weekend nights, on the city sidewalk - not too far from dens of disgust. The denizens get all huffy. Oh come on, once ya set foot inside the bar, there's enough noise to be heard three counties over. Hey, i remember back in the day, people absolutely NOT liking the Gospel; so ya know what, people simply ignored those preachers and kept a polite distance. But of course, that's old-school. Oh, and boy-howdy, the denizens of today just keep on waxing weirder. Back in my day (yeah i'm old, so what!) it was clear enough, who was a guy, and who was a gal; we all wore bummy jeans and t-shirts. Skanky stuff went on, but if you simply wanted to drink your beer - and head home alone - you could certainly relax at that bar, without your eyes and ears being assaulted by weirdness. Back then, weirdness wasn't kow-towed to. If ya were ... well okay, it's a public place, just don't make a big look-at-ME, ME, MMEEEEE issue.
Anyway, back to the sermons. The most annoying preaching, doesn't come from those Gospel dudes - standing outside in 15 degrees. The sermons that are a real bristle-fest, are the ones coming from the secular-side. A few years ago, (in all places) the Huffington Post had run a series of articles, where they had interviewed people who are scrambling from one crappiod, part-time job to another of the same. One 20s-30s woman in particular would get a bit ticked off, when some busy-body would JUDGE her for buying cigarettes. The usual sing-songee, darwininian-based holier-than-thou one-liners. "Well, you shouldn't be spending your money on ..."
Some 35 years ago, Marie at work - who did not smoke, and had no desire to smoke - said this about some nosy who didn't want to help some poor dude, because ... well, he had money for cigarettes. Yay, Marie, cause here is how she responded to that busy-body. "You either want to help poor people, or you don't!" Yaay, Marie - she could smell b.s. standing a mile away, with a head-cold. Okay, back to the Huffington article (which is probably out there somewhere). The physically-fit woman said that smoking not only eased off the distress, (and gripping fear) the smokes killed her appetite for food.
Now, coming forward to today. Here in the state i live in, smokes are rather heavily taxed. A cheapo brand runs close to $7. Seven dollars a day can keep a single person reasonably fed. However, the busy-bodies - who have NO experience with poverty - really need to shut the heck up. First off: when you are poor, it is likely, your living quarters are less than cooking/dining friendly. It was either the smoker, or someone else interviewed by Huffington, who said that cooking tended to draw roaches. And how's this for a newsflash: yeah, you can keep your place clean, but what you will have is clean roaches - fewer roaches, oh yeah, but still, getting up in the middle of the night ... lived in this apartment back in the day. Oh, but that's not it. Okay, so ya quit smoking (and want to freaking strangle that smirkey painted Jezebel behind the counter) and like a good little droid, ya go to the grocery store. Well, guess what, when your funds are very low, that's the last place you ought to set foot; very depressing - like punishing, depressing - to see all kinds of stuff you NEED (uhm, like dish soap, fruit and veges, window cleaner, a decent mop-head, light-bulbs (can't just buy one bulb - for the dinky, rather dingy, kitchen), a decent toothbrush...) but barely have the money for food.
This short post is not advocating smoking. This post is merely advocating (what used to be fairly) common empathy toward other people & their situations - of which, many Americans haven't a clue.