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When we were younger we had them. Maybe it was Batman? Maybe it was that bloke who used to hang around the park with a bag of sweets? Maybe it was Hans Hollen Nielsen, winner of 22 speedway world championships for Denmark? But we had them, we all had heroes. I don’t know about you, but I’m struggling to picture a scene where a six-year old has a photograph of Martin McKee or Simon Chapman on their wall.
“Martin who? Chapman what?”
Precisely, the point entirely. If you are unaware, McKee is the chubby lover of all things pies, who believes it is his life mission to save the world from itself (*as long as this doesn’t include pies). Chapman is the same kind of thing but less pie-ridden, more Australian and bitter that he never became the rock god he dreamt of being.
But heroes they are, Melissa Sweet (who?) says so because they “speak the truth to power”. Unfortunately, Ms Sweet doesn’t know how much danger she placed the world in with that one tweet. McKee celebrated with another pie binge and Chapman spent three hours looking at his nude self in a mirror immediately after reading it. Anything could have befallen the plane during that time. Literally anything.
Like all heroes, they believe they know better than you and will save you from yourself whether you want it or not (Ref: Marvel’s Civil War). They are going to set you free, they are going to give you liberty. They ride white chargers and have halos and wave mystical swords of righteousness and stuff. Who cares what destruction lies in the wake of this action? Not proper heroes that’s for sure – and it’s that mark of irresponsibility which highlights exactly how heroic MucKy and Chumpman are.
Mucky & Chumpman: making your mind up for you so you don’t have to bother. That’s the film précis right there, Hollywood.
But you, you the pipsqueak in the corner over there. Yes, you. You are like Donald Trump to them. You are the condensed spirit of Hitler, Pol Pot and Simon Cowell. You are the person who told Amy Schumer she could be a comedian. You are the essence of evil because you support a regime that denies their truths. You are with them or you are wrong, for they are academics and always correct and on the side of justice – because they are the heroes.
So, we must be the villains?
You know that evil woman in Game of Thrones? The one who made that king bloke kill his own child for no reason? That’s Lorien Jollye, that is. They may as well rename the New Nicotine Alliance, “The League of Nazis Who Leave Milk Out On Work Surfaces”.
Anybody who perpetuates the myth that vaping offers a workable harm reduction approach to combatting smoking-related diseases is clearly one of the bad guys. It’s obvious because we aren’t members of the gang of heroes; a gang that includes Chapman, McKee, Glantz, Mr Burns, Dick Dastardly, Cruella de Vil, and Darth Vader.
So, thank you Martin McKee, and thank you Simon Chapman. Thank you for speaking the truth to power. Thank you for saving us from ourselves.
Oh, and thank you Andrew Laming for actually knowing what “the truth” is and standing up for evidence-based policy.