I'm too busy being my own worst enemy to be anybody else's

"If I cannot smoke in heaven, then I shall not go."
-- Mark Twain

Let's think about that for a second, on the surface it seems like a flippant remark. The end of the 19th century was a dark dirty place, but maybe even back then Twain saw the writing on the wall. The Temperance movement was gaining its stride and Twain certainly didn't want any part of a society with demands on personal freedoms.

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I remember a hundred discussions with Jackie, I'm not sure if this is a direct quote of her's, it might be a distillation of those conversations but I remember her saying something along the lines of 'watch out for people who have your best intentions in mind"
Maybe this is what really worried Mr. Twain.

A very timely example of this is the NYC proposed ban of "sugary drinks". Here is what makes this worry some, what is the definition of a sugary drink? Ah, I see, a bunch of lobbyists will hammer that out. And OK, its not a total ban, only on "sugary drinks" larger than 16oz.
"Do you really need 450 grams, 560 grams, 900 grams of sugary soda?" says an unnamed nutritionist. What the hell does that have to do with anything and who are they to tell you how much is too much?
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I know, I know, smoking is a dirty filthy habit, but be careful what you wish for.
If you're not killing yourself, you're not really living.
Or as Dan Savage famously says, ""Control should be placed on all" isn't the solution to "I have no self control.""

May your ash be long and your humidor full
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  1. Yeah, busybodies love to think that their meddling is in the world's best interest. Fuck 'em. (I say that as someone who has never smoked, hates smoking, and has the free will to avoid any place where smoke is. I'm not in Pampers anymore and our population is done great harm by being treated as if we are.)

  2. I don't get smoking but I love the smell of tobacco stores.

  3. Quimbob, I was just framing the conversation in the context of smoking, because when that's finally outlawed whats next?
    That's what worries me, the rush to force everyone to be healthy.
    Meanwhile we're killing 88 people a day on the highway but somehow that's worth the price.

  4. As you said, this conversation isn't about smoking but about the laws that require "healthy" decisions (...will they always be laws for health?), but this made me think about how I made the personal choice to stop smoking three years ago. Definitely wouldn't take as much pride in this if it wasn't a "choice". Is that meaningful? I don't know. Does my pride in my choice of free will outweigh a couple others being forced to make a "healthy" decision? Does that matter?

    In the same light, my dad hates that there is a law that requires we wear our seatbelts. Not that he wouldn't anyway; just the fact that he is required to begs the same question you asked...what'll be required of me next?

  5. I wish I had seen this story the other day, Evolution’s Sweet Tooth, DANIEL E. LIEBERMAN writing in the opinion section of the NYTimes claims "We have evolved to need coercion"
    These are the people who scare the shit out of me. He claims we need to "collectively restore our diets to a more natural state through regulations"

  6. Gross.

    I feel like it's tough, though. Extreme example, but thinking of my husband's uncle who is obese by his own choices. His doctors just told him he's only got a year or so if he continues to make the choices he's making- some kind of regulations would hypothetically prevent situations like this, in some kind of "he'll thank me for it later" scenario. His ability to really "live" would be temporarily postponed, but possibly for a greater result?

    Coming from someone who craves a smoke when there is a beautiful sunset :)