I Don’t Want To Be A Member Of Their Society

When smokers were expelled from society, some of them got angry about it. They wanted their lost rights restored. They wanted the bans lifted. They wanted to be re-admitted into society as full members, not second class citizens.

And I was one of those angry smokers. I was furious. I got so angry at times that I thought I might have some sort of apoplectic fit. So much so that I felt I had to take myself in hand, try to calm myself down.

Ten years after the imposition of the UK public smoking ban, I’m still angry. But my attitudes have been shifting a bit. My thinking has evolved a little bit.

And I suppose that what I’ve begun to think is this: I don’t want to be re-admitted into their society. I don’t want to be a member of their mean-spirited, vindictive, controlling society. I don’t want to live in their smoke-free, alcohol-free, sugar-free, fat-free, carbon dioxide free world. I loathe their world, and I want nothing to do with it.

I don’t watch their BBC and ITV and Channel 4 TV any more. And I don’t read their newspapers and magazines or books either. I don’t go to their theatres or cinemas or art galleries or museums. I don’t travel on their trains or buses or planes. I don’t stay in their hotels. I don’t eat in their restaurants or canteens. I don’t drink in their pubs or cafes. I don’t consult their doctors. I don’t listen to their pundits and experts.

I’ve left. And I’m never coming back.

I don’t want to know what they think. They don’t want to know what I think, so why the hell should I want to know what they think?Maybe if they listened to me, I’d listen to them. But they don’t listen to anybody but themselves. They only listen to people who think the same way as they do: they ignore everyone else. So now I ignore them.

They want to control everything. They want to control not just what people put in their mouths to eat and drink and smoke, but also the words that come out of their mouths.

They want to control everything, but they’ll end up controlling nothing at all.

Increasingly, I believe nothing they say about anything. Increasingly, I believe they know nothing about anything.

They seem to think that “society” is some sort of monolithic unity, which they can change at will to be something else. But I think they have broken society into bits.

In fact, I think that was all they ever intended. They wanted to smash society. And they have done. And they’re probably proud of it, like some hooligan or vandal who has smashed a window somewhere. Hey, see what I did! I smashed the window!

No, I don’t want to be part of their society. I don’t want to know them. I don’t want to meet them. I have no respect for them. I have no admiration for them. I only have contempt for them.

I’ve become much more interested in constructing a new society. A new society which recovers the best of what was in the old society, the society they smashed. For I think that a new and tolerant and rational and considerate society can emerge from its ruins. I think a new house can be built using the bricks and timber of the ruined old house. It won’t be the same as the old house. Maybe it’ll be bigger and better.

All I do know, with perfect certainty (to the extent I’m ever certain about anything) is that they will never build any new society. For they are incapable of building anything. They are only capable of breaking things and smashing things and trampling on things.

I probably won’t live to see it, but I think they’re all going to be swept away soon. And maybe they’ll go away and try to build their smoke-free, fat-free, sugar-free, carbon-free utopia somewhere else.

Maybe on another planet.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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19 Responses to I Don’t Want To Be A Member Of Their Society

  1. Thaddeus Buttmunch, MD says:

    The Bans are only public-I would NEVER tell you what to smoke in your own home. (Although-even there-if you have young children, you are doing them NO favors by discharging smoke into the air.) I find it curious, that many who are Libertarian about tobacco, are Super Hard@$$es about the War on Illegal Drugs. Why IS this?? Booze and tobacco cause just as much damage as Crack and Heroin. All the crime you hear about is because of those Black Market prices. Prohibition, Indeed, does not work. Look at the history of alcohol prohibition here in the States. But, here in the US, many folks have automatic pistols and assault weapons. Look at our crime rate vs. yours. (and, OK, there are many stabbings in London. But-getting shot is usually more lethal.)

    • smokingscot says:

      Yo Buttmuncher, want to have an insight into what Frank’s written about today.

      http://mullingscot.com/smoking-bans-constipate-recoveries.html

      Read, inwardly digest and understand it’s been Peer Reviewed and verified by virtually everyone on this here site. How do I know? Well they’d have ripped me a new one and smiled as they did so.

    • garyk30 says:

      “ But, here in the US, many folks have automatic pistols and assault weapons.“

      Do you actually know about anything you speak about?
      There is NO SUCH THING as an automatic pistol available to the public.
      That would be a pistol where, with a single pull of the trigger, it keeps firing until out of ammo.
      An ‘assault weapon’ is reasonably defined as ‘any weapon used to assault another person’.
      That could be a fist, handgun, table knife, car, or atomic bomb.

      Please answer these questions:
      ‘What percentage of never-smoker deaths are from the diseases said to be ‘caused’ by smoking?’
      ‘What percentage of smokers deaths are from the diseases said to be ‘caused’ by smoking?’
      ‘What percentage of children’s deaths are from the diseases said to be ‘caused’ by smoking?’
      ‘On how many Death Certificates is smoking listed as the ‘primary cause’ of death?’
      Do you believe health care should be ‘FREE’ to all?
      ‘Do you have ANY knowledge of ‘Probability and Statistics’?’

    • beobrigitte says:

      (Although-even there-if you have young children, you are doing them NO favors by discharging smoke into the air.)
      Is that why the baby-boomer generation is living longer these days?

      I find it curious, that many who are Libertarian about tobacco, are Super Hard@$$es about the War on Illegal Drugs. Why IS this??
      The thing with tobacco is, it does not stop you from being a highly valued tax payer.

      Booze and tobacco cause just as much damage as Crack and Heroin.
      Indeed, there are people whose alcohol dependency cost them their job, family and home.
      The worst offender, though you have not listed: OXYCONTIN prescribed in the US widely by MDs – like you – directly caused the heroin black market to boom as black market heroin is much cheaper than a Dr.’s prescription.
      When I first read about a surge of heroin use in the USA and why, I was baffled that fully qualified MDs do not understand that opiates and opiate derivatives ARE HIGHLY addictive – regardless what the pharma reps tell in order to create a market for their companies’ products.
      That was before I read your comments here, regurgitating nothing but tobacco control & friends’ “research”.

      I’ll stick to tobacco, it’s been around for a long time, causingh no ill effects until anti-smokers and their propaganda appeared on the scene.

      But, here in the US, many folks have automatic pistols and assault weapons. Look at our crime rate vs. yours.
      Please refer to Garyk30’s comment.

      OK, there are many stabbings in London. But-getting shot is usually more lethal.
      Actually, you would be surprised if you know how many shootings there are here, a country that does have a ban on guns. I guess, there is a black market as well.
      Prohibition in any form and shape just does not work, but wastes a lot of public money which could be used more wisely.

    • waltc says:

      Thank you. Thaddeus. You’ve answered the question about how much blithering nonsense can be packed into a paragraph. A) most generations born between, say, 1930 and the mid to late 80s grew up aroind smoke, usually in their homes with no disfavor done. In fact, the rate of childhood asthma has exponentially increased in inverse proportion to the decline in smoking….B) Libertarians favor the legalization of most hard drugs, at least the naturally occuring ones..C) .Comparing booze snd tobacco to crack snd heroin is comparing apples to grenades…And D) ( see Gary’s corrective comment) but wtf have guns got to do with any of this? OTOH, hey, thanks for letting me know you won’t tell me not to smoke in my own home. I’d have so obeyed you if you had

  2. smokingscot says:

    O/T

    Goes to prove, along with our very own Clegg, that waste material form the EU is indeed highly toxic.

    Schulz has finally seen the light and has quit as party leader of the SPD!

    http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/04/22/559345/Germany-Nahles-Schulz-SPD

  3. smokingscot says:

    But you do dear child, you do. All those folk who live in public housing, indeed many who in condo’s have been forced out their homes because landlords, whether State or privately owned have amended terms to make whole multi unit dwellings smoke free.

    Some of the victims of this abuse have taken to writing on this blog to tell us. And it certainly isn’t in the least defensible, nor amusing.

    Couldn’t care less where you got your info about libertarians and their not getting their priorities right. On this place the use of heavy drugs is not what the blog master writes about.

    Maybe you should go and luxuriate reading the learned papers written by Stanton Glantz.

    https://tobacco.ucsf.edu/people/stanton-glantz-phd

    That man’s a peer without the slightest doubt at his learned profession and he’s all in favour of taxing until the pips squeak.

    We’ve read every single solidarity point you’ve made over the last couple of days Buttmuncher by individuals, academics, think tanks and study groups. You have added four fifths of fuck all to our collective store of knowledge.

    And what you personally think Buttmuncher, well as you’ve probably gathered I couldn’t give a flying fuck what you think. You’re just a minor source of amusement, something to play with, to ridicule until I get bored with it.

    • Joe L. says:

      Maybe you should go and luxuriate reading the learned papers written by Stanton Glantz. That man’s a peer without the slightest doubt at his learned profession …

      Glantz’s “learned profession” is mechanical engineering. However, one might never know that because he’s so obsessed and preoccupied with persecuting smokers that he hasn’t ever engineered anything.

      Oh, maybe you’re referring to Glantz’s other skills, which include sexual harassment and racism. Recent reports claim he’s fairly well accomplished in those areas.

      • Vlad says:

        I see that non-smoker Glantz was born in 1946, the same year as smoker Stallone. Just by comparing the looks of them gives one a good idea of what mental illness euphemistically called ‘tobacco control activism’ does to a man.

  4. garyk30 says:

    They want a ‘perfect’ World; but, they refuse to see that most of the old world was pretty damn good.
    Their ‘replace, not improve’ is a destructive policy that has been cautioned against for many centuries.

    Perfect is the enemy of good is an English variant of the older better is the enemy of good, which was popularized by Voltaire.

    History

    The phrase is found in Italian as Il meglio è nemico del bene (The better is enemy of the good), attested since the 1603 Proverbi italiani (Italian Proverbs), by Orlando Pescetti.[1]

    The phrase was popularized by Voltaire. He first used the saying in Italian in the article “Art Dramatique” in the 1770 edition of the Dictionnaire philosophique.[2] It subsequently appeared in French in his moral poem, “La Bégueule”, in Contes (Tales), 1772, which starts, ascribing it to an unnamed “Italian sage” or “wise Italian”:[3]

    Dans ses écrits, un sage Italien
    Dit que le mieux est l’ennemi du bien.

    (In his writings, a wise Italian
    says that the better is the enemy of good.)

    This sentiment in English literature can be traced back to Shakespeare,[4] In his tragedy King Lear, the Duke of Albany warns of “striving to better, oft we mar what’s well” and in Sonnet 103:

    Were it not sinful then, striving to mend,
    To mar the subject that before was well?

    Related concepts
    The original meaning may have been that attempts to improve something may actually make it worse, similar to the sentiment expressed in the maxim “leave well enough alone”.

    Earlier, Aristotle, Confucius and other classical philosophers propounded the related principle of the golden mean, which counsels against extremism in general.[5]

    • garyk30 says:

      I suspect that achieving their ‘perfect world’ would be like moving at the speed of light in that, the closer you get, the greater the effort that must be applied.

      The closer that they get to their perfect world, more and greater restrictions will need to be placed upon the citizens.

    • Barry Homan says:

      I can say it simpler: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  5. beobrigitte says:

    And I suppose that what I’ve begun to think is this: I don’t want to be re-admitted into their society. I don’t want to be a member of their mean-spirited, vindictive, controlling society. I don’t want to live in their smoke-free, alcohol-free, sugar-free, fat-free, carbon dioxide free world.
    Neither do I.
    It is a boring world.
    And bored minds come up with the next: “We don’t want older people around, they will have become useless (pensioners) and spoil ‘beauty’. We MUST protect the ‘chiiiiildren, our future’ from them. Let’s ban them!!”

    Brave new world….

  6. Clicky says:

  7. jaxthefirst says:

    My feelings about the smoking ban mirror yours, Frank, exactly. In the early days I was incandescent with rage at being summarily made to feel like a second-class citizen virtually everywhere. I used to do a lot of stuff – eating out, drinking out, theatre, cinema, live music events, sporting events, long holidays, short holidays, day trips, shopping trips, travelling by train, travelling by bus, travelling by air. You name it, I did it. In the early days of the ban, I did try to continue with those things, at least a bit. I’d try and seek out venues which had a halfways decent smoking area, or who had at least made an effort. Or I’d go to places abroad which I knew didn’t have smoking bans, or I’d go to hotels which still offered smoking bedrooms. But, to be honest, the sheer effort of finding such places (to getting to them) became such an effort – sometimes there’s simply no mention of smoking or non-smoking status at all – and after a few costly mistakes of booking places where the smoking facilities were either non-existent or extremely grotty, and having endured a few disappointingly unpleasant visits, I simply stopped bothering. And, as I was often the main organiser of these things, quite a lot of other people don’t do them any more, either. (I know that because many of the people I used to do them with now, all too often, drop into the conversation the old “We haven’t been on one of our regular [insert activity] for ages, have we? I haven’t seen [group member name] in ages!”)

    But I guess nature hates a vacuum, doesn’t it, and all I’ve done now is fill the time, that I used to spend getting out and about, with other things. I spend more time at home doing house or garden stuff, I still visit friends who don’t mind the fact that I smoke cigarettes (the other variety of “friend” has been dropped like a hot brick), and I occasionally patronise the one local pub that’s left which hasn’t gone all “foodie” and turned itself into a glorified restaurant and which happens to have a smoking area which is as nice, if not nicer than, the inside of the bar. Sometimes there are obligatory family occasions that I’m kind of obliged to attend where the choice of venue isn’t mine and that does sometimes turn out to be one of those “smokers’ nightmare” venues, but I only stay as long as is polite and I leave as quickly as possible (hint – always make sure you’re driving, so you can dictate, effectively, when the event comes to an end!), but thankfully those occasions are rare. And, of course, I’ve discovered a whole new world via blogs like yours and others, where I have found, to my delight, that there is still a place where I can “meet” and talk to like-minded souls.

    So, were the ban lifted tomorrow, would I re-involve myself in an active leisure and social life? Possibly not. To be honest, I’m quite hurt by the reaction of so many businesses and individuals to the ban. For most, there is a blissful state of – I believe, wilful – ignorance of the plight of smokers like myself – people whom they probably thought they regarded valued customers or believed themselves to be friends of, but who, it turned out, they actually didn’t give much of a damn about. I’d only be prepared to re-patronise (or re-establish friendly relations) with them if, in the event of a lifting or relaxing of the ban, they made a big “thing” about wanting me back. You know the kind of thing – signs outside establishments saying things like “smoking and non-smoking areas available,” or “smokers welcome” or “come and enjoy our cosy smoking rooms.” Those who have a nice smoking area could do it now, of course, but few do, so sod ‘em. Similarly, friends who wanted to get back into my good books would have to make it obvious to me that they no longer wanted me to stand outside their back door for a smoke and to provide some kind of ashtray (even if that was only a temporary one, if it wasn’t a smoking household). As things stand at the moment, my view is that life is too short to waste time with people whose friendship comes with conditions (like pretending not to be a smoker or pretending that I like being treated like a leper).

    But I don’t think that’s going to happen overnight. My suspicion has always been that if the ban is lifted or (more likely) relaxed, it’ll be almost “informal” – a bit like the regulations on smoking signs was relaxed without anyone noticing and a bit like many local councils’ quiet decisions not to ask their EHOs to check on the ban was taken without anyone making a big public deal out of it. No fanfare. No headlines. No press releases. No, I think that it’ll just be one of those things that a will be quietly and slowly changed without anyone being told. Perhaps it’ll be a Secretary of State (for the Environment? Can’t remember which one it is, now), who will – oh so gradually – revise the rules as to what counts as “enclosed” and what doesn’t so that the rules regarding smoking areas will eventually come to include what the likes of you and I would call – err – a “room.” Or perhaps, as it is within their gift, they’ll adopt a “smoking amnesty” for special days like New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. And then it’ll include St Patrick’s Day, and then Grand National Day and then FA Cup Final Day and then, over time ….. that’s just my theory as to how it will happen.

    On the positive side, what has come as something of a surprise to me was exactly how much money all these other activities had been costing me all those years! I kid you not when I say that within a year I had saved far, far in excess of the amount of money I was spending on tobacco – and I’m one of the mugs who still buys them at full price! Goodness knows how much money smokers who buy their cigs from Mr White Van Man must be saving! They must be rolling in it! I guess every cloud has a silver lining. So the other question would be – would I want to start shelling out all that money again? It’d be a tough one, that’s for sure. Which is why all those places would have to work damned hard to get my custom (and my money) back again. Just “allowing smoking because it’s no longer illegal, so we won’t get done for permitting it” simply wouldn’t cut it in terms of an apology. And, effectively, it’s an apology-through-actions that I’d be looking for.

    • RdM says:

      Something like ths
      http://www.grandcentral.net.nz/smoking
      for instance?

      • RdM says:

        Of course, they’re working within the same restrictions as the UK, but – it’s the attitude.
        Great live music, big comfy sofas and heaters out on the footpath/sidewalk, other smoking areas down the side and out the back.

        And they’re not the only ones to offer a smoker-friendly experience within the law.
        More at
        http://bfy.tw/HmhW
        (results may depend on your cookies, &etc.)

        There are at least some places where with very little discomfort one might imagine that the smoking bans didn’t apply, didn’t affect you for that enjoyable evening out.

        But I agree that it’s small comfort while the “laws” are acquiesced to, not criticised effectively enough to be overturned yet, the basis on which they were made challenged.

        Life as resistance, under occupation…

        Tobacco Control has long seemed to me as a Trojan Horse for, well, Totalitarian Communism would do for a start, call it Cultural Marxism, International Socialism, what you will.

        Subjugation of the people, under the guise of health, with input from pharma looking for profit no matter what… well, we presumably are aware of all this.

        How to proceed?
        What connections to make?

  8. waltc says:

    I echo most of what Frank and Jax say, except that if the ban was lifted, I ‘d immediately celebrate in a good restaurant (though only in the company of smoking friends) and linger, as we used to, over coffee and dessert and maybe a brandy. (I note, however, at least partly to compensate for lost business, that restaurant prices have nearly doubled since the ban was imposed.)

    Jax may be right that the end, if it comes –in some not-too-near-future– will merely be by erosion, but I still believe that things don’t change by themselves but require the precipitating action of a few determined and canny people. (That’s, after all, how tobacco control began and I believe that’s the only way it will end. Absent voices make no sound.)

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