The very idea of the Great American Smoke-Out strikes me as ludicrous. Quitting smoking is hard…just ask anyone who’s done it six, eight, or 26 times. What gives any intelligent person reason to believe giving it up for a single day is going to have any effect? Enquiring minds wanna know.
(And by the way…while I’m ranting… I always intentionally misspell “inquiring” as a tip o’ the hat to the National Enquirer. Just wanted you to know, Gentle Reader.)
Semi-related to the above: “Don’t you dare steward me,” in today’s Times (
The illiberal liberals even wheel on J.S.Mill to support coercion. The summary claims that Mill's “classic harm principle” (I thought his classic principle was liberty, but still), backs state intervention “where an individual's actions affect others”. It is hard to think of any non-hermit who does not “affect others”. In fact, what Mill said in On Liberty - quoted in the full report - was that to justify compulsion, an individual's conduct “must be calculated to produce evil to someone else”. It seems that the definition of calculated evil is now to smoke in your living room, feed your family burgers or drink more than a couple of glasses of wine.
Emphasis mine. It’s really hard to tell who’s ahead in the Nanny Sweepstakes…the Brits or us. In either case, a substantial number of people in both countries think “government is the answer,” in the form of more and (ahem) better laws to fix whatever it is that ails us, including quite a lot that doesn’t ail us at all…it, however you wish to define “it,” simply offends the sensibilities of right-thinking people. Ergo: make it illegal. Or tax it. And tax it some more. But sometimes that won’t fly. And if something doesn’t fly, well then…be outraged. Coz it’s for the children.
Aiiieee. My head hurts… and it’s a self-inflicted wound.
This is sorta amusing: Mom and Dad and All Their Baggage. If you think I’m damning the article with faint praise, well…you’re right. There aren’t any LOL moments in this article and, given the subject… which is “what happens when parents come for an extended stay with their adult children,” there should be at least one, if not three or four. I link it not for the writing, but for the simple fact the article might fire off some complimentary synapses of your own. The most interesting thing (to me) about the article is the road not taken. In this case, the article simply touches on something that could/should have received more discussion, that being the “control” issue, or what happens when your child grows up and is no longer actually a child, even though you, as parent, may still see him or her that way. As I said: this was just touched upon, not explored.
I have a few war stories in that space and actually began writing about one of them. And then I deleted 15 minutes worth of fast ‘n’ furious typing. No need to air dirty laundry; the past is past. Even if that past is somewhat amusing and droll. Those stories concerned interactions with my in-laws, The Second Mrs. Pennington’s parents, who came for extended visits with us each and every year of the three years we lived in London. Time (over 25 years of it) has diminished a lot of the angst I used to carry about those visits, but not all. But…I’ll leave it at that. Let’s just characterize those visits as “stressful.”
I hope I’m not causing similar feelings in my daughters-in-law. I’m pretty sensitive about that… based on past experience, and all.