Sunday, 13 January 2008

It's a New Day, It's a New Dawn, and I'm Feeling Good

It’s a new year, a new outlook.

Monkeypipe always finds these dark, cold months of calendar rebirth strangely conflicting. I try to remain optimistic, positive and upbeat about the myriad possibilities of the new dawn, however, for every prism fresh, dewy morning of perfect newness of beauty, there’s a behind a fat person in ill-fitting Ugg boots on the escalator, so that they look like an inflated person slowly deflating moment of ugliness.

At the moment, the beautiful side is winning, I’m even finding the bedraggled, white-haired, White Lightening fuelled spitter that lives outside the local library oddly right in their place in the world.

One thing that does stand out though, is smokers. Now relegated to hanging around in doorways like glue sniffers, they are such a pathetic bunch. Obviously intent to cling to the dream that smoking is social, and that, hey, banning it has just produced another wonderful route of camaraderie that we do so well, standing up to the man by hanging outside, in these wonderful groups of lively chatter – these symposiums of hazy perfection – a new, more carcinogenic age of love. It hasn’t. Just stand near the local J D Whetherspoons pub for a few hours, and you get an idea of what smokers look like now.

All the cheap, page filling articles about how the real smell of pubs will become apparent now, and how smoking was just clean fun you thought police Nazis, are revealed to be little more than the spoilt whining of the same whining group of whiners that does nothing but whine when there backs are against the wall.

I was once told an apocryphal tale of a big time Hollywood director sitting into his chair for the first day of filming on a high budget blockbuster. He lit up a cigar, only to be approached by one of the producers and told that there was a no smoking policy in the work place in LA. The director removed the cigar from his mouth and said ‘there’s a nice studio in England that I can smoke in, either we put the production on hold and move it over to there, or you leave me alone to enjoy my cigar.’ He probably said it in a really wheezy, whiny voice though.

It must be made clear that I am not either a smoking is evil ban it activist, nor a converted born again non-smoker, I used to smoke, but quit several years ago – my method of weaning myself off of tobacco, apart from witnessing several deaths, was to take up pipe smoking, which does nothing but highlight the ridiculousness of the activity in lurid day-glo colours. I don’t hate smokers, I just think they smell bad and are stupid.

There are so many reasons to feel good about 2008, and we are only two weeks into the fifty-two week run. I’m going to try and find the beauty in all things, at least for the first few months, start as one means to go on, and all that.

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