Monday, May 31, 2010

Reverse Natural Selection?

Sometimes, you just have to see things to believe them. And I think that a lot of the times when that is the case, once you see them and once you believe them, that doesn't necessarily mean that you understand them. That's why you're usually left just wondering what in the world is wrong with a lot of people. And that would include wondering what in the world is wrong with the media covering such stories.

Take, for example, the family of Ardi Rizal. Ardi and his family live in Indonesia. And according to the
Washington Post, there has been somewhat of an uproar after "Shocking photos of....Ardi Rizal puffing away on up to 40 cigarettes a day" came to light. Sure, sure. I know a lot of people smoke 40 cigarettes a day. I don't know how in the world that they afford it, but I know that they do it. The thing that makes this a little bit more of a head scratcher is that Ardi is 2. As in "years old". Two years old. Smoking up to 40 cigarettes a day. Wait. He's two and he...? That's right.

While I am usually a huge fan of the Washington Post, I am not a huge fan of how they covered this story. If they were trying to win some sort of a prize for presenting the subject in the most irrelevant manner possible, then they were on top of their game. Other than that, well, I'm just glad I didn't pay for it or anything (even though I still feel a little gypped). They talked to a one Matthew Myers of something called the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids which is located in Washington, D.C. Mr. Myers was quoted as saying, "This reflects a pervasive problem in many low-income countries where tobacco companies market their products to an uneducated public." Really? Are they marketing their products in such a way that it is implied that babies should be smoking cigarettes? No? OK, then. Anything else?

Unfortunately, yes. He also stated that "...anybody, at any age, can buy cigarettes in Indonesia". Wait. What now? Anyone, regardless of age, can buy cigarettes in Indonesia? Oh, now I see why that's a relevant fact! Of course. Because this two-year old wouldn't be able to smoke if he hadn't been able to go out and purchase the cigarettes that he's smoking on his own, right? Of course not! What does that have to do with anything?! Oh, nothing? Let's move on.

Now, a one Seto Mulyadi, who heads the country's child protection commission, "...blamed Ardi's two-pack-a-day habit on advertising and clueless parents." Well, that's a little bit better. Though I'm still not sure what advertising has to do with this. I'm really liking the pointing the finger at the clueless parents, however. It's probably an understatement to say that's the most likely culprit here.

But maybe I'm wrong. Let's check in with this toddler's parents and see if they strike us as being of the clueless bent, shall we? First, we'll hear from the boy's mother, Diana. "He's totally addicted. If he doesn't get cigarettes, he gets angry and screams and batters his head against the wall. He tells me he feels dizzy and sick." She apparently doesn't seem to see her part in all of this. She apparently doesn't seem to think that she is the parent and that she is in control and that, eventually, all of the screaming will subside. Hmm. Yep, there are definitely indicators of cluelessness here. Let's check in with the father next.

But wait. Before we do that, I should probably also mention that not only does this two-year old smoke two packs a day, he also "...weighs 56 pounds. He's too fat to walk far so he gets around on a plastic toy truck." Yeah, see, just when you thought that it couldn't get any sadder, then it does. Let's quell that sadness with anger, OK?

The boy's father, Mohammed, is the moron who gave the kid his first cigarette when he was 18 months old. Nice job, Mohammed. Now your kid is incredibly fat and addicted to cigarettes. How does that make you feel, Mohammed? "He looks pretty healthy to me...I don't see the problem." Really?! He can't walk, you dumbass! Do you see other two-year olds getting around on a plastic toy truck whilst smoking a cigarette? No? Then he's NOT OK, you nitwit!

Seriously, I know that there are different cultures and all of that, but this has so much wrong with it that I really can't even make up anything good to say about it. I guess they're not fortunate enough in Indonesia to have things like Child Protective Services or stuff like that? (That really is a question, as I have absolutely no idea about the social services of the Far East.) Oh, wait. I just read that there is some intervention being attempted with this family. "Concerned officials offered to buy the family a car if Ardi quits." A car?! That's how social services work in Indonesia? They bribe folks to do the right thing?! Grand. Good luck with that, Indonesia. Gooooood luck with that.


The video of this tragic, preventable and completely unnecessary situation is below. If it doesn't load, try clicking here. Oh, yeah, and thanks (I think) to my friend for bringing this to my attention.


Ardi Rizal - The real SMOKING BABY !! free videos" classid=clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000 width=364 height=291 type=application/x-shockwave-flash>

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