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Cigarettes and Lightbeams

I was watching disc 5 of S1 while I worked today. Extremely slow working day, so I got to do a little more than just listen while it played in the background. I had a bunch of thoughts while I was watching, but sadly couldn't write them down due to the working-thing, and now I've forgotten them all.

In Provenance, I still love the Auction-House Break-In Sequence. It's so awesome how Dean and Sam weren't just trained in bowhunting and martial arts as kids, they were also trained in lock-picking and disabling security systems...in forgery and fraud too. I love that dynamic about their childhood - the ease in which they accomplish these tasks as adults.

The whole sequence reminded me of this old friend of mine. He looked like your standard slightly heavyset nerd, would call me "dear" even though I was probably a year older than him. Thick rimmed glasses and studious. He told me over beer one day about his childhood...about how he had to rob houses sometimes to feed his siblings...about how he used to smoke, but only so he could see the lightbeam-tripwires on the high-tech security systems.

Recently, I've read a lot of teen!chester fics that have Dean smoking in them. I found that sort of odd, because anyone who is heavily involved in martial-arts knows that smoking zaps your stamina. I just don't see Dean as someone who would zap his stamina - he always seems focused on being the best he can be in order to protect his family, and smoking would hinder that. But thinking about it today, I would totally love to see a fic where Dean smokes so that he can exhale slowly, illuminating the lightbeam-tripwires of some high-tech security system.
 


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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
auriliawestlake
Apr. 22nd, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
As to the whole ex-smoker!Dean thing, the very first time I watched the show, I kept expecting him to light up on-screen. It's just odd to have a leather-clad badass who's into rock'n'roll and classic Detroit rollin' iron who doesn't smoke. Looking at it from a character standpoint, I can see how he might have done so as a teenager (particularly when Dad wasn't around) - every teen, no matter how much they love their family, does something to rebel. Some would argue that John wouldn't stand for it, but though I could see John disapproving, I don't think he would have said much, if anything, on the subject. Firstly, John was in the military during the seventies - back when over 60% of the population still smoked - so he wouldn't have the 'smoking is a nasty, horrible, addictive habit that must be stopped' moral sense on the topic that is prevalent among modern society. Secondly, John's always struck me as an experience-oriented teacher; the sort who'd let (maybe even encourage) their kids to do something that would result in a minor injury as a way of imparting an important lesson. For example, telling a small child to touch a hot stove to learn that it's hot and can burn. Lastly, I think that Dean has probably experimented with most recreational drugs (and likely quite a few of the 'legal with prescription' ones, too). I don't have much in the way of canon support for this (other than the exchange with Jeremy in 'Dream a Little Dream' - '...like a bad acid trip' and Dean's 'totally' reply), but it just seems to fit in with his character.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 22nd, 2009 11:59 pm (UTC)
Hmm...you raise good points, but I still can't see it.

I'm sure John smoked - not when he was older, but most definitely when he was in the war and probably after that until the kids were born. So, I'm not arguing with you there. But Dean and Sam grew up in the same era as me and my siblings, and the anti-smoking stuff was so prevalent then. Plus, although I agree that John would probably let his kids make mistakes to learn (though, I don't think he'd TELL them to touch a stove - just tell them "well now you won't do it again" when they do), I don't really think Dean would even consider John's opinion when it came to smoking, so that point is sort of moot. As in, it's not really a question of whether John would LET Dean smoke, it's more a question of whether Dean would want to smoke in the first place.

I also agree that Dean most likely tried drugs in highschool at least once. Probably pot a few times - stuff like acid, I can only see him doing once and not liking it.

I agree that probably even Dean rebelled against his father at some point in his teen years, but the Winchesters are so different from the rest of society that the rebellion probably manifested in a completely unique-Winchester way.

I guess, in conclusion - I could see Dean maybe bumming a cig off someone if he was at a party drinking and other people were smoking, but I just don't see him making a habit out of it, or ever bothering to buy his own smokes - because there's also the fact that Dean is very frugal when it comes to his money (Sam not so much, as he sees credit-card fraud as neverending free money, whereas Dean sees credit-card fraud as his paycheque for work and treats it just the same.)

Thanks for sharing your opinion on the matter!
auriliawestlake
Apr. 23rd, 2009 01:15 am (UTC)
I guess that we get to agree to debate the point until the end of time or until Show decides to chime in with some new canon, huh?

No problem, hon. I don't get to talk much IRL about the boys. The only other person I know who watches Show is my mom and she's far from fanatical about it.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 23rd, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
yeah, that's like me and my sister. She thinks I'm a bit nuts, I think...so yeah, I try to keep my obsession to myself. :P

But yeah, this is one of those things were everyone will just have their own opinion and there's no real way to prove it either way - other than tracking down Kripke and asking ;-)
auriliawestlake
Apr. 23rd, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
And even if we do manage to ask Kripke, there's no guarantee he'd give us a straight answer!
mizzykitty
Apr. 25th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
I disagree that Dean probably rebelled against his father. I highly doubt that he ever did. I think when he disagrees with John in Salvation was probably the first time he ever didn't just do as he was told, if the look on John's face was anything to go by!

I think the main reason for that is actually Sam, rather than John. Same sex siblings often have to do something to define themselves as different from each other. Sam was rebellious and brainy and wanted normal life, so Dean had to be obedient and physical and totally into hunting. The two probably forged their personalities simultaneously as they struggled to differentiate themselves from one another.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 25th, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
Yes, I agree with you on this one. I really think that if Dean rebelled as a teen, it was something SO subtle that no one even noticed and no one even cared.

For instance, when I was mad at my sister growing up, I would knock something over in her room (I wouldn't break anything, just knock something over). She would assume it was the cat...no one knew that it was me expressing my anger.

I think if Dean rebelled, it'd probably be something that would go completely unnoticed by John or Sam, but that Dean would know that he did...smoking doesn't fit into that.
mizzykitty
Apr. 25th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
LOL see I think you should write a fic about that. Title it: Dean's Completely Unnoticed Rebellion. HAHAHA!
hells_half_acre
Apr. 25th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
HAHAHA!

I SHOULD! Like I've said before, Dean and I have many things in common, and I believe this is one of them! I have many experiences with completely unnoticed rebellions...now, how to make them Dean-specific...*wanders away mumbling and occasionally giggling*
mizzykitty
Apr. 25th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)
*cheers* Yay for teenchester ficcage!
achilles_eel
Apr. 23rd, 2009 09:05 am (UTC)
May I INTRUUUUDE?? -blinks innocently-

I personally can see Dean lighting up as a kid, either as a rebellion thing, or because some of his 'friends' were smoking, and he didn't want to feel left out. I can't really see him as someone who would take it up as a habit, though. I see him as more of the type of guy who'd take up smoking if he felt really depressed, like after he makes the deal for his soul. He kind of strikes me as the type who's not really into smoking, but would take it up for the hell of it; most likely if he was extremely bored, or some hot chick he was screwing was a smoker. And since he's really a, 'go against the norm' kind of guy... actually, since he's the, 'screw authority as long as it isn't dad' kind of guy, I don't see him getting put off if everyone else was all gung-ho about their health and not killing themselves through lung cancer. To the contrary, I could see that making it more of an attraction for him. Personally, though, I don't see John as someone who would want or allow him to ruin his lungs. He'd probably think it would lower his stamina. Which is true. Though I guess with the whole 'we DO card fraud' thing and all the laws they break on a daily basis, he might also have been mildly disapproving but not generally bothered by it.
In any case, I've always wanted to see him smoking on the show, cuz that's such a, to quote aurilia, 'leather-clad badass' thing. I kinda doubt he will, though; he just doesn't seem the type.

...Did just contradict myself??

Wow, rambling. Sorry to spam you! ...Maybe adding a comment wasn't such a good idea. Ahem. Well, anyway, I hope you cough up another chapter for us soon!!

-sneaks away-

hells_half_acre
Apr. 23rd, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
Yes you may intrude....and yes, you did sort of contradict yourself! Hahaha, but I appreciate the comment!

And yeah, seems your opinion is similar to mine on the matter. I also don't see Dean caring about the anti-smoking hoopla going on in his youth, the reason I mentioned it was just to point out that the dangers of smoking were well known - so, Dean would be well aware that smoking lowers stamina and all that stuff...so for me it'd be Dean who would not smoke (or at least not make a habit out of it) for the reasons of staying healthy. Dean just strikes me as someone who always wants to be at the top of his game.

But yeah, if Dean WERE to smoke...I think he would only smoke because a friend of his was smoking, or at a party or whatnot - a social smoker.

It's true, smoking plays into the whole leather-clad badass thing...but man, Dean had a trunk load of guns to complete that image, I think a cigarette would be a little unnecessary. ;)

Another chapter is coming soon! Seriously, I have one all written up...the problem is that my usual 3 chapter buffer is down to two chapters (because I did another chapter-combining)...and I just want to give myself a day or two more to get the buffer back up. But I promise the next chapter will be up on the weekend at the latest, regardless of how the buffer is doing.
achilles_eel
Apr. 27th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
-grins- yeah, I figured I'd contradicted myself.

Yeah, that's the word I was looking for - social smoker.

Well, when you DO get around to posting it, I shall be here to pounce on it and rant about my love for it. :P
mizzykitty
Apr. 25th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
I can see Dean smoking casually as a thing to do. Like when he was young, perhaps to look cool in front of other hunters. Or perhaps as a distraction tool, such as when he's staking out a place, he acts like he's just out there smoking so he doesn't look like he's casing the joint. Or if he's got to pretend he's somebody and it fits the part, that kind of thing. And maybe sometimes when he's real stressed and he kind of just needs a fag. But like you said, it's too much of a liability to do on a regular basis, which he wouldn't allow because it hinders his ability to protect his family. I can see John approving of, and perhaps even teaching him how to smoke, for the business related reasons above. However, I think there would be subtle disapproval if John ever noticed Dean took it up as an actual habit. And it would be one of those things that John would never have to outright say; Dean would just pick up on his disapproval and would stop of his own accord.

I have no doubt that John smoked, especially during the war, but I betcha Mary made him quit, especially when she got pregnant.

p.s. are you sure that friend of yours isn't yanking your chain?
hells_half_acre
Apr. 25th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
He might have been yanking my chain about the cigarettes, but not about the childhood, unfortunately.I like the visual of the cigarette thing, so I don't really care if it's true or not. Plus, usually liars have something to gain by the lie, and my friend didn't...so I have no reason to suspect that he was lying really. Who knows!

Anyway...I agree with everything you just said!

Good point about using smoking to appear innocent when casing a joint! It IS rather useful to have a reason to be loitering sometimes.

mizzykitty
Apr. 25th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
usually liars have something to gain by the lie

You might think that but I once had a "friend" who lied all the time for no reason. She is not a friend anymore, rest assured. Well, maybe not no reason at all, but she had nothing tangible to gain from it. Perhaps she just wanted attention, whether good or bad? Some people are like that. *shrug*

I often wished I smoked for that reason. Not that I'm often casing joints (haha) but there are times when you just want to stand around and look cool doing it!
hells_half_acre
Apr. 25th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)
True, I guess. Ah well! I will never know if he is lying...I don't really talk to him anymore, and in anycase, I don't care either way.

I used to blow bubbles. Haha...not useful for casing joints or loitering in public places...and yeah, you don't actually look COOL...but it gave me something to do when I wanted to set out on the stoop for no reason. My little sister would stand on the walk and pop them all - I guess it gave us both something to do!
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