Cigarettes, Crazy Birds And The Evolution

With a risk to sound silly or blunt, I am really, honestly, amazed by human capability of doing something like smoking tobacco. And I’m saying that as a smoker. It’s not that, by smoking, I do something completely unnecessary, I do something utterly ridiculous. But, it seems that is a step in evolution of a living form.

I won’t start a list of bad things that a cigarette does and/or can do to me and the environment. Those have been said enough times already. But I love that kick in the brain that the first couple of inhales make. And I love the taste of it. That is, in the case of a good Dutch blend that you have to roll by yourself, and not some industrial, over-advertised, additionally poisoned shit. But still, I love smoking.

But, the question remains, why do I do it? It does taste good, but the taste wears off after a while. And I know of much better ways to kick my brain. Though not so available and not so repeatable ways. I am not going to answer the question why do I do it. If I knew that answer, I wouldn’t be in the nasty situation most of the smokers are.


photo by ella propella

No matter how intelligent and special specie we like to think we are, we, humans, are just another form of life. Sure, our intelligence helped us finding out that inhaling the tobacco smoke does something to us. Our developed fingers help us roll  the cigarette. But that’s it. The rest is just the kick in the brain. The same kind as the kick that lab rat feels while pushing the button to receive the tasty ball of food or some other pleasant stimulus. And you know, give a good enough stimulus and the rat will jerk that button until self destruction.

Have in mind that rats are an intelligent specie too. That’s why they make a connection between the button and pleasure. Fish won’t fall into that trap. Before you draw any conclusion, let’s say that, most probably, fish would get into any pleasant self-destructing habit, if only was smart enough to find it. Fish is protected by its own stupidity.

There is a story about where the idea for Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds came from. Somewhere in the USA there is a river with algae that blooms every several years. Trick is that, while in bloom, this algae produces some psychedelic chemical. The birds in the area eat the plant all the time, but when the algae goes blooming birds go wild. Not as aggressive as in the movie (it’s a triller, not the educational program, after all) but disoriented, reckless and… well, you know… like birds on drugs. Flying around like mad, occasionally smashing themselves against the walls, trees and windshields.

We’ll never know if they like the drug. Do they feel a nice surprise when mother nature put something funny in their food? Or they bug out, not knowing what’s happening and don’t like it? Hardly so. Over the centuries, they have learned what else not to eat to avoid poisoning. And, those that survive the crazy ride come again the next season. No matter how small the brain is, it’s fun to screw it.

So, here I am, lighting another cigarette. Smart enough to do it. Not smart enough not to do it. An another example of the specie that enjoys its own self-destruction.

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  • You have a great blog!

    I think that when humans first started tobacco use, it was more of a ritual or ceremonial practice, and used sparingly.  It would be interesting to research whether it's the actual tobacco that makes people sick, or the weird additives that cause more harm.  Would unadulterated tobacco have the same effect on one's body?  Personally, I think that frame of mind has a lot to do with it as well.  If one treats tobacco as a sacramental offering, it could potentially have a different effect on the body.  Something along the lines of the research Masaru Emoto has done or the "What the Bleep" quantum physics theories (?) in regards to the physical effects of "intent". 
    I've gotten to the point of being addicted to tobacco. When the new cigarette tax came into effect, I started getting pipe tobacco and rolling my own. In the past my consumption was limited to 3 cigarettes a day as a reward after finishing with chores and responsibilities for the day.  Sometimes I wouldn't smoke during the week, would only partake when I went out with friends to a music show.  My consumption definitely needs to be curbed, just for the sake of moderation.  Anything could potentially cause harm if not consumed in moderation. 

  • Three cigarettes a day is my dream :) But I'm afraid I'm way past that point. As with all addictions it's either too much or none at all. 
    There is a huge question about additives. I'm not going to say that unaltered tobacco is not harmful but the difference between it and what is packed in industrial cigarettes is huge. That sour smell that stays in the room and in the clothes is not present with natural tobacco. According to many cigarette manufacturers, they treat tobacco with ammonium to kill that smell. Which is a blatant lie, because smell is not there before that treatment. Other part of the lie is that ammonium enhances, if not produces, the addiction. Industrial cigs make that feeling of wanting one more which is not present with natural tobacco. Nicotine is addictive but not as much and not in the measure as the industrial cigarettes are. 
    Ritual use of tobacco differs from ours for sure. I should search my hard drive for some oboks about it. I might throw a post about that. Thanks for proposing the subject. :)

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