Diran Adebayo
You Tube (Forced Smoking)
‘We talk about law: batty law and smoke law. How can batty be legal and smoke illegal, enh? How can man sex man an’ ladyboy up there and the police dem nah interfere, but still police come an’ start wit’ we. What kind of state we livin’ in?…’ 
Diran Adebayo, ‘My Once Upon A Time’.

Ah, there was a time, there was a time…Back in the later nineties when I first got this thing – the internet – what a joy it seemed. In particular, the concept of the search engine. I must confess almost the first thing I did was type in the name of a certain delectable American actress – let us call her JA. In those times she was only known to us early spotters, by dint of her appearance on a couple of no-rating TV shows, and the hits for her numbered not many. I checked out the fan site and chat was thick there about the projects folk wanted to see her cast in, and how these directors didn’t understand her. She was even known to visit the chatroom back then, logging in under a pseudonym and floating views in her cheeky, fetchingly post-modern way. 

But then she had a couple of bootylicious breakthrough movie roles, and now everyone with an eye on such things knows about JA. Her Google count is in the zillions and what was once a tasteful connoisseurs’ circle has been buried under so much ‘latest hollywood-hottie’ nastiness from the Leery-Come-Latelies that the originals have long fled the scene.

As with JA, so with ‘Youtube’. I first came across ‘Youtube’ a year ago courtesy of the smoking-fetish sites (the nearer smoking has got to illegality, the more it’s become a Fetish-ful area). People would post alerts, ‘Great cafe scene – two Prague girls in boots and Sobranies – go to You Tube…,’ and I’d be thinking, ‘What is this Youtube?’ So I logged on and, man, it was great. In particular I loved all these ‘forced smoking’ videos they had. Some evian-drinking jogger, or some weights-lifting health-club nut, would be pounced on, dragged off and forced to smoke. These vids were hilarious. But as it emerged last autumn that ‘Youtube’ would be being shortly taken over by ‘Google’, speculation grew in the, ah, Extreme Smoking community as to what this might mean for our favourite films. I opined that it would likely only be the uploaders of TV copright material that would have to watch their backs, but wiser heads were less sanguine.

And sure enough, for a number of months now, we have typed in the names of the ‘Forced’ auteurs, only to be greeted by that doomy red line: ‘This user account is suspended’.

Why? We can only imagine one of two things. One – ‘violence’ to women or to men (hardly seems likely, given these vids are so clearly not ‘real’). The other and, I submit, likelier possibility, is that someone high up at ‘Google’ is an avid, evangelical, anti-smoker.

Bizarre, because I do notice that various possibly even more controversial minority tastes remain amply catered for on ‘Youtube’. From crossdresser- and tranny-action to a whole heap of rather singular man-on-man business. That’s all cool , but smoking – hell, no.

Once can only sympathise with my character Hope in ‘My Once Upon A Time’, whose (slightly amended) words I quote above, and hope that Daily Motion, where many of said auteurs have fled, proves more simpatico.

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