Thursday, 6 December 2012

Blip: Stop Smoking, prevent the holocaust.

Australia have now fully passed the anti-advertising law on cigarettes, specifically with regards to cigarette packets. Now the brand and variant (i.e. who makes them and what type they are) appear as stock font labels hidden away at the bottom of the packet and the pictures of the packet are set by the government.

The pictures are all of conditions that have been shown to have any connection to smoking, although most of the time they aren’t conditions with a direct causal relationship, just a vague probability shifting one. If this is to be the start of the government deciding what we can and can’t do to our bodies to ‘look after our health’ (which is slang for ‘control every aspect of your lives so we can to keep you mindlessly toiling like little worker ants’) then where does it end?

I appreciate that a slippery slope argument is a fallacious thing; to say that one event will necessarily lead to another and another without chance of something else happening is in direct contradiction to chaos theory and makes no logical sense. What I’m doing, more so, is pointing out  the inherent hypocrisy of what they’re doing.

If we truly are mindless drones and it’s their job to look after us as one does with a child, why doesn’t this system exist with other things? Everything even? Allow me to furnish you with an exhaustive list:

-First off, the obvious one: Alcohol. Why don’t bottles of wine and cans of lager have their advertising removed and instead show up close pictures of cirrhosis of the liver, drunken vomiting and unwanted pregnancy? I can tell you why, because the risks are uncertain and it’s none of their business to try to scare us away from things, anyway, moving on.

-Sugary sweets: ‘Eat this and your foot will fall off’, why not? There is a vague semblance of a link with diabetes and foot amputations. Replace the Rowntrees logo with a severed foot.

-Salty snacks (i.e. crisps, pork scratchings, peanuts): How about show piles of dead, dehydrated bodies. It’s true that if you eat lots of salty food and don’t drink enough you’ll become dehydrated very quickly, separately, it’s true that you can, in the right circumstance, die of dehydration.

-Fast food: huge, blown up pictures of obese people’s fat flaps should be printed straight on to the food and their dwarfed genitalia overwhelmed by the jiggling mass of overgrown fat reserves could stand in the place of company logos. Mcdonalds golden arches? How about the bowed legs of an obese person who has severely damaged knees?

-Paracetamol (Tylenol): This is easy: pools of massless vomit. It can happen if you take loads and loads, usually only present in suicide attempts but it still isn’t technically lying.

-Why limit it to food? Maybe BMW should change their name to Big Massive Wrecks and their brochures should be filled with dead people lying slumped against their steering wheels, people burnt or suffocated to death in overturned cars and gigantic 10-car pileups.

-Televisions: people in the middle of being electrocuted.

-Matches: Do I really need to say it?

-Conservative party (middle-right political party): How about gas chambers full of scrambling Jews gasping for breath? That isn’t a lie, that’s what right-wing politics leads to 100% of the time. Just like how cigarettes lead to lung cancer 100% of the time and emphysema 100% of the time and all those other diseases in the pictures. Oh wait, they don’t?

Pop and I have a very simple method to detect if a piece of reasoning makes sense. If you can reword the statement without changing its content and elicit the response ‘sounds silly when you put it like that’, you should disregard the original reasoning.

Putting pictures of what will happen to you if you smoke (however unproven), says I should warn people about the automatically harmful effects of right-wing politics (leads to Hitler) and left-wing politics (leads to Stalin) because that is what will happen, guaranteed. Sounds silly when I put it like that, doesn’t it?


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