In My Own Business, William Burroughs explains the concept of the M.O.B. (‘Minds Own Business’), also known in the criminal underworld as ‘a member of the Johnson family’.
Burroughs says: ‘Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can’t mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has.’ In the essay, he then goes on to suggest that evil is nothing more than a virus occupying a centre of the brain which he terms ‘the RIGHT center’, as witnessed throughout history by the many, many atrocities carried out by those who just have to be right.
Oddly enough, I was thinking along those lines when I saw http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/health/crackdown-on-cigarette-promotion-is-positive-step-1-7200739 , as copied from http://www.gov.im/news/2015/apr/09/strengthening-tobacco-legislation-to-protect-future-generations/ without even an attempt to put another side to the story. By rights, that other side ought to be found in https://www.gov.im/lib/docs/dhsc/Consultations/tobaccoreport.pdf , but I see that no attempt has been made to even read – never mind consider – a number of very critical responses which I know were made.
This is not surprising, because the ‘evidence’ is a joke which falls apart at the briefest reading. From the ‘report’ into smoking in cars which dipstick Sheffield researchers forgot to tell the press was a computer model, not an actual re-creation of a cigarette in a car with the windows closed and air conditioning off (which is, of course, physically impossible anyway) and which over-calculated the smoke density by a factor of at least two decimal places, through to the survey on packaging which was only responded to by paid members of a school group set up specifically by a government sock-puppet ‘charity’ to help stamp out smoking…… and so it goes on, and on…..and ever on ad nauseum.
I am a lifelong non-smoker, but have been a committed MOB ever since discovering the term via Burroughs, and unconsciously one for years before that. As the years go by, I am less and less concerned by the private passions of my fellow islanders as long as they make some civilised attempt not to bother me in return.
From years of practice, I totally fail to understand why if a mixed group of smokers and non-smokers can come to some amicable agreement at a house party they cannot be trusted by government to do the same in a restaurant or pub. On the other hand, I am more and more concerned by the way in which a virus brought here by Charles Wesley but kept decently in check for 150 years or more is now decimating all that remains of Manx life. Why this rabid insistence on interfering with innocent people’s lives and small pleasures with the sick excuse that you are doing what is best for them, regardless of the number of times they say your ‘help’ is wanted about as much as smallpox?
I expect nothing from professional politicians, civil servants and other career prod-noses. A close observation of the farce known as ‘public health’ also means I long ago dismissed it as the last, desperate, professional bolthole for frothing loons who never quite grasp that membership of a Trotskyite university cult did not render them fit to rule the world and, as they have never met them, never gave them any implicit understanding of the lives, habits or wishes of the working class.
On the other hand, I would have thought that somewhere on this island, amidst the freaks who read nothing but the short words of right wing papers, there is still some smallish segment of the Manx population with enough self-restraint or self-respect not to turn into gibbering, jism-splattered monsters at the very thought that other locals might have their lives made more miserable by pointless legislation which bans or severely restricts every possible manifestation of private pleasure or adult behaviour.
So that’s a no, then?