Shoot the fat guys, hang the smokers
I smoke cigarettes. This is my 49th or 50th year -- don't know which.
When this war on smokers really heated up, in the late 90's, I wrote to a friend in San Francisco, and asked her what was going on. "Is this some kind of grassroots movement?," I asked, in caps. She said she didn't know what it was, exactly, but that it couldn't be a grassroots deal, because they were very, very rich, and very powerful, and they had the full support of governments, corporations, and all of the media, without exception. They were getting lots of tax money, she said -- hundreds of millions -- and there were rumors that the big pharmaceutical companies were involved in funding and planning operations. "After all," she added: "They want to sell nicotine patches, nicotine gum, and a shitload of tranquilizers to the masses who quit as they get the piss pounded out of them." She said that a mutual friend had remarked that it was sure to become the largest social engineering project in the history of the world, and that, though he didn't smoke -- he found it frightening.
Buddy, can you spare me a lek?
The fact is that America's finest minds and souls have no voice in this chilling new corporate state that has evolved. And if we are not allowed a voice, if our monolithic system ignores us, pretends we do not exist, then for all practical purposes we do not exist. Therefore it does not have to offer us political candidates representing our views or change laws to reflect them. Nevertheless, we are out there -- millions of us.
This morning's mailbox was the usual wonderful variety of letters, mostly responding to the current post, "Shoot the fat guys, hang the smokers." Many offered heartfelt smoking cessation advice, all of it from personal experience, honest and eminently more sensible than anything I've read elsewhere.