Saturday, November 25, 2006

Right Again!

"The warning on that cigarette package should read: CAPITALISM IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH.

Dejan, easily my favourite blogger of the moment, again says what needs to be said. As some of you may know, I am a smoker. And of course I am well aware that I am running a hell of a risk to get cancer somewhere along the way. But it is equally true that, all things considered, I am living a reasonably healthy life. As opposed to most people I drink, apart from a few daily cups of coffee, only water, tea and fruit juice (and not liters of coke, lemonade, beer, spirits, wine and what do I know). I eat my daily portion of fruit, dairy products and vegetables. I hardly consume any fast food and do not eat a lot of meat. And more importantly: I never eat too much.

But of course I am punished for my smoking, an activity that these days seems equal to being the antichrist in person. Each year I am paying more and more money for my cigarettes (when I started smoking a package costed about 1.80 euros, now it costs 4 fuckin' euros). I am being chased from restaurants, bars and most public spaces while fumes from cars, trucks and industrial facilities merrily continue to pollute the air that I breath. At the same time wine, spirits and beer remain relatively cheap and are promoted by advertising, while the rate of alcoholism, especially among young people, is rising. With fast food it is even worse: it is rather expensive food and it makes you fat and you risk diabetes and cholesterol. Soon in the USA (and as we know most American trends tend to cross the ocean at one time or another) monstruously fat people will make up the majority of the population.

I would wish that people in power would spend their time solving other, more immediate, crises, yearly taking the lives of millions of people. Like poverty, war and, indeed, capitalism.


Martijn said...

In Holland about 20000 people die each year because of smoking. Obesity kills about 4000, alcohol about 2500 (if I checked it well about 2.000 directly and 500 in traffic accidents.) The flu on average 800 per year. Anorexia kills 15 people. Terrorism less than one. So what's the big crisis here?

BTW: The link doesn't work.

Dejan said...

Martijn I would like to see the research on which these figures are based. As you know statistical research is not always reliable, and multi-factor statistical research is usually not reliable at all.
Besides this is not at all about how you're going to die, it's about being killed mentally before you die physically by people who think they know how they should run your life.
As Pasolini demonstrated forcibly in SALO OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM, facism is always based on controlling the way you get pleasure.

Martijn said...

The figures are the official ones from the RIVM. And yes, I know epidemiology is not the most exact of sciences, but I also know that if study after study the sane numbers turn up, they're most likely true.

Concerning the freedom/pleasure there's two sides. There's the freedom and pleasure of smokers to smoke and then there's the freedom and pleasure of non-smokers to not be exposed to toxic, carcinogenic and foul smelling smoke.

Dejan said...

All I can answer to this, Martijn, is what Edina Monsoon told her daugher Saffy:
''Well excuse ME if I die of passive boredom!""

Why don't they do a study on how many lives the capitalist industry takes each year - by selling bad food, for example?

Or by propagating a sedentary lifestyle because of which Nederlandse kinderen nowadays get ouderdomsdiabetes at the age of 10 or 12?

Martijn said...

Why don't they do a study on how many lives the capitalist industry takes each year - by selling bad food, for example?

Well, even if we include the capitalist tobacco industry our capitalist live spans have greatly increased since the capitalist Industrial Revolution, so we may conclude that capitalist industry has saved more capitalist lives than it has taken.

Dejan said...

Yeah right - count on the Dutch with their talent for compromise to always find the positive aspect in the most reprehensible circumstance. I admire this positivist quality, but it won't bail you out of this one, for capitalism may have extended the lifespan of its privileged consumers (like Holland), but it has damn sure halved the lifespan of Africans, Eastern Europeans and many other slaves to capitalism, who comprise what is nowadays politically correctly termed the Service Zone.
Besides you know the damage is not always physical. What about the MENTAL damage of living in capitalism - for example how stress increases the incidence of psychosomatic disorders like diabetes, or rises blood pressure?

stevie nixed said...

There's the freedom and pleasure of smokers to smoke and then there's the freedom and pleasure of non-smokers to not be exposed to toxic, carcinogenic and foul smelling smoke.

Oh ffs, as if exposure to smoke kills so many people. Maybe if people RELAX and TOLERATE eachother a bit more instead of getting all pissy, then the world would have less people dying from unnecessary heart attacks.

Or were you talking about the unnecessary amount of cars on the road? Maybe if we focussed on that a bit more, then we'd have more time in dissing smokers? I mean, shit, what about global warming? That freaks me out more than (second hand) smoking.

It really riles me when I see anti-smokers *fuming*. Take a fucking chill pill. (Not necessarily directed at you, Martijn, unless you are one of those avid anti-smoking crusaders).

Anyway, I quit smoking cause, well, I didn't want to expose my baby to secondhand smoking in the belly. I just heard a woman (in my knitting class) confess she smoked a pack per day during her pregnancy!!! Didn't say anything. I just pretended to agree with her when she said:"I gained 15 kilos when I quit and I was too nervous anyway." *That* should be banned: pregnant women who smoke. WTF man....

That said, I really do not want to go back to smoking but I'm craving in a big fucking way. :-(