Friday, July 3, 2009

Portrait of a Capnophobe

"It is now proved beyond doubt that smoking
is one of the leading causes of statistics."
- Fletcher Knebel, Reader's Digest, December, 1961

Dr Adrian Wong (2nd from the left) acquiring his bedside manner in Manipal, India

This post was inspired by Vijay Kumar Murugavell's instructive comment on "smokophobia" on my previous post... and also Dr. Adrian Wong who said:

Sorry but this has got to be one of the stupidest pro-smoking posts I've read in some time. Seriously, are you for real? No one is against your right to smoke yourself to death. That's your right. However, smoking is hardly the PERSONAL choice many smokers make it out to be.

Everywhere I go, I see smokers puffing away. I am FORCED to breathe in the smoke even though I choose not to smoke. Heck, I have to walk circles around them just to avoid getting poisoned. So, what about MY RIGHT to clean, healthy air? Frankly speaking, if I were the Health Minister, I would BAN the damn things. What are ciggies good for anyway? They do nothing but kill people and the country pays the price of smoking-related illnesses and death.

Again, if you choose to smoke, by all means, go ahead. It's your life. But please do it in the comfort and privacy of your room or car. Please have a thought for other people who do not care for your cancer sticks. We really would love to live a longer, healthier life. Thank you.

capno-, capn-, capnod- (Greek: smoke; vapor; sooty)

capnophobia; also, fumiphobia - (1) An intense hatred, or fear, of smoking or having anyone around who is polluting the air in the immediate vicinity with tobacco smoke; whether from cigarettes, cigars, pipe, or from any similar process of smoke distribution. (2) A fear of smoke exhausts from motor vehicles which are blamed for causing so much pollution in the air.

capnophobiac (s), capnophobiacs (pl) - Those who have a dread, or extreme hatred, of smoking and being around people who are doing it.

capnosis - The smoking of cigarettes, cigars, etc.

capnotic - A person with the smoking habit; pertaining to smoking.

Vijay Kumar Murugavell's enlightening comment:

I have been a smoker for the last 27 years, I don't smoke in no-smoking zones, in front of children, non-smokers or domestic animals. I mean, what next? Gruesome pics on McDonald's wrappers to deter fast food overindulgers? Customized cigarette cases have been selling like hot cakes recently. Allow me to share a series of smokophobia forwards I received by email some time back (author unknown).

What is Smokophobia?

Smokophobia is an irrational fear and intolerance of smoke and smokers, particularly directed against those who are oriented toward tobacco smoke. Smokophobia is one of the most prevalent and "popular" forms of bigotry in our society. In fact, it is a mental illness that afflicts literally millions of people, all of whom irrationally fear those who smoke.

Smokophobia is so entrenched in modern Eurocentric cultures that even seemingly intelligent non-smokers have a hard time seeing it for what it is. Examples of smokophobia include:

The many laws passed against smoking, restricting when and where smokers can partake of their inhalational preference. (Smokophobes have tremendous legal and political clout!)

The countless hate-filled "public service" commercials that make smoking seem "unhealthy" or "unclean."

The "health education" programs in public schools that scare impressionable young children and create dark images of death and disease linked to smoking. (We're not talking about Nazi Germany or the Inquisition: this still happens in 20th century America - even in seemingly "modern" communities like Boston and San Francisco.)

The blatant segregation of restaurants, hotel rooms, and public transportation systems into two classes: non-smoking and smoking, with smokers clearly being treated like second-class citizens.

Efforts of "well-meaning" friends to encourage smokers to quit - as if one's identity as a smoker were a simple matter of choice!

Frequent lies from all sources claiming that smoking "causes" cancer and other diseases, neglecting that fact that everyone is at risk for cancer.

Strong parental opposition to safe smoking education in schools. These parents often forbid their children to ever even try smoking - afraid that their child might discover he or she is a smoker.

Levels of smokophobia

1) Extreme smokophobia. You view smoking as sinful, wrong, or "a crime against nature." You think smoking is unhealthy and kills thousands of people. Smoking is viewed as something to eradicate, even if it requires the force of government to do so. You see smoking as a stupid, harmful "choice" made by others. Tobacco companies are thought to be motivated by "greed."

2) Hateful intolerance. While you may recognize that some people naturally are smokers, you still find smoking repulsive and refuse to be in the same room as smokers. You don't want smokers to baby-sit your children. You aren't troubled when smokers have to leave their workplaces to smoke outdoors - even if it's bitter cold outside. And taxing cigarettes makes perfect sense to you.

3) Well meaning ignorance. You recognize the right of others to smoke, but feel that they are hurting themselves and others by doing so. You may be willing to associate with smokers, but fear breathing too much "second-hand smoke." Smoking is viewed as an act of rebellion or immaturity, possibly even "an addiction."

4a) Limited tolerance. You accept others who have found their identity as smokers and recognize their right to smoke. But you don't want them smoking in your home - and you secretly hope that none of your children turn out to be smokers.

4b) Informed tolerance. You understand that smokers are people just like you and accept them as productive members of society. You recognize that lung cancer can afflict anyone and is not simply "caused" by smoking. You understand that persecution of smokers can cause so much stress that they are susceptible to serious health problems, including lung cancer. You know that inhalational preference is affected by genetics (an obvious fact, since children raised by smokers are much more likely to be smokers themselves).

5) Enlightenment. You realize that smoking is a natural and delightful experience for those with that orientation. You advocate smokers rights and embrace the smoking lifestyle as a valid and wholesome expression of the full human experience. You are not afraid of finding out that you or your children are smokers. You are even willing to take a puff or two to find out. Isn't it about time you enlighten up and rid yourself of smokophobia?

Have you hugged a smoker today?

Am I smokophobic? Many non-smokers are, but to different degrees. You may be smokophobic if you display any one of the following symptoms. The more symptoms you have, the more extreme your phobia is.

Warning signs of smokophobia:

You are afraid to even try smoking a cigarette (or anything else) because you think you might get "addicted." You are uncomfortable sitting next to smokers, fearful that their smoke might "harm" you or make your lungs "unclean."

You would be uncomfortable having a smoker baby-sit your children. You think that smoking causes cancer and kills people. You think that lung cancer is primarily a "smokers' disease."

You think that states should be allowed to pass laws against smoking. You feel upset when you see a smokers' pride parade. When you see a burning building or a hotel fire, you immediately wonder if a smoker is to blame. After spending time with smokers, you feel a compulsive urge to wash your clothes lest others think you, too, are a smoker.
Please, if you are a capnophobe (which is the lexicologically correct term for a smokophobe), seek help immediately. Don't let your ignorance and fear contribute to any more unnecessary deaths of smokers.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

WHAT da fuck gives YOU da right?

I've been smoking since I was 15. Women, they come and go. Tobacco stays. I'm not into beer or whisky, not even the occasional Shandy. Alcohol I can live quite happily without. But I'd fight to the death for my right to light up and enjoy a quiet, untroubled smoke. Without being forced to look at gruesome, ugly images conjured by the world's greatest hypocrites - the World Health Organization.

That's right. The same scam that brought us Herpes, AIDS, SARS, cock & bull flu. They have the power to quarantine you if you so much as sneeze as you go through the airport scanners. They can order schools closed, borders sealed, entire cities evacuated. WHO says it cares about World Health. Yup. Health is BIG business. One of the biggest. After warfare.

I can't remember exactly when these so-called Government Health Warnings first began to appear on cigarette packs. Perhaps in the early 1990s (when George Herbert Walker Bush announced the New World Order). But I sure miss the good old days when all you saw on a pack of cigarettes were cheerful, positive statements like: "Where Particular People Congregate" or "Finest Virginia Blend" or "By Special Appointment to Buckingham Palace, Purveyors of Fine Tobacco Since 1828" or simply "London. New York. Paris. Vladivostok."

Don't these pompous idiots in white smocks realize the great evil they are helping to perpetrate by bombarding us with such negative thoughts and images? If they genuinely desire to promote human health, wealth and welfare, shouldn't they use their collective clout as medical professionals to campaign against patently lethal things like nuclear weapons, depleted uranium, industrial pollution and warfare?

Assuming the Health Authorities are truly sincere about discouraging people from smoking, don't you think they would achieve far better results if they went with upbeat, positive advice on every pack of cigarettes instead of manipulating and reinforcing people's fear of disease and death? A far more acceptable Government Health Warning might read:


Now if they could persuade the tobacco companies to quit putting toxic additives into their commercial blends just to make their cigarettes burn faster - and forbid tobacco farmers from spraying their crops with pesticides - that would be a laudable effort I'd happily support.

Indigenous peoples have enjoyed tobacco for thousands of years. They regard smoking as a sacred ritual. Tobacco represents the plant kingdom, growing from the fertile soil of Mother Earth. When tobacco smoke passes into the lungs it is charged with love from the heart chakra. As the smoke is exhaled, it is blessed with a sense of gratitude for life's pleasures, small and great, and offered as a fragrant incense to Father Sky. This is the sacred meaning of smoking when performed as a conscious ritual. Done this way smoking cannot harm you. Indeed, it can be viewed as a universal form of prayer, honoring the mystical connection between Heaven, Earth and Humanity.

When governments take on the role of nannies, their insincerity and hypocrisy invariably shows. If your government genuinely cares for you, it will channel every effort towards eliminating war from this planet. War not only kills millions of innocents, civilians as well as soldiers - it also contaminates the environment and causes massive damage to ecosystems (think about Agent Orange, radioactive fallout, unexploded bombs and landmines!) The number of war casualties since the beginning of recorded history exceeds by far the number of people who have succumbed to diseases related to smoking. So how come there are no Government Health Warnings printed on every military uniform and painted on every tank, jetfighter and aircraft carrier?

How many people have been killed every day on the roads since the invention of the automobile? Why doesn't the government introduce a law requiring car manufacturers to emblazon every new vehicle with grisly images prominently displayed on the bonnet?

Would you pay RM3.5 million to charge around in one of these?

[Vomit-inducing images supplied by Delan Goh]
I'm aware that smoking and non-smoking are emotional issues, not too different from respect or disrespect for organized religions. The views I offer are entirely subjective. Militant non-smokers are bound to get uptight when they read this post. Just as hardcore Umno members get all rigid whenever they see the phrase Ketuanan Rakyat.

My own honest opinion about smokers and non-smokers is that I've always felt a lot more comfortable and relaxed around people who smoke - whether cigarettes, pipes, cigars, bongs or reefers. My non-smoking friends, as a broad category, tend to be more disciplined, ascetic, fastidious, judgmental and strong-willed (read "somewhat anal" :-). They're the ones who get up with the sun and go jogging and enjoy munching on raw celery. Not that they're actually healthier than my smoking, non-jogging friends... just more uptight and self-righteous about maintaining their precious daily routines.

I used to really enjoy travel, in happier days when you'd be asked at check-in counters, "Smoking or non-smoking? Window or aisle?" Aircraft seemed to have more legroom those days (nope, I haven't grown taller; but as planes get bigger, legroom appears to shrink, mainly because profit-greedy accountants and marketing slicks now run the show). After being served a meal, the smokers at the back of the plane would unfasten their seat belts and light up. Often, conversations with strangers sitting across the aisle would begin at that point. True, non-smokers often complained that their clothes reeked of stale cigarette smoke after the flight - but at least the atmosphere in the planes was a great deal more cheerful and pleasant, especially before the word "terrorism" was invented by the CIA's spindoctors. And your clothes will reek of stale smoke coming out of a pub anyway... unless smoking is banned throughout the world... and drinking too (or else a couple billion nerve-wracked tobacco addicts suffering cold turkey will be tearing up the pavements on berserk drunken binges).

Next will be oral, anal and non-procreative sex. Mark my words, all ye would-be-banners of simple pleasures. One of these days you'll find yourself accosted and detained for grinning too broadly whilst some eager young stud is sucking you off under the table... and you'll end up having to service a prison blockful of hardcore criminals (mostly from Umno/BN, be warned!) for the next 20 years with no weekends off.

You call that PROGRESS
Smoking can cause your dick to get big and hard - that's what I call a warning!

(First posted as a comment on Malaysia Today)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why is Zbigniew "Deeply Troubled"?

Is it because nobody can pronounce or spell his fuckin' name? Check out The Truth Seeker and spice up your reality!


From Malaysiakini, 11 January 2007:

Lampooning for justice - meet Zunar

Not taking sides in politics is one way of taking sides.

These are the words of wisdom from Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, arguably the only political cartoonist in Malaysia who has no qualms about crossing the line.

“If you’re not taking sides, then more often than not, you’re siding with a crook," he added when met a café in Kuala Lumpur recently to talk about the launching of his new book.

Zulkiflee, popularly known as Zunar, said he researches thoroughly before committing his ideas to paper. "I sketch with my heart, and draw with my brain," he explains.

His cartoons have raised many eyebrows, even among the opposition, for its attacks against ruling Barisan Nasional politicians.

Zunar, who also contributes regularly to Malaysiakini, said cartoonists, like journalists, also have a responsibility to speak out against injustices and corruption in all forms.

"In a contest between two uneven opponents - one a giant such as BN with all the government machineries at its disposal, the other a tiny player with all the odds stacked against him - being strictly fair is not actually being just.

"Cartoonists have to criticise those in power, and criticise to the fullest, because they were picked by the people. You don’t criticise those whose homes have been demolished, you criticise the ones who do the demolishing," he said.

"One day, when the field has been levelled, and the press is truly open, then it would be fair and just to criticise both the ruling and opposition," he said.

"When that happens, or if PKR comes to power, I’ll be the first to criticise," added the editor of the PKR organ, Seruan Keadilan.

Memo to President Barack Obama

Dear President Obama,

I doubt you have the time and resources to attend to website feedback but I do hope your staff will at least brief you on IMPORTANT MESSAGES that literally come from out of the blue.

I'll keep this brief.

From watching you deliver speeches via the Internet I am convinced of your vast reserves of intelligence and amazed by the enormous personal charisma that swept you into the White House in the midst of a planetary crisis hitherto unimagined.

Those who have studied the problems in depth are aware of the unseen hands that have long been pulling the strings of the visible power-wielders. We know that previous administrations have often been kept in the dark as regards ET intervention in planetary affairs.

At this juncture it is crucial that your administration bites the bullet and initiates full disclosure of what has been effectively buried under thick layers of secrecy for decades. We have reason to believe that renegade ET factions who feel no emotional resonance with earth humanity are pushing for an apocalyptic agenda in order to "cull" the human population.

Their malign influence is all-pervasive in the traditional power hierarchy and can only be broken when light is shone on dark places. To this end I beseech you to lend your authority as the President of the United States to allowing full disclosure to occur.

There are many who are eager to step forward with irrefutable evidence - but they must be assured of presidential indemnity against prosecution for breaking their oaths of secrecy. I know that going public with this long-concealed information will shake many institutions to their very foundations. But we live in unprecedented times when much is at stake.

I know that you agreed to take on this extraordinary mission at this crucial juncture for a specific purpose - I can sense that it is ultimately a noble one, but you are surrounded by traditional power-wielders who don't really understand what has happened. They think they can grind their heels in and hold the line for another generation.

That is, in fact, impossible.

I can't explain why in this brief message. I feel prompted to contact you via this feedback form on the White House website in the hope that whoever chances upon this communiqué will sense the urgency of the situation and alert you accordingly.

Mr Barack Obama, this goes beyond the USA. The repercussions transcend geopolitics. It is your destiny to helm the most developed nation on earth at this evolutionary crossroads for humanity when we are literally confronted with what Bucky Fuller (40 years ago) described as a choice between Utopia or Oblivion.


Magick River
26 May 2009

Governments are hiding the discovery of clean, free renewable energy. Technologies that would bring the third world nations of the world out of the dark ages and into the modern era. A powerful Cabal of intertwined Corporations and Banking Interests hide the secret to avoid losing the egomanical stranglehold they have on world governments and the flow of currency. As seen on "The Greatest Story Ever Denied" by Jose Escamilla. Watch complete film here.

Bakri Musa on Royal Shenanigans

Malaysian-born Bakri Musa writes frequently on issues affecting his native land. His essays have appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asiaweek, International Herald Tribune, Education Quarterly, SIngapore's Straits Times, and The New Straits Times. His commentary has aired on National Public Radio's Marketplace. His regular column Seeing It My Way appears in Malaysiakini. Bakri's day job (and frequently night time too!) is as a surgeon in private practice in Silicon Valley, California. He and his wife Karen live on a ranch in Morgan Hill.

M. Bakri Musa | Corridors of Power | Malaysia Today | 29 June 2009

“Apologies – at the very least – are called for.” So began an editorial, “Feast of Lies,” that appeared in the New Straits Times on April 27, 2009. Its pontificating tone continues, “… scandalous allegations are leapt on and gnawed to the bone without even a perfunctory attempt at verification ….”

What triggered the righteous indignation of the paper’s editorial writers was the alternative media’s widespread reporting of the shenanigans of the Kelantan royal family. Today, thanks to a brave Malaysian, Kadar Shah Sulaiman, and the professionalism of Singapore’s police personnel, the Kelantan Prince’s estranged wife, Manohara (right), is now free. As the world now knows, her nine-month royal marriage was anything but a fairy tale, at least according to Manohara, which is what matters.

While her husband may be a prince, she discovered too late that he was of the Neanderthal variety. Perhaps her kiss was not powerful enough; the frog still remains in him.

I would have thought that the folks at The New Straits Times, of all people, would not be strangers to royal mischief. All they have to do is review their archives of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

[Read the rest of Bakri's superb essay here.]