This is my personal thoughts, opinions and musings place. I will also rant about things, especially politically-correct things that irritate me. And sci-fi. Did I mention sci-fi? There'll be lots of sci-fi stuff here. And movies, too. Mmmmm... Movies

Saturday, March 05, 2005

In attack on incongruity

In another post, I argued that there was nothing wrong with incongruity. I suppose I should've been more specific. Incongruity is alright when you're talking about sci-fi shows on TV that feature top-heavy alien chicks with glowing eyes and a reverberating alien-speak voice. However, when the discussion revolves around governments and how they spend our money, I think incongruity is not particularly defensible, especially when we're talking about something that has major health implications.

For instance, I work and live in a province that has legalized gambling, but only in licensed establishments, and only when it's government-run. Here we have video gambling terminals, and they put them in variety stores and restaurants that are licensed to sell alcohol. I don't really have a problem with that, other than the fact the government also runs gambling addiction public service ads on the radio. Basically they talk about how bad gambling addiction is, and about the support and treatment that's available in government-run health centres. Now, I don't know how much money the government makes off of the video terminals or how much money they spend on (mental) health care for those addicted(given that I almost never see those machines unoccupied suggests a lot of people are gambling and/or have a problem), but it seems to me incongruous the government getting people addicted to gambling for the sake of making money and then spending a small fortune on treating that addiction.

The other incongruity in my mind is tobacco and the government's role in fighting addiction to it. Tobacco(cigarates, cigas, chewing tobacco, etc) is a legal, though restricted, product. It can be sold to everyone not a minor, in virtually every variety store and gas station, at any time of the day, unlike alchohol, which can only be sold when the beer and liquor stores are open. When I lived in Houston, TX, for example, alcohol was sold in regular grocerie stores, but not after 11pm.

Now, back to tobacco and incongruities thereof. In my mind, smoking is a filthy habit, even if you disregard the health issues. People who smoke stink, literally(their breath, their clothing, their hair), and for the one year I used to work in a smoking office, I used to come home after work and shake the shit out of my hair before coming inside. Then there is the health issue. Why would you want to fill your lungs with smoke that's almost as bad as the stuff coming out of the tailpipe of your car or hanging in the air over most major cities? And don't even get me started on the hillarity of jogging or riding a bike and smoking at the same time.

Now that I got that rant out of the way, let's go back to the discussion at hand. I understand that the government makes a mint in taxes that smokers pay for a product that literally goes up in smoke. And I understand the various groups putting on ads about the dangers of smoking and all that. I have no problems with any of it. In reality, I don't even have a problem with smokers or smoking, so long as I'm not forced to participate or run a gauntlet outside my office building. No, what I do have a problem with is the government-funded anti-smoking compaigns on TV.

I realize that I'm a bit partisan in this, in that I fully enjoy smoke-free shopping malls and restaurants. But I think there's a huge difference between not allowing smoking inside restaurants (we don't let people drink booze on the street, either), prohibitions which generally don't cost governments much money in the long run, and government-funded(by the same government that benefits from the taxes on smoking) ads on TV. Either ban the product outright, or get your ads against off TV. Don't continue allowing to sell a product your own ads claim is bad for our health.


At Sat Mar 05, 10:48:00 AM AST, Blogger Quackin' Mad Duck said...

Preach it brother!!!! And what about the ridiculous absurdity of tobacco companies spending millions of dollars funding anti-smoking ads?? How DOES THAT make any sense?? WTF?? Of course, they HAVE TO, once again, thanks to government regulations (and that lawsuit where a few lawyer REALLY hit it big at the expense of thousands of lung cancer and emphysema victims). The sincerity is totally lost on me!

At Sat Mar 05, 10:55:00 AM AST, Blogger The Mad Perseid said...

Ha! I completely forgot about those tobacco company funded anti-smoking ads. In contrast, the alcohol industry also runs anti-drinking compaigns, but those are mostly limited to drink responsibly and don't drink and drive ads. I have no real issue with them.


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