I’m trying to build up a collection of “plain” tobacco packs, because I think that one day they’re going to be collectors’ items framed behind glass for future generations to see what happens when madness takes hold of societies.
This morning my eyes fell on one which said, in big black letters on a white background (note to future generations: lies are told in big black letters on white backgrounds), which said:
Your smoke harms your children, family, and friends
All of them, and all at the same time? It conjured up the idea of getting a phone call from a friend living a few streets away, asking: “Frank, have you just lit a cigarette? I’m feeling a bit unwell.”
It used to be that smoking was harmless. Then it was that smoking harmed the smoker. Now it’s that smoking harms your children, family, and friends. How long before…?
Your smoke harms your neighbourhood, your home town, and your country.
Of course carbon dioxide has far outstripped tobacco smoke in the harm stakes: it catastrophically harms the whole world. Beat that!
Then I started reading Walt’s additional report on the NYC council health committee that met to “discuss the many proposals to screw smokers”:
Of the committee’s 9 members, 7 were idiots (poor neighborhoods tend to elect One-of-Their- Own and usually the one who’s the fastest talker but not the deepest thinker) and 2 were Superior Beings. The idiots believe whatever The Experts tell them and want to identify with Acceptable Attitudes. There’s also, I think, the irresistible enchantment of passing the kick–abused turned abuser, powerless given power.
The white guy who said that “making it difficult” was good, was– to steal a line– “nasty, brutal and short” as in physically short, and he seemed to spit it out with a gleeful malice. The Science, for him, is probably nothing more than a prop for his malice.
This prompted two thoughts. The first was that, while I tend to think that the Tobacco Controllers are fiendishly clever, maybe the truth of the matter is that they’re all complete idiots, and what we’re witnessing is the relentless rise of a new idiocracy. The idiocracy is in control in NYC and most likely San Francisco and numerous other US cities, including many European cities.
Confirmation of this hypothesis quickly came a little further down the thread in a comment by Joe L:
Scientists from the University of Bristol have looked at all 14,500 participants in Children of the 90s and found that if a girl’s maternal grandmother smoked during pregnancy, the girl is 67% more likely to display certain traits linked to autism, such as poor social communication skills and repetitive behaviours.
The University of Bristol is my old alma mater, and it used to be one of the best engineering universities in Britain – home to Rolls Royce and Concorde and Brunel’s SS Great Britain and Clifton suspension bridge – . and now it was reduced to producing bilge like this.
Universities once used to be centres of excellence, but these days they more and more seem like centres of idiocy. I think it may simply be because the currency of academia has been debased by the simple expedient of multiplying the numbers of universities. In the past universities were full of people like Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, but now they’re full of idiots. And you have idiot professors heading idiot departments full of idiot students being taught idiocy (Note to future generations: minimize rather than maximize the number of universities), and they pump out tens of thousands of unemployable graduates with meaningless degrees in things like “Gender Studies”.
Political Correctness is of course one of the principal manifestations of the rising tide of idiocy. And it should be no surprise at all if it has infected not only NYC city council, but also the mayor’s office (e.g. Bill de Blasio and his predecessor Michael Bloomberg) and probably much of the US Senate and House of Representatives, as well as the British House of Commons (and Lords) and the highest echelons of the EU.
And the second thought that was prompted was that “making it difficult” was the opposite of Idle Theory’s goal of making life easy. It’s very hard to make life easy for people, with roads and cars and computers, but very easy to “make it difficult”. It requires a long succession of geniuses to create a sheet of transparent plate glass, but just one single idiot to smash it. And now, in NYC’s city council you have someone whose avowed goal is to “make life difficult” for a large part of NYC’s population.
In the past, enlightened city officials set out to make life easy for their citizens with good roads and subways and clean water and good education. But the new breed of idiots in City Hall is now setting out to quite deliberately “make life difficult” for people. And they’ll find any number of very easy vandalistic ways to make life difficult. And as life gets harder for everyone, they will all get poorer. The roads will fill with potholes. The subways will break down. There’ll be power cuts. The drains will block. Buildings will fall empty or into disrepair. People will move out, seeking prosperity elsewhere, while the idiocracy vie with each other to find new and ingenious ways of “making life difficult” for another bunch of people. A number of US cities seem to be already well advanced down this track. No doubt London and Paris will quickly latch onto the new fad of “making it difficult”, because idiocy in SF or NYC pretty rapidly makes its way across the Atantic.
Where else is idiocy on the rise, other than in education and medicine and politics? The mainstream media are pretty well advanced with their quiz shows and sport and “fake news”. I read somewhere that the new Labour party slogan for the upcoming General Election is going to be:
For the many, not the few.
What did it mean? For the many who? It could be anybody. You could supply your own categories. Fill in the blank spaces.
For the many ______, not the few ______.
In the end I thought it most likely meant that the Labour party was
For the many non-smokers, not the few smokers
But I knew that already.