Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nanny state annoyances

Chris has an interesting post speculating whether the propensity of governments to indulge in the nannying we've all got used to has anything to do with prosperity.

The way people go on now, sometimes I wonder how me and my sister survived the 1970s, what with us seatbeltless, upside down in the back of the car with my dad tearing down the motorway smoking a fag. And our diet would be considered an abomination today. Yet strangely, we've both survived. I feel I'm living on borrowed time, myself. My sister doesn't - she's much healthier than me.

One of the points of the post is that the governments of the 1970s didn't have time to bother about this shit - they had stagflation and industrial unrest to occupy them. We might be back to this sort of thing now - but the nannying is left ratcheted up, as it were. All of which brings me to today's petty irritation...

I bought my first packet of fags with the new pictorial health warnings on them. They're just brilliant, aren't they? Mine warned that,
"Smoking can damage the sperm and decreases fertility."
Some of the words are in red just in case you missed the point. Hmph! Decreases - but clearly doesn't eliminate, I think you'll find. I have a child to prove it. Whaddaya mean, he might not be mine? He looks like me and everything - only smaller.

Anyway, the picture on the fag packet isn't one of a man looking forlorn in a playpark because he has no children of his own to drive him mental. No - it's of sperm under a microscope. And who exactly the fuck is this picture for, eh? Damn it all, I know what sperm under the microscope looks like! Not that I have examined my own in this way, you understand - that would be weird.

Here's another one - not from this country but it catches the flavour.

I mean, really! I already know what a goddam baby looks like (see above). Anyway, I've had the coil fitted recently so I'm pretty sure I'm not pregnant.

The campaign is clearly directed at smokers who don't know what stuff looks like. But how many of these are there really? I'm thinking they haven't thought this one through.

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