Just started listening to the Dear Hank & John podcast, which is sadly not on Spotify and therefore I have to tolerate Soundcloud. One of the questions was about Gandalf and Dumbledore, and John ended up asking Hank which of the two he’d prefer to be and why. Hank wasn’t so sure, but John was definitely a Dumbledore guy. One of the reasons why is because Gandalf smokes, and to quote John, “I find smoking to be a despicable, reprehensible habit and something that Dumbledore would never take up.” To which Hank replied, “Yeah, Dumbledore just eats candy a lot.” John then drove his point home and said, “Exactly. Would you rather be a guy who can blow very fancy smoke rings or just a guy who enjoys candy?” But then later Hank pointed out, “You also have to look at where each of them is at the end of the story, and we won’t talk any more about that.”
(from http://solitarymoment.tumblr.com/post/157232465498 // credits to the creator)
Which is timely af, because Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte just approved a nationwide smoking ban, similar to the one he’d approved when he was mayor of Davao City. Recently, (though knowing me, this is within the span of at least three years) my parents have started smoking again. They’d stopped when I was younger because my dad used to be asthmatic, and so was my brother. The operative words being “used to”. But my uncle and my late grandfather smoked all the time anyway, which is why my uncle is now susceptible to illnesses in his old age, and why my grandfather, along with his diabetes, was vulnerable as well. I’d asked my mom once that is she should get lung cancer, or sick at all, due to smoking, if I’m responsible for getting her help, and she said “of course,” as if it’s my fault she’d smoked at all. I have friends that smoke as well, and I remember just stepping away from them when they’re smoking, even though they do insist on hanging out with me anyway. I usually just stand at least ten steps away when they do smoke. I do not like anything about it, but most especially the smell, to which they adapt to like after taking up the habit. If that doesn’t scream “harmful” I dunno what does.
I wonder if it’s similar to liking the smell of burning matches or gasoline. Either way, those things aren’t really good for you.
Smoking is just all around terrible. They cost you money to buy, and most people dispose of them by just throwing them all willy-nilly on the street. Secondhand smoking and thirdhand smoking (yes, it’s a thing) are even more harmful than firsthand, indicating apathy. It’s also harmful to the environment. So bad for your wallet, bad for the people around you, and bad for mother earth. And when I ask people why they take up the habit, they tell me it relieves stress. Okay then.
But it does lead me to wonder what other habits we’ve taken up that is/will be bad for us. In general, materialistic things are bad… I guess? In the grand scheme of things, retail therapy is just buying things to compensate for all the effort and shit about having to work, usually a thankless job, things that you don’t necessarily need. And in within five years, you end up replacing it or throwing it out. All that garbage then piles up, and as much a recycling is an option, it doesn’t account for all the other waste that humanity excretes. No pun intended. There isn’t a shortage of movies that have end-of-the-world elements, either. I’m not talking about solely apocalyptic/dystopian films. For example, Inferno, the third Dan Brown book adapted into a movie (no, I hadn’t read the books), was about engineering a plague to target a great majority of the world’s population, so that we don’t end up clamoring for the world’s dwindling resources in the next few years. That, and the inevitable, and overdue, disaster that ought to deface the world as we know it.
So I won’t stop people from smoking. I won’t start liking it, but definitely won’t guilt trip them into stopping. At least half of them should know it’s significantly detrimental to everyone, and if they don’t, they aren’t really the only people doing shitty things despite them being shitty. And since shitty things happen anyway, it’s just exhausting making all this effort towards something futile. (This is the cynicism I stand for btw)
At the end of the day, whether you favor smoking or candy, you will die. Everyone will die. The world will end eventually. So be hedonistic, I say, because these are things you can’t take with you in the afterlife, if there is one. Carpe diem. Just try not to hurt the ones around you while you’re at it. Save the harm that you inflict for yourself. You are responsible for your own actions after all. But just fyi, too much candy never hurt anybody. Except maybe diabetes. Or at least sugar rush.
eschatology – was defined by John Green as something like the study of the end of the world/apocalypse. I went with that, rather than the religious definition, because eh.
This was also meant for le Monday blog post, but instead is uploaded late for this Wednesday. Will post another for International Women’s Day, though, because duh.
I update every Monday-Wednesday-Friday-(and sometimes)Sunday night! I’m always present on social media, @thcynicalnerd on Instagram and Tumblr, @nerdTHEcynical on Twitter and Snapchat 🙂