with disapproval.

And maybe that’s the problem with most smokers. They can’t stand disapproval. They don’t know how to cope with it. They’ve been winning approval all their lives, and now suddenly they’re being met with disapproval. They’ve lived all their lives seeking approval, and when approval is withdrawn, they become ashamed of themselves. They only think as well of themselves as other people think well of them.

I don’t know whether anything can be done for such approval-seeking people. But I don’t doubt the people in Tobacco Control want approval just as much as anybody. I think this is why they’re always having these conferences. where they can express their approval of each other, tell each other what a good job they’ve been doing, and go away refreshed and revitalised. And getting lots of government money means getting government approval. So it’s a slight signal of disapproval when the money stops. And when the money stops coming, that’ll be the end of the line for their particular ponzi scheme. There’ll be fewer and fewer of those conferences, less and less mutual approval. And there’ll be more and more disapproval from people like me. And then maybe they’ll start meeting up in alleys and car parks. And start feeling ashamed of themselves. They’ve got a lot to be ashamed of.

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About Frank Davis

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11 Responses to Disapproval

  1. I must admit the Mr Well Groomed, Well Spoken with orgasmic vowels, was a bit unusual among all those who have cadged smokes off me and yes I agree he had probably met with the approval of his peers all his life. No doubt he also cadges a smoke off the stable hand when he takes Jessica to her riding lessons. What struck me about him, besides his obvious Fear Of Discovery, was the fact he spoke to me as if I were his social equal (rare trick and usually a sign of genes stretching back to the Norman Conquest) because I was a smoker. Not that has anything to do with the topic at hand but we, you and I, spoke recently about the ‘classless-ness’ of smoking. Had I been smoking rollups that day and not wholeleaf then I imagine he would have rolled a cigarette precisely halfway between ‘prison thin’ (ie insulting to me as it says ‘look I know you’re a poor person’) and ‘taking the piss’ thick… breeding is a wonderful thing.

    • Frank Davis says:

      In my experience, not many people know how to hand roll a cigarette. Or at least, not many people actually do roll them. I only started rolling my own when I fell in with a biker gang who had as much contempt for ready-rolled cigarettes as they had for Japanese motorbikes.

      I’d be surprised to come across a toff who could roll a cigarette. Do you think Prince Harry could roll one? Maybe he’s a dab hand.

      The classlessness of smoking maybe now comes from all smokers being treated equally badly everywhere.

      • I would think that anyone who attended a good public school would know how to roll a cigarette. There are bike sheds behind those fabled ‘playing fields’. They aren’t called ‘fags’ for no reason :P
        Certainly anyone who attended any university in the 80s-90s would, if they were a smoker, have known how to roll.
        Even back when ready made smokes were a ‘reasonable’ price they were outside the scope of even trust fund pocket money and student grants. Back when I was in 6th form all the smokers pretty much rolled their own and only bought cigs when they went to a party etc.

        • Frank Davis says:

          Obviously I didn’t go to a good public school, because I don’t remember anyone rolling cigarettes circa 1964. We bought them at the shop at the bottom of the hill, and usually smoked them in one of the pill boxes along the nearby canal. And we bought things like Dunhills or Benson & Hedges.

          Nor do I remember anyone smoking rollups in university, a few years later. I smoked Consulate for several years. Rolling your own was a late development, as prices rose. I started rolling my own in 1974. But it wasn’t for price reasons, as explained above.

        • nisakiman says:

          Blimey, Frank, Dunhill and B&H? We were on Player’s Weights, Woodbines and Park Drive. Then No 6 when they came on the market. (Which reminds me, do you remember No 10? Skinny and short and cheap!) And when I was even younger, it was Domino, which came in little packets of four cigs (6d a pack, I think), and you could often buy them singly, as there was no cellophane on the very rudimentary pack.. If I was flush for some reason, I’d get a pack of Sobranie Black, Capstan Full Strength or Passing Clouds, but those were rare occasions.

          I started rolling my own in about 1966, when I left school and worked on a building site to earn some quick money to go travelling with. I smoked Golden Virginia, ½ ounce packs that came in a soft foil covered inner packet with a band of paper round it with the branding on. No cellophane as I recollect, so you had to buy from a shop with a good turnover if you didn’t want stale and dry tobacco..

        • Frank Davis says:

          Sobranie Black, Capstan Full Strength or Passing Clouds

          I seem to remember we smoked those too. But none of us were really smokers. I can only personally remember about half a dozen occasions. The point was to break school rules. Why not smoke the best while breaking school rules? I didn’t start smoking in earnest until I was about 19 or 20.

  2. Clicky says:

  3. beobrigitte says:

    I suppose that some people need lots of approval. Maybe some people even live for approval. And they can’t stand disapproval.
    That does remind me of a night out in 2017. I had to leave my beer on the table by the door when I went for a smoke. And when I came back, my beer had gone. A few times this happened.
    I showed the Manager my disapproval of this practise by asking for replacement beer. He showed me his disapproval by kicking me (+ my son and friends) out. I cancelled the round of drinks and asked for my premier card back.
    I then showed my disapproval of this practise by telling potential customers outside how smokers get treated.

    My dad had only one thing to say to people who need approval: “GROW UP”.

    “Women know what’s good for us,” he said, after I’d said I thought my mother had pestered my father into stopping smoking.

    “Women only think they know what’s good for us,” I replied. “They don’t really know a damn thing.”
    Do I detect disapproval of women who disagree?
    (btw, my mum gave up on telling my dad what to do. He said: “Ja-Ja” (which translates into ‘kiss-my-a***) and did as he always did. And got another beer + a packet of Reval. (No filter cigarettes)

    And maybe that’s the problem with most smokers. They can’t stand disapproval. They don’t know how to cope with it. They’ve been winning approval all their lives, and now suddenly they’re being met with disapproval. They’ve lived all their lives seeking approval, and when approval is withdrawn, they become ashamed of themselves. They only think as well of themselves as other people think well of them.
    I beg to differ, smokers HAVEN’T been winning approval all their lives. Those, like me, who started smoking at the age of 12 met with a lot of DISAPPROVAL. And it made me to hold on to tobacco. Not the Marlborough Man nor the HB Maennchen.
    What has changed since is the drip-feeding since the 1980s + the creation of fictitious health scares.
    Perhaps Herbert Groenemeyer was the first in the 1980s who recognised how easily the mass can be manipulated when he wrote the song “Angst”.

    But I don’t doubt the people in Tobacco Control want approval just as much as anybody. I think this is why they’re always having these conferences. where they can express their approval of each other, tell each other what a good job they’ve been doing, and go away refreshed and revitalised. And getting lots of government money means getting government approval.
    Even at the cost of 7500 + lives and a raging Ebola epidemic.
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/836512

    May I politely remind of:
    http://www.who.int/fctc/cop/sessions/cop6/en/

    I can live happily with tobacco control disapproval.

    • a packet of Reval. (No filter cigarettes)
      Now you’re singing my Lied…oh see the graves there in the vale, there lie the smokers of Reval (yeah I know it don’t scan). Although given a choice between Reval and Juno I’d have gone for Eckstein5 cos I has refined tastes.
      and I *snorked* about the ‘Ja-Ja’- my Father in Law used to say it too -with that hand gesture.

  4. Smoking Lamp says:

    I think it’s high time that smokers come out of the shadows. It is time for society place its disaproval on tobacco control’s lies, manipulation and persecution of smokers.

  5. To quote a late German politician “Everybody’s Darling, Everybody’s Depp”, with Depp = Idiot. And that’s what you are if you try to be on everyone’s good side. A man with enemies is a man who’s stood for something. I’ll never understand people sacrificing their integrity.

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