Thursday, June 01, 2006

Deliciously fallacious.

Delhi, Ontario is a small town in the middle of a region which has, for over a century, grown tobacco as its main cash crop. Tobacco farming has pumped countless millions of dollars into the area, and was even the subject of a Stompin' Tom song, "Tillsonburg." ("My back still hurts when I hear that word," Mr. Connors opined, as he recalled the arduous task of bending over and picking the leaves by hand.)

Just to show you how fully-integrated tobacco farming is into the region, consider this: high schools in Elgin County have always started classes one week after Labour Day. This is because the end of August and the first week of September are prime tobacco-harvesting season, providing work for many a teenager (including my buddy Dan who, because we were in Lambton County and school started the day after Labour Day, would always miss the first few days of class).

However, as of yesterday it's quite illegal to smoke Elgin County tobacco in a lot more places in Ontario than before. Being a non-smoker myself, I really don't mind; it doesn't impinge on my rights one bit. However, as mentioned in the London Free Press today, some residents of Delhi, who have fallen on hard times as people continue quitting smoking, aren't too happy. And, because the Free Press is a Sun publication (unfortunately; they were Ontario's last independent paper of any importance before getting bought-out in the '90s), I'll respond to these quotes in the same snarky, Toronto Sun-style one-liner style you'd see if you were ever unfortunate enough to have picked up that shit-rag.

"It's communism," said Jerry from the aforementioned town. "Our fathers fought against communism and now the government is here trying to take away our freedom. I say, 'Get rid of the government'."
The last time I checked, Jerry, our fathers fought against Nazis alongside "Uncle Joe's" red Soviet commies

Jean Brown offered this opinion: "They try to make you feel guilty because you smoke, but it is not my fault. It is not fair, it is just not fair."
It's not your fault that you (a.) started smoking, and (b.) continue to choose to smoke? Of course it isn't, blame the rat-finks at Queen's Park

A local club, German Hall, is run by a fellow named Joe Csoff, who observed, "They say they are doing it for health reasons. But it is not about health, it is about votes. If they are going to stop smoking, why doesn't the government stop drinking and everything else that is toxic? Why pick on one?"
Because if you knock back a Manhattan, you don't damage the livers of everyone lucky enough to breathe the same air you do

It's unfortunate that Delhi, and that whole region, is experiencing economic hardships. But really, what else do you expect? When they found out that DDT was an environmental wrecking-ball, were families of workers at the factories that produced that chemical similarly up-in-arms? "DDT has built this town, and now they say it lingers in the environment for decades and accumulates in animal tissues and is causing widespread destruction in natural habitats. Okay, so it's a little hazardous, but so are cheeseburgers. Why don't these communists get rid of cheeseburgers too?"

No comments: