Break Every Rule

Kinda following on from yesterday, something Walt wrote today, which I’d already reported:

And yet: those photos in the (msm) newspapers of the cool kids smoking at the Met, and a series like MadMen likely did more to help us than almost anything I can think of. They have an unbeatable subtext: Sexy. Normal. Fun. Relaxed. And, more recently, Defiant.

They’re very transgressive images. They’re down and dirty, borderline pornographic. Here’s a bunch of hot girls in party dresses, sitting on the floor of a public toilet, smoking. You’d think there might well be a guy standing at an urinal on the other side of the room, relieving himself. And in fact there probably was.

Bella Hadid puffed away near Lara Stone, Paris Jackson, and Ruby Rose

Was it planned? There were a lot of them.

Probably it wasn’t. It probably started with a couple of people sneaking off for a smoke in the bathroom, and the word spreading, and more and more people joining them until a whole separate (and much more fun) party was going on in the Met’s bathrooms than in the main area. A mass revolt had taken place. All the rules were being broken.

And they’re snapping pictures of themselves on their mobile phones. And then uploading them to Facebook or Imgur or Photobucket or Snapchet. In fact, maybe the photo the girl in the red dress (above) has just taken was uploaded the moment she took it. And it went viral, as it got shared and copied in a spreading wave across the internet. So when it got published in the Daily Mail at 19:15, 5 May 2017, it was already over 4 days after the moment this snap was taken.

Besides smoking openly in the bathroom at the museum, many stars took no pains to hide the behavior on social media.

In fact, according to the 2 May 2017 Washington Times the Mail had got the pictures from Snapchat within 24 hours:

Actress Dakota Johnson was just one celebrity caught on camera disregarding the Big Apple’s smoking ban during a star-studded event held Monday night [1 May 2017] in New York City.

A Snapchat photo of Ms. Johnson, taken by British singer Rita Ora and obtained by the Daily Mail newspaper, shows the “50 Shades” star lighting up a cigarette in what appears to be a smoke-filled bathroom. The photograph was taken during the annual Met Gala, a fundraiser for the city’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Other Met-attending celebrities caught smoking in the girls room, so to speak, were Bella Hadid, musician Courtney Love and her daughter Frances Bean Cobain, the Daily Mail said.

So would it really be true to suggest that these images really only got noticed when they were published in MSM newspapers? Almost certainly millions of people had already seen them online in social media.

It’s like asking whether the Beatles only really got noticed when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. But by then the Beatles had been wildly popular in the UK for a year (or more), and in Liverpool for even longer.

In late 1963, Sullivan and his entourage happened also to be passing through Heathrow and witnessed how The Beatles’ fans greeted the group on their return from Stockholm, where they had performed a television show as warmup band to local stars Suzie and Lill Babs. Sullivan was intrigued, telling his entourage it was the same thing as Elvis all over again. He initially offered Beatles manager Brian Epstein top dollar for a single show but the Beatles manager had a better idea — he wanted exposure for his clients: the Beatles would instead appear three times on the show, at bottom dollar, but receive top billing and two spots (opening and closing) on each show.

The Beatles had been “going viral” on UK “social media” for over 12 months. Their first hit single, Love Me Do, had been released in the UK on 5 October 1962.

If the internet had been around in 1962, the Beatles would have reached the USA at least a year earlier than they actually did.

And the Beatles were transgressive: they had long hair. They were breaking unwritten rules.

If you want to get noticed, it seems you need to do something transgressive that goes viral on the internet. And going viral is the important thing. When it makes onto the MSM, it’s because it’s already gone viral. The MSM just provides confirmation of the fact.


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25 Responses to Break Every Rule

  1. Frank Davis says:

    Bassett was most distraught over how cool all these celebrities looked while smoking on social media. “When young people see glamorous stars smoking and flouting the law, it undermines the progress that has been made in de-normalizing smoking and increasing awareness of smoking’s health risks,” she wrote. She offered to send extra staffing to keep an eye out next year.

    Last week, an anonymous donor told Page Six, “Mostly, it’s disrespectful to the art collection, which needs to be kept 100 percent smoke-free. I would honestly like to see these people fined by the city.” They were smoking by toilets, sure, but it’s not like they were Duchamp.

    If they’d been painted by artists like Vincent van Gogh, the artists themselves would have been smoking while they’d painted them. Did that mean that the artists disrespected their own art?

  2. Vlad says:

    Remembering a better time, at least as smoking is concerned.

  3. Fredrik Eich says:

    It’s encouraging to see flagrant ignoring of smoking bans. I wonder if this is becoming more widespread because of smoking ban fatigue. I see the smoking ban being ignored in work vehicles and building sites and have ignored it many times in pubs myself. The more people that do it the better!

    • Joe L. says:

      I agree that it’s encouraging, but I’m curious how and where you’ve personally been able to ignore the ban in pubs. Do you just sit down at the bar and light up? Do you use a cup as a makeshift ashtray or do you just ash on the floor? Are you not escorted out within seconds?

      • Fredrik Eich says:

        I have been escorted out of pubs for smoking! A few lock ins here and there but mostly
        it’s been in pubs that have covered outside smoking areas. One in Brighton basically covers the entire walled garden with a massive tent (hence illegal because it is more than 50% enclosed , its more like 95% enclosed) and another one that has a roof terrace that has walls on each side and roofs dotted about (so multiply illegal). In these two cases everyone is breaking the law but I suspect that I am probably the only person that knows they are illegal smoking areas, so a hollow victory on that front.

        • Joe L. says:

          I see. It’s heartening to know you have a handful of proprietors who are willing to bend the bullshit laws to accommodate smokers!

        • Fredrik Eich says:

          Strangely enough those pubs have plenty of customers and are more like pubs were before the smoking ban – people actually talk to each other. It would only take a letter to the council to destroy those businesses, fortunately most people don’t understand to 50% coverage bit!

  4. Rose says:

    Lovely pictures, all smiling and defiant, it’s a pity that they had to hide in a bathroom, but I suppose that was all part of the fun.
    How very different from the dour faces of the prohibitionists.

    Who would you rather be?

    • nisakiman says:

      Yes, I’ve always thought that Debs ‘just-sucked-a-lemon’ Arnott was a great advertisement for taking up smoking.

      If you put a picture of Arnott next to a picture of the bright-young-things in the Met, I’d imagine most people would be falling over themselves to rush out and buy a pack of Marlboro.

  5. Rose says:

    More smoking pictures.

    Cigs And The City: Bella Hadid smokes cigarettes as she flashes a rare smile while dining at Eden Roc in France
    16 May 2017

    Nothing but admiration and praise in the article, nothing but jealousy and spite in the comments.

    I like her all ready if even just a picture of her in a newspaper can wind up the online antismoking activists to such frothing heights.

    • garyk30 says:

      She, and they celebrities above, are showing no guilt.

      Guilt — brilliantly sold as “political correctness” to make it more palatable for an unsuspecting public — has enjoyed a long and prosperous run. One that allowed leftists to dismiss every challenge to their agenda with epithets designed to simultaneously induce guilt and end debate.

      The antis seem to throwing tantrums.
      That’s because they are tantrums, thrown by people who never imagined their “immutable truths” would be unmasked as the self-serving, guilt-inducing opinions they truly are.

      Millions of smokers should be dismissing a burden they never should have carried around in the first place.

      For America’s anti-smoker “social justice warriors,” that’s a calamitous disarmament of potentially catastrophic proportions.

      Leftist Ideology’s Greatest Threat: Guilt-Free Americans
      “In the last 50 years of culture wars in America, there has been no stronger weapon than guilt.”

  6. Clicky says:

  7. Frank Davis says:

    Another thing about these rock stars and film stars: they’re all being very politically incorrect. By smoking. By breaking the law. And bragging about it on Snapchat.

    I thought Hollywood was supposed to be ultra-liberal and politically correct these days. Perhaps it isn’t?

  8. waltc says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell which came first, chicken /egg. Online stuff–but only if it’s hot, new, unusual –can go viral and therefore get msm attention, or the other way around. But the fact remains that there are still two distinct audiences to reach and half the country uses only –or far mainly–one of the two. It’s not an either-or.

    And the Aunts have a way dominant role in the msm, both print and tv (which are also chicken/egg tho tv is more likely to pick up print) so we need to reach both, and reach the customers of, and counter the arguments on, the Aunts home playground, the ms source. (That’s why I favor also e-ing Letters to the Editor for print as well as just blatting online.) It would seem, from skimming online article comments, that those commenters got their “facts” from the home of those “facts”–the newspapers and television’s nightly news.

    Caught a bit of the late second or early third hour of Rush radio today where he talked about “bot nets”– where 10-20 people can mimic a flood of, in his words, “10-20,000. ” Take organization, but something to look into and think about.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Well, in this particular case, clearly online social media came first. The MSM newspapers arrived later, to catch the wave. Something Emily was saying in yesterday’s video that seems to be happening more and more. Although this time they acknowledged that the images were posted on Snapchat (although they didn’t provide a link).

      It seems to me that if newspapers are getting more and more of their content from the internet, then the new media are driving the old media. And the old media can no longer control the message like they used to do.

  9. Dmitri says:

    Aha, remember I wrote about “young things” in videos, optimistic and not giving a damn? That’s it. I don’t even know if we (or somebody) should imitate the same thing now, with just people, not celebrities, doing the same? (Probably we should, since we need them to speak out, not just sit in a loo). You give it a name like I Smoke Movement, or We Smoke Movement, or I Smoke and You Suck (ISM, WSM, ISAYS – oh, no). And send such snaps and videos around with ISM brand in a corner, just to circulate the name for starters and see what happens.
    And, to answer Frank’s question about Russia (asked in a post as of May 13, I could not answer it, since there was no more “respond” option visible) – the Debora-like creatures are very few in Russia. Nobody is ashamed to smoke. Somebody and something made our society anti-Western, and so we are on our own and hence relatively immune to foreign mass brainwashing. Yes, Frank, Russians ignore the bans the moment they get a chance. Our movement accumulates quite a collection of such cases, nationwide. Airports. hospitals, cafes, hotels. But we cannot publish it, it will mean stupidly ratting on our brethren. So we go on registering cases, hoping it will be of some use one day.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I do indeed remember. Making videos of ordinary people smoking and drinking and talking is something Emily and I have started doing. We could even make it “illegal” by putting up No Smoking signs on the walls behind them. But we’re using Skype and Facebook for these. Walt/nisakiman has suggested that we could just have webcams (or maybe car dashcams) to create videos of people drinking and smoking and talking quite naturally, maybe in bars like the ones in Greece where he lives, where smoking bans are largely ignored. I think it would be great to have a few videos showing Greeks ignoring smoking bans: this is how it’s done, folks. Better still to have some videos of Russians ignoring smoking bans: and this is how it’s done in Russia, folks.

      And it is possible to respond when there isn’t a “reply” option under under a comment. You just have to find the last “reply” option in the thread above, and use that. Or use the comment option at the very bottom of the all the comments.

      • waltc says:

        Nor do the gathered smokers have to talk about smoking, or certainly not only about smoking past ten minutes or an occasional observation, since that’s not “normal” either. Suppose the billed subject was something like the topic Frank just introduced: the relative influence of Social vs Mainstream Media on public opinion in general. Or Who was the best band of the 1980s, so people interested in those things tuned in and just happened to see a group of interesting people smoking while they talked.

        • Frank Davis says:

          Like back in the 1950s Brain Trust when our only TV channel would have philosophers like Bertrand Russell or Isaiah Berlin talking animatedly to each other for hours, while wreathed in the smoke from their pipes.

  10. Smoking Lamp says:

    Well, now there is one more set of outdoor smoking bans to resist. Just today, the Welsh Assembly voted to ban smoking at schools and on hospital grounds and playgrounds. “‘Radical Welsh Law’ Banning Smoking in Hospital Grounds and Public Playgrounds Passed by AMs”

    Taking another approach, Taiwan looks like it is getting ready to reject total indoor smoking bans by continuing existing indoor smoking lounges. “Draft act to keep smoking lounges in hotels, bars”

    Meanwhile, In Southern California where Laguna Beach just banned smoking in ALL outdoor public spaces the public radio station asks “AirTalk asks: Does Laguna Beach’s ban on public smoking go too far?” Of course the comments are dominated by antismokers… See the comments here:

  11. beobrigitte says:

    Bassett was most distraught over how cool all these celebrities looked while smoking on social media. “When young people see glamorous stars smoking and flouting the law, it undermines the progress that has been made in de-normalizing smoking and increasing awareness of smoking’s health risks,” she wrote. She offered to send extra staffing to keep an eye out next year.

    The anti-smokers are shrieking and crying for fear!
    Not only have I looked cool for the last 48 years, I am so cool that I could be used as a fridge.

    I do like the celebrity flashmob.

    Girls catching up on how the night is going. Brings back memories.

    Keep it coming!!!

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