Just like the world is increasingly banning smokers from all walks of public society (restaurants, building fronts, outdoor restaurants, whole cities, etc.), the movies sure are getting in on the act, too.
The CDC just released a report that states smoking in movies is down from previous years. And still, they're brainstorming for "strategies to eliminate smoking in major motion pictures."
Yes, smoking kills. It's a stupid habit, let's agree on that. And the CDC trots out the horrendous stats that prove this sad and well known fact.
But this fight really pisses me off:
Because it's always us evil smokers who are trotted out, held up to ridicule (as if having a potentially lethal addiction isn't punishment enough), chastised and punished—while our boozing counterparts are worshipped and idolized.
Anybody see The Hangover? Yeah, everybody did. It's a genius comedy. And alcohol-related deaths in this country are catastrophically under-reported—because they're often filed under resulting deaths: heart-attacks, car-crashes, suicides, murders, etc. (And, trust, the booze stats that are reported are horrifying enough.)
People do equally destructive damage to themselves and others when they're under the influence. Just ask MADD, if you don't believe me. And do drinkers get burned at the stake for participating in their 80-proof mayhem on film? No, it's funny. It's celebrated.
In The Hangover, Bradley Cooper and pals get so schnockered they have a black-out from the night before (common sign of advanced alcoholism), so, why isn't the medical community screaming bloody murder on that one? Huh?
Or Katherine Heigl getting so inebriated she doesn't really recall sleeping with a guy she can't stand in Knocked Up or John Cusack and his latent frat-boy pack getting so liquored up they barf on cute little animals in Hot Tub Time Machine. The list goes on longer than Charlie Sheen and Keifer Sutherland's combined bar bill.
Yeah, let's forget all that vice-laden debauchery that influences young people to do the same (and many of them die horrible resulting deaths) and zero in just on the nefarious cigarette crowd, why don't we? Those horrible chain-smokers on Mad Men, for starters. Let's get the American Cancer Society to cancel the show, yeah!
Better idea: Let's get out of the business of policing movies altogether. It's just McCarthy baiting Communists all over again, people telling other folks what to do because of their own agendas.
I'm a recovering alcoholic and I lived for The Hangover. It's a funny-ass movie. Get out of my face people, and let me—and the world—see the movies we choose without this government-funded finger-pointing.
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PHOTOS: Up In Smoke