Tuesday, May 30, 2006

La verité sans filtre

Saw tonight's SBS doco on the baccy wars and felt suitably outraged, and one of the matters of great interest was the support apparently given to smoking by the film industry of late. Surely we've all gleaned this. And sure we've heard the justifications - it's a historical , it's a nouveau film noir, they all puffed themselves to death in those days, he's just the sort of sadsack wanker who would smoke fifty a day, etc etc.

I've become less and less sympathetic to this line. As the doco pointed out, and it's worth repeating here, Sylvester Stallone was paid $500, 000 for smoking certain brands of cigarettes on-screen. If there's any form of prostitution that should definitely be illegal, surely it's this form.

Here's where governments could play a role. They've stepped in to force companies to display the truth in big bludgeoning letters on packets, why not force film-makers, and the tobacco companies behind them, to issue a similar sickmaking warning accompanying any film that feels it has to show smoking for 'authenticity'? It wouldn't offend non-smokers, much. Likely it'd enhance our sense of smug superiority.

It's a serious matter though. It's youngsters they're targetting, above all. They can be so easily hooked, and it's damn hard to get themselves unhooked. Money for jam for the baccy bastards.

The box above suggests another way of tackling the issue, also mentioned in the doco, and argued for here. Though personally I don't give a fuck about kids swearing. Typical fuckin Yanks.


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