I’m not one to advocate smoking but I do find it offensive when people want to ban the arts, live or on film, from showing cigarette smoking or cigar smoking. On the screen it is cool. In the play, Jersey Boys- about the musical rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Season. There is smoking going on in the stage, and back in the early sixties, people were smoking- On reruns of episodes of “Get Smart” almost every episode has Max or 99 with a lit cigarette in hand. And in recent Tv and movies, the art of smoking is coming back in full form- for example the recently blockbuster- the Incredible Hulk with Ed Norton- has General “Thunderbolt Ross smoking –in fact it has some health groups advocating that the movie rating board- downgrades the rating from a PG-13 to a “R” rating. In the AMC television series, “Mad Men”- they are constantly smoking- It takes place in the hey days of advertising in the early 60’s- it also has taken some criticism- but also has gotten critical praise. There was a argument for the “Jersey Boys” in their Chicago run to put out the cigarettes- because the theatre was smoke free building. Never mind the crude language and other adult situations go on during the play, but the “smoking” – sorry guys, that a No-No (Please note sarcasm, here).
By the way, I can not stand the way people come back from break or in elevators smelling like lit chimneys. But I don’t hate them..I just cant believe they want to have an odor around them. That’s why in movies, or in TV or most plays- when you see people smoke- there is no stench. I can live with that. So what do we do about the people who want to penalize the artists and venues of artists who are showing smoke laden art. Are they right or are they censors of the arts? There are people who believe that seeing smokers on the big screen or small screen will make kids want to smoke, because obviously real people don’t smoke outside the jewel food stores delivery doors. Maybe on TV and movies- there should be a Icon of a cigarette in a bubble that denotes smoking takes place in this art medium. Perhaps all vices big and small should not be mirrored on the screen and we should just see people talking..of course talking leads to talkers- talkers lead to other talkers and other talkers then go to all night diners and sit around and talk and.. smoke.. damn.. alright.. just have people standing around and not talking.. they are just standing.. wow, a 3 hour movie about people just standing.. didn't’t Andy Warhol do a movie about that? Or maybe, they would be just.. walking.. good.. just walking for blocks No, for miles and miles and they would walk so far- they would be in the desert and of course in the desert- you would find a camel- and then the came would remind me of Camel Cigarettes and then I would go out and smoke.. dang!!.. Art is obviously going to be fine without the casual smoker in the frame, but that would be the artists choice.. Just like smoking or not smoking is my choice, and of course the Tobacco lobby in Washington DC, which financed this fine blog. Ca- Ching!! Thank you for Smoking in the arts!!