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Thursday, March 10, 2005
Thoughts About Living In Nazi Germany As A Jew

It has come to my attention recently that The Man is going to ban smoking in pubs and discos. My initial, knee-jerk reaction was to rabidly denounce non-smokers who campaign against smoking as fucking fascist wimps and pussies, but then I took some time to think. Am I being fair to them? They are, after all, supposedly only concerned about their own healths. Or are they? Let us examine the justifications for, and potential ramifications of, such a ban.

In the first place, does second hand smoke really cause any significant damage to people? Second hand smoke is supposedly more harmful than actually smoking. I used to think this was bollocks, but then I read an article that explained the reasons for believing so, but I remain convinced that it is nonsense. What the article said was that second hand smoke is not, as is commonly perceived, the smoke that a smoker exhales. It is actually the smoke that comes from the burning end of the cigarette. So, why would that be any more harmful that first hand smoke? Well, because when a smoker takes a drag from his fag, the increased passage of oxygen supposedly aids combustion and burns off the worst of the toxins. Also, the filters (in the case of filtered cigarettes) filter off some more, and therefore what the smoker inhales is really no more toxic than farts are (I'm kidding here, for the sarcasm-impaired). The poor passive smoker, on the other hand, supposedly gets a full dose of the toxins that a cigarette contains.

What a load of crap.

Ever heard of diffusion? The smoke emitted from a cigarette surely forms only a minute and negligible percentage of the air in any reasonably well-ventilated room, nevermind the fact that smokers are banned from smoking in most enclosed areas (in case you're wondering, I fully agree with banning smoking in most enclosed areas). Furthermore, doesn't it make sense that less combustion equals less smoke? Come the fuck on, have you ever seen a cigarette emit more smoke than a smoker exhales? I think not. Even supposing that second hand smoke is 5 times more harmful than first hand smoke, smokers probably inhale at least 50 times as much smoke as a passive smoker does. So unless a passive smoker positions his respiratory organs less than 10 centimetres away from the burning tip of a cigarette, it is highly unlikely that what she inhales is more harmful than what the smoker inhales. If he does choose to position his nose close to the burning tip of a cigarette, that's a hit-and-a-half for his ass, and he deserves to get the cigarette stubbed out in his fucking eye if he subsequently complains about second hand smoke ruining his shit.

Even supposing that cigarette smoke particles are magically resistant to Brownian motion and that inhaling passive smoke is, in fact, more harmful than smoking itself, here's a tip. If you see a smoker smoking, get the fuck away from the area. Come the fuck on, you'd run away screaming when someone farts, but when it comes to supposedly deadly cigarette smoke, you feel you have to put your foot down and sprout roots, stubbornly staying in the immediate vicinity to prove some obscure point? It's not as if smokers deliberately light up in front of you (those who do so are assholes (and not true smokers, in the same way as Christians who commit crimes aren't true Christians, haha) and as far as I'm concerned, deserve to get bitch-slapped for being inconsiderate). Speaking for myself, I am an extremely considerate smoker, and I take care not to smoke near the entrances to, and exits from, buildings. I also take care not to light up when there are already non-smokers in the area. An exception to this rule would be in clubs and discos, which I shall talk about presently. If, however, I have already lit up and you still want to stick around me, then that is your own fucking problem.

I mean, seriously, cars emit way more smoke than smokers, and I don't see you buggers lobbying for the ban of vehicles that use petroleum-based fuels. Oh, because some of you drive, for your own convenience and pleasure, as opposed to smoking, which some of us do for our own pleasure. So, harmful stuff deserves a ban only if you don't do it. Everyday, we burn tons of petroleum in order to get our electricity. Do you really think the byproducts of all that combustion magically disappears? Considering that the clothes you wear, the work you do and even the food you eat all produce stuff that eventually is harmful to you, your future children and everyone else on the planet, I feel I must really salute your balls. Because you must really have a pair for protesting that smoking is harmful and should be banned.

A reader's letter to today's issue of Today (man, I'm tired of typing that) said that she's happy that smoking is going to be banned because her boyfriend, a non-smoker, sings part-time at a pub and has to endure hours of smoky air. She goes on to say that he complains about having an itchy throat and watering eyes. She also says that customers who are non-smokers have the choice of not frequenting that pub, but employees and entertainers don't. Leaving aside, for the moment, the fact that they actually do and that they knew what came with the territory when they decided to take the job, I must say that she's a fucking stupid bitch and that her boyfriend is a fucking stupid whiner. The title of that letter was "Extended smoking ban will help artistes".

Actually, it won't.

There's a reason why there's enough smoke in that pub to irritate your boyfriend, you dumb fuck. It's because most of the patrons are smokers. When smoking is banned at that pub, how many patrons will it lose? How long do you think it will be before it closes down? How long will it be before your boyfriend finds that there are no longer any gigs for him to play at?

Seriously, if you non-smokers hate smoke so much, feel free to start your own non-smoking clubs and pubs. Stop being fucking party-poopers. If you enjoy a good party, you'll regret forcing us from clubs. Why? I'll tell you why. It's a simple matter of economics. Clubs and other nightspots make their money from selling alcoholic beverages, which is, incidentally, another harmful product that people willingly indulge in. Most of the people who drink a lot also happen to be smokers. Why is that so? It's a character trait. Let's face it, drinking and smoking are detrimental to health and I won't bother denying it. These activities are also enjoyable to a certain group of people. Some people choose health over pleasure and therefore abstain from these activities. Others are willing to take the slight risk of poorer health to enjoy these pleasures. Case in point, there was this one time I went clubbing with Ivan aka Hai~Ren and Gerald aka Injenue. Gerald and I shared a jug and Ivan and his friends had some alcohol too. After we had finished our jug of plonk, Ivan (non-smoker) made a remark that went something like this, "so fast?"

Gerald and I (smokers) were genuinely pretty surprised, because as I recall, neither of us were feeling particularly wealthy that day and we were hence making an attempt to go slow and conserve. Apparently our slow drinking pace was fast to Ivan. The truth is that many of the smokers who club also tend to buy a lot of alcohol. Even some people who have quitted smoking and don't normally smoke will smoke at nightspots, because for better or worse, these venues are seen as places to indulge your vices. The reason why smokers tend to drink a lot at clubs is because they are the type of people who feel that if doing something is pleasurable and won't kill them immediately, hey, why not? Let's face it, more often than not, these pleasure-seekers and hell-raisers are usually also the type of people you would want at your parties.

So, what's going to happen when the ban comes into effect? Well, my guess is that it won't be enforced very strictly at first, especially in the smaller pubs and discos. Then, if you assholes do what you do best (that is, rat on the rest of us), the clubs will be forced to enforce the ban. Then, some smokers will still go to clubs, but let's face it, it's rather sickening to have to go outside for a smoke when you're clubbing, so most smokers will stop going to clubs. Hence, nightspots will lose a lot of revenue and start to close down. In all probability, only big names like Zouk will survive and the smaller clubs will die off, because all they'll be left with for customers will be a bunch of weenies who think that to be "cool", "hip", and "wild", all they have to do is be older than 18, lie to their mommies that they're pulling an all-nighter for a project with a friend, and swing their limbs like inebriated chimpanzees on the dancefloor, and who also (most importantly) puke after even sniffing some whiskey.

Not that those pushing for banning smoking in clubs, such as Ms Rosemary Chng (director of National Cancer Centre's public education initiative, FirstLight Singapore), will care that they're causing nightspots to close down, just because they don't like smoking. Afterall, they've probably not set foot in a club more than 10 times in their lives.

In conclusion, if you're not in an enclosed area, the cars passing by are probably more damaging to your health than any smokers who happen to be smoking in the area. There is no way second hand smoke can be harmful in the open unless you're stupid. Banning smoking on the grounds that passive smoking is harmful is rather like banning darts on the grounds that the darts might accidentally hit passersby in the eye. The bugger didn't have to get in the way, you retards. The revenues of nightspots will be affected because of The Man's new ban on smoking (supposedly starting in October), but of course, the people who pushed for the ban don't care because they're usually anal-retentive assholes who go pubbing or clubbing like once a year. I'm really starting to feel like a Jew in Nazi Germany.

I guess you're a bunch of fascist bastards, after all.
I don't wanna swell your head and make it bigger than it already is, but...


Now tell me that you got inspiration for this post from my short but profanity-peppered rant on the smoking ban and self-righteous stupid non-smoking pussies.
Well said. *salutes*

Some non-smokers are extremely sensitive to cigarette smoke (my girlfriend, for one, can smell people smoking from 10 metres away), and get nasty allergic reactions. So I suppose that's a factor to consider. (Hoping that she'll eventually get used to it, so I can bring her out clubbing haha)

But in general, I agree with your points. I go clubbing knowing that I'll be inhaling lots of 2nd-hand smoke, and don't let it spoil my fun.

And yes... you and Gerald drink very quickly. Maybe I just get high if I drink at the rate the 2 of you finished off that bourbon coke.
Sheena: Sure, you scratch my ego and I'll scratch yours. :p

Ivan: Sure, I can understand that. Just like I hate oysters and the smell of it. However, I don't go telling people not to eat them and using Hep-B to launch a terror campaign with the ban of oysters as the eventual goal.
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