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Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Un-denormalisation - UPDATED AGAIN

Leg-iron's mention of an old film in which everyone smokes and nobody coughs has reminded me of something I caught on YouTube the other day. The missus and I are partial to the occasional Discworld novel (and if Rod Liddle doesn't like it I refer him to NickM of Counting Cats), and Mrs Exile's personal favourite is Going Postal. I'm not going to waste time explaining the plot or why we like Terry Pratchett's work or why Rod Liddle is a smug prick even if he did like the Sky TV adaptation of Going Postal that was on recently (fuck knows when we'll get it here in the off world colonies*). For those who haven't read it you should, for those who have already tried a Pratchett novel but didn't like it I'd say give it another try with this one but I do just want to mention that one of the characters smoke. Actually she - yes, a woman and how dare she what with her having ovaries and everything, what about her potential, and fictional, not even unborn children that she isn't actually expecting - smokes quite a lot. You'd be forgiven for thinking that she's probably the villain and some kind of Cruella DeVille character, because then clearly the point of the cigarettes would be to emphasise what a bad person she is, but in fact she's the leading lady and the hero's love interest. The hero, by the way, doesn't smoke at any point in the story and turns one down when she offers him the pack, so is presumably a non-smoker, but expresses nothing worse than mild surprise when she lights up. When kissed by her it's described as "like being kissed by an ashtray, but in a good way".

Needless to say Adora Belle Dearheart is probably never going to be a favourite fictional character among the Righteous, particularly not with a name that suggests she's adorable despite smoking so much that at one point the hero is able to track her down by asking around local tobacconists. So Mrs Exile and I just kind of assumed that despite the smoking being an important part of the character it would never make it past the anti-smoking brigade that seem to be all over any portrayal of smoking in the media these days, let alone anything vaguely positive. I mean it's not just smoking or even repeated smoking but repeated smoking by an attractive female character that the audience is supposed to empathise with. Surely it would be written out if only to prevent the Righteous head-pops from deafening the production team.

Nope. They left it in. I'm amazed but there it is. Even in the trailer, 54 seconds in, there she is, lit fag in holder and looking like Holly Golightly with vicious PMS (and there are some more smoking scenes shown in this interview with the actress, so it doesn't look like this is something they're just going to hint at - can any UK readers who watched it confirm that? See UPDATE - Angry Exile). How the hell did that get past the baccy sensors of the Baccy Censors. Were they all out on their fag break er... Guardian Letters break?

I didn't take up smoking because someone on TV was smoking any more than I did because I liked the adverts (now banned) or the colours of the fag packets or point-of-sale displays (probably soon to be banned) or any of the rest of the shite the anti-smoking lobby love to blame in lieu of the horrifying (to them) idea that I might have spontaneously chosen to try it and then to carry on. For that matter I didn't stop because of the Righteous' near constant hectoring and nagging and nannying and the ads (not banned, funnily enough) for their pharmaceutical industry sponsors' products, or with the aid of any of them either. One day I decided to smoke and nearly twenty years after I decided to stop for good, which wasn't as easy as it could have been if the Righteous had been able to shut the cunting fuck up about smoking for five minutes. Now that you've got ads banned most of the media content relating to smoking is you bastards carrying on and fucking whinging about it.

We're very much looking forward to watching this when it finally comes out in Oz, although that'll probably be so far off we'll have bought the DVD and watched it half a dozen times by then. It's not just a good story anymore, it's a tiny little victory for common sense. Actually, come to think of it the smoke-nazis will probably demand it's shown after the watershed and in Oz ACMA will probably slap it with a nanny rating just to make damned sure everyone buys the DVD from the UK and watches it without advert breaks nobody's young mind is corrupted. Because as many as a few people might be offended otherwise.


UPDATE - courtesy of The Filthy Engineer in the comments, apparently Adora smokes throughout the whole story. The Filthy Engineer is silent on whether or not she also yells "Fuck you Liam Donaldson, you fat, patronising bastard" at any point. I imagine she probably doesn't.

UPDATE #2 - from JuliaM in the comments, news that for every little victory we should look for the little defeat. In this instance it's that someone airbrushed out Churchill's fucking cigar.

Give me strength.

* Sorry. Watched Blade Runner again over the weekend. If I start claiming that I've seen things you people wouldn't believe would someone please let me know.


The Filthy Engineer said...

Adora smokes regularly throughout the movie.

I didn't think I'd like the movie. But I quickly found out it was cracking good yarn.

Angry Exile said...

Ta for both.

Chalcedon said...

Going postal was good TV. So much so that the mem sahib grabbed my copy off the shelf and started reading it. I recommended she read making money next!

JuliaM said...

Well, Adora did a lot better than Churchill, then...

Angry Exile said...

@Chalcedon, we'd have bought the DVD anyway but more good feedback and the reviews mean we're just going to pre-order as soon as possible. Agreed about Making Money.

@ Julia... oh for fuck's sake. It's two steps forward and one back with these anti-smoking revisionist cocksockets, isn't it? And Churchill of all people! There's plenty of meaningful things you can criticise him for (he's perhaps less than revered Down Under because of his part in the Gallipoli cock up) but the cigars? Really worth fighting for freedom, wasn't it? That really pisses on my chips, that does. It's like Hitler's last victory. Strength Through Joy!


The Filthy Engineer said...

Actually she just kept shouting
"Fuck you ASH" and muttering under her breath what she would like to do to Deborah Arnott.

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