Lifestyle

Jan. 31, 2016

 

            Social media is a funny thing.  From one view it can bring people together, help advertise for your business, publish your craft or just reconnect with old friends.  On the other side of the coin, it has gotten to the point of utter consumption.  People waste their lives in a virtual world where lies and tricks abound.  And then there’s just the fun and stupid things posted for simple amusement.  A few weeks ago I came across a video on my Facebook feed that was an attempt at just that, humorous hijinks.

            Stand-up comedians, musician and all kind of talented artist publish their materials to the vast abyss known as the internet.  Funny videos of cats, and pranks also show a prevalent presence.  Not too long ago I came across the prank video in question while scrolling through Facebook.  It featured a man wandering around in full robe posing as an Arab.  In all scenes he was carrying a case of some kind, book bag, briefcase etc.  He would slowly approach an unsuspecting victim and toss the case at them and run away full tilt, giving the impression he was a bomber.  This video has gone, as it’s referred to on the internet, viral, which means tons of people across the globe have seen this atrocity.

            The internet is full of jokers, fakers and hoaxes, and whether this particular video was staged, I can’t be certain.  What I can be certain of is the fact that this was in piss poor taste.  With terrorism running rampant in our war riddled world, the last thing people need is for it to be made light of.  If it was a real prank and the victims were truly unsuspecting then it was also dangerous.  When you think you might be dying who knows what you will do.  Run into traffic, crash your car, or endanger the public with a reckless response.  On top of the danger involved, what if this person has family who had been killed in one of countless terrorists’ attacks that flood the headlines?   It could be an emotional murder, tearing what’s left of these people apart. 

            On the other hand, perhaps it was all staged.  Victims are actors, stages are closed.  What was to be gained here, internet celebrity?  It’s ridiculous and the (to be politically incorrect) idiots who produced this prank video should be ashamed of themselves.  People who watch this could so easily be negatively affected by such insensitive nonsense.  It could reopen wounds they’ve spent years trying to heal.  It could send them over the brink of depression and even into suicide.  There are so many negative possibilities, why would they make this?

            If this was a closed set then no crime was committed.  If it was actually a live prank then it has to be considered mischief at the very least, if not assault, or even terrorism in itself.  I think these film makers should be ashamed of themselves and I’d like to see them investigated.  This was shameful and classless and had no purpose but to aggravate.  Regardless of whether it was genuinely a prank or just a staged film, it was disgusting and damaging to the public.   Making light of such a terrible thing is disgusting and if it isn’t a crime, it damn well should be.

Jan. 7, 2016

 

Where there is a flame, someone’s bound to get burned.” Alecia Moore (Pink) sang this about relationships and emotions I believe, yet it was a line that came to mind when I thought about smoking, or, more specifically, its sister “vaping”.

The first to ever conceive of a “smokeless” alternative to smoking actually did it many years earlier than most would have thought. Herbert A. Gilbert patented a device similar to our modern e-cigarettes way back in 1964. Sadly, at that point in time, smoking was still “fashionable” and it’s health concern was, well, no concern at all. With these concerns now ripe and known to everyone, the reprisal of Gilberts idea in 2003 found commercial success at last. The question at hand now is “are we trading in knives for guns”?

I am actually using e-cigarettes myself, but I believe whole-heartedly that it is not the godsend that vaping activists and the vaping corporate machine claim it to be. I’m using them solely as a means to an end, but sadly it seems I’m becoming the minority in the “vaping world”.

This new trend is fast becoming a global empire. Shops are springing up overnight from smallest town to largest city. I live near a small city, of less than 15000 people, located on an island on the east coast of Canada. Yet in this small city at least four vape shops have sprung up over the past few years. On top of this every gas station, convenience store and smoke shop also sells these “alternatives”. But are they really aimed at people quitting smoking? I’m fast becoming a doubter.

It seems the rapid rise of the vaping industry is trumping the decline of the smoking industry. This, to me shows a terrifying truth. We were offered a way out of our addiction, but by accepting we drug many of our young into it instead. Bubble gum, grape, cherry, energy drinks. These are all flavours that are commonly used in our “cessation” devices. Those flavours are not aimed at smokers. Non-smokers now have a way to “smoke” while having the pleasant flavours currently offered. And while studies are still being done on long term effects of vaping, a constant truth remains. Air belongs in our lungs, not smoke nor vapor.

I fear for our young, and the example we are setting. In an age when the dangers of smoking are all too clear there are still old fools, like me, who struggle and fail to cast it aside. And now an alternative is being advertised and geared towards our children. We need to protect them. I’m not giving up on my goal to rid myself of a terrible habit. But I will always make it abundantly clear that vaping is not an alternative. It should only be used to pry ourselves from cigarettes, not as a replacement.