Now Playing: maybe some Richie Havens
Five hundred years from now, historians and social scientists will look back on us and ask how we ever could have smoked tobacco, knowing what we do of its ill effects on our bodies and on our world as a whole. And they will say, for better or worse, smoking tobacco was something that we did to ourselves on our way to becoming ourselves. But there will still be the shaken heads of condescension at what weak-willed animals we were. What rats we must have been to trade in this stuff and enslave our fellow men to produce this stuff and find ourselves resorting to this stuff to just make it through the day.
No, there will always be addicts and addictions. In fact, I hope it is so. Because being drawn to things at the chemical and essential levels is what makes us human beings. We are the species with the participial name: thinking man ---the being that becomes what it wills.
But they will never make smoking tobacco or anything else safe because it is manifestly unsafe for one's health. It is inconceivable to me that even the very first person to take a drag off some grapevine didn't think it was a stupid thing he was doing to himself. "Smoke? I'm purposely drawing smoke into my lungs? Where the fuck is my mind?"
Forget plastics, Benjamin. Pharmaceuticals is the way to go. Give us the (synthesized) goods in an easily-swallowed pill. Give us another kind of pill to take us off of the first one and set us up for the next. Because we're always going to have a jones for this thing or that. We're always going to be rats banging away at the lever to get our treat.
This is a struggle that never ends until everything ends. Dammit.