Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Radical" Cigarette Smokers

Complaining about environmental destruction? count me in.

Complaining about environmental destruction, stogie hanging out of your mouth, count me out.

What a Rebel.

This has been running through my head for sometime now and I'm just going to let it loose. If you smoke cigarettes, bum cigarettes, roll cigarettes, engage in any activity involving tobacco from unknown sources, you should sit back, relax, and shut up about environmental destruction.

There are no statistics readily available to prove cigarettes are instrumental in deforestation, pollution, and other forms of oppression, but its quite simple:
Papers: trees
Butts: Landfill, Plastic, Fish Killers
Tobacco: chemicals, fertilizers, water, land (that could be used for vegetables). In the United States there are aproximatley 37,013 classified tobacco farms, All farms
producing tobacco averaged about 7.5 acres in 2002. That means that 277,500 acres of land in this country are used to grow tobacco, and not vegetables.

I just don't understand vegetarian, vegan, cigarette smokers...

And then there is another complication: Cigarettes are full of chemicals!

(petrol additive)

* A colourless cyclic hydrocarbon obtained from coal and petroleum, used as a solvent in fuel and in chemical manufacture - and contained in cigarette smoke.
* A It known carcinogen associated with leukaemia.

GOOD JOB! The money going to abroad wars focused on securing petroleum, the oil spill in the gulf, they weren't just keeping in mind the millions of dependent cars, plastic products..ect. They were thinking about the Benzene chemical manufacturers, the industry that exists because of your cigarette and soda addiction.

Solidarity with North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia..whose former plantations that perpetuated slavery, now perpetuate slavery to cigarettes, inducing environmental destruction and social comfort.


Lyndellita said...

Right on sister you got my vote. F*%$ the cigarette companies and I feel sorry for those stupid enough to start and hooked enough not to be able to stop.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

So -
you are effectively attempting to delegitimize anarchists and radicals environmentalists who smoke cigarettes - but not criticizing any other form of consumption that people may partake in as problematic...
the problem with this approach is that it clearly is not backed up in a very effective way, because, with a closer look it becomes very clear that no matter what you are buying and consuming, you are supporting capitalism, fucked up companies, all around environmental devastation, oppression on a million different fucked up levels and more...
it also gives faith in consumer voting and consumer politics, which in my opinion, and very very very many incredibly legitimate organizing anarchists and revolutionaries are basically worthless in terms of actually confronting, organizing against, and toppling oppressive hierarchies and structures. AND if you do believe in consumer politics, than based on the fact that almost everything you buy is perpetuating oppression in some way, you would have to stop consuming completely to make your claims legitimate. ALSO, doing that will never ever end capitalism. Organizing to build anarchist communities, taking direct action, and truly struggling against hierarchies like white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, and the government will. By delegitimizing people who's lifestyle choices lead them to buying different products than you choose to, you are effectively isolating from yourself a vast amount of potential and active anarchists doing very legitimate anti-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian work in this struggle. It's actually really counter productive to draw lines like this, as opposed to lines against people who are really enemies of this movement...

Come Together said...

I don't know if i am necessarily drawing a line between myself and people who share a similar vision of anti-oppression. I am just calling them out on their shit. I appreciate the thought put into this comment, you raise really good points. Solidarity and whatnot, but in no way am i advocating for consumer voting and consumer politics. What about cigarettes though? In the end its just an attempt by me to further understand the paradox between anarchists and their image. Its so fucking wack, and isolating in itself.

Its a simple matter of dependency. Yes i am dependent on capitalism to eat, but in my eyes its much worse to be dependent on something that overtly creates dependency and addiction to the same system being opposed, especially if that shit isn't even necessary. Why are people vegan: to stop environmental and animal oppression, health etc. Its not that you would stop being friends with somebody who ate meat, but i'm sure you wouldn't hesitate to try to illuminate the implications of their decisions. Nobody says shit about pompous vegans, because naturally they are right, and veganism is a comforting symbol of radicalism. So then my question is: Is it ok to accept some consumer choice as radical... but ignore it other times. I would say there is somebody I know who drinks 2 bottles of pepsi a day, who I consider the most revolutionary person I know, but at some point you have to be accountable for what you consume.

i dont feel like reading this over, feel free to find more flaws in my arguments, but aside from my opinion, at least you know a little bit of fact behind those cigarettes,

Anonymous said...

I mean - I know a lot of anarchists who consumer unnecessary amounts of junk food and stuff like that and it doesn't bother me, because I think they are doing really legitimate work in their lives.
I just think to interpret certain consumption policies like veganism as inherently radical is alright if you want to - but they are still only radical when it comes to a belief in consumer politics. I don't think everyone has to be accountable beyond understanding what consumption is and making a logical choice in their lives for themselves, and understanding this system and what's at work and how it forces everyone to perpetuate it wether or not they want to, having that kind of an understanding of the way systemic oppressive structures and hierarchies work, they can make logical and individually applicable choices for themselves, and that's accountable enough. I don't feel a need to justify my smoking of cigarettes. I feel that it's one out of a million things that could have been called out - a lot which i think are more problematic and immediate. It just sucks to here really sarcastic and easily percievable as condescending language about something that is really just someone else's personal choice. I understand that cigarettes are addictive and so you get trapped in a cycle - but if that's all I really care to buy, besides the occasional food or alcohol once and a while or something, it sucks to be called out like that... I understand what you are talking about anarchists and their image, but I easily know just as many non smoking anarchists as smoking ones. Lots of different people smoke, and just because some anarchists smoke doesn't mean that it's necessarily some kind of "anarchist cred" thing or "anarchist image" it's not for me, i just like smoking, for whatever reasons - i shouldn't have to rationalize it...

Come Together said...

I think your right that this piece is ridiculously condecending, I dont think my response was necessarily a good way to adress this, but part of my problem is with this perverse expression of anarchism, i.e punk bands dedicating songs to environmental destruction, creating a dynamic where they are above everybody else, moshing for mother earth ect. And then doing environmentally destructive things after the show.

Im not saying all anarchists consider themselves enlightened superiors, but some sort of do...and they dont even live what they preach.

Lastly, and then im done with this because its kindof unimportant. I dont know if conciousness is going to cut it for me these days... I feel like every "radical" at my school has somehow found a way to rationalize their racism in times of trouble, or addiction. I asked my friend, from school (not even an anarchist), how he could be an advocate of environmental justice, and smoke 2 packs a day, and he responded: "Im dedicating my life to environmental justice, if it takes cigarettes to get me through, thats what its going to take."


This same person...Throws waterbaloons at freshman on freshman friday. The cops come, and they are looking for people to get in trouble. 3 black sophmores run up the block, and the cops go after them. this kid, who is "dedicating his life" to environmental justice/anti-racism" watches this kids get arrested for shit that he did. He walks away in his white skin. That to me is a perfect example of where your ideas/conciosness stops short of your needs as an individual. To me, cigarettes, and your whole argument against consumer voting, mirror this kind of idea. My collective ideas, supercede my choices as an individual in their importance.

Nahhhh, i think we should really internalize our beliefs, especially when your trying to advocate for a lifestyle completely uncomprehensible for some people (how could you live without laws? especially if were all inherently selfish??) How are people going to understand that its possible if its just an idea floating around and not action.

Free trade?