4th of July,2010....Fell asleep at 7pm...so I woke up at 2am. It is the way of things.
The Barrio is wakeful this morning...probably due to partying...dogs are talking more than usual, more cars, doors and assorted human-related noise.
I'm thinking about Liberty, and smoking....and the overall complacency, mindlessness and slogan-slinging that accompanies this Holiday.
I smoke....for a good example....I have smoked cigarettes and pipes since I was 16.
I tried to quit a few times...then decided that I enjoyed it....and ya hafta die somehow....it does something therapeutic for me...and I don't really require the assent or permission of science, government or society to believe this, and be happy with it. It is my choice.
I have always been conscientious about bothering other folks with my cloud.
I installed an exhaust fan over my bed for winter, so there's ventilation. When out and about, I would be careful to refrain from sending clouds of smoke onto folks that were near me, wouldn't smoke in someone's house if they didn't, put the spent butts in my pocket, etc etc.
I remained in the "smoking section".
Therein lies the rub....there are no smoking sections, anymore.
20% of the population...of the People....smoke....and they are forced out into the rain, sleet or oppressive heat to do so.
Want a hotel room, while you're on the road? One can't hardly find a smoking room.
You are a Pariah....a Second Class Citizen.
And ya hafta pay dearly for the privilege.
Taxes are insane on Tobacco...State, Local and Federal.
Near as I can tell, taxes account for 50% of the cost of major brand ciggs.
This, we are told, goes to pay for healthcare.
(read the rest of my blog to appreciate the Irony, there...)
"But, it's bad for you..."...is the constant refrain, when a Smoker grows weary of this, and complains. As if that excuses the intrusion. Life, itself, is "bad for you"...everyone dies. The food we eat, the Rocket Fuel that is in the fat cells of every human on the planet, the Ozone and other assorted nasties that fill the air, the cars we drive...let alone the wars and other assorted Violence we visit on one another...all of these, and more, will kill you.
And if one dodges these, if one stays in a cocoon of safety, one will still expire, at some point.
The "it's bad for you"-thing is not good enough...it misses the Point.
The Point is, what gives You the Right to dictate what I do, if I ain't harming anyone else?
A very Loud Minority of Busy-Bodies has decided that there Shall Be No Place For Smokers....
And the remaining 75% of the population who doesn't smoke, does nothing to stop that tiny Minority from Lording it over the 20% who do.
It doesn't affect them, they are not Oppressed, or Taxed.
What to do?
I resolve, on this, the birthday of America, to smoke where I please, whether it's legal, or otherwise sanctioned, or not.
If I am not allowed to smoke anywhere, I shall smoke Everywhere.
One hears a lot of rhetoric about the Founding Fathers....
I wonder what Thomas Jefferson would do....he, after all, grew and smoked Tobacco...actually developed improved varieties....
An Harming None, Do as thou Will...
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