The Grim Reaper Society

Keeping the human population down for over 600 years

Archive for the 'Tobacco' Category


Ingmar Bergman RIP

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007
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Bergman did not invent the Grim Reaper. However, by making him one of the principal characters of “The Seventh Seal”, released in 1957, the Reaper became a household word among film buffs around the planet.

Grim was portrayed by Bengt Ekerot, who died in 1971. Ekerot became an example followed by many more Reapers. The basic idea of “The Seventh Seal” is, Antonius Block, a knight, returns home from the Crusades to Sweden, and sees people dropping like flies from the Black Death. When Block meets the Reaper, he cuts a deal; they will play a game of chess. If Block wins, his death will be postponed for a few years.

At the risk of giving away too much of the plot here, Block cannot possibly win this matchup. Although the story takes place three centuries before tobacco was introduced to Europe, there’s a lesson for smokers here; you won’t beat the Reaper, either.

One more thing; the people of the Middle Ages didn’t know that Black Death was spread by rats. Most 21st century humans know perfectly well that smoking causes disease and death.

Grim goes to Washington… and meets George

Friday, July 14th, 2006
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The Reaper attended the 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health in Washington, DC. Here’s his report:

Okay, it wasn’t the real George W. but… During our march to the White House yesterday, Grim ran into an individual who was wearing an incredibly realistic-looking George W. Bush mask. As you can imagine, Grim was absolutely delighted to see his old friend! With media and other cameras snapping and rolling, Grim ran to George, shook hands (simultaneously transferring to George a small token of the nicotine cartel’s appreciation) and “warmly” embraced him. Not that there wasn’t enough heat already! Temperatures are in the low to mid 90s, with extremely high humidity. Add a black (and very heavy) costume to the mix and I think Grim has developed a new weight-loss program: about five pounds per hour!!! Beat that, Jenny!
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The Grim Reaper visits Malaysia

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005
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When I heard that the tobacco industry was running a trade show in Kuala Lumpur, I rushed out and bought a plane ticket. That tsunami last year was good for business, but it’s better to have a long-term source of death and disease.

Below are two of several press clippings from my trip, and links to two more. The same clippings are available as PDF’s at http://airspace.bc.ca/.
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The Reaper honours a tobacco industry bedfellow

Thursday, June 7th, 2001
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This story begins on March 16, 2001, when former AIRSPACE President Jerry Steinberg brought to our attention an article that was published in that day’s Vancouver Sun. Briefly, the article stated that, among others, Theodor (‘Ted’) Sterling — the tobacco industry’s $6 million dollar (US) Marlboro Man — would be receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Simon Fraser University at the convocation (graduation) ceremonies, to be held at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 7.

And yet another very successful AIRSPACE protest was born.

In the weeks leading up to the protest, we gave SFU ample opportunity to reverse its decision to honor a man who can best be described as a murderer….a Pusher in Pinstripes….a Merchant of Death….or, at the very least, a high-priced puppet of the multinational nicotine cartel.

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The Reaper Reviews: “200 Cigarettes”

Saturday, February 27th, 1999
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I first saw an ad on TV for “200 Cigarettes” about a week ago, and I was very anxiously looking forward to the premiere. A movie with a title like this would have to be well worth seeing.

My first disappointment was that it was rated PG, which means that kids under 14 can’t get in without their parents. This excludes that vital pre-teen market, the ones who need to practice smoking in front of a mirror to develop the “look” that they want. They’re being deprived of a valuable educational experience here.

The next disappointment was that there were only 77 cigarettes (and one joint) shown in the film. Why did the producers feel a need to over-hype it? “77 Cigarettes” would still be a catchy title. “77 Cigarettes and a Joint” might be even catchier.
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