Fast Food

Tucker Carlson (57.05):

If you start to think that it’s okay to inflict group punishment on groups, isn’t that the whole lesson of the twentieth century that that’s wrong, that that’s a cul-de-sac that ends in bloodshed?

Of course he wasn’t talking about smokers. Nobody ever does. But that’s what’s been happening to them, all the same. It’s just that it’s been going on so long that it’s become normal. It;s been going on for 70 years, 100 years, for as long as cigarettes have been around. Group punishment.

The antismoking zealots don’t seem to mind pipes or cigars too much. But they can’t stand cigarettes. Why? Perhaps it’s for the same reason they hate fast food. Why do they hate fast food? It’s basically the same food as any other food, except that it’s fast. Fast food is quick to eat. It often doesn’t need plates and knives and forks. A burger or a hot dog can be held in one hand while being eaten. No need to formally sit down at a table.with napkins and glasses and the whole family. No need for all that ritual.

Smoking a pipe is a ritual process of filling the pipe and tamping down the tobacco and lighting and re-lighting it. But cigarettes are pre-loaded and pre-tamped. It;s all been done. And they light up with the briefest of flame. And they can be smoked without any hands at all, held between lips. Cigarettes are fast tobacco. Pipes and cigars are slow tobacco. They require a lot of work. They require a lot of ritual.

The antismokers also don’t seem to mind roll-ups as much as they mind manufactured cigarettes. And that’s maybe for the same reason. Roll-ups require work to be done to make them. And it’s actually skilled work, when done purely by hand, without using some sort of rolling machine.

If it takes a long time, it’s okay. If it takes no time at all, it’s not okay. If it takes a long time to stir and grind food, and cook it in a pot for an hour or two, and then eat it  from a bowl with a spoon, it’s good food. If it can be just picked up and eaten from one hand, it’s junk food. It’s junk food because the ritual of cooking it and eating it has been stripped away.

Same with sex. Quick sex with complete strangers is called promiscuity, and disapproved. Slow sex with engagements and rings and ritual vows and honeymoons is called marriage, and approved.

Perhaps that’s right. Maybe it’s ritual that holds everything together, giving it shape and form. And when ritual has gone, it all becomes fragmented and shapeless.

Marching soldiers engage in ritual walking. They keep in step with each other, and in line with each other, moving at the same speed. So ritually marching soldiers form armies. Without the marching they’d just be undisciplined crowds. Maybe that’s why soldiers demand new recruits learn to march: if they can teach them to march, they’ve got an army, and if they can’t they don’t.

Take away the ritual, and you lose the unity. You lose coherence.

It’s as good an explanation as any. The quicker anything gets done, the more ritual is removed from it, and the less formal discipline there is to it.

Religious rites are pure ritual. The longer the religious rite, the more it unites the participants in the rite, the more it binds them together. The Latin mass is a vestigial meal – one tiny piece of bread and a sip of wine -, but it takes at least half an hour. Minus all the ritual, it becomes just a quick snack, fast food.

Most office jobs are rituals. They start at 9 am and end at 5 pm. Without the office, the company for which people work would cease to exist.

In fact I don’t think the antismoking zealots know why they hate smoking. They just do. And yet it seems to have been cigarettes that particularly outrage them. The war on smoking seems to have only really got going with the arrival of cigarettes about a century ago. And cigarettes really just made smoking quicker and easier. Cigarettes were a technological innovation just like clips of bullets for guns.

I could go on, but I won’t.




About Frank Davis

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6 Responses to Fast Food

  1. Rose says:

    They won’t like this either.

    COVID-19 vaccine from tobacco? British cigarette maker to start human trials soon
    !st August 2020

    “The London-based maker of Lucky Strike cigarettes has claimed to have developed the inoculation using protein from tobacco leaves
    July 31, 2020 |
    COVID-19 vaccine from tobacco? British cigarette maker to start human trials soon
    Cigarette maker British American Tobacco PLC had earlier said that its experimental vaccine has manifested a positive immune response in pre-clinical human trials

    Cigarette maker British American Tobacco PLC has made a potential COVID-19 vaccine from tobacco. The company is set to begin testing its experimental COVID-19 vaccine made from tobacco in humans.
    The London-based maker of Lucky Strike cigarettes has claimed to have developed the inoculation using protein from tobacco leaves.

    The company is likely to start the human clinical trials of its potential vaccine soon and is expecting a response from the US Food and Drug Administration any day now, Kingsley Wheaton, Chief Marketing Officer, Lucky Strike cigarettes said in an interview, Bloomberg reported.

    The company had earlier said that its experimental vaccine has manifested a positive immune response in pre-clinical human trials.

    British American Tobacco had in April announced that its subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing is developing an experimental coronavirus vaccine made from tobacco plants. The potential inoculation is derived from the genetic sequence of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

    According to the company, the process generates the vaccine faster than traditional approaches, reducing the time required from several months to around six weeks.

    Tobacco makers globally have quickened their pace to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 that has claimed over 6.5 lakh lives worldwide.
    However, the success rate of such programmes is usually 10 per cent, World Health Organisation’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said last week, adding that there are 24 such vaccine candidates in human clinical trials.

    Medicago Inc., a biotechnology firm partly owned by rival cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris International Inc., is also in the process of making a plant-based vaccine that may be accessible in the first half of 2021, if it is successful.”

  2. Clicky says:

  3. Rose says:

    The lost tobacco fields of Winchcombe and Tewkesbury
    12 JUL 2020

    “Tobacconists are a thing of the past, but did you know that it was once a crop grown in the Vale of Tewkesbury? Robin Brooks discovers the county’s hidden history.”

    “The fields around Tewkesbury were once planted with tobacco. A gent who rejoiced in the name of Thomas Crumpe is the first recorded tobacconist in the town. In 1636 he was granted sole right to sell the weed in Tewkesbury, which was resented by other traders who wanted a piece of the action for themselves. Crumpe made himself even less popular by taking local retailers to court when they tried to sell baccy over their counters.

    So much tobacco was grown in the northern part of Gloucestershire that by the time of Charles 11, county grown baccy was seen as a threat to trade by growers in the Virginia colonies of America and tobacco growing in Britain was banned.

    The people of Winchcombe sought special dispensation from the king to continue cultivation and when he rejected their plea they carried on growing tobacco anyway.

    Enraged by such disobedience, the monarch despatched his Life Guard from London to seek out and destroy the banned baccy. The crack troops arrived and were soon driven off by the Winchcombe growers. Next a troop of soldiers from Gloucester was ordered to burn the illegal crop, but they were met by 500 locals who pointed pistols, brandished whatever weapons were to hand and threatened to kill both the men and the horses they rode if the soldiers so much as bruised one of the precious leaves.

    After that Winchcombe was left well alone. Before long, however, the sheer volume of tobacco being imported from the colonies meant that demand for home grown weed diminished. Tobacco Close, on the left as you enter Winchcombe from Cleeve Hill, is a reminder of the town’s once lucrative crop.”

  4. Rollies cause a lot less smoke than filters, they go out if you leave them, the stubs in the ash tray doesn’t smell as bad etc.

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