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We live in an upside down, topsy-turvy world. Things we thought were right are wrong; things we thought were true are false. Donald Trump is president. Men are women, low unemployment is somehow bad, the socialist penny has a new shine on it.
But one thing is still unequivocally, simply true. Smoking is bad. It’s bad. There is no argument to be made against the universal truth that smoking is awful, disgusting, smelly, self defeating, weak, pathetic, and not as cool as you think it is. Yet I smoke.
Someone - Pleasure - Smoker - Slight - Sensation
One cannot adequately explain to someone who does not smoke what a sublime and sensual pleasure it is. For the occasional or light smoker, it provides a slight lightheaded sensation and a relaxation of the muscles. It is a brief, heightened moment. For the heavy smoker, it is life’s punctuation. We don’t get lightheaded. We get redirected back to our purpose, a moment to gather and plot out the next few moments of kicking tail. Yes, that’s what lighting up feels like.
Before everyone dips the digital quills into the ink of condemnation, think about it. Even after the revelations of the 1980s that smoking kills, our culture still swims in this. Popular culture tells us so. Let’s just look back at the West Wing.
Everyone - Martin - Sheen - President - Bartlett
Everyone gushed when Martin Sheen’s President Bartlett had finally had enough, and had to light up. It was authentic. Barack Obama smoked for years. Did he ever light one up in the Oval Office, Willy Nelson-like? Did he feel that intoxication fill his lungs? I like to think so.
Even as the power of the Oval Office intoxicates, so does tobacco. Is there a picture of Franklin Roosevelt without a cigarette? And did that give him the common touch? Often and significantly, the cigarette is the equalizer, the plain and plaintive...
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