thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I just decided that the one I just played was my last ever game of solitaire. Let's see how I do. If solitaire works, maybe I could work on the smoking.

I have been smoking since I was 16. I stopped for a year and a half when I was about 22. I did it the right way too. Finished the pack and said that that will be the last one. It wasn't, but I did well for a year and a half but still had the occasional one when drunk, but very occasional.

Then I started again.

I always said I would stop before I was 30. At this point (28), thats a maybe, but I will stop eventually, I have done it before.

Smoking kills I know, but what I am really trying to establish here is making excuses. And the particular subject of excuses I want to get onto here is obesity. I am not claiming that the negative health effects of obesity make smoking ok. That might seem a weird statement but some pro-smoking lobbies have pointed out that the negative health effects of obesity are worse than smoking. Despite whatever other lies tobacco companies have told, that statement looks like its true, but it doesn't change the point.

I have been in some of the poorer countries in the world and a few of the wealthier ones too. When you go to the poorer countries if you use your eyes you will see that obesity is a problem that DOES NOT EXIST. Look in the richer ones, and you will see that it does.

I am fairly certain (this isn't just conjecture) that this blows the glandular or genetic argument out the water.

Just like me with smoking some people get on the proper diet and fitness wagon and fall off again. I don't want to preach, I have never been to a gym in my life. If I want to get fit there are always beatiful places to walk, things to see, healthier things to eat and drink.

Obesity has become a problem (was going to say a HUGE problem but it is too obvious a pun - hey, my mum died of cancer and I tell cancer jokes, don't be so touchy).

A slightly pompous argument, is that overeating contributes (as do smoking and unnecessary car and air journeys) to the horrible cycle of pointless consumption that is going to end clean air, the ozone and safe living sometime in the course of this century.

I am not any better, I still smoke. I just don't see the point in the excuses. Nothing more than self-deception.

If parents force their children to smoke there would be a huge outcry. Protection services would be involved. I think parents who allow their children to become obese should be subject to punishments. I think that is one of the few statist things that I have said, I am not happy about it, I just can't think of another way out of it right now (this instant I mean, not in general).

Yes, marketing people are paid to deceive us. Yes, it is more convenient (though not actually cheaper) to eat pre-prepared food. Nevertheless, knowing what I do, which is that if I continually smoke there is a decentish chance I will die slowly and painfully of lung cancer and that if I continually play solitaire then I will have wasted time on something utterly pointless (time reduced by my smoking habit), whatever happens is MY FAULT.

Here are some Scottish lyrics about the very same thing...

Everybody's a Victim -The Proclaimers

Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA
Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA

I demand recompense
For sitting on the fence
Throughout my adult life
You've got to put my parents in jail
For raising me in Fife
It doesn't matter what I do
You have to say it's alright
And I need you to send somebody around
To tuck me in at night

Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA

Well it's not my fault
That I'm positive
I just stuck a needle in my arm
And nobody told me
That sixty a day
Would do me any harm
My liver's shrivelling like a leaf
But it's not the whisky that doo's it
Call me irresponsible
And I'm really going to lose it

Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA

Wear a ribbon for this
Hug a stranger for that
Light a candle to the dead
And soon you'll forget
That you ever had
A brain inside our head
We value everythin the same
We turn it into farce
So we don't know a crisis
'Till it kicks us up the arse

Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA
Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA
Everybody's a victim
Seems we're going that way
Everybody's a victim
We're becoming like the USA
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 2:00 pm  
  • At 7:02 pm, Anonymous Mickey Z. said…

    Sure, personal responsibility is an important issue but I feel it's impossible to overstate the role of corporate conditioning. Is it our fault if we eat ourselves to death? Of course...but the marketers (and the corporations that pay them and politicians that legitimize them) are complicit. It's hard to imagine a society like ours existing without persuasive coercion.

  • At 7:06 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    very persuasive, absolutely. but those who are aware of it have less excuses, especially if they believe in the wrongness of it

  • At 9:23 pm, Blogger miken said…

    Good luck with the smoking. Both my parents quit successfully. I never smoked (not cigarettes, anyway), and I have no desire whatsoever to give up beer.

    Congrats on the solitaire, at least. As I always say to people I catch playing solitaire, "Play a real game!"

  • At 11:23 pm, Anonymous Mickey Z. said…

    Just saw this quote and found it appropriate to the discussion:

    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself."
    (Joseph Pulitzer)

  • At 11:35 pm, Anonymous Mickey Z. said…

    More fun:

  • At 12:52 am, Blogger Keir said…

    Hey Michael,
    which one're you in that picture?
    (Sorry, had to be done.)

    'No excuses for anyone; that's my principle at the outset. I deny the good intention, the respectable mistake, the indiscretion, the extenuating circumstance. With me there is no giving of absolution or blessing. Everything is simply totted up, and then: "It comes to so much. You are an evil-doer, a satyr, a congenital liar, a homosexual, an artist, etc." Just like that. Just as flatly. In philosophy as in politics, I am for any theory that refuses to grant man innocence and for any practice that treats him as guilty.'
    ---Albert Camus, The Fall

  • At 3:28 am, Blogger Rex Kramer, Danger Seeker said…

    C'mon, Mickey Z; blaming the corporate culture for one's eating habits is akin to blaming action films for hitting your spouse. Aside from impressionable and social status-seeking teenage girls, anyone with any sense of self-awareness (and, I suppose, self confidence) and a modicrum of intelligence is aware of healthy diet options and their benefit.

    That said, with few exceptions, what you eat is a choice. As for myself, I choose to drink beer for dinner, which no doubt explains how I've gone from 190 pounds to 210 in just over a year (at 6'2, I figure I can add another 20 before I might consider choosing to drink...yuck..."light beer.")

  • At 6:25 am, Blogger a rose is a rose said…

    i'm a mess and it's ALL my fault. not my parents and not the print ads or the television commercials. it's not micky d's (i don't eat meat) and it's not starbucks (never was in one and never will be although i am addicted to coffee). it's ME ME ME

    NO excuses

  • At 9:47 am, Anonymous Mickey Z. said…

    Hello Danger Seeker,

    If you re-read my posts, you'll see I was not blaming corporate culture alone. Also, you say: "anyone with any sense of self-awareness (and, I suppose, self confidence) and a modicrum of intelligence is aware of healthy diet options and their benefit."

    I just don't see empirical evidence of this being true.

  • At 4:30 pm, Blogger zamba del che said…

    On a different line of thought. What do you think the connection between smoking and the anti-capitalist movement is? Why is it that such a hight proportion of people in the global justice movement smoke compared to the rest of the population?

  • At 12:11 am, Anonymous Satan (i.e. guerrillasinthemidst) said…

    Smoking still kicks ass. I figure the more I smoke, the fewer people are destroyed. So I'm doing it for everyone else's health, rather than mine. Lil' ol' altruist me. Besides, every time I've temporarily halted my smoking (I smoke American Spirits, so it's a bit easier to quit), I miss all of the great, visceral conversations about non-smokers!

    Sorry if I've given you reason to continue....

  • At 9:10 am, Blogger GraemeAnfinson said…

    I smoked from 14 until 22 (i am 25 now) and quit cold turkey. Then I gained weight like a motha f*cka. that probably has more to do with me never making time to play basketball anymore, but i tell people quiting smoking made me fat

  • At 10:02 am, Blogger a rose is a rose said…

    i smoke because i get ALL of the good gossip from the other ostracized smokers

  • At 3:04 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    sorry to eevryone for being so tardy with responding. they are working me like fuck at the moment

    mickey, i agree with that quote but if people are aware that the press is of than nature does the dynamic change?

    i like the camus keir

    zamba, thanks for saying hello. i am not sure there is a correlation. you might find a correlation with poverty and smoking though.

    rose, i am sure your not a mess.

    rex, ifi ever hear that you have been drinking light beer i will be on the first plane to give you a good talking to.

    graeme, when i quit my weight went up to but then i picked up my mountianwalking habit which has stuck with me since (tho i still liek a cigarette and a whisky at the top!)

  • At 10:55 pm, Blogger Rory Shock said…

    although there is such a thing as choice and critical thinking ... it is being blanched out of more and more people ... if marketing was able to sell bush's lies to a majority of yahoos back in the day when it mattered, ie before he started bombing the shit out of iraq for example, then it sure as shit can sell twinkies, ice cream, locomotion prosthesis for the otherwise able, and sedentary pursuits ... frickin' A man ... I blame corporate culture ... oh yeah ... rory frickin' well does blame society ... that being said ... i am in pretty frickin' good shape cause I move my ass about under its own power quit a lot ...
    bottom line ... those without the mental defenses against corp culture ... whether because of lack of education, intelligence, depression, or what have you are the most vulnerable ... and corporate marketing culture preys on the weak ... not the michaels of the world ... that being said, I'm gonna go eat a twinkie and quaff a brewskie to wash it down ... and I'm remembering how much I used to like to smoke ... hmmm .... guess I better go for a frickin' walk

  • At 10:56 pm, Blogger Rory Shock said…

    oh and I forgot to say ... really enjoyed this post ... great lyrics from the proclaimers ...

  • At 1:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Its funny you get all these comments on a personal post. Have been discussing 'the anarchist view of the smoking ban in pubs' with friends. Got to agree with it but is there something sad about the way people have abided by it, or is that a sign of the brotherhood of man that it needs little enforcement? We decided yes that the smoking ban was the best argument FOR anarchism seen in years. Like Zebra Crossings. is this maaking any sense?

    Gus at

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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
See my complete profile

Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing

  • Gorillas and us
  • I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams

    Recent Thumping
    Older Thumping

  • spinwatch
  • adbusters
  • internet archive
  • art not oil
  • blairwatch
  • bushflash
  • camcorder guerillas
  • corporate watch
  • campaign for press freedom
  • noam chomsky
  • common dreams
  • counterpunch
  • cost of war
  • david rovics
  • democracy now
  • dissident voice
  • the dossier
  • downing street says
  • etims
  • robert fisk
  • food not bombs
  • global research
  • gmwatch
  • impeach blair
  • indybay video
  • killing hope
  • lobbywatch
  • mediachannel
  • medialens
  • mickey z
  • mixed up records
  • george monbiot
  • mark thomas
  • john pilger
  • radio 4 all
  • schnews
  • snow shoe films
  • sourcewatch
  • tom englehardt
  • ukwatch
  • video activist network
  • howard zinn
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    some of the blogs I look at
    Arse of the month

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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

    It's All Gone Scottish

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
  • Kim Ayres
  • Our Scotland
  • average tosser
  • 1820
  • big stick small carrot
  • J. Arthur MacNumpty
  • World of Jack McConnell
  • The Firefox Chronicles
  • Independence 1st
  • Radio Free Scotland
  • Scots and independent
  • Scottish Independence Guide
  • Small Nation
  • Inveresk Street Ingrate
  • Radical Glasgow
  • Want to Swot?

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    If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.

  • politics and the english language
  • Beyond Hope
  • the gore exception
  • your tax dollars at work
  • a cultural chernobyl
  • choose life (not trainspotting)
  • shooting an elephant
  • a war crime within a war crime...
  • the menace of liberal scholarship
  • the modern era of law
  • naming the problem
  • the four ages of sand
  • a news revolution has begun
  • come september
  • money is the cause of poverty
  • countering corporate power
  • Other Stuff

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