Sunday, January 28, 2007

Thank you for smoking

I slept for almost 10 hours last night and woke up feeling relatively human! It was fantastic!

Anyway when I got to work I found out that it was just me and Matt2, with about an hour of Joey sitting with us after opening. It was so nice to sit and chat to her again, I really missed her and Lara while I was away!

The bonus about working with Matt, besides the fact that he's a really nice person, is that he works pretty much every day and so he's seen pretty miuch everything. Despite this, he's more than happy to let me pick the movie and to watch something again. That is really rare in a staff member, trust me!

So today we watched 'Thank you for smoking' which was brilliant! I don't know what was better, his amazing ability to shift his arguments and keep the opponents completely off balance, or the wqay in which he'd very reasonably allow his opponents to blow holes in their own arguments. It was very impressive and I think the writers deserve an oscar, although, considering the subject matter it's pretty unlikely.

It also brings me back to a topic which I've been quite interested in over the last few years. why is it that the tobacco industry is practically banned from any advertising at all, while adverts for alcohol are everywhere? When I was small, every movie would start with about 5 advrts of very tough guys climbing mountains and skydiving and then smoking. Fair enough, it puts ideas into children's head and so on and so forth. But a little while ago i was at a movie and we counted over 10 adverts for alcohol before the movie started. And I'm not talking beer. I'm talking whiskey and vodka type stuff.

If I was a parent, I would far rather have a teenage kid who smoked than one who drank that stuff.

I'm not saying that smoking is good. I'm just saying that if it's not ok to show an advert for it in any movie (and I'm delighted in the shift in perceptions regarding smoking over the last 10 years), why can you find adverts for alcohol everywhere, even in kiddies animated movies? Surely they should be restricted to movies that are R18, when they're actually applicable to the audience?

Just a thought.

4 comments:

Luke said...

Hmmm...I'm not 100% sure that I'm with you on this one. Unfortunately, alcohol is only really dangerous in excessive ammounts while smoking is hazardous to ones health, irrespective of how much smoke is inhaled. I certainly am not condoning the advertising of alcohol because it's safe, on the contrary! I think that alcohol without a doubt, does more damage to human lives than any amount of smoking but unfortunately, the immediate effects are what people will be worried about and in that regard, smoking is worse...:(

Helen said...

teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS vs emphysema years down the line? Not that either is right, I'm just saying that we should treat both industries similarly. That's all.

Jeff said...

Smoking--Lung cancer & emphysema down the road. 2nd hand smoke, as well.

Alcohol--Liver damage down the road. Drunk driving in the U.S... "A total of 16,694 alcohol-related fatalities were recorded in 2004. That's one death nearly every ½ hour in this country at the hands of someone who was drinking and driving." "Approximately 275,000 persons are injured or disfigured yearly by alcohol-impaired drivers. One third of these are children." (http://www.alcoholalert.com/)

Has Oprah received as much press coverage there as in the U.S. over her new school? I thought her response to why she built one in S.A. rather than the U.S. was interesting--“I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools that I just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn’t there. If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don’t ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school.”

Any thoughts?

Also, friends have told me I'd love Thank You for Smoking. It's on my list.

Tom Cat said...

You probably find that the anti-smoking lobby is far more stronger than the anti-drinking lobby because smoking is more outwardly-disturbing than drinking is and thus it's easier to fight against. Also, you probably find that the anti-smokers are a bunch of alcoholics too. hehe.

but you make a very good point.. food for thought indeed.