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Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song

GUEST,guest 26 Dec 09 - 10:50 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Dec 09 - 10:58 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 10:50 AM

Smokers Are Scum        12-25-09, by C.Denney
(a holiday song; gentle commentary on one of the obvious perils of street performing)

I play the street fairs
I play from the heart
fiddle and guitar
and squeezebox for art
we play for the old folk
we play for the bums
but we don't play for smokers
cause smokers are scum
smokers are scum
smokers are scum
they know they're addicted
they know smoking's dumb
they know that exposure
is deadly to us
but they're hoping we're stupid
and won't make a fuss

smokers are addicts
they know smoking kills
they're too frigging lazy
to smoke somewhere else
what's the big problem
with walking away
I wish their smoking
would kill them today

smokers are fools
smokers are fools
they shill for tobacco
like industry tools
making us share
their addiction's a farce
take your stupid cigarette
and shove it up your arse

don't light up near me
because if you do
I got a squirtgun
and my aim is true
folks think they're helpless
but I say they're not
pick up some bug spray
give smokers a shot

smokers are stupid
and ugly and dumb
smokers expose you
cause they think it's fun
they won't smoke elsewhere
because it's too tough
smoking will kill them
but not fast enough

(bridge)
it gets in your clothing
it gets in your hair
cause asthma cause cancer
but smokers don't care
the deep inconvenience
of walking away
it too hard for smokers and
that's why I say

pick up some bug spray
some air freshener too
don't let a smoker
light up next to you
their rights have ended
where your lungs begin
pick up your squirtgun
and baby you win
they'll poison your street gig
they'll poison your lungs
they won't put on patches
or just chew some gum
they're screwed-up and stupid
and ugly and dumb
they'll poison their mothers
cause smokers are scum
(coda)
be glad it's just bug spray
instead of a gun (…hold…)
they'll poison their mothers
cause smokers are scum


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 10:58 AM

I can't see why "smokers are scum" is any less unacceptable than "gay people are scum". People do stuff that other people don't understand and wouldn't like to do. Doesn't make them "scum".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 11:21 AM

Not quite the same, I think, McG — smokers voluntarily embrace the habit, and these days I note that the more amenable among them who are unable to give up [which most claim to wish to do, & to be about to do in the new year, &c] take pains to go out into the garden or otherwise not to force their habit on to the rest of us. G.g's song appears to be aimed at the exceptions to this.

Nonetheless I concur with you in finding it a provocative, disagreeable, and altogether somewhat disobliging song. "Scum" is indeed an unnecessarily strong and offensive term in the context.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 11:37 AM

Where's the distinction between voluntary and non-voluntary in these things? If we don't feel drawn to do something, perhaps it seems it must be voluntary, if we do perhaps it seems there's no choice...

We aren't here to sit in judgement on what people do in their personal lives.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Old Grizzly
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 11:51 AM

You need to light up a smoke and chill out man !

your pent up stress will kill you quicker

Dave


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: agingcynic
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 11:55 AM

we all have our manias

to my ear the lyrics reflect a bit of hysteria

for a different view, please consider a song called 'surgeon general' which starts out this way:

hello, surgeon general
i've got some news for you
i just drank me a PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon for you high-end groggers)
and i enjoyed it too

think i'll smoke me a cigar
go lie out in the sun
hang around here 'bout five o'clock
go and have seme fun

and so on...

you can find it in all its glory (and a walking bass) on the music page at my website:

http://www.daveshiflett.com

cheers!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 12:45 PM

Tell you what - do the same song but substitue 'smokers' with 'drivers' and see what happens. The damage caused by the infernal combustion engine is far greater than that caused by smokers but, for some reason, the rabid anti-smokers seem to think that pumping out lethal levels of carbon monoxide and greenhouse gases is far preferable to tobacco smoke.

From a puffer on an occasion cigar and driver who is well aware of the damage both do. I'm quite happy to stop both as soon as soon as people stop quoting smug and very poorly written tripe.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: michaelr
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 01:49 PM

Anonymous posters are scum, a gentle reminder.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 03:32 PM

From a puffer on an occasion cigar and driver who is well aware of the damage both do.

If you had the least fucking clue what damage cars do you'd never consider owning one.

I entirely agree that cars are vastly more destructive but quoting something proportionately extensive here, like Heathcote Williams's "Autogeddon" or J.G. Ballard's "Crash", is a no-go because of copyright.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 03:54 PM

Comparisons are odious — & idiotic — my dears. The fact that cars kill lots of people is no kind of argument in favour of smoking, and only a booby would imagine it was.

But that OP song is still a mischievous. disagreeable piece of work for all that. Nobody has the right to call anybody 'scum' without a great deal more provocation than that [I might, just perhaps, make an exception for the worst kind of abuser of their meant-to=be-caring position for the purpose of child molestation, e.g.].


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 03:55 PM

Smokers Are Scum       12-25-09, by C.Denney (etc.)

And a merry Christmas to you too, Mr. Denney.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Paul Burke
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 06:36 PM

guest, guests are scum. Of the most hospitality- abusing sort. We are a community. Join, learn the rules, then engage with us. Or preferably don't and fuck off.

I'm not a smoker.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Weasel
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 07:35 PM

And let's all join in the chorus "fol de rol"

This is most amusing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 12:29 AM

I'm a smoker. I'd likely be affected were the song of better quality. It has scansion problems and it doesn't tie together very well. 5/10--why not, it's X-mas time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 06:58 AM

If you had the least fucking clue what damage cars do you'd never consider owning one.

I realy do, Jack, and given a reasonable alternative I would jump at the chance. Unfortunately the nature of my work entails lots of travel carrying, quite often, equipment with me. The alternative is to become unemployed. I currently drive a modern 1.6 diesel in the lowest emmisions bracket but as soon as a cleaner choice is available I will have one.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Charlie
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 07:08 AM

Guest, you are a fool , get of my laand!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 07:17 AM

Don't like the song. It isn't clever, and it isn't funny. My partner is a smoker and, although I dearly wish she would give it up, it is her choice and she doesn't inflict it on others. She most certainly is not 'scum'.
And I agree with the reminders about anonymous posters.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: goatfell
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 07:39 AM

I don't smoke but people have the right to smoke or not to smoke sowhy are smokers scum?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 07:44 AM

To be fair to the OP, he only described as 'scum' those inconsiderate smokers who insist on indulging their habit where others are going to be affected by it, rather than going out into the garden or some such [a huge social change over the last few years, the way that smoking guests just automatically get out of the house after a meal before lighting up].

But I still do not care for the song whatever.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 08:04 AM

The OP, and the song, both state unequivocally that 'smokers are scum', and do not differentiate between the considerate ones and the inconsiderate.
It is in no way a 'gentle commentary', hoping as it does that 'smokers will die' - a charming thought for this festive season. It also calls smokers, 'stupid, ugly, dumb and 'screwed up'.
I imagine the OP, who may or may not be 'C Denney', was expecting a chorus of approval from Mudcatters for this offensive doggerel, in which case he/she will have been disappointed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 10:08 AM

muslims are pigs
jews are slime
christians are scum
lefties are shit
conservatives are bastards


what's the difference?

your juvenile song spews hate based on your own self righteous rage. you're no better then "scum" you so hypocritically despise. grow up, better yet; get a job.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 10:58 AM

"And a merry Christmas to you too, Mr. Denney."

Most likely the composer "C. Denney" is California singer-songwriter Carol Denney. I disagree with "guest/guest" that the song in question is "gentle commentary"; it's seems more in your face if you're a smoker. I do admire many of her other songs.

But it's probably a hit with non-smokers who are tired of having tobacco smoke inflicted on them.

Smoke at home if you have to, or in your own car. But I agree that smokers by and large are not "scum"; they're ill-advised and will not enjoy a long healthy life.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 11:01 AM

Oh, the song is by Carol, having just checked her website: Click here for website

Learn more if you're interested.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: goatfell
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 11:25 AM

as I said if people want to smoke then let them and don't call them scum


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 04:22 PM

Having looked at the website, it looks to me as if this song has misfired in spectacular fashion if it is, indeed, intended as a kind of gentle satire.

...'emphasizing, of course, the generally productive nature of discussions with smokers about secondhand smoke exposure'.....

Eh?

Where exactly does this civilised and productive discussion feature in a song that comes across as a mean-spirited, angry, self-righteous and
just plain nasty tirade?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 04:33 PM

Dave-

Well, Californians are a special sub-culture in the States, with many mutually exclusive factions. Perhaps, a native of the State would better explain it.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 04:54 PM

Charley,

I always like to find the best in songs and people and, if someone could enlighten me concerning this song, I'd be delighted.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 12:46 PM

The song's first verse makes it clear that it's about smokers who insist on smoking in street fairs, who are undeniably scum.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: MMario
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 12:57 PM

I don't find the first verse clear at all that is is only about smokers at street fairs.

And then there are the comments that "smoking is voluntary" - yet the song says "They knnow it's addictive" and "they are addicts"

Addiction isn't normally considered voluntary......


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Jeri
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 01:11 PM

It's not something anyone is going to sing if they're trying to impress anyone. Maybe if they're having a tantrum, but then it's about them, not their audience. I suppose that's why she wrote it though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Mooh
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 02:19 PM

Scum?

Just the ones who are responsible for making orphans of children, and causing breathing issues in children. Just the ones responsible for forest fires, fires caused by smoking in bed, and auto accidents caused by fussing with smokes. Just the ones who litter their butts in public and private places for children and animals to handle. Just the ones responsible for the unsightly and stench of open air ashtrays outside entrances to everything from schools, government offices, stores and even churches. Just the ones who would rather waste their money on the addiction than invest it in a solution, and redirect the money to more worthy things. Just the ones who drive up medical costs. Just the ones who victimize folks who can't avoid exposure. Just the ones whose denial, defiance, and stubbornness prolong the forgoing issues.

I was a smoking victim in childhood, and in my early working life. Anti-tobacco laws can't be strong enough in my opinion.

Scum? Got a better word? They know who they are.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: olddude
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 02:46 PM

WHY BOTHER TROLLING


however, ya got a ways to go to catch up with the old country
"smoke smoke smoke that cigarette song"

who did that by the way ... remember it as a kid thought it was a cool tune


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Subject: Lyr Add: SMOKE SMOKE SMOKE THAT CIGARETTE
From: Mooh
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 04:56 PM

olddude...Copy and pasted from http://www.martystuart.com/ZLyrics-STC.htm

Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette
        Written by Merle Travis and Tex Williams

Now I'm a feller with a heart of gold
And the ways of a gentleman I've been told
The kind of guy that wouldn't even harm a flea

But if me and a certain character met
The guy that invented the cigarette
I'd murder that son-of-a-gun in the first degree

It ain't cuz I don't smoke myself
And I don't reckon that it'll harm your health
Smoked all my life and I ain't dead yet

But nicotine slaves are all the same
At a pettin' party or a poker game
Everything gotta stop while they have a cigarette

Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
Puff, puff, puff and if you smoke yourself to death
Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
That you hate to make him wait
But you just gotta have another cigarette

Now in a game of chance the other night
Old Dame Fortune was a-doin' me right
The kings and the queens just kept on comin' round

And I got a full and I bet 'em high
But my bluff didn't work on a certain guy
He just kept on raisin' and layin' that money down

Now he'd raise me and I'd raise him
I sweated blood, gotta sink or swim
He finally called and didn't even raise the bet

So I said "aces full Pops how 'bout you?"
He said "I'll tell you in a minute or two
But right now, I gotta have me a cigarette"

Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
Puff, puff, puff and if you smoke yourself to death
Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
That you hates to make him wait
But you just gotta have another cigarette

(Ah, smoke it! Hah! Yes! Yes! Yes!)

The other night I had a date
With the cutest little girl in the United States
A high-bred, uptown, fancy little dame

She loved me and it seemed to me
That things were 'bout like they oughta be
So hand in hand we strolled down lover's lane

She was oh so far from a cake of ice
And our smoochin' party was goin' nice
So help me cats I believe I'd be there yet

But I give her a kiss and a little squeeze
And she said, "ah, Marty, excuse me please
I just gotta have me another, cigarette"

And she said, smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
Puff, puff, puff and if you smoke yourself to death
Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
That you hate to make him wait
But you just gotta have another cigarette

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: olddude
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 05:16 PM

awesome thanks mooh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Mooh
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 05:52 PM

olddude...You're welcome. Find the music at www.musicnotes.com

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: skipy
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 07:06 PM

Guest guest, come & find me at a festival & sing it to me please! In the smoking area outside a pub! I'll even send you a list of the ones I go to!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Bugsy
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 08:11 PM

I'm not a smoker (anymore) but Mrs Bugsy is, and if you sang that song in her company, she'd give you a clip around the ear. And if she didn't,m I would.

CHeers


Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Mugg Muggles
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 09:20 PM

First time I've ever been here, but if the majority of you folks are as "humour-impaired" and f**kin' P.C. as it seems to me, I doubt I shall return.
That said, I'd like to state that I found this little ditty by Ms. Denney hilarious.
I grew up with a mother who smoked like a chimney, and I have a deep and abiding hatred for cigarette smokers.
I do not mind pipes and cigars as they are not chock full of adulterants.
I have been a devotee of Mary Warner for nearly half a century.
Santa the Viper


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 10:09 PM

"First time I've ever been here, but if the majority of you folks are as "humour-impaired" and f**kin' P.C. as it seems to me, I doubt I shall return."

Thanks for visiting. Have a nice day.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 07:02 AM

Guest: Mugg Muggles:
"I grew up with a mother who smoked like a chimney, and I have a deep and abiding hatred for cigarette smokers."
So, Guest, Unless I have misunderstood you, you hate your mother.
You have my sympathy for that!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 07:35 AM

I am a 'Never Smoked' and would take exception to ANY one being referred to as 'Scum' in a So Called Humourous song ! And it has nothing to do with being either PC or lacking a sense of humour !
The song would be amusing if any of a number of other epithets had been used !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 08:08 AM

Leadfingers is correct. The word 'scum' is not inherently funny and it jars when used in a song which is supposed to be humorous. However, I don't agree that this song would be amusing if another word were to be used. It just plain doesn't work, in my opinion.
And, Mugg Muggles please note, it is the very fact that I do have a sense of humour which makes me think that this song isn't funny.
Another point occurs to me: What does C Denney do if the 'old folks' and the 'bums' she is so willing to entertain are also smokers? Does she ask them if they smoke, and then either performs or doesn't perform for them accordingly? Does she make them fill in a form to establish that they aren't 'scum' and thus worthy of being performed to?
And before anyone tries to point out again that only smokers at street fairs are being targeted, this is not the case.
The song clearly states that 'smokers are scum'.
Changing this to 'Smokers who smoke at street fairs are scum' would make the scansion even more askew than it is now.
I'm at a bit of a loose end now, or I wouldn't be wasting my time criticising a song like this. I just don't like the song on so many levels. but I'm still willing to be enlightened if anyone wants to tell me why it's 'amusing'.
And I think that 'Smoke Smoke Smoke That Cigarette' is a classic, and worth a hundred songs like 'Smokers Are Scum'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: goatfell
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 08:09 AM

and people that calll themselves Guest without a name attached to it, these people I call cowards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 08:33 AM

Dave-

"Scum" may not have the same stinging power over here in the States as it may have in the UK.

However, I still remember the sting when our political opponents in a U.S. Senate campaign referred to our staff as "pond scum." Then we created a set of badge labels in green which we proudly wore all week which read "Pond Scum Rises to the Surface."

I do note that Guest/Guest seldom bothers to comment on one of the provocative threads she starts. She has such great fun stirring things up. However, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if guest Mugg Muggles would merely be another of her "personalities."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:29 AM

Charley,

I think you have a point.
In the UK 'scum' is an epithet usually reserved for someone who commits an act of unspeakable depravity - child murder, violence against the elderly etc.
It has, as far as I know, no 'gentle' connotations here.
Cheers, Charlie, that is exactly the kind of information I was looking for.
I note that the song in question also appears in another Mudcat thread about anti-smoking songs. I didn't get the impression it was posted here with any mischievous intent.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 02:00 PM

A friend at a performance last night let me know that people in this forum were not getting the joke and missing the point entirely, so I'll weigh in, despite becoming personally targeted. The song is not about smokers, it is about exposure, specifically in a street fair where my station is fixed (I cannot move) and the whole fair is supposed to be smokefree.

Despite the laws to protect participants, vendors, and customers, I was surrounded by enough smoke that I'm still coughing. I had smokers whom I asked to move away deliberately hold their cigarettes as close to my fiddle as possible, and came home and wrote the song not really knowing what else to do. I told the smokers that I was a cancer survivor with a lung condition, and was told "I don't care" to my face. I've used the song in two performances since then to stomping, screaming approval from audiences who've obviously met the same kind of smokers and have no patience left with them, either. They certainly thought it was funny. I gave one guy who literally fell off his chair an autographed copy. I posted it because I once saw a request for smokefree lyrics which I couldn't find at the time, but I have found since.

I think the music, if you could hear it, explains a lot. It is very fast, very rhythmic, and gives the whole thing a stomping silliness that perhaps doesn't come across on paper.

Smoking around others at a Christmas fair populated by children, people with pulmonary diseases, etc., is unspeakable depravity. Children, because of their rapid cell division, are seriously impacted and so likely to develop asthma, cancer, SIDS, etc., that policies to protect them are sweeping the globe, although not fast enough. Secondhand smoke is 6-12 times more deadly than that which is directly inhaled by a smoker(UCSF 2009 study). The incidence of heart attacks drops 17% in an region after only one year of smoking restrictions, and by 37% in the next three years in replicated studies. California lags way behind the stronger laws in other states, for those of you misinformed about California policies. Smokefree laws are being enacted in Ireland (the old country), England, Turkey, France--the science is clear, the policy follows, but before the cultural shift come moments like my street fair moment, where this two-time cancer survivor was out of options unless I buy a paintball gun or something.

Smokers do not have rights, another tobacco industry canard trotted out in this discussion. Smokers are not a protected class, and it is perfectly legal to discriminate against them in housing, in employment, in restaurants, in any setting you please in the United States - go look it up. State and local laws and policies may (and do) vary, but since smokers are not, technically and legally speaking, a protected class, localities can pass all manner of restrictions as counties, parishes, states, or cities, because people have the obvious right to a safe workplace, school, etc. Smokers cost a company money, their health costs burden the entire community, and don't count on them to run for help in an emergency because their vascular damage is often so great they can't run at all. But that's not what makes them scum, that just makes them pathetic pawns in the tobacco industry's lucrative game.

When smokers smoke around others there is no question they know they're endangering others' health. That's what makes them scum. I literally saw people poisoning not just me, but their mothers, their children, other people's children, and my efforts to request some compliance with the laws protecting public health were derided, I was personally attacked, all the usual things people do when they want to avoid acknowledging that they're doing something they know is wrong.

I think refusing to play for smokers is a great idea. It goes without saying that in the setting the song describes, those who insist on smoking because they want to hear the music, despite the fact that they're killing the musicians, are scum.

Cheerily,

Carol Denney (510) 548-1512


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: olddude
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 02:17 PM

Don't know where you folks live but ya sure ain't allowed to smoke around public anywhere here in the state of NY ... Heck ya can't even smoke outside a public facility in most cities ... So I have no idea how anyone is breathing someone else's smoke at a concert ... cause I know of no place your allowed to do that here and it is a good law I think ...

Interesting thing, I am struggling with quitting right at the moment. I was in the City and went over to a park away from everyone like I always do .. A lady probably walked 250 yards to get in my face and I told her you are the one violating my space. I am hundreds of yards away and you have to get in my face, and by the way I am allowed to here not in that building over there ... and do you see anyone around me, NO just you who came out of your way to pick a fight with someone you don't know... get lost ... Scum works on both sides


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 02:27 PM

Carol-

Thanks for responding directly to the questions and statements here.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Paul Burke
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 03:17 PM

Perhaps if you'd said some smokers are scum, it would have been more accurate and more acceptable, but perhaps less snappy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 08:03 PM

I thought that it was clear that I'm describing smokers who won't walk away from a crowded street fair:

"what's the big problem with walking away.."
"they won't smoke elsewhere because it's too tough..."

but I'm happy to assist those who are confused. What the song advocates is technically assault, by the way, for the even more confused. Here's to olddude for trying to quit. You deserve a medal. I tried to post this and it didn't show up, so I'm trying again. And Mugg Muggles is not only a real person, he's one of the finest purveyors of song you'll ever hope to hear.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 08:03 PM

"I think refusing to play for smokers is a great idea."

I feel that way about some types of soap and perfumes that people use or wear. I do NOT think they are 'scum' because of that.

As a btw, Carol, I have seen that you are a supporter of social justice issues. I would like you to know I was part of the People's Park demonstration. I smoked then, too. Have a nice day regardless of what you think of me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 08:42 PM

Soaps and perfumes are annoying, I agree. But they don't kill you and the people around you. "The" People's Park demonstration is not over.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 08:48 PM

"Soaps and perfumes are annoying, I agree. But they don't kill you and the people around you"

Actually they do!
I suffer from severe asthma brought on by exposure to these noxious fumes - but I would never call these thoughtless people who care nothing for other's comfort 'scum'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:02 PM

Again, annoying, to be sure, and containing the potential for severe reactions for those with significant allergies and chemical sensitivities, absolutely. But not inherently lethal for both users and bystanders, as are cigarettes if used as directed. No warning is legally required on a soap package for exactly that reason. It's amazing how often this group tries to personalize issues and change the subject.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:08 PM

Carol, you have a right to your opinion as do the people who post here. Some agree with you, many don't. That's the way it is when you say what ya gotta say. Stop being so nasty to people. Many of us have been in and are still in the trenches. Maybe not your trench, but y'ain't my ma. The fact that not everyone agrees with you does not make them revanchists, bad people or scum. You have step-ed on your crank. Read 'effed up'. Let it go.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999--ding!
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:09 PM

Carol, you have a right to your opinion as do the people who post here. Some agree with you, many don't. That's the way it is when you say what ya gotta say. Stop being so nasty to people. Many of us have been in and are still in the trenches. Maybe not your trench, but y'ain't my ma. The fact that not everyone agrees with you does not make them revanchists, bad people or scum. You have step-ed on your crank. Read 'effed up'. Let it go.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:10 PM

"It's amazing how often this group tries to personalize issues"

Sorry, calling smokers scum isn't somehow 'personal'?

'This group' has the right to be respected too surely rather than your curt dismissal?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Mugg Muggles
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:15 PM

I'd like to make it perfectly clear that I am NOT Carol's "alter".
If you doubt that I am real just Google me, or visit My Space.
I would also like to thank her for her kind appraisal of my musical abilities.
Happy Gnu Year my humour impaired friends.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:19 PM

Most people do agree that deliberately exposing children to lethal secondhand smoke is wrong. The subject of the song is clear -- it's not about perfume. As a matter of fact, most smokers, not just nonsmokers but smokers, agree that exposing other people to secondhand smoke is wrong, and you can check the studies yourself if you like. I can't believe this is considered controversial, and people who deliberately expose children, pregnant women, people with pulmonary conditions and cancer survivors like me sure fit my definition of scum. If you don't agree that's just fine. I'm not angry with people who disagree. I think it's funny that people here thought the song was serious. It's ridiculous to attack someone for writing what's obviously comedy about something so universally acknowledged.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Paul Burke
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:23 PM

I thought that it was clear that I'm describing smokers who won't walk away from a crowded street fair

No. It wasn't, and isn't. You seem to support many of the isues I do. No bloody wonder we're losing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:27 PM

"I wish their smoking
would kill them today"

Sorry but not my idea of 'what's obviously comedy'

But I accept it's obviously yours - you are welcome!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:31 PM

Well, Paul, I'm not sure what you're working on, but I'm certainly winning the right to smokefree air locally, nationally, and internationally. In a complicated world, it is one thing changing extremely rapidly for the better. And the song seems clear to all the people I've played it for. I've added notes for the ironically impaired to its page on my website along with some lovely photographs of suggested squirtguns with a spectrum of representative firepower. If you have any more specific questions, I'm happy to assist.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:37 PM

Mugg, I'll write to you on Myspace. As for being humour impaired, ya missed the boat, buddy.

Carol, that's always the problem when a writer writes satire. Sometimes it misses.

Back in the day, I wrote a song that had the words,

"Fuck the cops, to hell with them all". It had to do with the Democratic Convention in Chicago, '68.

I have regretted that since, and could I take back those words I would. I do not wish to be your enemy, but friendships are built on give and take, understandings between people and the occasional "sorry 'bout that." I ain't seeing too much of that 'round here. Neither from you ro Mugg. I wish you well, and as a smoker who does NOT smoke near non-smokers, has NEVER smoked near kids--neither his own nor those of other people--I agree with your intent in the song. I mentioned once before on this forum that if I light up and someone comes to sit near me and then bitches about the smoke, I have, do and would tell that individual to go sit somewhere else, perhaps not as politely as that. You have generalized, and in doing so insulted many folks. I am a sonuvabitch, a rotten bastard and occasionally a ne'er-do-well. That said, I am NOT scum, and that's that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:38 PM

Well I have quite a strong sense of irony thank you, but maybe you could come down from your moral high ground for long enough to explain to 'ugly and dumb' folks the irony in

'smoking will kill them
but not fast enough'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:45 PM

Glad to! It's the overkill that's funny. It starts off intemperate, and just gets worse. "Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song" is just plain funny to people with a sense of humor. It's everything an overboard, hysterical, out-of-control overreacting person would say all at once at a rapid clip with a jaunty tune and a ridiculous, smiling delivery. "I have a squirtgun and my aim is true..." I still can't believe anyone is offended. But I do stand by it. People were laughing so hard at Chester's that some glasses hit the floor.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:56 PM

Pass!

We obviously don't have any mutual definition of humour.

On the whole I'm rather happy with that - enjoy whatever your next 'comic' contribution is I'll try to avoid it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:05 PM

How devastating it is to offend the gentle sensibilities of such compassionate, delicate people. I'm, I'm crushed.

Please, for your own safety, avoid my "Ode to Bill Gates."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:14 PM

You know sarcasm isn't really very funny either.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:17 PM

Carol: I honour your coming out and joining in the discussion on this thread which you have provoked. But, as I have said before on another thread, few things are as irritating as being insulted, and then being asked in angry tones by the insulter: "Oh, can't you take a joke. Where's your sense of humour?" Few things, as you are discovering, are more destructive of any SOH than that. I am sure that we all appreciate that you probably meant to be humorous and satirical, and to be restricted in your use of terms like 'scum'; but do not the reactions on this thread demonstrate that you did not succeed in these purposes with enough effectiveness, or with enough people, to make the attempt viable? And would it not now be seemly on your part to admit as much?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: NightWing
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:25 PM

I smoke. Similar to Guest,999, I do my best to do so away from other people (even to move downwind) and to NOT smoke when I can't get away from other people.

Nonetheless, I agree with Carol. I found the song very funny and the tune *I* imagined for it (a la Spike Jones) made it even more so. I suspect some of you who don't find it funny may be taking it a bit personally. But I could be wrong; there are other interpretations.

If you don't like the song, stop subjecting yourself to it: GO AWAY.

Carol, I'd love to learn the tune. If you can post ABC or the dots or something, SOME of us would love you for it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:26 PM

If I had insulted anybody I would be apologizing like crazy. Apology does not seem to be common currency here, and I recognize how valuable that might make it to this group. I've been accused of all manner of things by your frequenters, including falsely pretending to be other people, promoting the assault of perfume on unsuspecting allergic sufferers, but I have insulted none of them, and none of the people who mischaracterized me or tried to personalize the discussion or drag it off topic are being encouraged to apologize. Which is fine with me. Getting my life threatened by smokers for requesting that the observe the smokefree fair policy has made me tough, and certainly produced one of the funniest songs I've ever used in public. I've continued the discussion in the interest of assessing just how poorly informed they are about both tobacco policy and irony. You may not realize it, but the nonsmokers outnumber the smokers, and they are laughing at all of this.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:33 PM

Hey Nightwing, thanks so much. I've had several people offer me free studio time and help with posting it on YouTube. I only sent it to this group because there was once a thread asking for nonsmoker songs, and I swear, it is much funnier in a live setting than I realized. Everybody else seems to be able to appreciate that I don't seriously advocate killing smokings. God knows, they're taking care of that themselves.

But hey kids, humor is personal, and certainly reasonable. I ran the use of "scum" by friends from England (you'll see them on my website) who insisted that the overkill was an essential ingredient.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:42 PM

"You may not realize it, but the nonsmokers outnumber the smokers, and they are laughing at all of this."

That's what the papers said when we protested the Vietnam War, worked for voter registration, supported Chavez.

'We have met the enemy and [s]he is us.'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:45 PM

That laso post was me. Sorry! DING.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:47 PM

If you, guest, honestly don't realize that smokers, who at their peak in US history represented nearly half of the population, are now down to about 10 to 20 percent depending on the locale, then do a little reading. It's really an interesting story of the triumph of science over profit, a story which is not only not often told, but rarely has the opportunity to be told.

Smokers are just pawns, as I said before, in a lucrative game played by tobacco industry executives who need to hook children to keep going.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 11:03 PM

Carol, imo, we are ALL pawns of something or other. Oil companies, stock markets, multi-nationals, court systems that target Black people, Native North Americans, Chicanos, etc., ad nauseum.

Detroit makes cars that suck gas, PG+E sucks money from people (recall that Brown(?) took PG+E to court because they'd been overcharging people?). He won that class action suit (can't recall how much but it was lots) and Nixon's administration (he was Pres then) granted PG+E a rate increase so they could pay what they owed to their customers.

Grass smokers who don't grow their own (or have a friend who does) are supporting murderers south of the border or north of the border. People who use gas-powered vehicles are destroying this planet.

I fight structure fires and we burn gasoline or diesel to get to the structures. And believe me, I do wish I'd never started smoking. I did quit for two years with the help of the patch. My sleep patterns have been fucked up ever since I quit. Now, I awake at 4:00 am every damned day.

Drug companies rip people off BIG time and 24/7. Their response is "We need money to research new drugs." Yeah, right, bite me.

Both our countries are involved in Afghanistan. Kids are dying again and no one can really explain why.


The world is in a mess, I agree. However, I ain't scum. Capiche? Calling a sheep a dog will not make it bark.

G'night.

PS Mugg has a great song on his Myspace site. Let him know I gave it a listen and enjoyed it. Glad to see people are keeping the ol' washtub bass alive.

Best wishes to you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 11:13 PM

Hello 999,

I didn't say that smokers are pawns in order to insult them - quite the opposite. I repeat, I am only describing smokers who insist on smoking close to musicians, or around children, or, as the song makes abundantly clear to most people, in public street fairs, as scum. I stand proudly by doing so, and wrote the song specifically to target those people. I invite discussion on the matter or I wouldn't be here.

Changing the subject to pharmaceutical companies, or oil companies, stock markets, multi-national corporations etc., might help you feel less guilty as a smoker, but I am not, repeat, not aiming at you. Most smokers have been duped into smoking in the first place, lied to about the effects, and are addicted. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Smokers are being used, and you point out most eloquently that it is not a unique situation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 11:20 PM

I don't feel guilty that I smoke, Carol. Never have, except maybe for the time I lied to my mother about it when I was eleven.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 11:21 PM

Hey 999, I think that is utterly charming.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 11:44 PM

Thank you very much, ma'am.

I'd point out that I wasn't trying to change the subject. The real subject is people being used by large corporations however we name them. I do my best to avoid food that is over-packaged; I do my best to use as little gasoline as possible; I do my best to be a good person (although at times my mouth makes it seem like the opposite is the case). I also know that doing one's best ranks don't amount to squat when one's best isn't good enough. I have always admired people--you included--who speak their minds. I have read some of your writings that I could locate on the www and you are one fine writer. I guess your song got me on a bad week (some folks have bad days, I have bad weeks ot even sometimes bad decades). If I have insulted you, I formally apologize. And informally apologize, too.

I agree that people who light up around others deserve to have their arses kicked. BIG time. It just ain't right. Were I a non-smoker it would get me POed. So, where does that leave it? From my perspective you have been very gracious--despite the fact I think the song is too "in yer face". I would have felt that tweny years ago when I was wearing the friggin' patch, because after that I have never had a complete night's sleep again. And I think that if I was busking and some guy came over and blew his cigarette smoke around me that it would bother me, too. So, I do know where you're comin' from. Keep on keepin' on, and keep writing/playing your songs. AND, stop leaving that guitar of yours leaning agains things. There there be dragons. AND, direct sunlight is not all that good for guitars. I'm entering my dotage, so I get to complain about all kinds of stuff that is none of my business.

Thanks again, Carol.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 12:28 AM

Dear 999, what a charming message, although I will gently disagree with one minor aspect regarding the actual subject of this post.

Yes, profit governs us through a lot of profit-governed policy. But hard-working advocates have broken through on tobacco policy, and made a solid case for smokefree policies being good for public health as well as good for business. Studies show both of these things- that passing smokefree restrictions benefits both public health and business simultaneously.

But the point of the song and the post was tobacco exposure in a packed, public place; deliberate exposure to children, hard-working musicians, etc. I have been accused of "provoking" this much-needed discussion (a very loaded word)somehow unfairly, despite a thread requesting antismoking lyrics, and I want to make sure the subject stays clear, depersonalized, and fact-based, despite the odds. But you, 999, I would like to invite to tea. You are a lovely person.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: JedMarum
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 01:02 AM

Speaking of Smoke

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: JedMarum
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 01:03 AM

apologies for the thread creep.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 01:15 AM

Carol, I read your last post twice because I thought it was addressed to someone else. LOL. Thank you. If I ever do get to California I will for sure look you up in Berkeley. Had the best Mexican food ever at a place there--my California friend would recall the name, because his memory still works. The stats seem to show that about 20% of the US and Canada populations still smoke. I figure the reason there is less smoking in Canada is that store-bought smokes are about $10-12 for a pack of 25. A carton 0f eight packs today sells for about $85-90 bucks.


"In the United States, an estimated 24.8 million men (23.1 percent) and 21.1 million women (18.3 percent) are smokers. These people are at higher risk of heart attack and stroke. The latest estimates for persons age 18 and older show...*

Among whites, 23.5 percent of men and 20.6 percent of women smoke (2008).
Among blacks, 25.6 percent of men and 17.8 percent of women smoke.
Among Hispanics, 20.7 percent of men and 10.7 percent of women smoke.
9.9 percent of Asian adults smoke.
24.3 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native adults smoke.

from

National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 2008, National Center for Health Statistics

********************************

"18% of Canadians (15 years or older) were current smokers in 2008 – a decrease of only 1% from 2007. It has taken 3 years for smoking rates to fall one percentage point when in prior years, smoking rates were decreasing by 1% per year on average. The main reason for the slowing decline has been the availability of cheap contraband cigarettes."

From the Canadian Cancer Society's site.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 05:16 AM

Carol - Thanks for entering the discussion. Your contribution is undeniably valuable. I am not fond of the song as written, just as I would not like Eric Bogles 'I hate wogs' if I just saw it written down. Maybe if I was to see it performed, as I did with Eric's, it would take on a new light.

Anyhow, as I said before, I do have a puff on the occasion cigar, always only in designated areas such as pub smoking shelters or my own back yard so I have no issue with your comments about inconsiderate smokers. What I think you are trying to achieve is good but with your comment but I'm certainly winning the right to smokefree air locally, nationally, and internationally you have lost me I'm afraid. The outside air will never be smoke free as long as we continue using petro chemicals etc. Tobacco smoke must cause a tiny fraction of the damage done to the people and the environment when compared to the hydro-carbon emmisions of industry and motor vehicles.

I feel that by trying to get smoking banned outdoors you are trying to treat a broken limb with a sticking plaster - It is useless. Maybe once we get the major issues resolved, then we can concentrate on the minor but until then I think you are fooling youself if you think that an outdoor tobacco ban will do anything to help!

Just my view, of course.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 06:36 AM

Carol,

I appreciate your input into this discussion. I understand your reasons for writing the song, and they're quite justified.
However, it appears that your song will only work in context - i.e. in the open air, in a supposedly 'smoke-free' environment which is being polluted by uncaring smokers.
Taken out of this context it reads like an attack on ALL smokers, most of whom are fully aware of the damage smoking can cause to others and will go out of their way to avoid inflicting it on them.
If the OP had added a note explaining why the song was written, and in what circumstances, people on this forum would, I know, have been a lot more understanding.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 08:24 AM

Carol-

And I still love to listen to you sing "Winter and I," especially when the temperature is in the single digits as it certainly is this morning:

Winter and I, get what's left of the island,
When the tourists go home, and the snow flies!
Winter and I, get along on the island;
She's a good one to talk to – she never replies.


Although I note in the last verse that you implied that most native Mainers smoke, which is incorrect; the survivors have now become a majority:

When it's sunny there won't be a sound on the island,
Except for snow melting and sounds of the bay;
I set up my rocker in the middle of Main Street,
And smoke like a chimney, and practice all day.

I would hope that the temperature in California has not gone lower than 50 this morning.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 10:06 AM

Hi Charley,

The last verse of Winter and I takes incredible license for the rhythm's sake. The fellow in that song, an actual man, quit smoking as well as drinking all winter long, and what he really did was read Shakespeare all day on Mt. Desert Island. I couldn't make it fit.

What you're reading about the national US numbers is an average, and in places with strong smoking restrictions, such as California, the average, which once was 50%, is down near 10%. The numbers are scewed by the increase in young people smoking, the tobacco industry's prime target.

And good news for those who care-- the song was forwarded to our local tobacco control policy director, who is making certain all vendors and festival staff next year are apprised of the smokefree policy and required to comply as part of their contract. A very real victory for a saucy little bit of satire.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 10:40 AM

I find the song offensive, mean spirited and self righteous in the extreme.I am not condoning incoderate bad habits, but the tenor of this song is nothing short of ugly.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 11:25 AM

I completely agree with you - it is designed to be utterly over the top, which is why most people find it funny. But now it can also be accurately described as effective, because it actually changed policy for musicians and future fair attendees.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 11:54 AM

It is not subtle enough to be funny. I know very fwe people who would be amused by this simplistic, self centered rant.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 01:04 PM

Perhaps you have to hear/see it being performed for the humour to come across?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Jeri
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 01:07 PM

It may have more whimsy when sung. I also don't think it's funny--at least not the written version. The subtle winks intended by the clever wordplay don't make it to the printed page. I figure it must be as hilarious as Carol says it is when one hears it sung.

I figure if someone smokes in their home, they can do whatever they want. If they smoke illegally in public, they should be arrested, and if they blow smoke in your face just to piss you off, retaliation shouldn't be unexpected.

I smoked for 32 years, quit a few times before the final one, and know the addiction inside and out. I find people who behave like scum are scum, but it's the behavior. People who smoke are just people who smoke.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 05:19 PM

I find it amusing that some people in this forum not only can't find the humor in the song but can't manage to celebrate the fact that it changed policy for next year's musicians. It's a rare piece of satire that effectively changes policy within five days over a Christmas furlough. I think I deserve a medal, but hey, go on trashing me. I've survived cancer twice, and I'll survive this.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 06:25 PM

Well, Carol, I've heard kinder songs from you, but there are elements of this song that are quite clever. It sounds a bit like my ex-wife, who nagged against my smoking for twenty years. After the ex kicked me out of the house, I shared a house with a very attractive young woman who said that quitting smoking might improve my sex life. It had little effect on my relationship with my pretty housemate, but it DID work....eventually.

But I really liked smoking, and quitting was one of the hardest things I've done in my life.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 07:42 PM

It's a pretty funny thread, and I would love to hear the song live. Next time I'm in the Bay Area, perhaps. Of course people who think they are not included in the rules, which in most public places are now also local custom- folkways- and flout them, and have a thumb in the eye or smoke in the face for those who ask for immediate observation of the rules- are in fact scum, regardless of which side of the Atlantic their definition comes from. They smoke where their children will breathe it, and likely do so all day. The only thing which enables real empathy in an agressive smoker for everyone else is quitting, for even a few days, because only then will they really understand that there has never been a small place with two people in it where only one was smoking. People who knowingly make other people smoke even after being asked not to are at least bullies, who would not do it if they thought they'd get a pop in the snoot for it. Sometimes the gentle song is not as satisfying as the really assertive one.   
Carter, two days short of thirty years down the road from ciggies.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 08:17 PM

Smokers are not a protected class, and it is perfectly legal to discriminate against them in housing, in employment, in restaurants, in any setting you please in the United States.

Of course at one time the same would have been true of gay people. Or black people.

It's a dangerous road to go down, discriminating against people.

I don't smoke, and I'm glad I don't smoke, and I was glad when the ban on smoking in pubs came in. But I think that there's a risk in stigmatising smokers as such - it even carries a risk, in time, of glamorising it as a kind of outlaw symbol of dissidence.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 08:40 PM

Hey, Carol: I suppose that if I ever come see you in concert or when you're busking that you'd get real pissed off if I asked you for a light, huh?



















I'M KIDDING.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 08:45 PM

BTW, I wish you the very best and may the dreaded C never darken your door again. I think that's a mixed metaphor, but you get the idea.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Effsee
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 11:25 PM

Disregarding the definition of the word "scum", whichever side of the pond you are, there is nothing "gentle" about this song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Effsee
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 11:41 PM

Hey, hey! I get the 100 too!

Sorry Leadfingers!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:43 AM

There's not a lot of point in explaining the overwhelming irony in calling a song with the title "Smokers Are Scum" a gentle song to the ironically impaired. But the constant comparisons to race-based discrimination and discrimination against sexual orientation is wildly off the mark, instructively so. Smokers are, again, not a protected class of people under the law. They have tried mightily to achieve this protected status (it's a great story) but can't, of course, because (of course) they can quit. You can't quit being black, etc.

But it is certainly true that vilifying smokers is pointless. The song flirts with that, but specifies repeatedly that it is about smokers who claim the "sheer inconvenience of walking away" is too much for them, and if you haven't met those smokers, stroll down Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. The song is about gratuitous, deliberate exposure, and if you won't take the word of the songwriter I'm wondering whose word you'd take.

A statistical majority of smokers want to quit and, as I've said before, that same statistical majority (in the US) overwhelming support smoking restrictions in restaurants, etc., for public health reasons. Restrictions against deadly tobacco smoke doesn't discriminate against smokers, since they can simply smoke somewhere else where they don't affect others. But it is far from dangerous to discriminate against them in housing, employment, seating in restaurants, etc. On the contrary, it is dangerous not to discriminate against them, because you jeopardize others' health so radically that you jeopardize your business legally, and nonsmokers so obviously have to keep breathing. On July 17th, 2009, the Housing and Urban Development Department (US) issued a memorandum advising that all public housing should be smokefree because of the serious jeopardy to children from second and thirdhand smoke exposure. That doesn't mean smokers wouldn't have access to housing. It only means they can't smoke there, or that eventually they won't be able to, because of the impact on their neighbors.

I appreciate that it's hard to quit, but smokers know they can. Hell, it's hard to remember to bring canvas shopping bags to the market, but I think I'm finally there. I just keep about thirty of them in my bike baskets and in my car so they practically strangle me on the way there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:43 AM

Hey, I gotta say that Carol is a very good singer and writes some wonderful songs. I just think this one doesn't quite hit the mark. I think humor works better if it's gentler and not so angry.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 03:52 AM

Despite the author telling us so - the song isn't funny, it's just a bitchy diatribe. Which is fair enough. But I do get tired of people making out bitching is 'satire', just because the person doing the bitching tells us it is. I like satire, satire is funny. This isn't funny and it ain't satire. It's just straightforward ordinary bitching at people doing something that pisses you off. And of course there are lots of other people that hate smokers and smoking too, so I'm sure it will find sympathy and support lots of places.

I'm a life-long non-smoker by the way and I don't enjoy cigarette smoke more than any other non-smoker - but virulent anti-smoking fascists piss me off to high heaven. I wish they'd all die, or at least just shut up and stop bloody whining. Call that satire if it sounds 'funnier' that way.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,non-active member
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 05:48 AM

Carol, please accept that many people, smokers and smokers alike, simply do not find your song funny and your continual attempts to browbeat them into this by accusations of being 'ironically impaired' etc frankly, insulting

Satire is very difficult to achieve but I would suggest before you try to attempt it again you should listen to Tom Lehrer who really was funny and not, as Crow Sister points out, merely indulging in "ordinary bitching at people doing something that pisses you off"

You are correct of course in pointing out that discrimination against smokers is not comparable to discrimination against people of other races however, just to play with the point that McGrath is making......

Some years ago there was a sitcom on UK TV 'Til Death us do Part (badly translated to America I believe) which took a sustained interest in race themes.

The main "star" of the show in the person of the patriarch "Alf," made black people the target of his rantings and it is for the extreme views expressed by Alf on issues of race that the programme is most remembered (and denounced).

Although Alf's creator argued at the time of the original broadcasts (and since) that his intention was to expose racist bigotry through the exaggerated utterances of Alf, the intention back-fired; the effects were by no means always what the author intended as some viewers identified heavily with the xenophobic ravings of Alf - as indeed some of the "anti-smoking fascists" identified by Crow Sister will no doubt fall off their stools with laughter at your jaunty little ditty.

In this case, John Speight, the author certainly DID not share any of the racist views rxpressed by Alf whereas you have made it very plain that you did indeed regard (some) smokers 'fit my definition of scum'

You may also have noticed even from some threads on mudcat (although fortunately some of the worst have been deleted) that there remains (despite being legal, like smoking) people with strong negative feelings about the practice of homosexuality who would no doubt find 'gentle' songs wishing them all a painful death from AIDs related diseases also very funny - it doesn't meant that they are 'satirical' however much the author may think they are being.


Michael Siegel the doctor who was active in the campaign to ban smoking in the workplace and other enclosed spaces but opposes for many valid reasons the extension of this ban into the open air has stated……..

"the purpose of smoking bans is to protect people from secondhand smoke, not to express intolerance for a large segment of the population."


Now please get some perspective on this, many people who are not the humourless, incapable of understanding 'satire' or militant irony lesser mortals you accuse them of being, simply do not find a song you have written funny.
They are NOT 'trashing' YOU!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Morris-ey
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 06:33 AM

Pity the poor smoker, never realised what a sensitive flower it is.

Some of by best friends are scum - no, really, they are.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 07:15 AM

Can anybody remember the name of the American journalist (also known in The UK) who said, many years ago; "I don't smoke but I always sit in the smoking section of a plane because you meet much nicer people."

That said, smoking is dumb. Steamin' WIllie's Dad died of lung cancer and I have been keen to get the act seen as anti social ever since.

Tell you what, this NuLabour government may go down as incompetent war mongers, but in banning smoking in public places, they will go down as THE public health government of all time.

If only smoking in any room, including your own home, where children are present, was made illegal, we might start getting somewhere. (Not that it would stop inconsiderate low lifes, as they shouldn't be doing it anyway, but I like the idea of criminalising them so we can all point and tut...)

In most matters, Steamin' WIllie is "live and let live." However, perhaps James Bond got it right? "Live and let die"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 08:14 AM

I think we just have to accept that, once again, the two nations are divided by a common language. The meanings of satire and irony in the two countries seem to far enough apart to keep this argument going for weeks!

To take non-active member's point, Archie Bunker was a pale imitation of Alf Garnett and, While Archie's racial utterances had me cringing, Alf's had me rolling on the floor! English comedy is not always the clever ironic, just watch Benny Hill or the Carry on films to see that, it can quite often have, to me, the edge on it's American counterparts. Out of the States we have some very clever stuff, Friends and Scrubs to name but two of my favourites, I have yet to see anything from the US with the comedic pathos of the last episode of One Foot in the Grave. Fawlty Towers to take another example never survived the US remakes but remains a classic here and worldwide.

I mentioned before Eric Bogle's 'I hate Wogs'. Lets have a look at a sample -

I was queueing down at the Registry, a-pickin' up me dole
In front of me was a Yugoslav, in front of him a Pole
Behind me was a Eyetalian, behind him was a Turk
Those lazy migrant bastards do, they never bloody work!
But in spite of what the papers say, there's work for those who want to
The wife and twenty-seven kids is all the work I'm going to!

'Cause I hate Wogs, they live like dogs
Some eat bananas and some eat frogs
Soome wear turbans some wear clogs
All the bloody same to me 'cause I hate Wogs.


Then let's see Carol's work -

smokers are stupid
and ugly and dumb
smokers expose you
cause they think it's fun
they won't smoke elsewhere
because it's too tough
smoking will kill them
but not fast enough

it gets in your clothing
it gets in your hair
cause asthma cause cancer
but smokers don't care
the deep inconvenience
of walking away
it too hard for smokers and
that's why I say


The former still has me giggling but the latter leaves me cold. Probably my fault but maybe we can 'compare and contrast' as it used to say on our English comprehension exams:-)

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 08:26 AM

Just re-reading to get the above quote and I noticed this from MtheGM - Comparisons are odious — & idiotic — my dears. The fact that cars kill lots of people is no kind of argument in favour of smoking, and only a booby would imagine it was.

No-one is trying to say that cars etc. are an excuse for smoking, my dear :-P. The point you seem to be missing is that until the overall pollution of the planet is addressed it is futile to imagine that a ban on outdoor smoking will be of any benefit whatsoever.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 09:33 AM

I was responding, David, not to your post about pollution, but to Jack's succeeding one about auto-accidents: he cited the works Crash & Autogeddon, both of which are concerned with that aspect of motoring danger. Of course outdoor smoking in designated areas will not contribute significantly to circumambient pollution — tho Carol's original diatribe is directed at those who perversely refused to stick to designated areas while she performed in the open air, but inisisted on smoking, literally, in her face. I can sympathise with her irritation even tho I don't care greatly for the song itself.

luv & xxs & HNY -- M


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Paul Burke
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 09:38 AM

But it's the assault and infringement that was the problem. I quite agree that blowing smoke or ash over people is a horrible thing to do, and I'm glad to say the vast majority of smokers don't do it.

I'm a flute player with a long history of weak lungs, and a non- smoker. So I have to say that the air in Irish sessions has greatly improved since the banning of smoking in pubs (which is where the vast majority of UK sessions happen). But the downside is that there are a lot less of them, as pubs close at least in part because of the smoking ban, and the surviving ones sometimes tend to lose momentum, as the smoking players leave at intervals. They are as often as not the better players, too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 09:41 AM

Any song that requires this level of explanation has serious problems.

Carol, at least consider that your song doesn't communicate what you want it to beyond a circle of San Franciscan denizens.

And, yes, there are a few defensive smokers here that still act like jerks but most of the comments seem to me to be raising serious questions about the song.

And my apologies to your friend who I mistook for a troll above. He might also consider apologizing to me in turn, or not, for telling me to "Fuck off!" in a totally unrelated thread.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 09:59 AM

Thanks for the explanation MtheGM and apologies for the misunderstanding.

I like the term 'defensive smokers', Charley. Conjours images of people defending their cigarettes in the time honoured tradition of huddling round the secrative dog-end with hands cupped to protect them from the aim of snipers:-) I think 'offensive smokers' may be nearer the mark (ref. snipers again) though!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Morris-ey
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 10:08 AM

< Date: 31 Dec 09 - 09:41 AM

Any song that requires this level of explanation has serious problems.>>

No, It is those complaining who are the ones with the problem. It's a song; it's the writer's song; you don't like it; why should she care?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 10:12 AM

Any habit that requires this level of explanation has serious problems.

No, It is those complaining who are the ones with the problem. It's a habit; it's the smoker's habit; you don't like it; why should she care?

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Morris-ey
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 10:22 AM

There's not many people (thankfully) that come up and sing in your face...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 10:55 AM

Never been to out club and seen sing me then, Morris-ey? :-)

D


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: michaelr
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 11:19 AM

"Third-hand smoke", Carol? What's that supposed to mean?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: olddude
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 11:39 AM

A far better approach I think is a ballad for the loss of a loved one due to smoking, One can never underestimate the power of music to change lives, as one struggling right now to stop it is something that I am trying to keep in my mind.   

There is nothing funny about generalization of people. Even if the intent is at humor it will get lost and regarded as hate peddling which I do not believe was the intent of your song ... rather than use terms as Scum maybe a ballad of those lost to the habit would hit the heart more I think ... just a humble suggestion ... In that light I will wish you success in your song writing. It is always nice to see people writing their own music.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 12:15 PM

You guys are a stitch. I plan to post the more virulent responses on my website so that the people who are laughing their heads off can feel properly ashamed.

Third-hand smoke is the waxy, tar-laden residue that is left behind when smoke dissipates. Unlike other vapors, 95% of this goes straight into clothing, hair, furniture, even paint, and has a serious impact on children. Another UCSF study as yet unpublished - look for it in a month or two.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 12:51 PM

David El Gnomo, in contrasting Eric Bogle's satirical song with Carol's hysterical rant, points up the difference perfectly.
Bogle makes good use of the 'over the top' language of the bigoted for comic effect, without himself being bigoted.
Carol is trying to claim a similar validity for her song.
This doesn't work, because she clearly shares the views expressed in her song - i.e. it is not a satire at all.
The other main difference, of course, is that Bogle's song is well written and funny, whereas Carol's, in my opinion, isn't.
I'm afraid that Carol is not going to listen to any criticism of her song, however well-intentioned, so there I rest my case.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 01:02 PM

Thanks for resting your case, Dave. The song is funny to some people, not funny to others, purely a subjective matter, but a little comic at this point because none of you have heard it. The harder you stomp your foot and insist that it isn't funny, the funny this whole thread gets.

But please don't pretend to speak for me. I've said plainly that shooting people with bug spray is assault- not recommended. And my lifelong best friend is a smoker. This song is specially crafted to be sung in a street fair to someone holding a cigarette deliberately inches from your nose who, I fear, would laugh at a plaintive ballad about premature death from secondhand exposure.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 01:53 PM

Well, at least you'd get a laugh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:01 PM

Siegel, by the way, is a well-known tobacco industry shill. If he ever did good work I'm glad to know it, but these days he works hard to oppose smoking restrictions to protect the public's health.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:03 PM

I give up.
There is no good knocking when there's nobody there, as they say in these parts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:11 PM

It amazes me, in a kind and gentle way, of course, how many people with whom one simply disagrees accuse one of not listening.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:20 PM

Succinctly put DaveR. I'd been watching this thread since the start, and it was only the criticism of "humourless" people that finally bugged me enough to comment. Taking an aggressive swipe at smokers is one thing, hiding behind "satire" for it, is another. Then when that ploy fails, claiming that no-body but you gets your satirical wit - just goes beyond the pale.

"I'm afraid that Carol is not going to listen to any criticism of her song, however well-intentioned,"

Well, she's evidently got a big healthy sense of the quality of her art or humour or something. Wish I were so self-assured about my singing, or indeed anything I do! That is a gift.

Maybe I aught to add for a big laugh that my Mother died at 54 of lung cancer last year. Which is clearly not a moment too soon according to "satirical" Carol. And I can dig black humour! I've made black humour jokes about my own Mothers habit & death. But I'm afraid if you're going to tread on challenging ground, your work needs to be genuinely sharp and witty (I wouldn't have objected to it if it were FUNNY). But I agree fully with Dave, this piece is not clever satire, it's far from it. It's merely badly composed vitriol.

But I guess you and your fans dig it. So whatever.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:28 PM

Carol,

I have taken a look at your website, and enjoyed your songs. In particular, I was very taken with the song 'Set Your Radio Free' which is about a subject dear to my heart.
You are clearly a very talented and committed writer and performer.
Please believe me, the only bone of contention here is 'Smokers Are Scum', which I sincerely believe is flawed in that it does not appear to make any distinction between thoughtless smokers who inflict their habit and its consequences on others, and other smokers who go out of their way to avoid doing this.
So let us agree to differ on this one song.
I wish you a Happy New Year.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:31 PM

Thank you for sharing. Again, I am just so deeply ashamed that people for whom it is played find it humorous. Trust me, we are all kneeling and begging forgiveness.

But what's more interesting to me is that I am the person doggedly dragging the discussion back to its real point, which is the deliberate exposure issue. And that even now, still, no one seems at all glad that this song's comedic overkill actually changed policy inside of four brief days. You can not like it, I don't care. But are you all incapable of acknowledging that it was effective? Would you really rather all hammer on a cancer survivor?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:41 PM

"Would you really rather all hammer on a cancer survivor?"

Did you get Lung Cancer? From breathing second-hand smoke?

If so, that's a real bummer. I have bad genes too, everyone genetically close to me has died young from cancer. I'm watching the clock.. Tick tock, another year another cell mutation.. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:44 PM

...there's no one there...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:46 PM

I am the person doggedly dragging the discussion back to its real point, which is the deliberate exposure issue.

I'm afraid it looks like deliberate exposure in order to gain cheap publicity from where I'm sitting. Satirical irony it certainly isn't, though it would be if you performed it whilst smoking.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 02:55 PM

"Thank you for sharing. Again, I am just so deeply ashamed that people for whom it is played find it humorous."

Oops, I forgot to thank Carol for her satirical caring platitudes about my recently deceased Mother. You are one sharp-witted lady, even if you do say so yourself!

Don't worry about the people who find it funny being ashamed, they'll have been too drunk too remember it anyway.

Have fun posting selected 'edits' from this thread to your fansite!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 03:11 PM

Golly, what an intemperate crew. Perhaps you should step outside and have a...hmmm, never mind. Crow Sister, I swear I didn't kill your mother. My deliberately intemperate song changed policy which would have helped protect her, and will protect everyone at the next fair.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 03:12 PM

Deliberately offensive exaggeration of one's true feelings does not constitute satire or irony. However, any offence I might personally have taken is far outweighed by the delicious irony of such an hilariously clueless example of the 'transatlantic misunderstanding' of irony itself.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 03:25 PM

Happy New Year, Crow Sister - you have this one nailed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 03:27 PM

Seconded.
HNY to all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Jeri
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 03:32 PM

Crow Sister, we haven't always agreed and won't, I'm sure, but if there's one person in this thread who should be self assured, it's you. I've heard you on MySpace or somewhere, and you have a magnificent voice.

I also find it very refreshing that you don't make a habit of telling people how outstanding your singing is, but with your talent, I don't suppose you'd have to.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 03:36 PM

"Crow Sister, I swear I didn't kill your mother. My deliberately intemperate song changed policy which would have helped protect her, and will protect everyone at the next fair."

Well I'm certain her ghost beyond the grave would for sure thank you for your efforts, if she but could.

Actually.. on consideration, no she wouldn't at all. She'd tell you plainly to "Feck the feck off!"
But then she was Irish like that.. ;-)

Anyway, I don't smoke myself - but please folks, feel free to light up and cough about me. Because thankfully it's still a free country (just about here in England so far) so you boys and gals who fancy a short terminal disease-ridden existence, please go and suck on that cancer stick with unfettered joyful abandon!*

Crow Sister is off to have fun now, x


* Note formal irony :)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 03:39 PM

I'd be very interested to hear from other musicians and music patrons who have successfully changed smoking policies, especially through art.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 03:41 PM

Thankyou Jeri - Just caught your post there. And I'm pretty touched!

Happy New Year to you, and to All Here too.

Frankly I'm sure I'd get on with ninety-nine percent of the folks here, including Carol - if we met face to face and simply chatted in a pub.

But hey, that's the internet... *smile*


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 03:45 PM

So howzabout a link to your singing, CS?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 05:02 PM

Okay, not a lot of smoking policy changers out there. How about more generally - any political activists out there who changed policy through song? I'd be interested to hear the story.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 05:15 PM

"I'd be very interested to hear from other musicians and music patrons who have successfully changed smoking policies, especially through art."
Wish I could have done it with a song, but I found that making the second mate do the job after smokng was banned on the Washington State ferries was more immediate and therefore more satisfactory. I have in the last day googled the legal implications of Battery vis a vis purposeful smoke blown in the face by those asked to OBSERVE THE BLEEDING POSTED AND ANNOUNCED RULES - to stop bullying another passenger or patron, that is- and was gratified to find that it is now legal precedent that such behaviour constitutes battery. The song was the only tool available to Carol and it worked, even if took four days. It is NOT different from asking people not to spit on you. If you go to where the smokers are allowed to smoke, you can leave. In the converse situation, they MUST leave and you shouldn't have to.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 05:40 PM

Hi Ian, here's to the second mate and happy new year. I'd love to know the legal precedent, if you know it - a state case? And thanks for helping the discussion tiptoe back to the policy question.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 07:39 PM

Carol- It was a 1994 decision in Ohio- you have to read far down the piece. http://www.law.capital.edu/tobacco/housing/residents_smokeinhome.asp
It occurred to me after my last post that a friend and I had collaborated on a parody of the post 9-11 safety spiel on the ferry, which included a warning to go to the designated area for the year before smoking was simply banned outright for the entire thirty minute crossing. We stopped singing that verse, and I can't find it written down, but it started
If you think you need a cigarette,
the ferry ssytem has some rules.
Don't smoke in your car, don't smoke in the head,
we've reserved a place for smokers.
      We never had to use it in the way you used yours.:)
   Carter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 09:03 PM

How cool. I wish I could hear it; there's a lot of potential in the line "we've reserved a place for smokers." Thanks for the reference regarding the Ohio 1994 case. What I love about a precedent for battery is that it lays the groundwork for self-defense. My band is going to pose with squirt guns, fire extinguishers, and of course Powder Fresh Glade Air Freshener. For those interested in the reference:

"Battery:
In civil law, battery is described as an intentional and offensive touching of another without lawful justification. If a neighbor is purposefully directing secondhand smoke into your apartment, the exposure may be considered to be battery. In a 1994 Ohio case, blowing smoke in the face of another person was found to constitute battery."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 09:19 PM

"A very real victory for a saucy little bit of satire."

Well, you got that policy changed at next year's fair, so more power to you. I like the fact that you think globally and work locally also. People who go 'round smoking in public places deserve to get their butts kicked. I do not like it around anyone--except other smokers. Starting somewhere about 1970, I began leaving my place or the places of others to have a smoke. IMO, that's the way it should be. Smoking around kids is unconscionable. I see NO excuse for that.

I know you're taking flack here, Carol, but you have big shoulders. I've read many of your lyrics and listened to you on Youtube, and y'ain't afraid to stand and be counted. I like that in people. Especially singer-songwriters.

Have a great New Year. I hope it's your best ever.

You know who.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 11:28 PM

Carol, I wish I could claim that line, but my friend Jack wrote it and I almost choked the first time I heard it when he did NOT use the obvious rhyme. We might be able to include that (it's a pretty good tune)in some living-room recording in late January, and I will endeavor to pass it along.
Best -   Carter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 06:53 AM

Meh, looked more ranty than satyrical to me, but Im not going to get worked up about it. Ive heard far worse as a smoker. It does seem a tad indiscriminate to be honest and if this fair was out in the open i dont see why people couldnt smoke wherever they wanted. Still sounds like carrol has met some complete pricks at this event so maybe its a justified response.

I leave you with a quote from Bernard Manning, "Theres this black fella..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 08:58 AM

Perhaps if it were not for the smokers, Tim Hart would still be alive today.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 09:40 AM


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: CIGARETTES (Ron Trueman-Border)
From: GUEST,Suzi Z
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 09:45 AM

Happy New year ...Mudcatters all...as a smoker and driver
little ditty ..a Ron Trueman-Border song ...Blue Skies ..Suzi

CIGARETTES Key of Eb Capo 3rd

C          Ebo      Dm7 G7   C         Ebo       Dm7 G7
You can club a baby seal; deny a starving man a meal
C          C7             F             Fm                   C      Am      F    C      G       C    G
You can say prince Edward's queer, but you can't smoke that cigarette in here

You can steal a baby from a pram, put broken glass in Waitrose jam
You can urinate in your best friends beer but you can't smoke that cigarette in here
                F             Fm   C                      F          Fm    c
BRIDGE:Same old story everywhere and it's beyond a joke
                         F             Fm      C          A7      D7                      G
                Even lepers get treated better than us folks who like to smoke

You can lace your neighbours tea with acid, speed and ecstasy
But tobacco is taboo my dear you can't smoke that cigarette in here

You can blaspheme you can curse take a joy-ride in a hearse
Worship satan no one will care but you can't smoke that cigarette in here

BRIDGE:Same old story everywhere and its getting out of hand
                Incest is o.k. they say but they want smoking banned

You can let it all hang out; you can wave your magic wand about
Hang naked from the chandelier but you can't smoke that cigarette in here

INST AS VERSE:

You can make a grown man weep, be intimate with flocks of sheep
Be loud. uncouth and insincere but you can't smoke that cigarette in here

BRIDGE:Same old story everywhere and what chance have we got
                They'd like to see us nicotine fiends taken outside and shot

When I die don't you weep for me I'll be happy down in purgatory
'Cos up in heaven all you'll ever hear is,'You can't smoke that cigarette in here'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 10:26 AM

Now that IS funny!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 10:31 AM

...and to save a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, I didn't say I agreed with the sentiments, I said the song was funny.
This is how to go 'over the top', be outrageous, be satirical and above all be funny.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,non-active member
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 10:52 AM

LOL! that really is funny!

Thanks suzi, I found some gentler songs on Ron's myspace page too here


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 10:58 AM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 11:16 AM

Hey 999, Thanks for the kind words - so far you are the only person who has appreciated that the song changed policy, and a friend and I were wondering if anybody on this thread would concede that much, even if they can't seem to crack a smile over it. I loved the other song just posted. May songs fill the air. But another group of people I played "Smokers Are Scum" for last night found it funny, so I hope this group can acknowledge, even if it is not their cup of tea, that some people like it. Humor is pretty personal, and also very regional, so there's always a wide range of options for reaction, and it's interesting how much hostility it seems to engender for a perky little vaudeville number. If you hate it, that's fine with me. I posted it here, as I said before, because there had once been a thread asking for anti-smoking songs, and this is the most virulent, over-the-top, and (to me) funny one I've ever heard.

"i dont see why people couldnt smoke wherever they wanted"-- quite aside from the moral issue of poisoning children at a holiday street fair, the location we were located in as a street band is in a smokefree business district. Even if that had not been the case, I had specifically asked a smoker not to smoke near me due to a lung condition I have, a leftover from chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease, and his response was to hold the cigarette as close to my fiddle as possible without getting in the way of my bowing arm. I finally nabbed his cigarette (still holding the bow), dropped it on the ground near my boot, twisted my boot on it, and kept playing. It was a nifty move. I wish I had it on video.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 11:26 AM

Carol,

At last we're getting to it. I was horrified to read what had actually happened to you during your performance. What you did was completely justified. Quite restrained, in fact, I would have said. I'm surprised you didn't wrap your fiddle round his neck. Then again, why ruin a good fiddle?
As for the song itself, I think we've established that the humour comes from the performance of the song, and the contrast between the dark content and the jaunty delivery.
I think if I saw you perform this song, and you prefaced it with the story in the post above, I would be cheering too.
And now, I rest my case again.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 01:51 PM

Can Carol please clarify exactly what change of policy she has achieved through this song. If the area where the street fair is held was already designated as smoke free, what has changed? What will be done next year that wasn't done this year to stop those smokers who think that the rules don't apply to them?

I agree about the crucial difference between her song and the Bogle one (neither of which I have heard sung, and neither of which I had met in any form until this thread). Bogle exaggerates the opinions of his target in order to highlight how wrong they are. Denney exaggerates her own opinions.

Personally I do my utmost to avoid cigarette smoke, so the very very small amounts that I can't avoid will have a negligible effect on my health. My reason for avoiding it is that it hurts, especially out of doors where any wind generates more side smoke. 50 yards downwind from a smoker is too close for me. One whiff can cause my nose to sting for half an hour afterwards.

The phenomenon that most annoys me nowadays is that the smokers who have been evicted from shops, pubs, offices etc hang around just outside, assaulting everyone who walks pass or goes in or out. I would like to see designated smoking areas on the roofs of buildings.

If I had one wish from a genie, it would be for all the smokers in the world to gradually find their smoke becoming as horrible for themselves as it is for me.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 02:49 PM

Hi Richard,

What's different is that the smokefree business district policy and compliance with it will be included in all the vendor and performer contracts next year, so that people who violate it will not be able to work future fairs. This happened because the song and the story about it was traded around online by people who thought it was funny enough to send to the tobacco control policy director. According to her, the Mediterranean Cafe's group of young in-your-face smoking scofflaws were well known, and she decided it was time to step up a combination of education and enforcement.

The city will also do a walking campaign, merchant by merchant, to make sure they, their employees, and their customers all have clarity about not only what the policy is but also why it is good for both public health and for business. Part of the import of this is so that city staff can make sure that employers don't instruct their smoking employees to stay near the doorway (which they sometimes do) for the exact reason you pointed out- the smoke comes right inside, smokes up the supposedly smokefree street, etc. It sounds like you need one of those 25-feet-from-a-doorway laws where you are.

What's funny is that fellow who stuck his cigarette right over my fiddle probably will do the same thing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 03:14 PM

Carol-

Maybe we need to send the Mudcat Flying Squad over to teach the "scum" a lesson he will remember, assuming he survives the experience.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 04:21 PM

Some further clarifications from Carol, please.

"What's different is that the smokefree business district policy and compliance with it will be included in all the vendor and performer contracts next year, so that people who violate it will not be able to work future fairs."

Were the offenders last time vendors or performers, to whom that will apply? Even if so, what about other smokers who just attend the fair?

"city staff can make sure that employers don't instruct their smoking employees to stay near the doorway (which they sometimes do)"

Is smoking allowed further away from the doors (and therefore still just as much of a problem for other people in the street), should the employers be sending the smoking employees up to the roofs, or what?

Returning to the original subject of debate: I agree (sorry, Carol) with those who find that the humour doesn't work for them. Possibly the song would benefit (like many others before it) from some folk processing. It could perhaps be made more obviously satirical and more obviously focussed on the unacceptable behaviour of some smokers rather than on apparently condemning smokers in general.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 04:55 PM

...What an absolutely shit song, I don't smoke but I certainly don't think it's right to abuse people in this way at all. Grow up for fucks sake!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 06:32 PM

Perhaps if there was a link to the song, as performed, people could actually judge it as a song rather than just a set of (to me, unpleasant) lyrics which convey nothing more than what the words actually say. I'm assuming the people who found it funny were privy to a prior explanation and an actual performance, which I'm sure would make an essential difference to their perception of the song as a whole.

Maybe a little modesty might endear people to it, and you, as well..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 07:06 PM

Smokey,

Indeed. It would appear, as I have said before, that the appeal of this song must lie in its performance. It was written after the incident described by Carol and as a direct reaction to that incident, information we were all lacking at the beginning of this fascinating thread. Without that information the lyrics just read like an indiscriminate attack on ALL smokers, whether thoughtful or thoughtless. So, yes, a link to a video of it being performed, preferably with an introduction explaining the circumstances, would be very interesting.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 07:00 AM

More Doctors Smoke Camels Than Any Other Cigarette Priceless!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 11:25 AM

Hi Richard,

It's nice to hear from people interested in the practical aspects of policy and enforcement. If people like the song, or don't like the song, it's really fine either way. There's plenty of music I don't particularly care for, so I'm not sure why some people's tone is so hostile. I wish there was at least equal vehemence being vented at the fellow who held his cigarette right next to my nose when I requested he step back a bit.

But I'm not really as interested in discussing that as I am in policy and public health. There's nothing immodest about posting the song, which, I said before, was in response to a request for anti-smoking songs. This is one, for sure. I've used it in four performances so far and for the first time in my life last night had to pause til laughter died down enough to continue singing the next verse. I'm about to go play it at the Noe Valley Farmer's Market.

Some of the smokers were vendors, some were employees with a problem similar to mine regarding having to be at a particular station, thus the walking informational campaign. Smokers who attend the fair can step outside the fair, some half-block away. There are no tickets, it's all free.

Berkeley does have a 20-feet-from-the-door perimeter policy, but the operative policy in this case was the smokefree business district policy which covers the entire business district, the length of the street. People who can't make it very long without a smoke can step outside the fair, but also there are a variety of patches, gums, even nicotine lozenges for, for instance, people on long flights, etc. It isn't as though there are no alternatives to exposing other people.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 11:40 AM

Explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog: you understand it better, but the frog dies in the process.
—Mark Twain


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 11:42 AM

'I'm not sure why some people's tone is so hostile.'

Hollow (ironic?) laugh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 03:05 PM

If people like the song, or don't like the song, it's really fine either way.

We haven't heard it; we've only seen the lyrics, which appear to be very hostile to a minority group of which you are not a member. There's nothing immodest about posting the lyrics, but you've done little else but brag about the song (which we haven't heard) ever since.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 08:19 PM

Quite the contrary. I'm interested in talking about policy, and have said quite a lot about tobacco policy, secondhand exposure, and public health both through the song itself and through the discussion of its context. I invite you all to tiptoe back to the policy issues.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Effsee
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 11:18 PM

Carol, I invite you to apologise to me for calling me scum! I smoke in the privacy of my own home, or on the street in probably the windiest County in Scotland, Caithness.
The behaviour of your acquaintance was apalling, I agree, but don't class me as scum.
And your song can no way be classed as "gentle"!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 12:29 AM

I invite you all to tiptoe back to the policy issues.

Does this mean we don't get to hear the song then? The bare lyrics of which you started this thread with? Your views on the issues are clear enough and probably even right, but we don't really know whether the song is good or funny without hearing it. Quite a few people are a bit sensitive about having their dead friends and relatives written off as 'scum' in the name of comedy, and it would be interesting and educational to see how you manage to turn it into a source of amusement merely by the act of performance.

Who or what, exactly, are you satirising? I'm afraid I just don't get the joke..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,non-active member
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 09:50 AM

"My band is going to pose with squirt guns, fire extinguishers, and of course Powder Fresh Glade Air Freshener"

Pleased to see you don't believe in provoking people who indulge in a (still) legal activity - note that is irony!


I had the experience some years ago of someone deliberately walking 100 feet of so down a narrow jetty overlooking the Atlantic ocean to complain that my cigarette smoke was 'in their face' - it's strange how that kind of behaviour is likely to provoke a reaction in even the most considerate smoker - almost as much as being called 'scum'!


Like effsee I smoke in the privacy of a room in my home
Fortunately I am a home owner as I see, Carol, that you strongly support the policy 'advising that all public housing should be smokefree

How generous of you to point out that 'That doesn't mean smokers wouldn't have access to housing. It only means they can't smoke there, or that eventually they won't be able to, because of the impact on their neighbors.'

So smoking on the street is banned, smoking in open public spaces, and now smoking in your own home if it happens to be 'public housing'

I'm curious…... is this an invitation for children and neighbours to denounce the deviant smoker in their own home to the police?
And why should the sound of that possibility ring some disturbing bells?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 09:55 AM

Smokey's right. We've been very patient and very kind in this thread, and given you the benefit of the doubt. Try as I might I can't find your song funny or satirical and it certainly isn't gentle.
I have hesitated to mention this before, but here we go - my brother died ten years ago from smoking related lung cancer.
Was he 'scum'?
Despite your own hostile attitude, we are giving you the chance to convince us that this song is worthwhile by letting us hear it performed and put into some kind of context.
And please don't tell us we're being 'hostile' and 'tiptoeing away from the issue'.
The issue is this song, as printed in the opening post, and most of the hostility has come from your direction.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 11:33 AM

Again, I posted the song in response to a request for anti-smoking songs, and I'm not really concerned about people who don't get it or don't enjoy it. The world is wide. I'm sure you'll all find something you do enjoy, and we can all raise a glass to that. I'm thankful a few of you realize how silly people look denouncing a song without hearing it. You're welcome to hear it, but at present you'd have to come to California's Labor Heritage Festival to hear it, since I wrote it right after the Christmas Eve street fair, I haven't had a chance to record it yet, and it's not really my top priority. But calling a song titled "Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song..." is an accurate use of irony.

The scum referred to in the song are smokers who smoke in street fairs around other people, in this case a street fair where smoking was supposedly prohibited. The subject of both the song and the thread is secondhand smoke exposure and related policy. I have no apology to make for calling people who would smoke and expose others at a children's holiday fair scum. Children, as I hope you all know, are particularly at risk, as am I.

I would never have taken the gig if I had known it would involve hours of dedicated tobacco exposure. Again, I've survived cancer twice, and since my lungs shut down from the chemotherapy (not the lymphoma) last time, I no longer have the treatment options the rest of you may have if you are diagnosed with cancer. I did try to tell this to the most adamant smokers, who clarified quite consistently that they did not care. Scum, my friends.

All, and I do mean all of the other people with my disease at the hospital where I was treated are dead. I have no embarrassment at all speaking up from an admittedly relatively unique perspective, that of a cancer survivor having someone hold a cigarette over my fiddle while I played, and I hope other cancer survivors, however few we are, will speak up as well when smokers pretend to be oblivious to the impact they have on the health of the people around them.

I spent a month hooked up to machines, which everyone thought would be the end of me, and then after beating the machine odds I spent a solid year being able to walk or talk, but not both, and still having to work, function, etc. I never thought I would be able to play and sing at the same time again, so now that I can it only fires me up when people try to bully me out of speaking my mind. Secondhand smoke, as I've mentioned before, is 6-12 times more toxic than what the smoker is inhaling. The surgeon general puts it simply - "there is no safe dose."

Most people who have their own homes and of course only their own health to impact have never thought much about the difficulties that arise in public or shared housing when a smoker's and a non-smoker's units share common halls, common walls through which air is traded through electrical outlets, heating ducts, poorly insulated windows and walls, etc. If there's a playground there, for instance, parents aware of the risks to their children would have to keep their children away if there area is frequented by smokers. There are now powerful studies available on the very real health risks to children in these settings.

I'm delighted to hear those of you who smoke speak with pride about moving away from other people to take a puff on a jetty, and share your bewilderment at people who would go out of their way to give you a bucket of unpleasantness for doing something so thoughtful. You ought to get a medal, as I've said before.

But there has been very little patience and kindness in this thread. Not really a complaint on my part, just an observation. I am going to do my best to continue to converse with people about second and thirdhand smoke exposure and the changing policies worldwide. If you think you're scum there's not a lot I can do about it. I've made my own point as clearly as I can. I have a song I can sing directly to the next smoker who decides to dose my fiddle with tobacco and nicotine, and I'm practicing watering my plants with the most comic array of squirt guns shaped like dolphins and flamingos. If I can acquire a certain level of accuracy I hope I can extinguish out of place smoking materials without spilling a drop while avoiding an assault charge, despite the self defense implications of the 1994 Ohio case - thanks, Carter.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Crow Sister
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 11:38 AM

CD: "I'm interested in talking about policy,"

Sheesh, I was too busy having New Year to keep pace with the Authors subject swerves on this thread.

We're no longer discussing how rubbish everyone else's sense of humour is then! Jolly Good, we've finally ascertained that Carol's lyrics are neither clever, witty nor satirical. But they are good ol' foot-stompin' hilarity in a bar where people fall off their stools and smash their glasses (I'm sure said event had nothing whatsoever to do with any other legal drug! Tee Hee..). And as we've concluded that C's lyrics are not satirical, they are evidently simply a colourful example of her own personal attitudes about another group of human beings. Nice one Carol!

PS. Carol - isn't it about time you reminded us all (yet again) that you're a lucky "cancer survivor"? Unless you've failed to notice (though I'm certain you're intellectually above such commonplace observances) the 'poor me' victim plea kinda fails totally, because *you* fortunately lived while sadly other people (such as the smokers you are wishing an early death to in this song, for example) sadly don't.

PPS. As far as 'policy' is concerned, well unfortunately I did already know we were living in 1984 - but I do so just hate having my hippy dippy fantasies about freedom and human liberty disabused by Brown Shirts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Crow Sister
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 11:39 AM

Oh bugger, I cross posted!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 11:41 AM

Ah well. The things you have said in this thread speak for themselves, and I'm quite prepared to let others judge whether or not you've been treated with patience and kindness, and whether you have reciprocated in like manner.
I wish you well for the future, and I look forward to hearing your song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Crow Sister
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 11:54 AM

Carol, it's bad news that you were born with shitty genes. Just the same for everyone who has CANCER writ large in their genetic code (like me too), but for all that you appear to want to, you can't load that off (or your appallingly unfunny song) onto smokers!

I just fucking wish I had my Mother's dog-ends around the place to remind me of her. She smoked and died, and other family died (before fifty) around her of cancer who *didn't* smoke.

Hey ho. such is life.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Paul Burke
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 12:38 PM

I wonder if there's a song coming up about "nose breakers are scum" after CD squirts someone....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 01:23 PM

The smokers I am wishing an early death are those who deliberately expose other people to a known carcinogen, especially those who expose children, cancer survivors, or people with vascular or pulmonary disease. I do so wholeheartedly.

I'm not mentioning my own history to get any sympathy out of this group, and I knew that compassion would not be forthcoming. People hate having to think about cancer, and smokers especially hate having to think about the issue of exposure. Which is why I continue to respond with germane information about the very real connection between secondhand smoke and cancer, asthma, heart disease, etc., rather than gratuitous personal remarks about any of you. I don't know you, and you're probably all very lovely people.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 01:47 PM

"It starts off intemperate, and just gets worse. "Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song" is just plain funny to people with a sense of humor"

I've a rollicking great sense of humour, but I don't find that song funny...I find it aggressive.

Smokers aren't scum.   

My father was a smoker. He smoked around me, as did my Mum, when both my brother and I were children. In those days, people didn't know how addictive or dangerous smoking was.

My dearest Dad was the gentlest of men....and to see those words upsets me very much.

As a child I never suffered any bad effects from smoke inhalation, despite 60 a day often being smoked by each parent..and my grandmother too, when she came to stay.

I feel that some of those facts on smoke and its effect on children are way over the top, actually. Yes, long-term smoking around children can affect some of them, but it doesn't affect every single child.

I actually think Smokers have now become the new Communists, preyed upon by neurotic people, made to stand outside in pubs...Sheesh! Just have a smoking room from heaven's sake! 'Non-Smokers Not Allowed' on the door should do the trick.

Also, it seems to me that someone on here, who admits to being a smoker seems far more the kind of person I'd prefer to be stranded on a desert island with...than others who claim to never smoke, because they seem far gentler and far more accepting of others than the up-their-own-arses-non-smokers.

My Uncle Grey used to smoke a pipe and a cigar now and then..OH, how I *loved* the smell of those cigars...and I'd sit and watch him load up his pipe, then bang it clean...He had a collection of them.

Auntie Eileen smoked like a chimney every day of her adult life, until she died in her late 80s. She was as fit as a fiddle all the way through.

My Dad, and Uncle Grey (not the one who smoked the pipe, he was married to Auntie Eileen....keep up!) ;0)....Uncle Grey who was my Dad's twin brother...well, they both got emphysema in the end..and it was pretty awful for them both. But it's strange, isn't it..how some can smoke all life long and it never affects them, and others can't.

Of course, drinking is a major problem these days, far more so than smoking, I'd say...Here in England, we have two generations who are well on their way to being alcoholics..and the National Health Service is FINALLY admitting it's being taken to the edge of bankruptcy because of it...but I don't hear the non-smoking drinkers complaining about that.

?????

Lizzie (A non-smoker)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 01:47 PM

Carol, I enjoyed your song. It provides me with an emotional outlet for the anger I feel about having been subjected to constant cigarette smoke in our home while I was growing up, the emotional bullying that comes with a smoker's bellicose defensiveness when others express their distress at having to breathe their smoke (some of which we see here in this thread), and the health problems I still suffer even now in my 50s because of it. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 01:49 PM

"I'm not mentioning my own history to get any sympathy out of this group,"

Tsk.. such false modesty is unbecoming of you!

Anyway, as you'd say yourself: "Thank you for sharing"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 02:08 PM

"The smokers I am wishing an early death are those who deliberately expose other people to a known carcinogen, especially those who expose children, cancer survivors, or people with vascular or pulmonary disease. I do so wholeheartedly."


You know...this is like the 'ALL dogs are Scum!" brigade!

You get those who have real hang ups about dogs calling for them to be outcasts in society, not allowed here, there or anywhere...This new law, that new law....

Protect our children! Protect our children! They'll go blind! They'll die! They'll get this! They'll get that! Take the evil dogs away from them! Seperate them for life..and beyond!

Well, you know what?

I'm one of the few people who've had Toxicara, Carol....and I lost part of the vision in my right eye, but do I blame dogs for it???? Nope!

It just happened.

I came to terms with it, I was lucky, I got better...and I moved on.

What has happened though, is that children and animals have become far further apart than ever once they were, brought up by neurotic parents who've been brainwashed into believing their children are going to die if they sit next to a dog..and both children..and dogs..have suffered because of it.

We cannot live in a Super Sterile World.

I don't want dogs banned.


We get things in life. We get terrible things in life!

Yeesh...I lost two 'little souls'..and the first was due to a cancer scare, something called a Hydatidiform Molar pregnancy. Very rare, very 'orrible, but I learnt a great deal from it, learnt to love life, whilst The Big Cancer sat waiting on my shoulder, deciding whether to go deeper inside or leave me alone.....

I didn't blame smokers for it though..or anyone else...

It simply happened.....and it happened to me.

Things do.

It's called Life...and you have to cope as best as you can...

The best way to cope is my opening your heart up, not closing it down.



I really wish you well...and I hope that you make a full recovery, but it will help you more to not get so angry with a bit of cigarette smoke floating your way now and then.   It's not **that** harmful.

We get cancer for so many reasons...

It is not anyone's 'fault'....

Take the best from it...the love of your family, the care of the medical workers around you.

Learn to see the Beautiful World in which we live through eyes that know the meaning of 'The Last Day', because it brings with it such an incredible gift...and the simplest things, which once you never noticed, become immeasurably wonderful, like a raindrop on a leaf, a frosted spider's web..the colours of car oil in a puddle..a sunny day....a robin, a squirrel jumping from tree to tree, an old lady's face, wizened with wrinkles, that lights up like a diamond when she smiles........

All so beautiful...


Save the word Scum for those with Exploding Underpants, who deliberately choose to kill and maim as many as they can...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 02:10 PM

Well, of course smokers aren't "scum"...but it's hyperbole. It's deliberate overstatement, which is one way of being humorous...depending on the context.

Remember this Randy Newman song?

Short People

Short people got no reason
Short people got no reason
Short people got no reason
To live

They got little hands
Little eyes
They walk around
Tellin' great big lies
They got little noses
And tiny little teeth
They wear platform shoes
On their nasty little feet

Well, I don't want no short people
Don't want no short people
Don't want no short people
`Round here

Short people are just the same
As you and I
(A fool such as I)
All men are brothers
Until the day they die
(It's a wonderful world)

Short people got nobody
Short people got nobody
Short people got nobody
To love

They got little baby legs
That stand so low
You got to pick em up
Just to say hello
They got little cars
That go beep, beep, beep
They got little voices
Goin' peep, peep, peep
They got grubby little fingers
And dirty little minds
They're gonna get you every time
Well, I don't want no short people
Don't want no short people
Don't want no short people
'Round here


Now, amazingly enough a LOT of prickly people took great offence at this Randy Newman song...they took it literally! It's incredible that anyone would, but they did...although it should be obvious to any sentient being that it's not intended to be taken literally.

I should think it would be obvious that the lyrics which say "Smokers are scum" could not possibly be intended literally either...because there are billions of people who smoke, and anyone who is capable of thinking at all knows perfectly well that you can't just categorize them all as "scum".

To imagine that the writer of the song really believes that all smokers are scum is just silly. Therefore the song must be satirical in intent.

However, it was bound to raise hackles in some people. Were it my song, I'd be careful who I sang it around. ;-) I destest smoking, but I'd still be careful who I sang it around, because some people would be bound to take offence.

I've written anti-smoking stuff myself which is about equally intemperate, but I did it mostly for my own satisfaction since I had to suffer other people's smoke helplessly for most of my life. Writing the songs gave me some sense of striking back after all that, but I seldom sing them in public.

I'd have to actually see this song performed by the writer to decide what I really think about it. The tone of the performance would determine whether it works or not.

Lizzie - I think raw tobacco smells lovely...but I have to say that I absolutely detest the smell of the stuff when it is burnt! Yuck. Some pipe tobacco, though, does have a sort of neat flavor if you catch just a tiny whiff of it at the right distance...up close, not so good.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Crow Sister
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 02:12 PM

Me there above.

As far as kids are concerned **thread drift** one of the most worrying things I see today is severe child obesity.

I've no idea how our culture can address this trend, but it breaks my heart to see such an almost inevitably short life determined - for such young kiddies - by early parentally-determined dietary habits.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 02:18 PM

I promised myself that I wouldn't put another post on this exasperating thread, and I guarantee this will be my last.

Carol,

For Christ's sake, can you not see what the problem is with your song, and why people are so offended by it?

It does NOT target smokers who smoke at your open air market gigs or wherever, it targets ALL smokers, whether considerate or inconsiderate.

Read your own lyrics. The intro does mention that you are playing open air gigs, but there is no link between that fact and the rest of the song which (please God, don't let me have to say this again) targets ALL smokers indiscriminately.

THAT is why people are offended, and for no other reason. They are offended beacause we all have friends and relations who have died because of smoking (without, in many cases, inflicting their smoking on others).

If the thrust of the song was 'people who smoke in front of me, despite a ban on smoking, and despite being told not to, are scum' fair enough, but THAT IS NOT WHAT THE SONG SAYS!

(sorry about the shouting, but this is just getting too stupid).

To save us all going nuts, could you at least acknowledge that you understand what we are talking about?

If not, then I really DO give up this time.

Sorry for the rant, everyone, but this is just getting ridiculous.

Bye.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Effsee
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 02:21 PM

I remember when all the scare statistics about AIDS were being bandied about when it all started, my brother said "Life is a Sexually Transmitted Disease, with 100% fatality."

Kinda sums it up really!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 02:31 PM

No, no..... ;-) Life is a stage play. It has a beginning: birth. It has an ending: death. In between you get to do all the drama which can really be fun if you do it in the right spirit and don't take the tragic parts too hard.

Then when it's over, you get to do a curtain call and afterward you get together with all the other actors from the play and have a big celebration. And after awhile you contact your agent, line up another part in a new play, start rehearsing your lines, meet the other actors who'll be in it, and the whole process starts over again.

What's so awful about that? Seems to me that the worst thing possible would be to be trapped in a play that never ends! Dorian Gray was faced with that, and he got pretty fed up after awhile, didn't he? He got "sick of all this repetition" (Dylan quote)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 02:53 PM

"I've no idea how our culture can address this trend, but it breaks my heart to see such an almost inevitably short life determined - for such young kiddies - by early parentally-determined dietary habits."


Actually, CS...that's a very interesting point.

I found a video the other day, on Youtube..a Top of the Pops one, that I put on here, on another thread...and one of the comments on there was about how skinny everyone in the audience was, not one overweight person at all...Got me thinking back to the 70s, and it was true, people were so much thinner back then..(er....myself included!) :0)

Simple, home-cooked food and one helluva lot less alcohol back then, I guess...and it wasn't considered 'OK' to be huge either, which now it is...In fact, you couldn't even by large clothes, apart from in the occasional 'outsize' shop...(such a catchy name that)

And here's that very video, again...Skinny Times..

'The Resurrection Shuffle - Top of the Pops - Youtube


(By the way, that 'play' bit was beautifully put, Little Hawk)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,snoutcast
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 04:30 PM

Doesn't scum always rise to the top?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: olddude
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 04:35 PM

small gentle suggestion, Please Please don't feed trolls.   It was very well explained in elaborate details why the song is offensive. Either they doesn't get that generalizing all people in such a manner is disturbing, or they are just thick, or they simple do it to Troll on ... suggestion ... don't feed trolls


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 04:39 PM

Some of us like the song, as is our right, and it is also our right to say so.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 05:24 PM

"long-term smoking around children can affect some of them, but it doesn't affect every single child"

This kind of remark is why I wrote the song, and why this discussion is important. Even a small amount of secondhand smoke makes a dramatic, and measurable impact on healthy adults -- measurable vascular damage in twenty minutes in healthy adults (UCSF,Glanz study). Children's rapid cell division puts them at extreme risk for physical damage and disease, and that applies to every single child. "It's not **that** harmful..." someone remarked. Yes, it is. If you see someone smoking around a baby, you should speak up.

In areas where smoking restrictions become law, the incidence of heart attacks drops by 17%, and by 37% within three years in eight replicated studies. It doesn't bother me at all to remind this group of this information because it helps people understand that people with heart disease, like children, are more at risk than others and often don't realize their own condition until the attack.

I agree that there are other ills in the world, but this thread is not about drinking, and not about dogs, but rather about smokers who deliberately subject others to deadly secondhand smoke, and the policies which are changing public health for the better.

Smokers do not have to be outcasts or excluded in any way from anything. They can quite simply smoke outside the pub, or the fair, and even slap on a patch on a long flight, etc. There are plenty of smokers in my crowds who seem able to appreciate that its subject is secondhand and thirdhand smoke exposure, its target a behavior, rather than everyone who smokes.

Anyone who hears this song while smoking is by definition smoking near me, and that not only makes it useful to me as someone who performs a lot, but as I mentioned before, this song changed policy because of its comic, aggressive perspective. I think the song deserves some respect for that, but I get a big kick out of those in this discussion who are adamant about trying to bully others out of laughing at it, liking it, or appreciating that it has been very effective in both the policy change and tip jar category.

People constantly tell cancer survivors that they are playing for others' sympathy by simply mentioning that they survived cancer in an effort to intimidate them from mentioning it at all, another bullying tactic. You can have any emotional reaction you wish to have to this simple fact in our lives. But you won't shut us up, and there's nothing inappropriate about mentioning it. It is as much a part of our lives as our names, and most relevant to a discussion about secondhand smoke exposure, because that is the subject of the song.

I don't really worry much about people who deliberately misinterpret the song and then hop around demanding an apology. They're getting good exercise, after all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 05:36 PM

That's what I always figure when the Dachshund gets upset about something and jumps around hollering about it. At least he's getting some good exercise. ;-)

If people find this thread bothers them, why do they keep coming back to it?

There was a thread that bothered me on the lower half of the board, because it was so full of hostility, and I haven't opened it in ages. I just glance at the title as I pass by and I feel sorry for the poor sods who still can't seem to resist the impulse to get pulled back again and again to something that puts them in a rotten mood every time they go there. I suspect they are pursuing some kind of "final victory"...kind of like the USA in Vietnam or Afghanistan.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 06:53 PM

I think I agree with OldDude - don't feed them.

Life's too short.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 07:02 PM

"People constantly tell cancer survivors that they are playing for others' sympathy by simply mentioning that they survived cancer in an effort to intimidate them from mentioning it at all, another bullying tactic."

They do? Gosh, did you get cancer of the Hypocriticus? Ever thought of being a politician?

In point of fact I thought it was *you* who was repeatedly leaning on your delicate victim status (being lucky enough to survive the disease yourself) in an attempt to deflect criticism from your *lyrics*, whilst simultaneously complaining about "irony failure" in other people who found your *lyrics* both un-funny and unpleasant.

You're not some little 'Child of Courage' to be wheeled out on at prime time TV for a charity marathon Carol: you didn't die of a disease you wish upon others - who just as you wish, do of course die from it. Good for you.

Bleat about it all you like, but do not expect appreciation of your vitriolic abuse (aka funny song), of others who unfortunately for them, do not and will not experience your good fortune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 07:23 PM

Wha' happen? Did an enthusiastic mod just give me the 200 there?

Sorry Smokey...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 07:58 PM

Ever have that feeling you were being watched, CS...?


"There are plenty of smokers in my crowds who seem able to appreciate that its subject is secondhand and thirdhand smoke exposure, its target a behavior, rather than everyone who smokes."

I must say, Carol, that you seem to have been remarkably busy since Christmas day. I'm surprised you can find the time to fit it all in, what with the tireless effort you've spent educating the ignorant masses here. I look foward to hearing or seeing a performance of your song when you can find the time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 08:04 PM

This thread has been very instructive in a number of ways. I hereby thank people for showing me how WWII started.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 08:17 PM

And why it lasted so damn long! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 08:24 PM

It reminds me of the 24/7 'news' feeding frenzy following Tiger Woods whacking a tree in his SUV. I mean, why?!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 08:25 PM

Hitler ran out of fags..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 08:39 PM

And I promised myself that I wouldn't post on this unending thread either but it still continues to resonate, filling in some of the gaps that were glaring in the initial post.

Carol-

Do consider becoming a member so that other members may communicate with you via PM as well. Mudcat has a high tolerance for individuals when members know where they are coming from. And you have certainly made a good faith effort to respond to questions, some of them intensely personal. Who you were or what your point was, was not apparent to most members when this thread was initiated.

I was the only one who guessed that you were even involved.

And I'm still waiting for an apology from your friend who told me to "Fuck off!" on an unrelated thread.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: olddude
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 08:46 PM

And it junks up the music threads stored in the database and consumes bandwidth that could be used for important music things ... IMO


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 12:44 AM

Secondhand and thirdhand smoke exposure is an important issue to musicians, many of whom have died of lung cancer from secondhand and thirdhand exposure. I spent years singing in smoke-filled clubs before California's laws changed to protect singers and workers. But here in California casinos are exempt from the workplace laws, and many musicians and workers continue to be seriously exposed in the casino venues, and the laws are very different state by state. Some states in the US have no workplace protection laws, and internationally it is very hit or miss.

Charley, I honestly don't know what one would do to join the group. It seems like a very ill-tempered group to me. But it sure does temper the criticism to have this kick-ass song to use in performance. It does seem to have hit a nerve, not to mention changing policy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: sharyn
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 01:15 AM

Alright, I'm sticking my neck out here to say that I heard "Smokers Are Scum" live at Chester's in Berkeley last weekend and I thought it was funny.I laughed out loud when it began to sound like the sputtering of a small angry child. But I think intemperate ranting is funny sometimes. I often rant about things on paper until I get so outrageous I make myself laugh.

And, in the interest of full disclosure, I will say that Carol is a good friend of mine and that I grew up with chain smokers and have some lung damage as a result of that. I will add that, thanks to Carol, it is now illegal to smoke at bus stops in Berkeley and for that I, a bus rider, am entirely grateful (and yes, I still run into people who insist on smoking on the bus bench, despite the posted citation).

I like the song. Uh-oh.

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 01:33 AM

"Alright, I'm sticking my neck out here to say that I heard "Smokers Are Scum" live at Chester's in Berkeley last weekend and I thought it was funny."

Good for you, Sharyn. The lady does have a propensity to get things done.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 08:54 AM

Carol-

Becoming a member of Mudcat is relatively easy. You may click on the "Membership" link on the top headline or ask our friend Sharyn above for guidance. Some members can be jerks or even scum on some issues, and educational or entertaining on other issues. Other members I find are consistently fine. Some are hard to define.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 10:53 AM

Hard to define is such a lovely phrase. Welcome home, Sharyn, I hope your trip was lovely. Sharyn and I share an appreciation for the phrase "better undefined."

I'm so glad someone posted the controversy over "Short People" by Randy Newman. He is one of my favorite writers, and it's one of my favorite controversies.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 01:31 PM

Yeah...Short People...it's a classic case of misdirected anger on the part of a lot of confused people who just didn't get it. Randy Newman is probably still getting hate mail over that one... ;-) Anyway, I think he's rather short himself, isn't he?

Have you checked in on my "Scum are Scum" thread, Carol? It makes for some good reading, and I think it's time that Howling Eddie Cranshaw got the recognition he deserves in the folk community.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 05:20 PM

No, Little Hawk. One thread is definitely enough for me, considering the high volume of personal attack. But I loved your comments about life being a play. It has such a playful acceptance of any ups and downs, and the obvious impending end. I thought you put it rather well.

Walking home from work today I saw a young mother smoking in the business district while pushing a baby carriage. I mentioned (gently) that it was a smokefree area, and she gave me a look that would peel paint.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 05:24 PM

Sounds like the city has problems enforcing policies/by-laws.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 05:44 PM

Well, it basically works this way: Most people seem to feel that it's perfectly "okay" for them to do something if they like doing it or want to at the moment...because their world revolves around themselves and they are the first priority. They are the star of their own drama. Their reaction to you unexpectedly intruding upon that little drama is usually extreme annoyance or hostility.

Most people can easily tolerate in themselves numerous imperfections that they would loathe and despise if they encountered them in another! ;-)

You were intruding on that young woman's little ego bubble, invading her moment of relaxation, and she reacted in a predictable fashion.   She is, after all, the most important person living in her script....and who the hell are you???? ;-)

If she'd had a really sardonic and wicked sense of humour, she might have responded to your remark "this is a smoke-free area" by blowing a smoke ring casually and replying...

"Not any more...!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 06:23 PM

"I wish there was at least equal vehemence being vented at the fellow who held his cigarette right next to my nose when I requested he step back a bit."

Carol, we have a remark for that kind of guy 'round here in redneck country. Ya take the cigarette from him and then say, "Watch the little red light go out!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 06:42 PM

Carol,

Apropos becoming a Mudcat member:
If you haven't already, do please look at some other threads here and get a feel for the range of subjects and the range of attitudes - some people indeed hostile to anyone who even seems to disagree with them, but plenty of us who are interested in constructive debate and in just learning more about all these subjects.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 06:55 PM

Perhaps she is taking a little rest?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 07:11 PM

I couldn't blame her for taking offence, but I do hope she comes back.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 07:43 PM

Hi Little Hawk & all, no, still here. I agree that people walk around in their own self-absorbed little bubble, but I couldn't exempt myself from a description like that. I don't really enjoy annoying people whose pleasures may be few, but I try to speak up about exposure to children, etc. But I loved this, the prescription for moments of well-earned impatience:

Ya take the cigarette from him and then say, "Watch the little red light go out!"

It reminds me of my old friend Vera, rest her soul, who spent a lot of time in smokey bars happily smoking. If a particularly annoying guy kept hitting on her she'd just take his cigarette and pop it in his beer. I still can't believe she never got hit.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 08:31 PM

My last post is referring to Crow Sister, whose account is now 'inactive'. A guest's post has been removed, and mine no longer makes sense.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 08:37 PM

We love ya anyway.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 08:49 PM

... well, so long as there's no obligation to make sense ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: olddude
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 09:23 PM

By the way Carol, you are one fine songwriter and performer and I mean that. wonderful stuff on your site. I don't like this song but I LOVE your other work. I would buy your CD in a heartbeat


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 10:01 PM

Well, darn. If I'd known you were going to visit I'd have cleaned up the place.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: olddude
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 10:12 PM

Place looks darn fine to me Carol, I will go outside if I gotta smoke one I promise !!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Carol Denney, the author
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 10:40 PM

I'm glad I swept up the cigarette butts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 01:35 AM

"By the way Carol, you are one fine songwriter and performer and I mean that. wonderful stuff on your site."

I'm with you on that, Dan. And, she's a nice person, too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 04:23 AM

Having known friends and family members who suffered and died from addiction to tobacco, I think this song misses the target, which should be the tobacco producers not the smokers.

Smokers are victims too. This song is just hurtful to anyone who has lost a loved one to lung cancer or emphysema and other related illnesses.

Technically (in the poetic sense) the song admits that smokers are addicts which excuses more than accuses them and the habit, and conflicts with the message the title and rest of the poem/song proposes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 07:27 PM

It's what I term a 'bandwagon song'. A rather thoughtless one at that. Still, those who agree with it will like it - that's the point of them. Guaranteed approval from at least half the audience, for a song that was knocked out in a day and performed (to 'crowds', apparently) within a week. Although, being a smoker, it's obvious from the lyrics that my opinion isn't worth tuppence to the author. I can live with it :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: GUEST,Millindale
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 07:54 PM

As an ex smoker I can quite safely admit that my smoking habit was anti-social.I object to anyone calling smokers 'scum'.Carol Denney should aim her anger at the real culprits in this argument. The tobacco companies, mainly American of course, who historically have adulterated cigarettes with addictive substances in order to keep selling their product. Aim your criticism at the right target. Just as a matter of interest I think the song is crap.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 04:53 AM

I first heard about this thread when I looked at Carol's website--on Tuesday she had come to a bi-monthly jam I had just managed to get re-established after the pizza joint where it used to be got shut down by the Alcoholic Beverage Commission. She sat beside me with her concertina and fiddle and charmed the heck out of me, so I googled her and found her site where I found the song and her reference to the flak she was getting about it here. I am stunned by the vitriol heaped upon her--you slaves to the habit are a bitterly defensive lot (I'm a reformed smoker: I quit cold turkey 42 years ago and like many former smokers am strongly against the evil weed--I have been driving with an open window and have felt assaulted by the smoke drifting back to me from a smoking driver in the car ahead of me at a stop light).

I had smoked for about fifteen years when I quit, primarily by avoiding other smokers--I stopped eating in the faculty lunchroom. I also can attribute my ease in quitting tobacco to the fact that I was smoking a bit of marijuana in those days, and the infinitesimal pleasure I derived from cigarettes paled in comparison with the pleasure derived from a drag or two of the boo.

But anyway, guys, take it easy on my new friend. Check out her website--she's a very passionate, opinionated person, a committed activist, a writer who habitually speaks her mind in no uncertain terms. And, I might add, a fine singer, fiddler, and concertina player (she didn't bring a guitar to the jam--and, unfortunately, didn't sing any of her songs there).

Charles


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 06:19 AM

I think you will find, bseed(charleskratz), that Carol has not been personaly attacked on the thread as that is against Mudcat policy. The work in question has been criticised as being poor and the comment has been made many times that although it may work in song, it does not have the same effect as a written piece. Carol herself makes the same observation on her web page and, as a professional artist, I am sure she is quite capable of accepting criticism. I am also pretty sure that she would see the irony of someone asking us to take it easy on someone who can brand a whole section of society scum because of the actions of a few inconsiderate bastards...

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 04:15 PM

David el Gnomo,

I am a 15 or so year member of Mudcat and am well aware of the 'cat's policy regarding personal attacks. That said, I found the tone of many of the postings quite offensive, and more than a few of them bordered on personal attacks (yours were quite temperate and even somewhat sympathetic). But it was really the harshness and redundancy of the attacks on the song that I found depressing. I'll have to admit that Carol's defenses became rather redundant, as well.

Charles


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Smokey.
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 08:33 PM

The song itself is an attack, or appears so from the lyrics, calculated to stimulate unnecessary animosity and hatred where common sense and good manners would be more appropriate. I can well see how the alleged scenario which the author claims inspired the song must have been extremely irritating, but such a hateful outpouring seems to be rather an over-reaction. If that was the intended 'irony', my dictionary must be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: 3'Shift
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 05:32 AM

Apologies for prolonging this long & rocky thread, but 1) obviously the song itself is ironical, over-the-top and satirical, and 2) the reason so many find it so offensive & hard to stomach is that the author is NOT making fun of the general viewpoint expressed therein, in distinction from most of the other satire mentioned.

If it were left as an exagerated, comic rant ther might be a few mutters, but the author makes it quite clear that she regards close-range tobacco smoke as virulent poison, and those who carelessly administer it to others as something like hit-&-run drivers. (And although a smoker myself, I have to agree with her.) The song itself, in performance, may come across as hilarious, but in her discussion it is obvious that she endorses its general attitude, rather than lampoons it. (Again, rightly enough, particularly in the case of someone who could conceivably be seriously, even fatally injured by a fairly small amount of the stuff.)

As a funny song it may be a success, and as political action it seems to have already proven itself, but when its forcefulness & hyperbole in the service of something the writer vehemently believes in are defended more-or-less with "Oh, c'mon, lighten up, it's a satire", then you must expect that a lot of people are going to perceive hypocrisy. Hence trollness.

Actually, I came on here to find the words to 'Andrew Rose' about 5 hrs. ago, and I hope I'm not going to get entangled in this damn' spider web of a site every time I need some lyrics...    ;)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 07:21 AM

Pick yer drug of abuse and use it.
Whats a street fair?
Sounds like it is a time when the establishment decides to allow street buskers and performers to make their noise pollution with out calling the cops.,
Maybe some mutual money making involved?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Smokers Are Scum, a gentle song
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 07:33 AM

Once again the different meanings of irony kick in...


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Mudcat time: 22 July 10:06 PM EDT

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