“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”

A basic constituent of the US Declaration of Independence. It is not dissimilar to ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’, the demands of the French revolution. But you could also run both of those phrases together thus:

“Life, Liberty, equality, fraternity and the pursuit of happiness”

Weird, is it not, how each of those words can be turned on its head.

‘Life’ = permission to exist.

‘Liberty’ = freedom from risk.

‘Equality’ = standardisation.

‘Pursuit of happiness’ = relative states of misery.

The word ‘happiness’ intrigues me. I seem to remember a time when we had a good idea what that word meant.  We considered ourselves to be ‘happy’ when we were smiling and laughing, such as might be the case at a party. The word had connotations of ‘gaiety’ (but not ‘gayity’). Could I describe myself as being ‘happy’ if I was sitting at home, nice and warm and comfortable, with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, and reading an interesting book? You might say, “Yes”, to that question. But suppose that the ‘interesting book’ was ‘The Gulag Archipelago’, which describes the horrors of post-revolution Russia? That book is certainly interesting, but it is far from ‘happy’. Am I ‘happy’, reading about torture, execution and expulsion?

We might change the word ‘happiness’ into ‘contentment’. I remember, some sixty years ago, asking one of the professors at college (‘philosophy’ if you want to know) if he was happy. I think that the question stunned him for an instant, but he was quick enough to reply that he was ‘content’.

Perhaps the Declaration of Independence should have stated ‘the pursuit of contentment’. Certainly, in the situation described above (reading the Gulag), I was content because I was warm and comfortable with a glass of wine and reading something interesting.

But I am not in the tiniest bit content, even though the circumstances are much the same, when I am writing this blog. I seethe. Well, not tonight, because this post is not about torture and persecution.

In the Gulag, torture was not necessarily direct infliction of pain. Isolation in a really cold cell and deprivation of sleep convinced many an innocent person to confess to anything just to get out of that situation. They did not care if they were shot – just get me out of this suffering.

Long ago, in the 1960s, I decide to stop smoking. My memory is somewhat iffy, but I think that it was simply because smoking was supposed to make you ‘out of breath’. Honestly! I think that I lasted for three days or so before I said to myself, “Sod that!” and started to enjoy my tobacco again. In the 1970s, I quit for 12 months, and bought my first car after six months. I could afford the payments. After a further six months, I started smoking again. AND IT WAS WONDERFUL!

And there is the crux. You can stop drinking beer etc, and you will not notice much difference – until you down that first pint after twelve months of abstinence. Only then will you realise what you have been missing.

Humans do not need a ‘Statute’ to tell them that they have a right to ‘seek happiness’. We are born with the instinct to seek ‘happiness’. Babies shriek to be fed, and gain pleasure from the feeding, and then the fall into a contented sleep. “Gain pleasure and then fall into a contented…” are the important words. Pleasure produces contentment.

In other words, I doubt that I would want to read the Gulag if I lived in miserable conditions. Wonderful, is it not, that ‘relativity’ does indeed play a part in whether we are ‘happy/contended’ or not.

What I cannot understand is why our Elected Representatives’ gain happiness from passing laws which torture smokers, drinkers, fatties, etc. Their objective cannot be contentment – it can only be a form of gaiety. What fun! Throw smokers out of their pubs and make publican do the throwing!! How we laughed, and how gay we were!

I had a thought a couple of hours ago. It was about the imposition of the need for a ‘permit’ to import ‘free movement of goods’ goods, such as tobacco leaf. How can there be ‘free movement’ when the freedom requires a permit? Permit = ‘vos papiers! (your papers!). There is no ‘freedom’ when ‘permits’ are required. We are still in the EU, and so obedience to the rules is still required. That means ‘Free movement of goods’.

I can see a vague possibility that Trump might rid the USA of leeches. The ‘swamp’ is full of leaches. I hope that he does so. Tobacco Control is super massive leach. The FDA regs about ecigs are a massive leach. They drain funds out of small companies by imposing a duty to prove that ecig liquids are NOT dangerous, or even more silly, that they could NEVER be dangerous to infinity.

I must buy the latest version of ecig. What shall I buy? I suppose that advertising ecigs has not yet been banned, so I could enquire on-line. What I would like is a version which might justify my importation of tobacco leaf.

But I would wish to import such leaf well in advance of my need to use it. The reason is that tobacco improves in taste if it is aged. It would be nice to import, say, a ton of tobacco leaf and store it to allow it to age. That would be lovely, but “Vos Papiers!” has injected the poison. Further, there are loads of different varieties, which have different tastes. EG, ‘African Red’, ‘Costello’, ‘Prilep’, ‘Shirey’.

Lawmakers have seriously been buggering everything up for the last few decades. Why? God only knows. Perhaps it is no more than they have nothing much to do except bugger things up. Maybe it has always been so, and perhaps that is the reason that there have to be wars from time to time – and revolutions. It may be that Brexit is a revolution, and the election of Trump might be a revolution, but do not discount the power of the aristocrats.

Trump needs to identify the aristocrats and deny them power – if he wants to rule ‘for the people’.

WILL he do so? CAN he do so? I do not know. But what I am certain of is that he must fight against propaganda and release America from Political Correctness, which includes Climate Change, SHS, Safe Spaces, and all the other miasmas.

 

 

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9 Responses to ““Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness””

  1. Darryl Says:

    Contentment. If the population were for the most part content, peace and plenty for all, the political class would lose most of their power. Politicians thrive on people being discontented because it is they that people turn to at election time to solve the problem, whatever that problem might be. Divide and rule. Keep ’em stressed and anxious, living from paw to jaw, “vote for me and everything will be ok”. But they seldom deliver.

    “When a public is stressed and confused, a big lie told repeatedly and unchallenged can become accepted truth.” ~George Orwell

    • junican Says:

      A very good comment, D. It seems to be second nature these days for politicians hype up whatever concern they might have, even if the subject is minor, into some mountainous problem which they have the magic solution to.

  2. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    Oh how i wish i could import my own Oriental leaf and manufacture my own cigarettes. Package them in my own designed packets with no silly health warnings and them enjoy with my friends. Fuck you ASH, PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND et al !

    • junican Says:

      Have you tried to import it Tim? As an experiment, I ordered some nicotine-less ‘tobacco’ (actually, not made from tobacco but lettuce, I think). The package was marked ‘herbs’.
      Once, I was sending a sample of my home-grown stuff to a friend ‘overseas’ and was asked what was in the package. With unusual quick thinking, I replied, “Home-grown herbs”, which was duly written down.

    • Ed Says:

      There’s a UK supplier of whole leaf that’s currently selling Turkish Prilep, although I have no idea how good the company is;

      http://www.whole-leaf-tobacco.co.uk/Turkish_Prilep/p2180593_9881097.aspx

      Although it’s fairly big for an Oriental cultivar, it’s much smaller than a Brightleaf or Burley and can be easily grown in pots and tubs in the UK. Minimum ageing time is around 3-6 months or 7-9 days in a kiln and it’s good to go!

      • junican Says:

        I can vouch for Ed’s Prilep. The smell of the kilned leaf is lovely and the taste is different from commercial cigs and very pleasant. But it is better NOT TO inhale deeply because it is strong. Short puffs worked best for me, as you might do when using a pipe.

      • Timothy Goodacre Says:

        Thank you very much for your advice chaps. The tobacco sounds fantastic.

  3. nisakiman Says:

    And there is the crux. You can stop drinking beer etc, and you will not notice much difference – until you down that first pint after twelve months of abstinence. Only then will you realise what you have been missing.

    Not really relevant to the topic, Junican, but that passage brought back a flash of memory. It was in the late 60s, and I’d been trawling around Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal for about 18 months, and in that time, although I smoked industrial quantities of dope, I hadn’t had a beer (apart from some godawful piss I was given once in the Punjab) since leaving Europe.. On my way back to Europe in ’69 I stopped a few days in Tehran. This was pre-revolution, when the Shah was still in power and Tehran was a cosmopolitan and exciting city. One of the first things I did when I got there was to head downtown to one of the air-con bars and order an ice cold draught Tuborg Gold. My God, I didn’t know that beer could taste so good! Nectar of the Gods! Liquid gold! I seem to recollect that I got quite drunk – I just couldn’t stop drinking the stuff.

    As you say, you don’t really miss it until you hit it again.

    Likewise, as you have, I’ve given up the fags a couple of times, for about a year each time. But I never developed an aversion to the smell of tobacco burning. If anything, it smelled better than when I was smoking. And when I started smoking again, it was delicious. My lungs caressed every drag. Wonderful.

    • junican Says:

      Can I assume that you have seen the film ‘Ice Cold In Alex’? If you have, you will recall that it is about a group of British soldiers who became isolated in the desert in Egypt, and had to, somehow, get back to base. After very sever tribulations, they managed to get back to base in Alexandria. The final scene sees our hero ordering an ‘ice-cold’ beer in the officers’ mess. He caresses it with his eyes for quite a while, and then caresses it with his lips. As I recall, he then downs the rest in one gulp, and smacks his lips. The struggle was all worthwhile!

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