Monday, June 18, 2007

A classical essay-like post

As much as I like the idea of posting at least once per day in here, that's impossible. But before taking a break from blog posting, I do want to post one of my "classical messages" within the smokers rights community. I know there's a smokers rights meeting coming up in my state this weekend I wanna focus on.

But as I said, here's an old essay-like message of mine I wanted to always post in here. I finally found it. Maybe twice a week can be my new blog-posting goal.

Smokers are better people than what antis think. To an anti, a smoker is filthy, and only cares about himself/herself. But based on the smokers I've met at offline group meetings, none of those ladies (and guys) were filthy to me.

When I walked in for offline activities with the smokers, I saw a group of smokers socializing with each other, and they had smiles on their faces. Just talking and smoking inside. That alone is one aspect I miss in the real world with the smoking bans.

And whenever someone saw me enjoying my cigs alone, the guy or lady would smile at me and say "Hello" and we would introduce ourselves to each other. If it was a lady, she would be sweet enough to light up her own cig and spend a few minutes talking and smoking with me. In the real world, if someone sees me smoking alone in public, that person will ask or buy a cig from me. And then that person would say "Thanks bro/sir" and then walk away. I bet during the days before I was born, when people used to approach smokers, that person would usually end up lighting up too, and the two would socialize (just like with what I experienced at those offline meetings).

I'm sure the bans have a lot to do with seeing fewer smokers socializing with each other even while outside. Because based on how smokers are portrayed in today's society, I guess more people are too shy to smoke in public, or they're worried if they smoke, they'll attract a lot of folks who will attempt to bum. It's my belief this country would be a lot better without smoking bans, because a lot more people would be open smokers in public (without the bans). And you would see more smokers socializing with each other in public.

The smokers I met offline care about each other, myself included. I remember at one meeting, Rose and Garnet both offered me Revel packets to try, when I was initially mad at the new smoking rule for Wrigley Field workers. They wanted to help me out so I can continue to be Jay on the job. And this Jay is more than just a young and mature American. This Jay is a serious lover of tobacco, which is part of my life.

If smokers only care about themselves, both of those ladies would've told me:

"Sorry to hear about the new rule. I guess you'll either have to accept the new rule, or just quit the job."

(But what can I do to help myself by being a good person on the job, without making myself suffer mentally? Is there at least smokeless tobacco you recommend, since you're a more exprienced smoker than me?)

"Well, there's the snuff and smokeless tobacco you could try. I got some of these packets I use when I fly on planes."

(OOOO! Can I try any spare ones you have, please?)

"Sorry. I can't help you there. You'll have to buy your own packets."

That's what antis think smokers are like in that dialogue. But those ladies didn't talk to me like that. They showed care for me by helping me out, and by giving me samples of the packets. I even remember at the Heartland meeting, either Rose or Jim asked if I'd be ok in getting back home. And I said "I'll be fine, thanks." If smokers in this world only cared about themselves, those two smokers wouldn't have shown concern for my safety at night.

And oh yes! The days of when smokers would socialize with each other more openly and offer each other cigs without asking for a little change! Those days may be over in the real world, but I got a taste of it at the offline meetings. I've been offered cigs to try from several ladies and guys, it made me smile on the inside. I even remembered being offered snuff once at one meeting. Those cigs they offered me also allowed me to try different types of MYO cigs. Maybe if this world wasn't taxing tobacco so much, more smokers in the real world would be sweeter in offering cigs when someone asks for one. Instead of the smoker saying "I'll give you one if you gimme a buck." Those smokers weren't expecting me to give them money in exchange for free cigs. They wanted me to be me at those meetings, and enjoy the freedom of being a smoker in America!

I certainly didn't miss hearing the criticism I'd normally hear from real world people (as I smoked with them at the meetings) either! Those people understand my feelings and needs as an American smoker, and they certainly didn't make me feel bad on the way I live as an disobedient smoker in public at times. An anti wouldn't understand why I ignore smoking bans. But those smokers understand, since we're all in the same boat.

Smokers are not selfish or filthy. They're sweet ladies, nice guys, and they're paying lots of taxes like everyone else. And how does America pay smokers back? With smoking bans, heavily taxed tobacco, and I'm very sorry those wonderful ladies and guys I met are getting a taste of the same type of treatment I receive myself for just being an American alone. I can help them understand what second class treatment is like and in its many forms. But we all have to fight the second class treatment together! That's what older generations of my type used to do....fight together for years in order to eventually be recognized as Americans!

Now smokers need to work together and fight if they wanna be recognized as Americans themselves. We won our battle in the old days. Who said intelligent and mature smokers can't win a modern battle of their own?

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