Never mind any health related complications caused by smoking. Yes I know they give you lung, throat, mouth, teeth, and brain cancer. But my cell phone will give me brain and testicular cancer, the sun is giving me skin cancer, everything at the LAX airport will give me cancer, my microwave will give me cancer, red meat will give me cancer, and so will processed foods. That being said, everything was simply cooler when people still smoked.

When I first turned 21, Wisconsin was still fending off bordering states and their push against cigarettes by still allowing smoking in bars. What developed was smoke-filled dens called bars. They were packed with sleazy women and horned up men, which created a lot of hookups. On any given night, no matter what the weather was like, people were crammed in any dumpy establishment to chain smoke and binge drink until they either found a way to get laid or passed out in the street.

At the time, these events were normal. Twelve short months later however, I quickly realized that I had just fit into the last great period for bars in the area. Once cigarettes were banned, the bars emptied out. Whether you were a fan of smoking or not, the realization I quickly became aware of was that the majority of fun people who filled the bar smoked. Once the air was clean and clear the pterodactyl across the room seemed even less attractive than before.

What I also realized was that men were way more badass when they smoked. It’s not that smoking really turns you into a badass—it’s just something about the type of man that was portrayed during the height of men who smoked. Mad Men shows cutthroat business men. Marlboro portrayed kickass cowboys. The concept of a man in jeans and a beater drinking a PBR and smoking a cigarette is just simply cooler than some sissy in an affliction t-shirt drinking his apple martini. And unfortunately that is what society has developed into. Men are no longer hard-ass pussy slayers. They are now dolled-up wussbags.

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Additionally, while I despise the taste of cigarette smoke during a kiss, the appeal of a woman smoking a cigarette does wonders visually. Plus it provided quite possibly the two best openers of all time, offering a cigarette, or offering a light; acts that were both chivalrous and manly. The closest option you have these days is attempting to buy a drink; a move that betas have all but ruined.

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So what made me recollect on these ideas? For starters, as I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I had been on a 80’s movie kick. Clint Eastwood smoked and every character he played was awesome. Paul Newman smoked too. In fact, I challenge you to find an action flick in the 80’s that didn’t involve smoking. It’s virtually impossible,  because every action star got laid, smoked cigarettes, and blew stuff up. It was the 80’s, that’s how they rolled, and it was awesome!

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The biggest push towards my recollection of how smoking made things better was going out in St. Paul for Saint Patrick’s day. Outdoor tents were setup with makeshift bars downtown, and inside was filled with drunken youth listening to live bands, smoking, and chugging booze. It was a one night only refresher of the good ol’ days. And as I participated in a night of social smoking and drinking I realized it’s more a symbol of freedom and carelessness than anything else. The concept of cigarettes killing you is important to note, as life is good, but the idea of forever enjoying your youth is mostly founded on the idea of capturing the days of being carefree. And when people smoked frequently, it was the ultimate symbol of not caring. When cigarettes were present, zero fucks were given. And that is a symbol that America has lost.

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