Where there’s smoke, there’s ire.

06/05/2016 § 2 Comments

Tuesday night was Budget night. It was about money. Some of that money is the amount of money smokers will have to pay ($40 a pack, folks). But smokers need not get upset. All that tax is a tidy little nest egg to pay for their eventual medical expenses. Call it emphysemasuperannuation.

Critics have labelled it another tax on the poor. It saddens me to think people choose to deprive their children of food and other necessities because they need their smokes. Sometimes, with limited cash, they have to choose between their kids and their addiction. And sometimes the kids come second.

Young miserable woman feeling secluded

So I think it’s time all smokers (not just the poor ones) gave up.

Easily said. But although it’s not easily done, it can be done. And maybe this hefty hike can be the final motivator.

I say ‘final’ because smokers are being pushed toward giving up all the time. No smoking in restaurants, then pubs, then covered areas, then some outdoor spaces. There’s fewer and fewer places to enjoy a slow, relaxing puff. You duck outside your own home for the sake of family members and the neighbour complains. Pardon the pun but it’s a drag.

And what is the motivator for youngsters to take up smoking? We can’t blame advertising anymore. Is it still cool? When I was at school, people would fit in one of four categories.

  1.  the hard working study types
  2. the sporty ones
  3. the artists and musicians
  4. the cool kids

Groups 3 and 4 were fairly well represented with smokers. But things are different now. Any one person can easily identify with all four groups. And you can be cool without smoking. So why?


I was talking with Zac last Saturday. He asked about this blog and why I haven’t written anything for over two years(!). I really have no excuse. So here’s a pic I took of him.


Crying all the way to the Banksy

27/05/2012 § 2 Comments

This happened over a week ago so it’s old news but I’ve been busy, OK. Plus I wanted to make this little animated gif here.

So, in Melbourne some builders knocked a hole in a wall and obliterated a Banksy that’s been there for fifteen years. They thought graffiti is graffiti and didn’t think twice. Apparently it was worth about $50,000 (don’t ask me how that works).
Some people are outraged and are calling for councils to find ways to preserve street art. Others are able to shrug it of by pointing to street art’s ephemeral nature. I belong to the latter group. Let’s face it, he had a pretty long life for a piece of street art. And according to my trusty online rat/human age calculator
15 rat years equals 428 human years. Not bad.
But what does Banksy think? If he wasn’t such a hide-and-seeky recluse we could ask him. From the little I know, I would guess that he sees the funny side.
For me, the funny side is the hole. They didn’t just clip a whisker or chop off the tail. No, it’s as if they said: “Where do want the pipes to go through?” “I reckon right through the middle of that rat there.” “No worries.”
If you’re going to do a job, do it well.

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