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Smoking Warning

Trigger warning!

I just watched a movie yesterday with an MPAA rating graphic warning that some scenes included  “Smoking.”  Was that a joke?  I mean as a progressive liberal, I’m all for government regulation, but this needs further explanation.  Smoking is a public activity.  It’s bad for you, but so are many other activities.  Will scenes of people eating pancakes require warnings?  Will there be warnings for diabetics, lest they pounce on the snack bar if a shot of Raisinets appears in a film? 

Will the new rage be Odorama-like on-screen warnings for butterscotch sundaes or chili-cheese fries?  Will we be warned if a scene shows a reckless driver?  Maybe—after all,  a sign on a nearby walking path near my home has a list of user instructions 2 feet long. Instructions for the use of a paved path?

If people are so fragile that they cannot be trusted to watch someone smoking on screen,  what will we do when the North Korean Army streams across the the Canadian border?

Read more about Robert Maier’s fifteen years working with John Waters in the new book “Low Budget Hell: Making Underground Movies with John Waters.”  Available on and other booksellers around the world.




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