Disclaimer: The opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect my actual opinions.

May 21, 2004

Smoke this

Yet more anti-smoking litigation, requiring tobacco companies to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to support products and services dedicated to reducing the tobacco companies' profits, drives the everyone's-a-victim mentality even deeper into the American psyche. To quote the CNN article above:

Scott, a home health aide, said she started in 1954, when she was six and was given free samples from stores, and was only able to quit when she was diagnosed with lung cancer four years ago. "It's fantastic. It's fabulous. I'm so excited," she said. "I know that 6-year-olds will never be given cigarettes again, and people won't have to smoke until they can get lung cancer.

Um... They don't give cigarettes to six-year-olds any more, dear, and haven't for many years. That said, I clearly remember as a child being given free asbestos samples in hardware stores and encouraged to play with the stuff, rub it into my eyes, etc., but aside from the permanent blindness and the awful trouble I have breathing, nothing came of it. I hold nothing against them, because they didn't realise it was harmful.

But what's all this about her being "only able to quit" when she got lung cancer? Utter nonsense. She's been able to quit since the day she started. What she means is she didn't WANT to quit, or she didn't have the will-power. That's not Philip Morris's fault any more than it's the fault of McDonald's that some people can't stop eating Big Macs, or Seagram's fault that some people can't stop imbibing alcohol.

I think we should start requiring the fast food chains to pay for "stop eating so much junk, you fat bastard" advertising campaigns, and breweries to fund Alcoholics Anonymous, and casinos to pay for counselling to those addicted to gambling, and car companies pay for the damage caused by joyriding youths, who are clearly addicted to driving fast. Everyone should find someone to sue about whatever problems they have, be it a lack of will-power or having one leg longer than the other.

What's more, I think all African-Americans should file a class action lawsuit against all white Americans, then the white Americans can sue the British government for making life so intolerable that they were forced to go to the New World in the first place, then the British government could sue the Germans, French, Scandinavians and Italians for contributing to their gene pool a desire to over-tax its citizens, then the Germans, French, Scandinavians and Italians could file a suit against black people, because without their pesky "we're-not-happy-living-in-trees-any-more" idea way back when, none of this would have happened. Eventually, when the dust had settled, we'd all be living in a Communist utopia where everyone has the same amount of money, no-one is jealous of anyone else, and nobody sells products that people choose to buy despite the health risks because they find the product to be pleasurable.

Or we could just summarily execute all lawyers. I'm straying towards the latter option.


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