For the record I’m aware that I often yell at no one in particular, sometimes nobody at all. From time to time I just can’t help but find myself irrationally angry about something I think is too commonplace. So you’ve been warned, I’m about to defend vaping for about 2000 words and you can either board this rage train or stay at the station getting eye-fucked by some guy who smells like a petting zoo. Your call.
My issue with how people tend to craft their criticisms of vaping is multifaceted, but what I find most offensive is that the vast majority of people have neither a legitimate reason to hate vaping nor particularly clever jokes about it. And if you do happen to find a joke clever, you can be almost positive it was copy-pasted from another comments section. This article will focus mostly on the subjects of the jokes and the kinds of arguments people use behind them.
Here are the reasons internet comedians list for you not to vape
- It’s gay
- It’s gay
- It’s gay
- It’s not as cool as smoking a regular cigarette
- It’s gay
A trained eye will notice a pattern there. I’m not really going to bother delving into why ‘gay’ is a pisspoor insult, but if you want a brief refresher about weak insults, I talked about it in my Trump post. This time around I’ll simply be addressing the roots behind vape insults. Choo Choo, motherfuckers.
1. It’s gay because I like easy jokes
I’ve said something to this effect before, but it bears repeating: I try to be original in the content I create even if that means making mediocre content. That’s why I’ll admire the effort of a trash joke as long as it involved some form of originality. That’s my problem with the common Vaping joke, it’s ammo for the uncreative. It’s yet another unfunny subject that fits easily into the same joke templates people have been using for years. Much like swapping out a drill bit when the old one gets dull and stops working, you can swap out a million different parts and the joke remains the same level of unfunny.
-Q: What’s the hardest part of (Vaping, Rollerblading, Reading Twilight, etc.)?
A: Telling your parents you’re gay.
-Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 is the (Vaping, Arby’s, Nickelback, Dane Cook) of movie series.
-Physical exercise?! I’d rather (Vape, Listen to Nickelback) for 5 hours than do that.
-Q: This man is choking! Is anybody in here a doctor!?
A: I (Vape, Do Crossfit, Am a vegan).
I’d be fine with people rehashing these tired joke formats if nobody laughed and they died slowly in the comments thread, but they never do. Which has led me to the same realization over and over again: People will not hesitate to use other people’s jokes without credit if it gets them fake internet points or it gets them laid. I’m not saying that these jokes weren’t good or didn’t have a point when they were first introduced, but like anything else they had their time. Recycling jokes does not count as saving the planet.
2. It’s gay because it’s not my idea of fun
Every time I see a video of some guy doing a rather impressive set of vape tricks, I see a garden variety of negative comments: “What a gay hobby”, “Who cares?”, “Do something better with your time”, “Do something manlier” etc. And while I agree that writing a book or studying to become a doctor are more noble pursuits, I’d also like to point out that nobody uses 100% of their time bettering themselves. Especially not people who comment on videos of activities they hate.
“It’s gay,” is a comment you’re likely to see on one of the aforementioned videos. That’s internet shorthand for, “I just don’t like it,” and the worst part is that’s considered a legitimate arguing point. You see, people often criticize vaping (and many other things) on the grounds that it’s not a hobby that they themselves are interested in. For some people, the fact that others have hobbies that differ from their own is simply too much to handle. “Somebody is enjoying themselves doing something other than Jiu Jitsu or killing animals?,” a bastion of internet manliness will say to himself, “I simply will not have it!”
I understand if you don’t care about something, that’s your American right. I don’t care about a lot of things, like:
-Doug the Pug (and other social media ‘personalities’ that are just the same animal stuffed into different costumes)
-Stand-up comedians doing trump jokes
-Dubious partisan news, in my newsfeed, nonstop forever
-Samsung VR commercials trying to be deep
-Pictures of people acting like they’re drinking straight from hard alcohol bottles when the cap is clearly on
Do I wish people would stop doing these things? Absolutely. But this is America, and it’s your God given right to love things that I hate so long as it is not a danger or disturbance to others. No one is holding a gun to your kneecap, forcing you to smash that like button on every post of a man doing waggly smoke ring shit. Vaping is not the thing that’s ruining America, and if it’s one of them, it’s so far down the list that it’s worth ignoring.
3. It’s gay because of the way people act about it.
Some people say that what sets vaping apart from other self-destructive disciplines is the way people act about it. The way they act while they’re doing it, the way they talk about it while not doing it, the way they follow new trends in it. “Why do people have to be so fucking annoying about it?” they might say, and that’s absolutely valid. I’ve had conversations with vapers in public settings that were truly intolerable. But do you know what other hobbies people can be truly insufferable about? Literally anything else. Hiking, writing, brunching, watching movies, crossfitting, video games, watching sports, playing sports, traveling, raising children, baking, having pets, and so many more. Being insufferable is a product of you, not your hobby.
I say that and I’d venture to guess that you know at least one person who’s like this. The kind of person that didn’t have much of personality to begin with, so they built one around a hobby. What you end up with is someone who describes themselves like ‘I’m a dude who loves this thing’. Let’s use Harry Potter as a template. It’s possible to enjoy that media empire like a casual person, but for some people that simply won’t do. They have to take it upon themselves to constantly share tumblr posts about it on Facebook, constantly steer conversations toward it, and spend near every dollar of disposable income on every new special edition book and Pop Funko with a lightning bolt scar. It’s not bad to love a book, but at some point if you removed HP from their life they’d collapse into a pile of Sorting Hat memes and Pinterest pins involving diy robes. It can be something as innocent as a book or as extreme as fistfighting, my point is that you can make anything as annoying as vaping.
But what if you get a whole subculture of people like that together? I personally have met way more people who think they’re interesting because they smoke weed than I have people who think they’re interesting because they vape. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I talk about drinking a lot like it’s cool, but my point is that, statistically speaking, you’re more likely to run into people jerking each other off about weed than anything else. And I think the populace agrees. I do open mic night comedy and the single easiest way to get a group of absolute strangers to clap and cheer for you is by asking a single fucking question: “Does anybody in here smoke weed?” Applause. Hoots. Whistles. Attention. At what percentage of the population does a subculture go from a niche for the weird to an accepted part of society?
4. It’s not as cool as normal cigarettes
I would be lying to you if I said I don’t understand where people are coming from with this one. Regular cigarettes are the favorite cancerous pastime of screen cowboys and rockstars. Regular cigarettes create regular smoke that looks tight when it swirls under bar lights. Regular cigarettes are the stuff that killed cool cats like Johnny Carson, Humphrey Bogart, and Steve McQueen. With evidence like that, I’d say you have the beginning of an argument.
But I’d like to point out that smoking cigarettes, much like putting on sunglasses, doesn’t automatically make you cool. You ever see an absolute flaccid dick of a human being put on sunglasses or whip out a pack of cigarettes like he owns the place? It’s unnatural. It’s like watching somebody drive a McClaren under the speed limit, clogging the fast lane. Smoking cigarettes might make you seem rad because you care so little about your life, but if you think vaping isn’t slowly killing it’s constituents you are incorrect.
“But regular cigarettes smell like burning things, that’s manly”, you might be saying, “Vapes always smell like fruit or cookies, which are gay.” To which I say, fruit is fucking delicious. Fake fruit flavors smell even more delicious. My buddy used to live in apartment of two people who vaped extremely hard, it smelled so good in that apartment I wanted to eat the drywall and hump the carpet. As for the shit cigarettes will do to a building’s porous surfaces, have you ever been to Commerce Casino? It’s full of Chinese people stoving hoons like it’s their dayjob and they’re working overtime. It smells like a family of chainsmoking crustaceans rented out a pawnshop for six months but died three months in and nobody came to clean the place out. I don’t even give a fuck about the second hand smoke, that olfactory experience still haunts me.
5. It’s gay because people need it constantly
Lots of people in the pro-vape camp defend vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking or even a way to quit using nicotine altogether. I am not one of those people. I think we’re a decade out from a conclusive study that claims that vaping is just a flavorful way to murder yourself over the course of several years. I do, however, think vaping can be a healthy alternative to some things, say, drinking to a blackout nightly or shooting heroin. What do I mean by that?
When I was in college a buddy of mine got a DUI which comes with a court mandated ten visits to AA meetings. He didn’t want to go alone and obviously couldn’t drive, so I went with him and sat in. I learned some things about life and alcohol and true low points in those meetings, sure, but I also noticed something else, addicts (in this case alcohol) love them some stimulants. I’ve never seen break times used with such aggressive fervor. The coffee pot was drained to nothingness, the trashcan was littered with tall cans of energy drink, and just outside the door a gathering of people were raising the stock prices of the tobacco industry. Those roommates I mentioned earlier, by the way, recovering opioid addicts.
To that end, a vape is a cigarette that’ll last you a whole day, providing hits whenever you need to take the edge off the craving for what you really want. It’s a hobby you can get nearly esoteric about kind of like smoking weed or doing heroin, and it doesn’t involve you fucking strangers for crumpled dollar bills. I’m not saying vaping can’t be a life-destroying habit somewhere further down the road, but it can be used to stave off even worse ones, and if it keeps you from backhanding your own children it’s fine by me.
None of the three previous paragraphs are very funny, so here’s a picture of the Mona Lisa I drew in one minute and colored in three.
I’m willing to admit that there are criticisms of vaping that I simply cannot defend. One example being that vapers will come into restaurants or other public places and just puff away, thinking their electronic substance clouds aren’t a nuisance to strangers just trying to enjoy a goddamn meal. I’ve no rebuttal to that, but the reason I didn’t bring it up previously is that I live in California which, as a general rule, despises tobacco. Pretty much from jump vapes were banned here from most every building without a smoking patio. Not wanting vape smoke in your face is a perfectly legitimate excuse not to like vaping.
But this article, like many of my articles, is about undue internet hatred. The kind of hatred I can defend comfortably from a chair using hatred of my own. My point in all this? Same as it ever was. If you’re going to dislike something on the internet be as creative as possible with your criticism. Blaze new trails in the way you insult opposing sports teams. Invent new rhetoric for attacking popular tv shows. Don’t just copy paste from the comments section of your spiteful forebears, be your own internet prick. Sometimes you have to hate something all your own.
My point in all this? Let’s blow up the moon.