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A Sunny Place for Shady People

Pithy, contrarian, politically incorrect and curmudgeonly rants on sex, money, power and politics and religion and philosophy. In short: Nothing matters, everything changes and there are no guarantees. The rest is rationalization and bribery. (c) Tom Milner 2002-2003. DIRECTORY of offensive POSTS at Archives: 07/09/03. RECOMMENDED BLOGS: Archives: 07/29/03. email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com.

Saturday, November 30, 2002
Monday, December 02, 2002

Smoking cigarettes or cigars is unheathy, we concede.

We smoke only pot and the occassional Cuban, but we get exercised at those who would exile smokers to a secluded Mojave cabin, there to puff their barren lives away. (Some of the more righteous environmentalists might even object to this banishment as cruelty to plants and animals.)

And to ban smoking in bars seems both unnatural and even puritanically oppressive.

Booze, sex and smokes are an old, unbeatable combination.

May they long flourish!

We're certain the Smoking Police (there are such animals) can cite durable statistics on the health consequences of even second hand smoke. And probably in some venues like vegetarian restaurants, tea rooms, the theatre, hospitals and funeral homes the prohibition may make some sense.

But in taverns, roadhouses and honky tonks?

These Anti-Smoking League Nazis remind us of the environmental fascists alluded to above, who also run amuk too often, sheltering the damn snails, turtles and wildflowers and spouting the fables of "Mother Nature."

Whatever happened to letting Natural Selection do its work?

Government needs to leave people alone to choose responsibly for themselves.

Enough Paternalism.


The rant appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Thursday, November 28, 2002
Friday, November 29, 2002

"I am not so much afraid of Death, as ashamed thereof;
'tis the very disgrace and ignominy of our natures, that
in a moment can so disfigure us that our nearest
friends, wife, and children, stand afraid and start at us."

-- Sir Thomas Browne

Death is process, the denouement of the life-play's beginning, middle and end and, as such, in itself, should be embraced, not feared.

Indeed, it is often welcomed as the "poor man's dearest friend."

What we dread is a bad death: prolonged pain and suffering, the vegetative state, the charnel house of the nursing home.

Most doctors are as uncomfortable with thanatopic dialogue as anyone else. And they are also most likely to dole out, through laziness or indifference, an ugly death.

Better equip yourself, especially if you're as old as we are, with an empathetic and agnostic physician who will, however clumsily, execute your end of life instructions -- to whatever tattered letter.

Death entails real planning, not a consultation with the rapacious undertaker for "pre-need."

We're talking health care proxies, living wills, durable powers of attorney and advance directives: in short, plotting a bully death.

As long time members of The Hemlock Society USA we enthusiastically endorse its purposes, one of which is designer suicide.

(We have often wished that Suicide Cultivation got as much air time as Suicide Prevention.)

Avoid the disgrace, the ignominy of a nasty demise.

We are old friends of Suicide and recommend it in the pursuit of the Good Death.


The rant appears on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Thanksgiving is perhaps our favorite of the "major" holidays (the other being Derby Day on May's first Saturday), principally because it's free of religion's taint.

One can be thankful without piety as one can be moral without gods.

We hardly count New Year's much of a holiday anymore, since it's just an excuse for the riff raff to get drunk.

And Easter and Christmas venerate Foul Religion.

We remain thankful for our loved ones, our health and our station. We are even frequently hopeful for world peace, Amtrak trains that run on time and a good death.

We honor no particular tradition: we simply enjoy the food, wine and camaraderie.

This year, however, permit us a maudlin moment to simply thank all of you who read, in increasing numbers, this uplifting rant.


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