Friday, 12 March 2010

I am not a monster. I am a human being.

A quote from the UK Vapers forums (yes, I have more heads than Hydra):

They have totally missed the point, but it increasingly seems to me that fanatical smokers are just as irrational as fanatical anti's. I don't have anything in common with either group, so I'm largely apathetic about their complaints.

Does that attitude look at all familiar? 'They' don't matter because 'they' are not as good as me.

How about all those antismoking drinkers who were delighted by the smoking ban? Remember them? Dick Puddlecote has something they might not be quite so happy about. In not too many years, Nick Hogan might well be back in jail for allowing people to drink alcohol on his premises.

I smoke, both real tobacco and Electrofag. I like a drink. I like salt. A lot. I like fatty foods but I'm not obese because I don't eat too much of it. I don't have breakfast unless I'm at a hotel and I don't even eat every day. Old habits die hard, you know. I don't ever, ever visit a gym or a swimming pool. All those lifestyle preferences are Evil now. Everything I do, every minute of the day, is guaranteed to kill me before I am thirty. This year I will be fifty.

Most of all, I like a smoke and a drink and my long absence from the smoky-drinky place will be rectified tomorrow evening. A drink and an Electrofag is okay and some actually prefer Electrofag to real tobacco and that is perfectly fine with me. I do not consider myself superior because of my lifestyle choices. I choose not to drive because I don't like it and because my Italian genetics can make me a bit volatile behind the wheel (and in most other places, come to that) but I will not lecture anyone else about driving because that is their choice, and I respect that. I have no problem with other people doing something I don't want to do. These days, that attitude seems to be rapidly disappearing.

So, that electrosmoker might want to reconsider. He will soon have something in common with smokers, because he too will no longer be able to use his preferred smoking device in a public place. In fact it will be worse. He will not be allowed to use it at all.

The letter from the electronic cigarette folk to the government, demanding that tobacco is banned and quoting all those fake statistics was, they claim, quite clearly a tongue-in-cheek attempt to highlight the absurdity of banning the undoubtedly much safer Electrofag. We poor deluded morons have grasped entirely the wrong end of the stick. We just don't 'get it'. By quoting those fake statistics and demanding an obviously unworkable ban on tobacco, they will embarrass the government into backing down on Electrofag.

Really? They are going to get some sense out of this government? I wish them luck because nobody else has ever managed it.

The government love to ban things and they invented fake statistics. It was on the basis of those very fake statistics that we smokers were banned from every public place. It was on the basis of those very same fake statistics that most of the population think it is perfectly okay to harass and sneer at any smoker they find. They aren't finished yet, oh no. They are up to fourth hand smoke now, I believe. ASH have already started on second-hand electrosmoke and don't think they'll stop there.

More fake statistics, and here comes the booze control. More, and anyone who doesn't look like Lindsay Lohan is redefined as Bernard Manning. A few more and you won't be able to afford a bag of salt. Sending them fake statistics is no good. They are the ones who invented those statistics.

They know they're fake. They know Electrofag is safer than tobacco. Of course it is. Inhaling the smoke from burning leaves can't be good for me but I like it so I do it anyway. Drinking whisky isn't good for me either but I like it so I do it anyway. You don't like it? Don't do it.

I don't like driving so I don't. I don't like bungee jumping so I don't. I don't like being up mountains so I don't go there. People have died as a direct result of all those things. So, antismokers and some (not all) of you vapers, should I sneer at everyone who does those things as you sneer at me? I mean, driving? Have you any idea how many people that terrible activity kills and maims every six seconds or whatever ludicrous statistic you want to invent? Surely all drivers must be suicidal lunatics? Oh sure, you've driven for forty years and you're fine but you know the odds are stacked against you. Every drive brings you closer to that inevitable crash. And then there's all that passive driving experienced by the flattened pedestrians and the dreadful eco-consequences of the exhaust and all those squished hedgehogs and the mass slaughter of insects on the radiator grille...

It's bollocks, of course. People drive all their lives and never pick up so much as a scratch. There is no 'inevitable crash'. By the same token, people smoke all their lives and never get cancer, or drink all their lives and never get cirrhosis. These outcomes are not inevitable. There are risks, we weigh the risks against the pleasure and decide it's worth it. Ask Nikki Lauda if he thought his high-speed racing was worth being seriously burned. My bet is he'll say 'yes'.

Others weigh the risks and decide they don't get enough, or any pleasure from the activity so they don't do it. Or maybe it's something they just don't like at all. Those others might derive great pleasure from some other activity.

It does not make them irrational. It makes them different.

Was the reaction of many smokers to that letter 'wrong'? The vapers will say so. We smokers are a little touchy about people calling for an outright ban. Can you for a moment imagine why that might be?

That was how we read that letter. How do the vapers imagine the government read it?

Look, you cannot pussyfoot around with subtleties with those in charge. They simply don't have the intelligence to grasp it. They can't even get real facts right so don't waste your time with convoluted arguments that will go straight over their heads. They see 'ban' and get all excited and think you are agreeing to be banned!

It is simple. They don't like Electrofag because a) it takes away from tobacco revenue, b) it cuts the sale of their Big Pharma pals' non-working NRT and most of all, c), you can do it indoors and they can't stop you.

They are not interested in compromise, they are not interested in discussion and they are not at all interested in the relative safety of the products. They don't care about any of us. They just want the money. They will ban it not for any spurious 'safety' concerns but because they want to. That is really all there is to it and not one word of argument will sway them. When you contact officialdom in Britain today, you are not, at any level, dealing with reasonable people.

Nothing you say to them will have any effect at all. Any compromise you offer will be seen as an admission that there is something harmful after all. Read that Dick Puddlecote link to see how it works. Never make any attempt to engage with any of our current politicians. If you feel the urge to do so, find the nearest brick wall, tell it your concerns and bang your head on it. It hurts less, you'll get a more sensible discussion and you'll do yourself far less harm in the long run.

Vapers, what you should have done was talk to and ally with those lesser mortals you now despise. The smokers. We know how it works. It's been done to us over and over. But hey, we made the same offer to CAMRA over supporting the pubs and what did we get? 'No, we do not discuss matters with subhumans. Your smoking ban is your problem. It will never apply to us because we are Pure Ones.'

The government, Big Pharma, ASH, the Shenkerites, all those Righteous absolutely love that because it means we are not fighting them. We are fighting each other. We are all saying 'No, don't ban us, ban them instead' - well, everyone except the smokers is saying that because we are the bottom of the pile. We don't have another group to deflect the Righteous onto. The butt stops here.

I have actively promoted Electrofag even though I prefer real tobacco because it allows me to smoke where I can't use real tobacco and because it annoys the hell out of the Righteous. What have you vapers given me in return?

A letter encouraging the government to make my life worse.

When Frank Davis, myself and others pointed out how that wording read to us, we get this:

They have totally missed the point, but it increasingly seems to me that fanatical smokers are just as irrational as fanatical anti's. I don't have anything in common with either group, so I'm largely apathetic about their complaints.

Fanatical smokers, eh? Objecting to a group we thought were at least partially on our side calling for a tobacco ban and quoting fake statistics back at the people who invented them is fanatical and irrational. You are apathetic about our complaints. Stay that way. Stay apathetic and continue to attack smokers. Why not? Everyone else is having a good time with it, why not join in? I mean, it's not like they're coming for you next, is it?

But once your appeasements are all used up and you can't get your nicotine juice any more, don't ask me how to extract it from a pack of tobacco.

I do not want to see Electrofag banned. Aside from the inconvenience to myself, it would seriously and adversely affect the very person who introduced me to Electrofag in the first place. It would affect many others too and it would destroy the choice of those who prefer it to tobacco. I would never be so stupid as to send this government any ammunition to do that.

Sure, I can make my own juice but I'd rather not go to all that bother because it's not very expensive - and if I can't smoke Electrofag in the pub then there'd be no point taking it there any more. If I have to go outside anyway, I'll have a rollup.

Drinkers, smokers, even those special CAMRA smokers whose smoking preferences far exceed those of mere mortals, and vapers. I am not your enemy. I am not attempting to control your lives. I am not calling for any ban on anything. I am not the one who is closing your pub and your local breweries and coffee shops and restaurants. I am not the one making up pretend health scares and refusing to listen to reason.

I am the one you either blame, or deflect blame onto. Every time.

Don't do that. If you don't want any help from me or other smokers in fighting a ban on something you enjoy, just say so and I will ignore the subject entirely.

But for God's sake stop pointing at me and screaming 'No, don't ban us. Ban him some more.' because that is exactly - exactly - what you have just said.

Electronic Cigarettes aren''t the enemy - real cigarettes are

I am sick of it.

14 comments:

Jimmy Freedom said...

(No more links from me, I've learned my lesson. I went to bed last night feeling bad about posting it so much. I can be an irritating little bastard but I hate this ban so much)

I'm sick of it too, mate. If it's any comfort, Nick Hogan was in today's Sun, so I hope people wake up.

I'm just sick and tired that almost 3 years on, nothing seems to have changed. I'm always looking for signs of hope.

I can't believe that us normal folk are in a situation where we find ourselves talking about something so trivial, so normal as smoking in a flipping pub, as if it's the most outlandish concept.

It's horrible to know just how much of a huge issue this is, and to look around and see so many people fast asleep, like it's ok.

On the one hand, I want this ban to go away, but on the other hand, I'd like it to get worse, just so that people wake up. It's not about smoking, or health, it's about controlling human behaviour, and dividing people, and seeing how far they can be manipulated into believing that stupid ideas are good ideas.

Smokers outside pubs justify the ban to themselves for psychological comfort. It's a coping mechanism. I hope it gets so bad that they begin questioning their stupid nonlogic.

God I'm so tempted to put a link. But I respect my elders so I won't. There's enough divide and rule as it is.

Leg-iron said...

I'll have that link section up over the weekend. You've built up a following and they'll start spreading too.

I missed the quoted guy's signature before. Talk about missing the point.

Then one came on and compared smokers to gun nuts who say 'you can have my gun when you prise it from my cold dead hand'.

Next, without a hint of irony... oh, it's really worth having a look.

I hope there are some reasonable vapers among those who will be standing outside with the rest of us soon. Although I fully expect some of them to demand separate shelters.

And they say 'we' don't get it.

Jimmy Freedom said...

Why don't you join? You're welcome to write a post in my blog section. Or maybe we should wait until there's about 100 members or so.
I think that once I have 100-200 people, things will start moving. It's true, these things do grow fast once you reach a critical level, and whever I log on there's usually a couple of members floating around, so I know they're waiting for more people to join, just like I am.

I've puclicised this a lot (as you know) and I wonder why I don't have as many members as I think I should have. Are they scared? (if so, how much of a pussy does one have to be to actually be scared of joining something like this? It's only the internet, no one's going to fine them) Do they not get the concept? I'm sure I've explained it quite well.

Anyway, I'm just ranting. Even Jimmy Freedom gets lonely late at night.

Leg-iron said...

Oh, I will. I'm in too many things at the moment and work is in one of those periodic 'frantic' modes so I couldn't do it justice. I can barely find time to visit the forums I'm already in! When things calm down, I can get more active online.

TheFatBigot said...

In the real world it's all about evidence. I don't mean government world, of course, I mean the world of those of us who are not all-knowing.

There are two ways of addressing the issue. The first is to see whether the use of electric ciggies has shown them to be dangerous.

Electric ciggies have been sold in the UK for three years or more. That provides a nice basis for some evidence. What harm has come to the electro-faggers? Hands up. Don't be shy. Tell us the horrible consequences you have suffered. Anyone?

The second is to compare them to real ciggies. The starting point must be that real ciggies are lawful. It follows from this that there is no basis for banning electronic ciggies unless they are more harmful than the real thing.

Oh dear. The bansturbators are in a bit of a pickle at this stage because of their absurd overstatement of the risks associated with real ciggies. There is no prospect whatsoever of an electronic nicotine-delivering device matching the exaggerated threat of Benson & Hedges' finest.

The whole thing is a farce.

JuliaM said...

"Does that attitude look at all familiar? 'They' don't matter because 'they' are not as good as me."

I believe Pastor Neimoller would have recognised it...

View from the Solent said...

re: 'licking my nuts' a couple of days ago.
http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_news/new_york_state/chefs-call-proposed-new-york-salt-ban-absurd-20100310-akd.

dvide said...

Nice post Leg-iron. I'm not a smoker, a 'vaper' or even a drinker but I agree 100%. I believe in freedom for everyone to do whatever they want, so long as there is no victim involved.

We need to learn to stop being so god-damn trigger happy.

Giolla said...

"I hope there are some reasonable vapers among those who will be standing outside with the rest of us soon."

As of about Monday I hope to be one of those, I managed to find 0-mg clove* juice and thus promptly ordered a e-cig, so will be outside with my smoking mates more (except when I'm guarding the pints - as so many pubs/clubs advise you not to leave your drink unattended)

* I used to be a very active passive smoker when my mates had lit up cloves in the pub.

PT Barnum said...

"What harm has come to the electro-faggers? Hands up. Don't be shy. Tell us the horrible consequences you have suffered. Anyone?"

I know of one man who discovered he had a violent allergic response to propalyne glycol and who was just fine vaping when he used a water-based glycerine instead. He didn't moan about it, just wanted to highlight the issue to others and suggest they use the water-based version.

And that's the only negative experience I have ever come across.

I am so ********* angry about this. Will these people just leave me alone, please? Moving to Hamburg, where choice is still permitted, is becoming a distinct possibility....

Is this proposed ban a strictly UK affair or is there an EU element?

The big mango said...

Thailand's government has just taken time out from its emergency clampdown (Tanks on the street, million man march, 5 bombs gone off, Internal security Act in force, martial law etc. - what your MSM haven't said a word? How odd!) to announce they have banned electrofag on the basis that ........ you can put more than the recomended (WTF??) dose of nicontine into one and that tobacco is therefore safer. And where did they get this amazing research from? A dentist! And not even a real dentist but a trainee one still at Uni. Meanwhile big pharma's products and the tobacco tax is safe. Phew!

Pingu in Portugal said...

Leg Iron may I recommend a whisky to you? The Aberfeldy distillery produce whiskey I delight in. It is really quite expensive in comparison to Glenfiddich or Aberlour but disliking the peaty Islay whiskeys Aberfeldy is simply gorgeous.

I also think that a "Drinkers for smoking" campaign of non-smokers needs to be set-up. Those with intelligence realise that with this motion would show our smoking friends that we support their freedom of choice. I hate having to follow my mates outside to continue being social when their activity is not offensive.

It is unfortunate that the majority of this nation is willing to accommodate like the reasonable people they are. This trusting nature of the British people has been abused by the govnmt and its successful lobbyists. That is the crime, not that these people use the influence they have been allowed.

Anonymous said...

You write well for a "fanatical smoker". Geez, I just thought it was about relaxing with a few drags and feeling pleasant. I didn't know it was considered "fanatical" these days, which is just more of taking what is normal and redefining it as abnormal, in order to take what is truly abnormal, kissing up to government and forcing everyone else into being a drone and slave which is then the new "normal". It has to do with something like that, social engineering, working at its finest, piss-ignorant people of low intelligence going around harping against smokers and others, dragging everyone down to the lowest levels while the upper levels work at dummying up the education and mass media to move it along faster. People are being dragged to the lowest level of no-freedom by drones, calling people "fanatic" just more denormalization. The lunatics are running the asylum but it's totally normal now. You'd be crazy if you disagree, the laws say so.

granny v said...

Hi Leg Iron.

I was incensed by the email from Jason Cropper asking for the ban on cigarettes. Most people think that smoking will never be banned, but I'm not one of them. The powers that be are already looking at ways to remove nicotine from cigarettes (an effective ban in my eyes), so as a full time e-cig smoker, who would swap back to ciggies tomorrow if they were banned this would have a devastating effect on my life. I refuse to call myself a "vaper" as a means to separate me from "smokers". I’m just a smoker who has swapped to smoking something else, just like 99% of the other "vapers" out there.

You know what galls me most of all about the smoking ban? It’s the loss of dignity to all the men and women who now have to slink away with their tails between their legs and indulge their habit outside in the cold. That’s why smokers are angry. Can you imagine the crew of Endurance (a lot of them were smokers, as were most males of the period) being happy to have to stand outside the pub leaving their drinks inside? It’s not about having to stand outside in the cold; it’s about having to stand outside of the rest of society. No different than the Jews who were made to sow stars on their clothing as a bid to single them out as less than human and the rest of society. It’s an attack on the dignity of the human being. That’s why we are angry. That’s why "vapers" are scared. They felt they regained their dignity by swapping to vaping and don’t want to have to go back. So they think that if they scream loudly enough to their masters that they are not like those filthy smokers, somehow the masters will believe them and let them keep what small sense of dignity they have retained.

Some hope!
Love and best wishes from the person who introduced you to e-ciggies :)

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