Wednesday 5 August 2015

On Being On The Side Of The Angels

Things have been hectic in Puddlecoteville and beyond recently, so there is a lot to catch up on. I thought we might start with this from Brendan O'Neill in Newsweek at the weekend.

Commenting on Oxford students demanding a statue of Cecil Rhodes be removed, O'Neill pointed out that such denial of history is something only tyrannical regimes would even consider.
[ISIS's] English-language magazine Dabiq justified the destruction of artifacts at Mosul Museum in Iraq as a means of "erasing the legacy of a ruined nation." It boasts of having "laid to waste the...legacy of a nation that had long passed from the face of the Earth." 
What ISIS and the Oxford lot share in common is a Year Zero attitude, a desire to rewrite history. It’s a deeply authoritarian instinct: not merely to discuss the past and challenge its events and ideas, but to cleanse all remnants of it from the present. It's cultural cleansing, disguised as an Islamic duty by ISIS and as radical anti-racism by Oxford students.
I couldn't let this pass without adding another hideous set of intolerant re-writers of history to that list, they being psychotic anti-smoking nutcases.

There are too many examples to choose from to illustrate this phenomenon, it occurs occasionally when some rancid smoke-hating inadequate allows the red mist to descend and shows themself up to be incapable of living in decent society. I wrote about just such an unknown pathetic individual from the past in 2010 which you may be interested to read if you're new around here.

By the same token, a statue of Oscar Wilde in London has been so regularly vandalised by anti-smoking cocksockets that Westminster City Council gave up.
Suffolk artist Maggi Hambling's sculpture of the Irish poet, playwright and author in London has been targeted three times by vandals who have sawn off the cigarette he holds. 
Hambling, who lives near the Suffolk coast, has said she will not replace the cigarette for a fourth time until Westminster City Council installs CCTV to ensure it is protected. 
But the council has now said it cannot justify spending money on security cameras because there is not a “serious problem” with vandalism in the area. 
[Hambling said] “The way Oscar Wilde held his cigarette completes the sculpture as a piece of work. It's vitally necessary and very seldom was he seen without a cigarette. It's very much part of the portrait of Wilde. 
“It's very sad indeed if someone thinks a sculpture of someone from the past must be crucified like this because of the anti-smoking fanatics about. 
“Are people going to start airbrushing Winston Churchill's cigars or Humphrey Bogart's cigarettes?"
Well, it's funny she should say that, because that's exactly what some ungrateful socially-deficient obsessive did a couple of years after Hambling said that.

Which serves as a very apt juxtaposition. Andrew Marr, in his Making of Modern Britain documentary in 2009, suggested that "the greatest Briton of all time" would have been firmly on our side if alive today.
One phrase that would certainly have resonated with the old boy is 'health Nazi' - the interfering busybodies who instruct us on what is good or bad for our health. 
He never drank quite as much as he pretended to, but his consumption was still oceanic compared to modern recommendations, and life without cigar-smoking he would have regarded as barbaric. He came from a big-eating, heavy-drinking, tobacco-consuming generation which paid for their pleasures by dying earlier but - it might be argued - had a happier time before the final call.
Lined up with us against intolerant fascistic fucknuckles are the type of people who fought fascism; abhor censorship; condemn falsification of history; and reject denial of reality, while those ranged up against tolerance and freedom of choice can comfortably be compared with a certain smoke-hating former German dictator - who Churchill defended Britain against - and ISIS in their methods.

This is why when I say we are on the side of the angels here, and that tobacco control tax spongers deserve prison time for encouraging such hate and division in our population, I really do mean it.

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