Satire is Not a New Art Form, Anti-Smoking, and More Victorian Death Ephemera

This is as good as anti-smoking propaganda gets- from 1870, no less.

Smoking was just as nasty then, it’s just everyone died from other stuff before they could live long enough for smoking to kill ’em.

The longer I’ve been an ex-smoker I absolutely hate the smell of tobacco smoke.  I don’t have much of a sense of smell, and I’m surprised I have that. Even so, the one thing I can always smell is cig smoke, even from far-off, which sucks.  Why can’t I smell peonies and lilacs in May, but I can always smell some inconsiderate bastard’s cigarette?

Perhaps it is cosmic payback for back in the day when I used to smoke at my desk- and it was perfectly cool to be inside, at work and hot-boxing smokes at the same time.   I’m sure I had to annoy someone with my two-pack-a-day habit of hot boxing 120 menthols down to the filters.  My car ended up smelling like a dragon’s colon- because the first thing I would do when I got in the car was light up.  The first thing I did when I quit smoking was pay the detail guys- dearly- to get the cig smell out of my Celica.  It was nasty, and the inside of the glass on a 2000 Celica is not the easiest in the world to get clean- especially the back glass.

She just might be Hitler in drag, spreading the clap.  You never know.  Had to throw that in there. Public service announcement from 1943.

Yes, I am still fascinated with Victorian death art which is macabre, and I should find another hobby, but there is so much cool stuff out there – and not always dealing with the subject of death- which is public domain and is a lot better artwork than I could ever come up with.  I can scribble with Sharpies and that’s about it.  But the Victorians not only did some awesome artwork, there was some pathos there.  It was more grandiose than it should have been, and just plain treacly sweet, which made it cool.

You could get in trouble big time for displaying this in a public school.  You could offend the Muslims, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the militant atheists, the Hare Krishnas, and who knows who else.

The irony here is that kids can go to public school and have this kind of drivel shoved in their faces and that’s perfectly okee-dokie:

As long as it’s not “Christian” or “Moral” in any kind of way, then we tolerate it, kids!

Then again, “tolerance” (especially as it’s defined in regard to political correctness and its associated idiocy) is the wrong word.  Tolerating something doesn’t mean we like it, and it doesn’t mean we encourage it.  I used to tolerate long-assed car rides in 70’s era cars (with no A/C, mind you) pinned in the center of the back seat between two sadistic siblings for hundreds of miles.  I didn’t like it.  I certainly didn’t encourage it.  But, being too weak to end up with any other position besides squashed in the middle, I had to tolerate it.

Tolerance- as it’s framed today- is actually appeasement, which is a very different concept.  Appeasement is the wussy position.   It’s the equivalent of feeding alligators.  No matter how much you feed the alligator he will always be hungry.  Just see how well it worked for Neville Chamberlain.  My oldest sister didn’t stop harassing me and stealing my stuff and kicking my ass just because I sat back and let her keep doing it.  She just did it all the more, until one fine day,  she took my car without permission and ran it out of gasoline and ran it low on oil.  I saw red, and took 17 years of retribution out on her in five minutes.  I don’t approve of physical violence, but something had to give somewhere, and I couldn’t keep on appeasing her any more.   Appeasement just let her know it was OK to keep on kicking my ass and stealing my stuff.  Kicking her ass taught her that it wasn’t OK anymore.

I bet Hitler got a lot of rides back in the day, at least in a figurative way. Carpooling still is a creepy thought though.  It would be my luck I’d end up with a serial killer or someone who insists on cranking up the country music. At least Hitler liked opera.

Hitler wasn’t a role model by any means, but he did have a taste for Wagnerian opera, and I can appreciate that.  I can’t say I approve of Nazism, genocide, or anti-Semitism, but Wagner did write some cool operas.  The only thing difficult about opera is that there aren’t too many operas written in English.  If you plan on going to an opera, or even plan on listening to a recording or watching a DVD, if you can get your mitts on a translation of the libretto first it makes a lot more sense.

I found a Victorian death card (these are common, and I will need to troll for some more good ones) that lent itself quite well to shall we say, electronic embellishment:

Should our current president fail to be re-elected, I’ll be printing these out and passing them out like party favors.

2 thoughts on “Satire is Not a New Art Form, Anti-Smoking, and More Victorian Death Ephemera

  1. As far as Victorian Death Cards go, that one was pretty tame.
    This post had a couple laugh-out-loud moments for me–“Dragon Colon’ and you applying a beatdown to your sister, especially.
    I like Wagner’s music as well, but have never seen any of his operas. I have enough trouble staying in one place for the length of a movie.
    I too am an ex-smoker. Two Packs a day? Good lord! And menthols? I was a pack-a-day smoker, but it’s not unrealistic to assume I could have been a two-pack a day person if smoking indoors was culturally acceptable (it’s so weird that you could smoke at your desk–we’re about the same age and I was NEVER able to smoke at work). But really? Menthols?

    • Yep. Misty Menthol Light 120’s. Down to the filters. Sometimes I’d light the next one off the previous one. Ohio didn’t ban workplace smoking until about 2000, so I had a few years’ worth of lighting up at my desk.

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