Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Toughing it out

Blogging has taken a back seat while this blogger struggles with self-deprivation.
Being at the computer is a powerful smoking cue in my life - so I have been prowling about it rather than spending time on it. This means that I am desperately behind. And it also means that in doing without one thing I love and depend upon, I am also having to step back from the other thing I most love and depend upon.
It is tough.
I can't believe that the patches are really helping. The cigarette cravings come at all the usual moments and they are intense - rather like a desperate thirst.
They come from some deep visceral source, rising up to make a million receptors strain and reach for the soothing comfort of the cigarette, the civilized rituals, relief.
Only smokers known the calming pleasure tobacco delivers.
Only smokers appreciate the way tobacco can focus the mind and power the productivity.
It is extremely sad and mean that it has become the great danger - the most maligned of activities. Beer-swilling men who fall down dead drunk after beating their children and raping their wives are less criticised than smokers. Alcoholics are nurtured by society, given sympathy and treated as people who have a sickness. It is never their fault. Not even the massive collateral damage left in their booze-stewed wake.
But smokers?
The grotesque manner in which society has treated smokers is one of the things which has made me resist giving up. So repulsed am I by the behaviour of the Australian anti-smoking lobby that I do not wish to be associated with them - even in the business of not smoking.
They are self-righteous bullies who have blackmailed their way into sanction of society - inflicting their ugliness not only on smokers but on everyone. Look what they have been doing by way of shock tactic graphic advertising in Australia?

The medical grotesqueries they expose on television and cigarette packets is a form of violent pornography. It is driven not by a sense of being helpful towards smokers but by spite.
The Americans handle the smoking messages much better than the Australians. Their television ads are suggestive, warm, positive, encouraging... They don't threaten or criticise. They hold out a hand.

And, as I give up smoking, I make it quite clear that those crass and shameful graphic Australian messages bore absolutely no influence. Rather, I had to be on the other side of the world, far away from the ugly Australian anti-smoking campaigners, to be able to undertake the battle. The American hand of kindness has quietly worked.


Ah, but the American advertising industry is way more sophisticated than Australia's.
Here, in the land of Vance Packard and Marshall McLuhan, advertising is an art form.

Australia never quite got the media message about the media message. Gawd, I dread getting back to the cheap crap they call television advertising in Australia. It's nothing more than a talent-free con job. And, giving the advertising industry low-lifes lots of money from the anti-smoking lobby, they have come up trumps with a truly appalling job.
The campaign is a failure. It has not worked. It is a disgrace. It is a national embarrassment.

So I had better succeed in giving up smoking here in America because I know that once back in Australia, there were be only the negativity of that squalid mob in my face.

How the hell did we spawn such malicious marketing inferiority!

6 comments:

The Discovering Alcoholic said...

Now I don’t know how things are down under, but alcoholics in these parts are publicly ridiculed, chastised for their lack of restraint and discipline, jailed and ostracized because of their disease-induced behavior, and often have their lives destroyed by a system that favors punishment over rehabilitation. I have friends who are very sincere in their efforts at recovery, but in addition to their battle with addiction they also have to face incarceration, lost driving privileges, and custody battles. I’m for tough sentencing, but I am also for common sense sentencing that will allow those who have committed victimless crimes a second chance, but this is a topic for another time.

The point I wanted to make is that all addictions are tough to deal with; it is the nature of the disease to make us who suffer think we are unique in our misery or require special treatment. I don’t measure addictions by how hard it is to detox or maintain recovery, but instead how much misery, pain, and damage one can achieve while addicted. Yes smoking stinks and is often frowned upon, but the results of a hard night smoking rarely will reach the damage brought on by a session of binge drinking or shooting up heroin.

I have enjoyed reading your blog, and hope you don't mind that I used a little good natured snarkiness in a full response at

Take care AP

Samela said...

Meeyauw says this comment post box delivers an automatic jump to the Discovering Alcoholic site whenever she tries to post. So I am having a go. Oh dear, AP. Did you mean to disable my comments?

The Discovering Alcoholic said...

My apologies if I left an open link!

Samela said...

Forgiven!

Bec said...

The entire country is covered in helpful hints about quitting as the England goes 'smoke-free' in all confined public places on July 1st...

It's going to get mighty interesting around here...

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