Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To Chew or Not to Chew?


A local news channel posted on its Facebook page the following question: A congressman has asked the Giants and the Rangers not to chew tobacco on the field in this year's World Series. What do you think about that?

Almost everyone has responded by excoriating the congressman for not attending to more important things and by defending the right of baseball players to do what baseball players have always done. Yet, as you might suspect, I posted a rather different response that, despite its deliberate rhetorical excess, makes what I consider to be some valid points:

Why do any of you care if a congressman merely ASKS the players not to chew tobacco during the World Series? He's not trying to legislate against tobacco chewing. Apparently nobody else had the testicular fortitude to do it, so he stepped up to the plate to try to spare our nation's impressionable youth from being exposed to that vile habit during American baseball's most visible and iconic event. You should be applauding him for what he did instead of condemning him for it! How is it that you've allowed your exaggerated, reflexive hatred of government to override your concern for the health and well-being of your children?

The only problem I have with the good congressman is his naivety in thinking that major league baseball players are smart enough to heed his intelligent advice or that they give a damn about our children or anyone else but their overpaid and overly famous and pampered selves.

6 comments:

Anton Chigurh said...

If life is meaningless, what can possibly be your objection to enjoying a little snuff before we return to nothingness?

Besides, atheism is more harmful to one's health and longevity than chewing tobacco.

Nagarjuna said...

What an interesting character you've chosen to name yourself after (this time)! ;-)

And you do raise a provocative question. If life IS meaningless, what does it really matter if we or our kids screw it up with harmful vices like tobacco chewing?

I'm not sure what you mean by "meaningless" and, by implication, "meaningful." I understand one meaning of "meaning" to be definition. That is, a word means its definition. Thus, life DOES have a meaning. The meaning of "life" is what we define life as being.

And it seems to me that whether we define life in physical, biological, philosophical, theological, or other terms, we want to optimize our lives. And chewing tobacco is a dubious way to do that.

Still, I'm not for legally prohibiting the use of chewing tobacco on or off the field. But I'm also not for major league baseball's icons chewing and spitting tobacco in front of impressionable children in the World Series, and I wish they'd VOLUNTARILY stop doing it.

As for atheism allegedly being more harmful than chewing tobacco, where's your proof of this?

Anton said...

You are confusing meaning and fantasy. Real meaning can only exist in relation to an absolute. Otherwise it's just an ephemeral self-deception. And since it's only self-deception, why not at least deceive yourself with something pleasant?

Just the latest proof, but there's plenty more. But for the vast majority of people who chew tobacco, there are no harmful consequences. In contrast, some 50,000 Americans die (not to mention those who are maimed and paralyzed) each year in automobile accidents -- which is not surprising, what with emotionally unbalanced folks such as yourself out there on the road. There's a perfect example of how your absence of religious peace may well end up killing you.

Nagarjuna said...

*I'm "confusing meaning with fantasy"? Almost everything I've ever "heard" you say sounds aphoristic and profound until I try to figure out what it really means and realize that I don't have a clue. Yes, clueless Curless I am.

*"Absolute" God condones chewing tobacco and doing it in front of admiring kids?

*If I don't believe in God, I can force myself to do so?

*I've taken that road incident to heart and have subsequently resisted any urges while driving to visibly express my displeasure with other people's driving. I'd venture to guess that I've never been more "emotionally unbalanced" behind the wheel than most drivers I see around me, including the guy who almost jumped out of his SUV to confront me AND including theist drivers, and I'm probably even less "unbalanced" since that incident.

Anton said...

"I've subsequently resisted any urges while driving to visibly express my displeasure with other people's driving."

Impossible. That would require free will.

Nagarjuna said...

"Free" will, or just will? I will to drive more mindfully and with less upsetability, but WHY do I do it?