Sunday, November 14, 2004

Can You Imagine?

Remember that nifty image of Marine Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller with the Marlboro dangling from his lip after 12 hours of fighting in Fallujah? Well, there are some of your fellow Americans who think that that picture was highly insensitive to today's youth. Can you imagine these letters to the editor being published during World War II? From the Houston Chronicle:
"I was shocked to see the large photograph on Nov. 10. A tired, dirty and brave Marine rests after a battle--but with a cigarette dangling from his mouth! Lots of children, particularly boys, play "army" and like to imitate this young man. The clear message of the photo is that the way to relax after a battle is with a cigarette.

"The truth is very different from that message. Most of our troops don't smoke. And most importantly, this young man is far more likely to die a horrible death from his tobacco addiction than from his tour of duty in Iraq."

The Woodlands

"I opened the Chronicle this morning and got slapped in the face by a huge picture of a "battle weary" Marine with a fine looking cigarette hanging out of his mouth.

"I respect everyone's rights, but do we really need to encourage our young people to think that this is part of required military gear?"

League City

And from the New York Post:
"How much did Phillip Morris pay for the front cover advertisement? Thank you for continuing to encourage the development of cancer."

Mark Leininger

"The Post's cover was horrible and crude. How could you compare our soldiers to the Marlboro Man? We are not 'kicking butt' in Iraq. We are in an unjustified war with a people who will never allow democracy to come to their country."

Janna Passuntino

"I was shocked to see the front page of your newspaper. Showing a GI smoking and portraying it as being cool is disgusting, to say the least.

"First of all, you are promoting smoking, even though it is a health hazard. Secondly, our brave men and women are fighting a tough war in Iraq, and to show them as you did does not do them justice.

"Maybe showing a Marine in a tank, helping another GI or drinking water would have had a more positive impact on your readers. Smoking should be outlawed, not endorsed."

Ali Mahdi
North Brunswick, N.J.

Fortunately not all views on the "Marlboro Man" are so parochial. One more letter from the NY Post:
"Thank God New York isn't occupied by terrorists. Mayor Bloomberg wouldn't allow a Marine who smokes to enter the city. He would probably rather be a prisoner than see someone smoke."

Hank Sbordone
Middletown, N.J.


Susan said...

You really have to wonder about the lives these folks are leading... I've never smoked and I just don't give a damn... this is silly. :( Do they really have so little to do with their time and brainpower? Come on folks, say something interesting, profound, or even inflammatory -- this is just nonsense.

Steve Erbach said...


"First of all, you are promoting smoking, even though it is a health hazard."

I would find it difficult to write a sentence like that. But maybe this guy's onto something. Maybe, just maybe, the U.N. could abolish war forever on the grounds that it's a health hazard!