May 16, 2007

Clearing the smoke.

I just happened to be checking the latest movie news on IMDb the other day, and ran across this article (which drove me to write the first blog):

“Smoke in Movies -- Get an ‘R’”

In a rare alteration of its movie ratings system, the MPAA said on Thursday that the panel that assesses Hollywood movies will begin considering "depictions that glamorize smoking or movies that feature pervasive smoking outside of a historic or other mitigating context." Until now, the subjects that movie raters have primarily considered are violence, language, nudity, and drugs. In a statement, MPAA CEO Dan Glickman said, "There is broad awareness of smoking as a unique public health concern due to nicotine's highly addictive nature, and no parent wants their child to take up the habit. ... The appropriate response of the rating system is to give more information to parents on this issue."

So even though smoking is not illegal in real life, if you’re on screen in a drama, action movie, or fantasy, smoking cigarettes is now against the law? Amazing, nicotine is so addictive that you can actually get hooked while watching the badass John McClane smoke cigarettes and German terrorists. I just hope that machine gun he’s blasting doesn’t turn my way. You fucking morons.

I decided to dig a little deeper and found the complete article in Adobe format on the MPAA official site. The link is below, but here are some excerpts:

"The rating board has comprehensively reviewed depictions of smoking in every rated film over the past several years. From July 2004 to July 2006, the percentage of films that included even a fleeting glimpse of smoking dropped from 60% to 52%. Of those films, 75% received an R rating for other factors. So, three out of every four films that contained any smoking at all over the past few years are already rated R."

So three out of four movies that feature someone smoking usually receive an R-rating already? How does that justify sacrificing the profits from a higher rating? Most movies that are labeled as R usually end up making far less than that of a PG-13 grade. Many producers will push filmmakers to go for PG-13 instead to increase total profit, at least on screen.

The article goes on to say:

"They (parents) often tell us that they cannot recall a recent incident in which they took their child to a G, PG or PG-13 film and found a scene involving smoking that was objectionable."

Parents can’t recall ever seeing an "objectionable" scene involving someone smoking during PG-13 movies, and yet they’re still going to attempt to change the rating system? Why would they type a paragraph like this one right below the last when it completely debunks the entire thing? What movies do they plan on changing ratings for when no movies fall under this category? I don’t know why I expected anything different. These are the same clenched tight assholes who think a fucking pair of tits or saying the word ‘fuck’ more than once is much worse for the public to see than Rambo shooting the fuck out of hundreds of people. Hell, if that last sentence was a movie, then I’d be fucked.

So that’s how the MPAA feels about smoking, but what about the rest of the country? The following are “statistics” and "studies" from the American Lung Association:

A recent study found that children ages 10 to 15 who watched a five or more hours of TV per day were six times more likely to initiate smoking that those who watched less than two hours per day.

I’d have to be 10 to 15 to fucking believe this. Honestly, the 10 year olds I know that smoke don’t have enough time in the day to watch five or more hours of TV. They’re too busy smoking.

Older smokers are at greater risks from smoking because they have smoked longer (an average of 40 years), tend to be heavier smokers, and are more likely to suffer from smoking-related illnesses. They are also significantly less likely than younger smokers to believe that smoking harms their health.

And yet…

Through advertising and promotion, the tobacco industry targets 1.63 million new smokers a year to compensate for those who quit or die.

I don’t think too many elderly who have never smoked just all of a sudden start because Joe fucking Kool says so. Or maybe Joe is that fucking Kool. Does your grandma dig camel?

Smoking lessens one's normal life expectancy by an average of 13 to 15 years -- thereby eliminating retirement years for most smokers.

Retirement? Shit, like that was going to happen anyway. The same bastards that wrote this shit are the ones taking my social security and soaking up what’s left of benefits. Current average life expectancy places me somewhere around 63, while retirement age is 65. So go fuck yourself.

Studies show that men who smoke at least five cigars a day and report moderate inhalation, experience lung cancer deaths at about two-thirds the rate of men who smoke one pack of cigarettes a day.

And then they go on to say…

Studies show that men who smoke at least three cigars a day are two to three times more likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers.

Wait a minute? What the fuck? Studies show that men who smoke at least five cigars a day have about a 66% chance of lung cancer compared to a pack of cigarettes a day, and yet, men who smoke at least three cigars a day have a 200% to 300% chance of lung cancer compared to non-smokers? Well, that would mean cigarette smokers have roughly up to a 455% chance of lung cancer compared to non-smokers, right?

“Men who smoke one pack a day increase their risk 10 times compared with non-smokers.”

1,000 percent? Hmm, I must have missed a decimal somewhere or something.

According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2005, “Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing an estimated 438,000 premature deaths annually, or 1 in five U.S. deaths.”

And yet, a few years ago “38.6% of the total fatalities for the year are alcohol-related fatalities,”
according to Loyola University Health System. I think 38.6% is higher than 20%, and I’m sure in most cases people aren’t forced to drink alcohol, making it “preventable” too.

Remember, “Alcohol is society's legal, oldest and most popular drug.”

Yes, smoking is bad. We know that. We don’t need your white-lie propaganda, the MPAA smacking our wrists, or bullshit Truth commercials that are not “informing” anyone. And about those commercials, of course little kids like to see a big, fuzzy, purple mascot. But we all saw how they lost interest in you when you took off the head and they found an annoying, holier-than-thou-art yuppie prick who keeps crying about how much his vagina hurts. "Whudafxup" with scaring little kids, as if I was going to believe 5 year olds would smoke if a purple freak told them to? Stop filling our trash cans with fake appendages. You're pissing off the trashmen with your stupid hippie gimmicks. You’re not educating anyone, dipshit. The whole fucking world knows already! If someone wants to stop smoking, then they will. So shut the fuck up and get back to sipping your iced triple shot vanilla latte, you whiny, self-righteous cunt. Oh yeah, PETA called. They're worried that people aren't going to think they're crazy anymore, because you're stealing the fucking show.

“What's the law now? You can only smoke in your apartment, under a blanket, with all the lights out? Is that the rule now, huh?” – Denis Leary (No Cure for Cancer)

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