Awareness, Tar Breath, and much, much more!

This week’s column is a bit of a hodge-podge covering issues which, individually, don’t deserve full columns.

  • First, a few announcements. Wait no more- the April issue of the Carolina Review will be distributed Monday. Also, the Carolina Review has now officially sold out to the powers of social networking (of course, long ago we all sold out to big business, the military-industrial complex and the Israeli lobby), and we set up a Facebook page. You can go here to become a fan of your beloved Carolina Review.
  • There is a lot of talk on campus and in the North Carolina State Legislature about smoking policies. The treatment of smokers by those who go out so far out of their way to be inclusive of every other minority group always reminds me of a scene in the South Park (the most reliable source for sound social commentary, that is besides the Carolina Review) episode “The Death Camp of Tolerance.” After walking through the Museum of Tolerance and talking on end about how we need to be tolerant and encourage diversity, the kids and their parents run into a smoker and ridicule him ruthlessly, calling him such infantile names as “tar breath” and “dirty lungs.” So much for compassion for the fringe of society…
  • A quick note on style. With all of the talk of economic policy, you’re bound to hear the politicians and pundits on both sides misuse the verb “grow” as a transitive verb, notably in the clumsy new phrase “grow the economy” (as in, “The stimulus is sure to grow the economy.”). Do people wonder “How can I grow my love for the Carolina Review?” or “How could the CR Editors ever possibly grow their already enormous editorial prowess?” The more precise, less grating phrase would be “foster economic growth” (as in, “Can they seriously believe that the stimulus is going to foster economic growth?”). Perhaps, though, this gives too much credit to abstract economic factors and too little credit to the narcissistic politicians.
  • This is truly a breathtaking season. Spring is blossoming, Carolina basketball is rolling, and we have a few weeks yet until we have to start worrying about exams. But, most importantly, it’s awareness week season! With Feminist Week, Proud to be a Democrat Week, Poverty Week, etc. there’s a week for everyone. At the very least these weeks have helped grow my awareness of awareness weeks. While I applaud the goals of some of these activists (namely, the poverty activists), it seems that awareness events are naturally unproductive. After all, you have to have some level of passion for the issue to even know about these awareness events, let alone go ahead and attend them.

Next week, I’ll post my final review of March Madness. Be there or be square.

9 thoughts on “Awareness, Tar Breath, and much, much more!

  1. Anonymous Reply

    The reason we can talk about diversity and still feel the need to curtail the areas that people are allowed to smoke in should be pretty obvious. Black people don’t trigger my asthma. And no one ever got lung cancer from second-hand Asians.

  2. aninnymouse Reply

    You forgot about Africa Week!

    that was in March…

    i know, madness!

  3. Xanth Reply

    It is not the talking of diversity that is occuring at these events. During the period of southern slavery, it was common to talk of how there was diversity of individuals- and then to place values that were based on these demarcations.

    No, these events are created for the CELEBRATION of individuals being different in either agency or geographical discendency. In both cases, it is the celebration of continuing an action despite opposition or challenges. When you celebrate someone maintaining a tradition from a homeland they never lived in, or you congratulate someone for exhibiting a lifestyle counter to the majority, you are specifically elevating the role of the individual who maintains their choice of agency despite challenges.

    However, the individuals celebrating this diversity then become hypocrites when she/he attacks someone who smokes. Despite a society that in so many ways opposes their actions, they continue to maintain their freedom of agency to smoke. They celebrate it privately or publicly, and yet are attacked for doing so. Worse yet, entire teams of scientists work tirelessly to concoct false results and forge a statistical correlation between their chosen actions and a way of evil. (Yes, the results are false or exaggerated, and when you leave the bubble of the US where it is far too lucrative of a business to attack smoking, you realize people argue for a healthy amount of smoking).

    Thank goodness we live in such an advanced age where people can blindly turn to psuedoscience as a way of confirming their presumption, and use this to legitimize limiting the freedom of action for others! Do it not for ourselves, but our children, and the next generation, and the spirit of every generation, and lets implement our final solution for smokers!!!

  4. WT DOOR Reply

    If there were a white history month, every individual that celebrates it would be called a racist.

    Black history month, Hispanic history month, Women’s history month, and virtually any other month/week/day of awareness is no different than white history month; they are all racist or sexist. As a white male I take offense at all of these things that seem worthy of awareness. What happened to the time when I could call February by its name, and only its name alone? And March? Or even the odd month carved out of both September and October which is now Hispanic history month?

    I am disgusted by the way things have progressed in this nation. If a minority feels that they are being discriminated against in any manner, they should do one of two things. They should either run for office to bring about “change” as they see fit, or they should pack up and go back to where they came from.

    Furthermore, if a poor person has time to campaign to raise awareness about poverty week, don’t you think their time would be better utilized by working, or at least trying to find work?

    And lastly, Nash Keune is the man (but not in March, because that month is reserved for women).

  5. Johnny Q Reply

    WT Door, you are simple-minded, but I love you. There’s no point in arguing with you because you’ll never see the light. Any light, actually.

    haha, and White History month is every day that a child opens a textbook in a classroom

    “Go BACK to yuuuur country.” hahaha

  6. Johnny Q Reply

    By the way, I really can’t help but jump on this: most people who participate in Poverty Awareness Week aren’t actually in poverty.

    Do you try not to make sense?

    How did you get into Carolina?

  7. Nash Keune Reply

    I just want to clear this up. To Anonymous: I completely understand the desire to limit smoking in public areas (emphasis on the “public”). I was just commenting on the tendency (of some people, not necessarily you yourself) to demonize smokers.

  8. Xanth Reply

    I’d argue that the only place you should be able to limit smoking is in your own private property. I fully understand if you won’t let someone smoke inside you own property, but in their own private property, or in public areas, I see no reason for it to be banned.

    The science is not there to prove smoking in public areas is detrimental to the welfare of other individuals, and there is little way to have an unbiased observation of this phenomenon anyways. Do you ever see American doctors trying to test to see if there are any health benefits to moderate smoking? No- cause there is no money for that research, and the population would inherently reject it due to their charismatic guzzling of indoctrination.

    Furthermore, it becomes ludicrous when you suppose the government should intervene to prevent anything that can have a loose correlation to damage to others. Lets say that open displays of homosexuality have encouraged more individuals to exhibit their latent sexual desires (not assuming it was a choice, but that exhibiting this sexual preference was a choice, versus keeping it bottled up). As a result, individuals who were previously in heterosexual relationships, but had homosexual urges are inclined to leave these relationships for a more fulfilling avenue of sexual exploration. Lets say some of these individuals have children- now their families are divorced. This leaves their children statistically much more likely to have less stable relationships, be prone to violence, or resort to drug abuse. The correlation is stronger than any clear correlation drawn between second hand smoke and peripheral deaths, yet you would be strongly inclined to say the government shouldn’t prohibit the expression of homosexuality in public. The same type of argument can be connected to a vast array of issues- linking something we consider a free choice to a statistical propensity for death, violence, or anti-social behavior.

    You MUST maintain your agency as an individual. If someone is smoking near you, either walk away, or discuss the mater in a civil manner with them. Use your own potential, versus turning over your agency to the government, and hoping for results. When you blindly hand over your ability to act to the government, and empower the government as an organ to act on your behalf to limit the freedoms and agency of others, you are not only breaking the foundations of the Democratic practice, but you are encouraging a system of power relations commonly referred to as “clientelism”, “authoritarianism”, or “fascism”.

    And I like White History Month as a straw-man argument to attack specifically focusing on one element of diversity. Honestly, we shouldn’t publicly celebrate any specific diversity or oragin. You can be proud of who you are, but you are setting back the benefical (and highly liberal) development of the “universal citizen” when you refuse to exist as an individual, and instead exist purely as an association with someone else.

    Just be yourself, be the best you can be, and stop trying to look to some synthetic association to gain a higher power. Its funny that these individuals often attack organized religion, and yet here they find refuge in not being individuals, but hiding in the shadows of a more powerful being. I think they tried that afew times with nationality specifically- go look up National Christianity. But you wouldn’t want to see that everything you’ve believed in as liberal was simply a throwback philosophically to Hitler. Its so much more fun to dance the dance without realizing you’re a puppet on strings.

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