Tag Archives: stanton glantz

Potpourri: Nicotine related news and articles

Rather than post a full article today. it seemed appropriate to promote a couple of articles elsewhere worth reading and some short comments on a couple of recent news items.

First the articles.

1. I was going to critique another of the Tobacco Control envisioning “new ways” articles, the Hatsukami et al which suggested various avenues of research to determine whether (and they really had already concluded that the whether was only a polite way of saying when) nicotine reduction could be applied to tobacco products in order to wean off the population however Brad Rodu said as much as needed to be said on that, and said it very well. See Imagining Tobacco Without Nicotine at TobaccoTruth; from October 6th.

2. Over at VelvetGloveIronFist, Chris Snowdon has a close look at the contradictions embodied in the work of Stanton Glantz (from his earlier writings critiquing methodological errors endemic in the health literature to his later publications transgressing his own guidelines for evidential significance. See Stanton Glantz: Then and now from October 14.

Now the news items:

3. Is Iceland going Swedish?. Cigarette sales are down 13% and snus/smokeless sales are up 9% (see here at Iceland Review Online). Its a straight forward report with no editorializing which contrasts strongly with a similar smoking down/smokeless up story out of Washington back in August (see here for my comments on that story).

4. More support out of Maryland for nicotine being protective or ameliorative for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). This is not really surprising since nicotine is strongly anti-inflammatory. It is a very good option since most of the drugs used to counter the effects of AD have fairly common and fairly aggravating side effects. The article is unusually calm in its discussion with only a passing mention of manipulating the drug in order to reduce the addictiveness.

What is beautiful about nicotine for this application is that given the typical AD sufferer being 65 or over, addiction is irrelevant (and in any case would be preferable to cognitive decline) and even if the most dangerous form of obtaining nicotine (smoking) were the administration, with the effects tending to lag far after the start of chronic use, the usual health concerns are almost negligible.

-Paul L. Bergen

Canadian group adds in their two cents to the smoking in the movies issue

Canadian anti-smoking groups like to strut around crowing that they have consistently been at the forefront of tobacco control policy.

This country pioneered graphic warning labels on cigarette packages, restricting tobacco advertising and adding onerous taxes onto tobacco. We were among the first to have no smoking areas in restaurants. But to out lasting shame, we were remiss when it came to the issue of smoking in the movies.

Now that might have been because our industry was rather small compared to America’s but no more excuses, we are not going to be found lacking even if our press releases are preempted by the great missives of the vaunted Glantz of (to use Chris Snowdon’s spot on phrase) the People’s Democratic Republic of California.

Thanks to Neil Collishaw and the Physicians for a Smoke Free Canada we have even more precise statistics regarding the effect of smoking in the movies on smoking initiation. To wit: “Every dollar in film subsidies may in the end cost Canada $1.70 in societal tobacco losses, the group said”.

Imagine the statistical wizardry involved to come up with that remarkably precise figure. Not $1.67 or $1.74 but $1.70 (and what good luck for the number to come up with a zero at the end).

These are calculated via the flow of Canadian tax subsidies to American film productions and only those that make films that are “intended for young audiences that featured smoking”.

The activist commissioned study had a number of action suggestions which included: “Changing film-rating systems to ensure youth-rated films do not depict smoking except in historical circumstances”. I guess that makes sense since films strive to accurately reflect reality and people only smoked in the past. (Which leads to such bizarre anomalies as Thank You for Smoking where nobody actually smokes, and which logically then should lead to removing any portrayals of tobacco related disease so 80% less subsidies to any films daring to show lung cancer then.)

Another brilliant suggestion was to end all displays of tobacco brands in films and to remove all subsidies that depict smoking in any youth accessible films.

The mind stalls and sputters at the thought of where this is going.

Either you take a Singapore approach to film and remove all potentially objectionable elements (no smoking, no drugs, no crime, no obesity, no harsh talk) or you stop making films for youth. Or maybe you send out more of those vigilante youths who have been snatching the cigarettes from smokers mouths. Enough of that and you can then argue that cigarette free movies are imitating life.

Or perhaps this is even more nefarious than that. Perhaps it is an underhanded assault on e-cigarettes. Smoking in the movies is after all an illusion, so if you can outlaw things that look like smoking, it will be child’s play to outlaw e-cigarettes.

And god forbid these movie going kids start watching television (what! they do?) or read books (well, now that those are all digital it shouldn’t be too hard to remove those references) or even leave the theatre and see smokers on the streets.

Sweeping cigarettes under the red carpet is not the answer.

-Paul L. Bergen

U.S. CDC opines that half of smoking is caused by movies

This is not news, but I want to make sure that a few years from now the extremists are not able to rewrite history and pretend that they never claimed this (as we predict in the Introduction to our 2010 Yearbook).  In an editorial accompanying a study by Stanton Glantz about appearances of smoking in two decades of movies, an anonymous author writing on behalf of the CDC cited as fact several statistics that basically claim that about half of all smoking initiation in the U.S. is caused by seeing smoking in movies.  (The major conclusion of the Glantz study itself was that anti-tobacco extremists have so much money that they cannot figure out what to do with it, so spent a several person-years watching movies.  Ok, that is not actually their conclusion, but it is the most interesting finding.)

So, as soon as smoking is fully eliminated from depictions by Hollywood, we should see smoking rates drop to Swedish levels.  Given this, it is difficult to understand why so much effort goes into worrying about packaging, availability, etc.  Perhaps activists who are trying to reduce gun violence, fistfights, sexual violence, dangerous driving, over-partying, ill-advised romances, and wacky revenge plots should look into this strategy.  Blame Hollywood.  (Hmm, that sound vaguely familiar.)

On a more serious note, this is a further example of doing science that is worthless due to starting with a false premise.  If one assumes that people who become dedicated smokers get no benefit from it then the search for the random series of events that led them down the path to their habit perhaps serves a purpose.  If we assume otherwise, then the whole thing comes across as just plain silly.

As for what Glantz actually concluded: “Further reduction of tobacco use depicted in popular movies could lead to less initiation of smoking among adolescents.”  Of course, there is nothing in this button-counting exercise that supports that conclusion at all.  It is a good thing for him that University of California professors cannot get fired for making claims that go beyond what is supported by their research!


– Carl V. Phillips

California, marijuana and the tobacco companies

When future archaeologists dig up the remains of California, they’re going to find all of those gyms their scary-looking gym equipment, and they’re going to assume that we were a culture obsessed with torture.

Doug Coupland

The Coupland quote is not entirely perfect but it does go toward illustrating the absurdity of life in California, a state often seen as odd, sometimes good, sometimes bad, and now a place that paradoxically hosts the anything goes dream factory that is Hollywood, was first in expressing and accepting gay lifestyles and now still the front runner when it comes to being narrow-minded and repressive with respect to health.

Take Proposition 65 which requires warning labels for any measurable levels of hazardous substances in foods (but as many non-Californians are aware, 1. few foods are entirely free of hazardous substances and 2. how much of it is in there matters a lot more than whether it is at all) which has been criticized for confusing consumers about real hazards especially when they appear on the same goods with FDA labels which attempt to provide more realistic guidelines. (See here.) These labels have not only given rise to many spurious lawsuits but have helped increase the already thriving toxiphobia with the healthiest bunch of people in history checking behind each door for some new threat to their goal of living forever.

And it is of course California which is the home of Stanton Glantz and his Soviet style actions to remove smoking images from the movies and from recorded history as well as the hotbed of the disreputable overstatement of 2nd hand smoking effects on heart attack rates. (Note to self: submit treatment to Hollywood re Glantz as deep cover Russian mole working to undermine American freedoms.) And while I am singling out this preposterous state, it is clear that the lunacy is no longer localized, that there is serious competition from Illinois (home of Pediatrics, the proud inventors of 3rd hand smoke), Washington (Banzhaf), New York (Bloomberg) and so many more.

And now the latest from that most interesting place. (And in the interests of transparency, every time I have been to California I have had a great time. But living there must be frustrating.) California (and some other states) has been seriously considering making marijuana legal partly because so many people are already using it without it bringing civilization to its knees and even more because of the budget shortfalls and huge deficits that state is in the throes of. And thought the millions still flow in to fund anti-tobacco research, they are otherwise desperate for money, partly to pay for incarcerating so many drug users.

In the LA Times, the article If pot becomes legal, California’s health will suffer Stanford expert says, the main issue is that there would be increased health costs (could certainly be if more people use it but not if current users simply shift over from the illegal market). Fair point. However what is interesting is the political cant coming from this clinical psychologist (Keith Humprhies):

he says his No. 1 fear is that it would create a lucrative product line for tobacco companies or create an industry that would stand “shoulder to shoulder with them lobbying against every anti-smoking restriction and expansion of public health and every taxation initiative.”

So, the worry here is not so much about health but that legalizing marijuana might lead to 1. some people pofiting from a new lucrative legal product (that sounds pretty anti-American to me), 2. that an existing legal enterprise would expand its product lines (ditto) and that 3. they would express themselves in a legal and time-honored fashion within a supposed democracy.

I have mixed feeling about no smoking policies (many I approve of for purely aesthetic and selfish reasons, and some I don’t for a more defensible live and let live policy) but to be active within a democracy is to hold an opinion and to express it. Though less smoking is without a doubt better for public health, it does not follow that the only reasonable political position is no smoking. Smoking is only one of many things to be juggled to maintain a society which is built partially on respecting self determination.

Psychologist Humphreys should be worried though. Grass smokers are not quite the timid bunch tobacco smokers are. Though active criminals, they have not been stigmatized into inaction; they tend to be much more vocal, and if the statistics are right, they are close to outnumbering smokers.

In terms of harm reduction, legalization is almost always a good thing. Controlled production means quality control which has the potential of decreasing the risks of using. And though anti-smoking is rife with mythologies of all sorts, the effects on smokers themselves are reasonably accurate and this would be a welcome development in terms of marijuana where many users have some pretty strange ideas about how healthy it is. An open licit market means we can better determine how risky it is and how better to minimize those risks, and it makes it easier to educate people about safer alternatives.

-Paul L. Bergen

Its more about options given than options taken

Imagine the following.

A car company considers offering reinforced side panels as an additional safety component that customers can have for a price. An outside agency steps in and discourages them in part because the cars already have airbags and seat belts. But the overwhelming reason is “people won’t buy them”.

Though in that example, if the company has invested a substantial amount in developing the panels, the not buying could translate into an uncomfortable financial position for the company, the lack of purchase says nothing about the actual value of the panels, or of having that option.

Tobacco harm reduction is about providing those options whether or not people take them. Its more about choice than it is about action. If the alternative actually works (as using smokeless tobacco or e-cigarettes fundamentally lower risk) then it should be available. And whether it works is the more valid measure rather than whether it becomes popular.

Our old “friend” Stanton Glantz is one of the co-authors of a recent paper in Tobacco Control which argues (and not for the first time) against promoting smokeless tobacco as a harm reduction strategy on the basis that it won’t be successful. Not that it won’t save some lives but because not enough people will do it.

Now if Glantz et al believe their conclusions, then they should also argue that trying to get people to quit smoking should be abandoned because not enough of them are succeeding at it.

– Paul L. Bergen

Smoking in the movies: 5th hand smoke?

In the ludicrously titled Movies Downplay Smoking Risk anti-tobacco activists once again try to formulate arguments for removing the very sight of people smoking. The title of the press release (because this qualifies as news in some quarters) in its departure from any connection to reality signals the tenor of the article itself. In short, just because movies do not explicitly lay out the potential harms associated with smoking does not mean they are downplaying the risk. In fact, though granted that characters do keep smoking in the movies, they rarely acknowledge the pleasure and if they talk about it at all, they almost always say something about how these things will kill them.

Carl has already written at length about some aspects of smoking in the movies (see Avatar, smoking and crazy attitudes) but I hope to bring up a few other points here.

First of all, why the insistence on the big screen when the small screen is in every household and you (and your children) can watch shows like Mad Men which have hardly a scene without some smoking going on? Of course, Mad Men accurately mirrors the smoking prevalence of the time. It is television as a thoughtful, realistic and educational medium.

Contrast that with the movie Thank You for Smoking which managed to take a pretty good book and eviscerate it somewhat by making a supposedly anti-smoking movie about smoking but without any smoking on screen. Since there was no actual smoking in the film, it contained fewer negative images of smoking than most films and so ended up rather toothless.

Imagine for a moment an alternative future where part of a strong nudge to move people to public transportation included demonizing personal transportation such as cars. Would it seem reasonable to remove all images of cars from movies past and present and place anti-car ads before any film that might include a car? Given the number of car loving movies this could be quite the challenge as opposed to smoking wherein I cannot remember one love letter to the practice.

And yet we have not only this campaign to remove historical data from motion pictures but have already seen smoking removed from old cartoons, famous photographs of Churchill and Sartre, and even postage stamps.

But on to point number two. What makes smoking so special? If as Cheryl Healton notes “the nation’s youth are still exposed to billions of toxic tobacco impressions”, how many images of murder are they exposed to? I worry more for the effects of continual exposure to the juvenile and insipid messages informing so many films, the repetition of basic tropes that do not reflect reality but in fact are quite counterproductive to producing a thoughtful citizen.

This particular imbalance struck me quite forcibly when Carl told me about watching 8mm (the Nicholas Cage film) on Thai television with scenes of degradation and torture intact but the cigarette carefully pixilated out.

According to research, more than one-third to one-half of youth smoking initiation can be traced to exposure to smoking in films, a conclusion supported by the National Cancer Institute. The landmark 1998 Master Settlement Agreement recognized the enormous impact film has on our culture and banned paid tobacco product placement in movies. Despite those efforts, smoking in movies continues to recruit more than 180,000 new adolescent smokers each year.

Love this. Does this mean that removing smoking from the movies would actually have an effect? So by that logic, the movies must be creating many of the criminals out there -heist movies fueling bank robberies and slasher movies driving random killing? But the statement about movies “recruiting” smokers is really pushing the envelope. Portrayal of a common activity is not recruiting in any sense.

Healton said. “they have only labeled a small fraction of films with smoking, suggesting that smoking is not a problem.” “It’s time for the major studios and theater chains that control the rating system to adopt the R-rating for future smoking and resolve this long-standing problem once and for all,” said Dr. Stanton Glantz, Professor of Medicine at UCSF and director of the Smoke Free Movies project. “After 80 years, Hollywood should stop smoking around kids.”

Glantz, who has been at war with reality for most of his career is taking it to the movies. What little sense of reality they have he would like to see removed. Even the most fantastic of movies grounds itself somewhat in reality and he seems to wants the medium to construct an alternate reality, a place where smoking never happened and never will. He sees this as an assault on the youth but the real assault is his on reality and history, on seeing the world as it is, on accepting human behavior rather than demonizing and removing it from the public eye.

And finally, the ultimate travesty is to call certain wish fulfilling proposals evidence based.

Legacy has joined a host of prominent health and parents organizations – including the World Health Organization, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and more – to urge the MPAA and its member studios to adopt four evidence-based policies that would help prevent hundreds of thousands of U.S. adolescents from starting to smoke and avert tens of thousands of future tobacco deaths. The Smoke Free Movies policy solutions include:
Add strong and effective anti-smoking ads before all movies in which tobacco is depicted.
Certify that nothing of value was received in exchange for the depiction of tobacco in a movie.
End all brand appearances.
Rate any new movie with smoking as R.

Somehow if a movie receives something of value for depicting tobacco that that will encourage smoking? Wow. The others are a little more likely but there is no real evidence supporting them.

Ultimately this attack on tobacco in films has nothing to do with people smoking. It is an attack on history and verisimilitude. It is a further erosion of a medium already sadly lacking in any dedication to social realities. It is an aesthetic affront on adult sensibilities.

It is just plain ridiculous.

– Paul L. Bergen

We the people, against the people…

Today’s news article in the NYT about law enforcement and others in power cracking down on smoking behavior included a very telling phrase: “singling out those previously considered victims of cigarette companies”. In other words, those who want to enforce what they have declared to be social norms have discovered that they cannot do so while keeping up the pretense that they are on the side of the product users who recognized rather different social norms.

I was reminded of a great observation in a book I recently finished (by that great political philosopher, Terry Pratchett).

Paraphrasing, the observation was that the problem faced by self-declared revolutionaries of the people is not that we have the wrong government — that goes without saying — but that we have the wrong people. In other words, the self-styled revolutionary has talked himself into believing that he is devoting his life to save the people from their oppressors. But he usually discovers, much to his frustration, the people do not really mind how things are — at least not enough to join him on the barricades.

So eventually, after breaking the power of the old guard, the Peoples’ Revolutionaries (c.f. Stalin, Mao, Castro, et al.) they have to start devoting their energies to controlling the behavior of the people who they were supposedly try to help because those damn people just do not understand what is good for them.

-CV Phillips

Just to add a little on this same NYT article, I was struck by the following:

But Dr. Glantz’s fiery demeanor changed when he was told about the cheerleaders’ punishment. Suddenly, he appeared skeptical. It reminded him, he said, of efforts to prevent minors from smoking by making it difficult for them to buy cigarettes.

“We’ve shown it didn’t work,” he said.

Well, if they don’t work, we might as well then remove the age restrictions. And considering his previous statement “The movies are the largest single reason kids start to smoke”, and his campaign to remove all smoking references from films or make them R rated, it would seem, since that is also an age restriction, that we have yet another inconsistency to add to the good doctor’s history.


The battle is not between public health experts and tobacco companies..

In the Business section in the NYT this weekend, Duff Wilson and Julie Creswell put together a more balanced article than ever would have been accepted in the same paper’s Health section. (You might recall that this was perhaps the most prominent newspaper uncritically repeating the most inane tobacco nonsense of the last year if not the century, the laughable concept of and pseudo-study on third hand smoke. (See article here.)

That being said, the article contains within it a few of those amusing contradictions so typical of the anti-tobacco crowd, amusing until you realize that there are real world consequences to these folks treating health issues as political games.

The article reports critics saying that allowing tobacco companies to market their reduced risk products as reduced risk products is simply a strategy to “dodge indoor smoking laws” and “to encourage smokers to use oral tobacco products as supplements”. They go on to cite Stanton Glantz criticizing the dual use marketing that companies engage in.

In any other field, mandating that a company not describe its product accurately would be considered absurd, and furthermore having self described health proponents demanding that a company limit itself to promoting a potentially life saving alternative purely as an option to maintain the opposite is just short of criminal. To add insult to injury, these same experts then blame the companies for complying with the very regulations they, the experts, drafted.

Now, as well, the critics are saying this attempt at informing the public about the greater safety of smokeless tobacco is simply a diversion from dealing with the more harmful cigarettes. Again, one marvels at the cognitive convolutions taking place since one of the most effective way of dealing with the harm associated with smoking is to promote safer alternatives.

(The persistent spotlight on smokeless products can be found via anti-tobacco activists more than with tobacco companies. It is not uncommon to find on many dental or ENT websites volumes about the dangers of smokeless tobacco and not a mention of cigarettes.)

Ultimately, and there are so many other things to comment on here (the nonsense about flavoured tobacco products, characterizing political figures as health experts, etc..perhaps a part 2 post will come), we once again are given the notion of an upcoming battle between tobacco companies and public health experts. This dichotomy only makes sense politically and has no place is discussions of health. With the article quoting Nitzkin, we see at least some division in public health, and that is where the battle will really be on, between persons in public health who are subverting the common good for their own ends and for those who truly are trying to improve that good.


Avatar, smoking, and crazy attitudes as a symptom of destructive beliefs

In case you missed the movie and the hype, in an early scene in Avatar, we meet Sigourney Weaver‘s character as she vehemently demands a cigarette (which a sycophant quickly brings, already lit) upon waking from an interstellar trip in suspended animation (and she smokes a few more, though not many, during the course of the movie). I have to say that I found that utterly delightful.

As a tobacco harm reduction advocate, I would, of course, be rather disappointed if people have not switched to a better delivery system for nicotine before inventing interstellar travel. And as a fan of non-silly science fiction, it tends to bug me when an author includes silliness like people smoking in space ships and sealed researcher stations where air is at a premium. But I really enjoyed imagining James Cameron thinking, “this is my house, I just made the most expensive movie ever, so to those crazy busybodies who want to tell us we cannot depict smoking, I offer this big ‘F— You’!”

When interviewed about this, Cameron naturally did not admit such a motive, trying to explain that the character was not meant to be a role model and that this was meant to help establish her lack of concern for her corporeal self. The claim has face validity, but I still think my initial interpretation was right.

All this hype brings up the question – which can be asked about a lot of claims made by the anti-tobacco extremists – do they really believe that occasional smoking in movies causes a substantial increase in real-world smoking, and if so why do they believe something so patently absurd? If smoking were vanishingly rare in real life or movies showed all the cool typical people smoking, then the claim might have some plausibility. But anyone with a passing awareness of the human condition probably realizes that a few characters smoking (invariably a smaller fraction than the real-life smoking prevalence) in incredible situations is not going to have a measurable effect. Any social scientist knows that if someone claims to have measured such an effect, they are merely demonstrating their skill at manipulating statistical models or lack of understanding of the concepts of causation and confounding.

It is rather more plausible that some portrayals in movies and television do affect behavior. The portrayal of extremely harmful behaviors that people seldom or never witness – e.g., fist-fights, the use of deadly weapons, rape – probably lowers the barriers that prevent some people from initiating such acts. The glorification of other behaviors – e.g., excessive drinking, unbounded sexual promiscuity – which shows them as extremely rewarding may encourage someone to give them a go. But the salient features of these do not apply to seeing an occasional cigarette.

For good or ill, society has some limited willingness to censor art and literature, and it could arguably do some social good if directed at, say, realistic violence. Not surprisingly, the anti-tobacco extremists are willing to seize upon that willingness and squander it by objecting to an occasional smoker. Their egocentrism, seeing their every whim as being more important than any other social interest, knows little bound. I saw the best example of this in Thailand recently, where cigarettes have to be pixilated-out in film. I turned on a television in the middle of the afternoon and saw the Nic Cage movie, 8mm, being broadcast.

If you have not seen that movie, don’t – it is a good movie, but the heavy theme of sexual violence and sex-linked bloody murder and accompanying graphic images are very difficult to get out of your head. As far as I could tell, the movie was unaltered (minus a bit of pixilation for certain other cigarette-shaped objects) – not that any minor trimming could ever make it something sensible to show during that after-school time slot – but when Cage lit up a cigarette, it was pixilated out. Worrying more about a cigarette than graphic sexual violence is clearly a case of turning a policy into a fetish (no, not a pun – look up the actual definition of the word).

It is difficult to find any evidence that the extremists do not really believe that this is serving some purpose. A New York Times editorial cited Stanton Glantz as claiming that a bit of smoking on the screen causes substantial real smoking initiation, and apparently believing it. (Glantz may also be one of the few dozen people in the world who might look at 60-year-old Sigourney Weaver playing an abrasive monomaniacal fanatic who seems like a throwback to the 1960s and is using her research to support a personal cause regardless of the costs, and think – or perhaps hope – the kids will see her as a role-model.) The NYT, even after acknowledging the absurdity of it, ends by suggesting they believe him because someone published a couple of articles supporting the claim. Despite its reputation, the NYT is as likely as any media outlet to fall into the trap of believing the pseudo-scientific claims of political activists who hype their pet health scares. (Check out ACSH’s Morning Dispatch for a couple of examples per week.)

But why does anyone believe this one? It does not require any arcane knowledge to see that it is absurd. I think the best explanation is that it is a conclusion that follows from the premise that no one likes to smoke or use nicotine. It is by making this latter claim that extremists can justify their complete disregard for people’s preferences and opposition to tobacco harm reduction. Only if they pretend that no one gets any benefits from tobacco can they justify extremism.

But once you start with one big lie you have to deal with its ripples: If no one likes to smoke then why do some people go to the trouble and expense of starting and continuing to do it? It must be that they are tricked by the positive health claims made by the manufacturers . . . no, wait, that ended 50 years ago – then by ignorance about the health effects . . . no, there has not been much of that for 30 or 40 years – then by slick aggressive media advertising . . . no, that has been all gone for decades too. Well, then it must be caused by logos on race cars and the occasional smoker in a movie . . . yeah, that’s the ticket.

The claim that people were actively persuaded by manufacturers that they should smoke (and were misled about the consequences) was clearly true at one point in history, but the attempts to cling to that world despite the obvious changes in the reality (I am describing North America in particular) would be pathetic if they were not so destructive. It is definitely pathetic that anti-tobacco activists who did not begin their professional life, or were not even born, before this claim became implausible continue to embrace it. Are they so controlled by the “bad old days” stories of their sexagenarian leaders that they cannot see the world they actually live in? The 1950s may get called the golden age of 3-D movies but does anyone really think that Avatar has the same effects as 1950s cigarette ads?

Isn’t it time to recognize that people smoke because it has benefits and start creating policies that are not based on role-playing an avatar who forever lives in 1970.

–Carl V Phillips