Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Greeks Had A Word For It, Part 4

And here is the third of my satirical pieces from the mid-1990s. It was inspired by a Smoke-In organized by Young Americans for Freedom, protesting the rules against smoking in classroom buildings. As I mentioned in the piece, YAF's advance publicity for the event neglected to mention that they were behind it; I've noticed that Christian groups also like to hide their sponsorship of superficially 'hip' recruiting events. YAF had also sponsored a Straight Pride Week at IU, another one of those ideas that defy satire, and which unlike Smoke-Ins have caught on to some extent among homophobes.

My own take on Straight Pride events is that they should be welcomed by gay groups, who should insist on participating to show their support for their straight friends and relatives. After all, they can't help themselves, and we should love them despite their aberrant butch-femme gender roles and repellent lifestyle. Since Gay Pride events nowadays are as likely as not to have straight parade marshalls from PFLAG, why shouldn't Straight Pride events get the condescending blessing of gays? But as usual, I digress...

The aside in my piece about being forced to supply campus space to homosexuals, where we'd have orgies in violation of the sodomy laws, was a slap at campus Right opposition to IU's GLBTQ+pi student office in 1994, not long before this piece was published. Someone, I think the president of College Republicans, had warned that such an office would encourage the practice of sodomy, in violation of state law. Indiana hadn't had a sodomy law on the books since 1977, but IU's "conservatives", or the national groups that supplied their talking points, hadn't caught up with that year yet. I don't know whether that particular College Republican later came out, but several of them did; it should come as no surprise that the campus Right was rife with closet cases, sucking on big stinky cigars being a popular form of displacement in those circles.

Ever since the Smoke-in at Ballantine Hall a few weeks ago, I have been thinking about this controversial issue. What follows are my own original thoughts, with no influence from any special interest or partisan political agenda.

The first thing is, I don't understand why these people have to flaunt their private practices in public. You don't see non-smokers doing it! What these people want to do in their own homes is their own business, but not in public. They just made fools of themselves and their cause, and set the cause of smokers' rights back by fifty years.

The IDS story revealed that the Smoke-In was sponsored by Young Americans for Freedom, a fact that was not on any of the flyers I saw publicizing the event in advance. Evidently this was a stealth action by a group which dares not even put its name on its publicity, so low is its status in the public eye.

And these people expect the University to provide them with enclosed space to indulge their dirty, self-destructive habit! I don't think so. Is this how the taxpayers' dollars should be spent? Is this the educational mission of a great University, to subsidize drug abuse? I suppose a few years down the road, when their damaged hearts and lungs begin to fail them, they'll be demanding the taxpayers to pay for their medical treatment. Well, what you sow is what you reap, in my opinion. Let them take responsibility for their acts, and if they want to poison their bodies, let them do it with their own money.

Though I must admit, I might consider government funding for special camps in which smokers could be segregated from the general population, shielding decent people from second-hand smoke and keeping bad examples out of the sight of children. These camps could be built near, or on, toxic waste dumps as a space-conserving measure. Or better yet, let the tobacco companies pay for it! In the camps they could have all the advertising they want, showing Joe Camel using all the wonderful gifts he got by collecting cigarette coupons, or beautiful models enjoying the pleasures of inhaling tar-laden smoke into their lungs. No medical facilities would be supplied, of course; the tobacco companies don't recognize any health hazards in smoking in the first place, and the sooner these people kill themselves off with their filthy habit, the less of a burden they'll be on society.

If we give special rights to smokers, next we'll have to provide rooms for heroin addicts to "shoot up." How about an official IU Crack House? Then all moral values will be gone, and we'll have to provide space to groups of homosexuals, so they can have orgies in violation of the sodomy laws.

I don't doubt we'll hear more from the militant flaunting smokers, if only because the IDS has given some of the more strident ones space on the Opinion Page to promote their lifestyle. Next, I imagine, they'll want minority status for smokers on campus. And after that, these spineless freeloaders will want affirmative-action programs to admit smokers to the University on a quota system. The remedy is clear: responsible student groups should lobby the State Legislature to cut university funding if such programs are initiated. I'm sure State Representative Woody Burton will be happy to come to Bloomington and explain why smokers, who are not visible as such nor born with their condition, are not a true minority, and deserve no special privileges. The Political Correctness movement is out of control, and must be stopped now!