Nanarina

Dancers Who Smoke

242 posts in this topic

If you know you stink, you stay away from people; even homeless people who don't have an opportunity to bathe understand that and usually settle themselves in some out-of-the-way spot.

And the 2011 Marie Antoinette Award for the Civically Minded goes to....

Oh, but if Dupont had just said a quick "do you mind?" to those present before taking that cigarette, I would have cheered for her! If more people were willing to be a role model for etiquette, perhaps we wouldn't need so many laws to enforce what should just be common sense and good manners.

The fact that she didn't makes me love her all the more, anyway, she was with smokers, why would other smokers mind? Now she has to be a role model for etiquette too? With that much weight on her shoulders the next time she performs the rose adagio she's going to fall flat on her face, as if crushed by a giant iron lung.

Who, please, is the "smoking nazi" in this scenario? Who has a seat, and who has none?

Lebensraum is always a tricky one, but as the one to have coined the smoking Nazi soubriquette in this discussion I think I've hit upon the solution for the smoking problem. Some might say a Final Solution.

Let's put them in camps. Great big camps. Where they can smoke like chimneys.

P.S I'm Jewish so the last statement wasn't offensive rather post modern, self referential, culturally ironic humour.

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If you know you stink, you stay away from people; even homeless people who don't have an opportunity to bathe understand that and usually settle themselves in some out-of-the-way spot.

And the 2011 Marie Antoinette Award for the Civically Minded goes to....

Oh, but if Dupont had just said a quick "do you mind?" to those present before taking that cigarette, I would have cheered for her! If more people were willing to be a role model for etiquette, perhaps we wouldn't need so many laws to enforce what should just be common sense and good manners.

The fact that she didn't makes me love her all the more, anyway, she was with smokers, why would other smokers mind? Now she has to be a role model for etiquette too? With that much weight on her shoulders the next time she performs the rose adagio she's going to fall flat on her face, as if crushed by a giant iron lung.

Who, please, is the "smoking nazi" in this scenario? Who has a seat, and who has none?

Lebensraum is always a tricky one, but as the one to have coined the smoking Nazi soubriquette in this discussion I think I've hit upon the solution for the smoking problem. Some might say a Final Solution.

Let's put them in camps. Great big camps. Where they can smoke like chimneys.

P.S I'm Jewish so the last statement wasn't offensive rather post modern, self referential, culturally ironic humour.

Pretty offensive.

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The fact that she didn't makes me love her all the more, anyway, she was with smokers, why would other smokers mind? Now she has to be a role model for etiquette too? With that much weight on her shoulders the next time she performs the rose adagio she's going to fall flat on her face, as if crushed by a giant iron lung.

Absolument. There was no reason she should ask smokers if she should smoke, nor worry about fallout from potential boycotts of ticket sales (even if the 4th ring of wherever is still open) due to role-model-refusal tailored to ballet discussion board members (who, by the way, ought to consider not attending the POB season next year, shoudn't they, if Aurelie and Marie-Agnes won't shape up, not to mention, mind their manners if they don't want illegalisms to force the issue?)

Baryshnikov and Peter Martins both have talked about enjoying cigarettes, but that's beside the point. Nobody said anything about Martins's DUI in relation to 'role-modelism'. Why are the French girls expected to be better 'role models' than Peter Martins, and in alcohol-related accident is potentially far more fatal than that frightfully intrusive 4th-hand smoke you might get if you were at a performance with somebody whose tutu or ballet dress may have been in the presence of cigarette smoke (or was that barbecued pork from the cookouts they had to attend to make nice-nice with some of the suburban donors?)

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Baryshnikov and Peter Martins both have talked about enjoying cigarettes, but that's beside the point. Nobody said anything about Martins's DUI in relation to 'role-modelism'. Why are the French girls expected to be better 'role models' than Peter Martins,[ . . . ]

I don't think we have any right to expect them to be good role models, but they're in a privileged position, so they have the opportunity to be good role models in that respect if they want to be. In any case, chosing to smoke and getting a DUI through carelessness when one doesn't abuse alcohol aren't parallel. The first is a conscious choice; the second is a dumb mistake, and we all make those.

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Baryshnikov and Peter Martins both have talked about enjoying cigarettes, but that's beside the point. Nobody said anything about Martins's DUI in relation to 'role-modelism'. Why are the French girls expected to be better 'role models' than Peter Martins,[ . . . ]

I don't think we have any right to expect them to be good role models, but they're in a privileged position, so they have the opportunity to be good role models in that respect if they want to be. In any case, chosing to smoke and getting a DUI through carelessness when one doesn't abuse alcohol aren't parallel. The first is a conscious choice; the second is a dumb mistake, and we all make those.

Do you know that he didn't choose to drink too much and think he might be just fine anyway? A DUI is not usually considered a 'dumb mistake' or 'careless', and it certainly is not considered to matter a whit by law enforcement. And, as I said, Baryshnikov AND Martins both have talked about smoking. I know many dancers who smoke. A DUI, though, could definitely be considered 'alcohol abuse' even if it's 'carelessness'.

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Baryshnikov and Peter Martins both have talked about enjoying cigarettes, but that's beside the point. Nobody said anything about Martins's DUI in relation to 'role-modelism'. Why are the French girls expected to be better 'role models' than Peter Martins,[ . . . ]

I don't think we have any right to expect them to be good role models, but they're in a privileged position, so they have the opportunity to be good role models in that respect if they want to be. In any case, chosing to smoke and getting a DUI through carelessness when one doesn't abuse alcohol aren't parallel. The first is a conscious choice; the second is a dumb mistake, and we all make those.

Kfw,

This is where I really disagree and actually get pissed off. My sister was killed by an idiot who made the "dumb" mistake of getting into a car and driving while nearly three times the legal limit. In the UK our DUI laws are rather different, there's no vehicular manslaughter, he got off with a 12 month suspended sentence and a three year driving ban.

There is absolutely no excuse ever to get into a car and drive drunk. Whether one is an alcoholic or just one-off dumb, is immaterial, being put out by passing through someone's smoke won't kill you. A half a tonne of metal ramming into you because some idiot has decided to drive sozzled will.

There is absolutely no way that smoking a personal choice to harm oneself can be seen as a greater evil than drunk driving. The latter is an act of gross misanthropy, the effects are devastating, immediate and destroy lives in an instant.

I'd share a cig with Aurelie and Marie any day, I certainly wouldn't get into a car with Martins, Snr or Jnr, who seem to view vehicles not so much as modes of transport but as party time.

And to Puppytreats I fail to see how my post was more offensive than a blank statement that the homeless keep away from us God-fearing, ballet-loving, decent folk because they know their stench will affront our delicate sensibilities.

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There is absolutely no way that smoking a personal choice to harm oneself can be seen as a greater evil than drunk driving.

Simon, I understand your feelings, and I'm sorry you had to experience that tragedy. I don't think this is the place to discuss the issue in detail, so I will only repeat that I don't see lifestyle choices and one-off dumb mistakes as parallel when it comes to modeling behavior, whatever their outcomes.

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There is absolutely no way that smoking a personal choice to harm oneself can be seen as a greater evil than drunk driving.

Simon, I understand your feelings, and I'm sorry you had to experience that tragedy. I don't think this is the place to discuss the issue in detail, so I will only repeat that I don't see lifestyle choices and one-off dumb mistakes as parallel when it comes to modeling behavior, whatever their outcomes.

Then Peter Martins has at least two one-offs of differing sorts, the first of which was spousal abuse in the early 90s. This is public record, not gossip. I suppose you can call that a 'dumb mistake' and that he 'didn't choose to do it', not really anyway. Spent a few hours in the clink for it too. Another thing we disagree on is the 'opportunity to be a role model'. You don't have to be privileged to want to be a role model. For those here who want a 'role model for etiquette', there are quite a number at Ballet Alert who are very good at it (I mean that quite sincerely), as well as many who are not (I mean, not just me and someone else, who aren't interested in it in that sense, insofar as if I'm judged for having a cigarette as to my worth, I really am not interested in the opinion). Marie-Agnes Gillot is a role model for fouettes, that ought to be enough for any good citizen. It is really incredible how the extremely gifted are supposed to stand for things thought 'noble' by various classes of citizens, and yet it may be because the 'less privileged' don't think they're capable of it either, or haven't been rewarded enough to have to.

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Role models cut both ways. There are people who are attracted to "bad boys", to power, to being able to get away with criminal behavior, and all sorts of things.

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Role models cut both ways. There are people who are attracted to "bad boys", to power, to being able to get away with criminal behavior, and all sorts of things.

But that's not the kind we're talking about here. We're talking about ballet dancers being 'good role models' by not smoking and other 'unseemly behaviour that young girl ballet students or budding stars might emulate'. That would include the men who smoke too. Mere smoking does not make ballet dancers, male or female, 'good or bad girls or good or bad boys'. The context of this discussion is a 'pure-oriented role model', not those (like me) who are attracted to Obama, etc., and his 'cool hand Barack', as Maureen Dowd called it. But there are lots of 'bad boys' who are politicians, and I knew somebody who thoroughly admired John Gotti, when I was terrified of him when I had to play at the Beekman Tower, where he often came (I was even instructed to play 'Come Back to Sorrento', I believe.)

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I know that is not what was meant up-thread about "good" role models, but not everyone has the same definition, especially aspiring dancers. Given the discipline needed to be a professional dancer, how dancers are called "boys" and "girls", how they are pushed around by choreographers and artistic directors, etc., some breaking the mold, appearing glamorous or adult (at least in their own eyes), could be considered positive, either because they are looked at as rule-breakers or as exhibiting normal, adult behavior, and there aren't a lot of options when you get up early every morning to take company class. I wish someone would eat a pizza instead and break the food taboo instead of lighting up a cigarette -- although PNB's very slender Maria Chapman said in a Q&A that she needs to eat 3-5K calories a day to maintain weight at the height of the season -- but you don't always get what you want.

A friend whose daughter is on the brink of deciding how seriously she will pursue dance and in whom a major US company has shown interest told me which company dancer he wanted as a role model for his daughter, and the first thing he said was, "She doesn't smoke." Hopefully his daughter feels the same way.

ETA: Dupont might be considered a great role model at POB, where dancers, particularly the females, are held to an extremely thin standard overall. At the end of the Wiseman's "La Danse", Brigitte Lefevre meets a young corps dancer in her office. That dancer is, to my eyes, frightfully thin, even if she is one of the few who doesn't gain camera weight and that is her actual size. Lefevre approves when the dancer talks about how she has lost weight. I can't imagine Lefevre having a problem with a weight control habit.

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I'm sorry, but this whole discussion has become rather specious. To say that dancers are so weak and impressionable that when they see an etoile or lesser star smoking they will too, doesn't say much about their strength of character, purpose, or intellect. When the perils of smoking are so known and publicized today, I think most dancers can make the choice not to smoke. If they are still worried about weight, then there are nutritionists on staff at many companies who could probably recommend something more healthy than smoking.

When I see a dancer who smokes, I wonder why they would so wilfully injure the body that is their instrument? They are not only shortening a dance career, they are shortening their life. They are hurting themselves. And I wonder what insecurity or need inside them would cause them to override all sense of health, ambition/ability, future life or career, to destroy it, however slowly? Of course, I believe some of the addictive impulse (which smoking is surely part of) can be hereditary. But then again, I know lots of people whose parents or idols smoked, and yet they chose not to, and in many instances, tried to get the person they admired in most other ways, to cease and desist.

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Why would dancers, who generally start smoking as professional division dancer or school dancers, be any less impressionable than any other teenagers? I would say they would be more impressionable, because they, as teenagers, are often in boarding situations and a step away from being a professional, unlike most people their age, and their professional idols -- principals and etoiles -- are right there if they are at a school that's affiliated with a company. Performing children's roles, they share the stage with their idols.

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Baryshnikov and Peter Martins both have talked about enjoying cigarettes, but that's beside the point. Nobody said anything about Martins's DUI in relation to 'role-modelism'. Why are the French girls expected to be better 'role models' than Peter Martins,[ . . . ]

I don't think we have any right to expect them to be good role models, but they're in a privileged position, so they have the opportunity to be good role models in that respect if they want to be. In any case, chosing to smoke and getting a DUI through carelessness when one doesn't abuse alcohol aren't parallel. The first is a conscious choice; the second is a dumb mistake, and we all make those.

Do you know that he didn't choose to drink too much and think he might be just fine anyway? A DUI is not usually considered a 'dumb mistake' or 'careless', and it certainly is not considered to matter a whit by law enforcement. And, as I said, Baryshnikov AND Martins both have talked about smoking. I know many dancers who smoke. A DUI, though, could definitely be considered 'alcohol abuse' even if it's 'carelessness'.

Adding to what Patrick said - the distinction between "conscious choice" and "dumb mistake" is a bit of a stretch, surely? You don't know the motivations and the history of the smoker down the way, and one could argue that the casual drinker who has a few too many and gets behind the wheel is more culpable than the alcoholic, because the former has the judgment to know better and prepare for the contingency.

Dancers are obligated to dance well. Which is certainly hard enough, we don't have to load them down with anything else. Let's just put Aurelie and Marie-Agnes in stocks in the public square and have done with it. Good grief.

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I've sort of lost track of the cycles of this thread ... but when did dancers have to become good role models for other dancers? Were Allegra Kent or Suzanne Farrell great role models – or Nureyev? The most interesting dancers in our local company probably have the greatest character flaws, including, but not limited to, being smokers.

(By the way the characters in the book I've resumed reading, "Your Face Tomorrow" (2002-2009), do a fair amount of smoking: "Wheeler took a few puffs and looked with bemusement at the lighted end, doubtless unaccustomed to the feeble, insipid cigarettes I usually smoke.")

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Then Peter Martins has at least two one-offs of differing sorts, the first of which was spousal abuse in the early 90s. This is public record, not gossip. I suppose you can call that a 'dumb mistake' and that he 'didn't choose to do it', not really anyway. Spent a few hours in the clink for it too. Another thing we disagree on is the 'opportunity to be a role model'. You don't have to be privileged to want to be a role model.

As serious and disgusting a crime as a DUI is, I still respect people who exercise discipline day in and day out. One lapse, or one lapse every 19 years, doesn’t greatly lessen my respect. And as I wrote before, I don't think we have any right to expect dancers to be good role models, but I admire people who recognize that, like it or not, they are role models, and who believe that with privilege comes responsibility, and who embrace that role. We have no right to demand anything from them, but they can demand it of themselves. I don’t look down on people who don’t take on that responsibility, but I do look up to those who do. No you don't have to be privileged to want to be a role model, but that's beside the point.

I'm sorry, but this whole discussion has become rather specious. To say that dancers are so weak and impressionable that when they see an etoile or lesser star smoking they will too, doesn't say much about their strength of character, purpose, or intellect.

I don’t think it impugns any of those things, it just says they’re only human. Intellect doesn’t have much to do with it, in my opinion, given that knowing what’s smart and doing what’s smart are two different abilities.

Adding to what Patrick said - the distinction between "conscious choice" and "dumb mistake" is a bit of a stretch, surely? You don't know the motivations and the history of the smoker down the way, and one could argue that the casual drinker who has a few too many and gets behind the wheel is more culpable than the alcoholic, because the former has the judgment to know better and prepare for the contingency.

You could argue that, sure. I’m just giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. You could also argue that he’s not the first person to drink too much on New Year’s Eve.

Dancers are obligated to dance well. Which is certainly hard enough, we don't have to load them down with anything else. Let's just put Aurelie and Marie-Agnes in stocks in the public square and have done with it. Good grief.

Again, that is not at all the spirit of what I’ve been saying. And now I should follow your good example in regards to an earlier point of disagreement, and say that I'll leave it there.

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As serious and disgusting a crime as a DUI is, I still respect people who exercise discipline day in and day out. One lapse, or one lapse every 19 years, doesn’t greatly lessen my respect. And as I wrote before, I don't think we have any right to expect dancers to be good role models, but I admire people who recognize that, like it or not, they are role models, and who believe that with privilege comes responsibility, and who embrace that role. We have no right to demand anything from them, but they can demand it of themselves. I don’t look down on people who don’t take on that responsibility, but I do look up to those who do. No you don't have to be privileged to want to be a role model, but that's beside the point.

Well, we have no proof it was a one off. Just the first time he'd been caught. And is Martins' daily discipline (who himself has liked a cig or two) any greater than Gillot or Dupont who go through the daily trauma and slog. It seems to me there's this odd sentiment pervading this thread that equates smoking with the most heinous crimes known to man and negates all other achievements, gracious qualities or morality a smoker may possess.

If someone has no desire to be a role model, they aren't one. And if people look up to them expecting them to uphold standards they feel they should possess, then it's that person's problem when they're disappointed.

I also get the feeling that you'd be less forgiving of drunk drivers who didn't happen to be the AD of NYCB and one of the greatest male dancers as well as an ex smoker. But like his insisting that his DUI was a one off, we have only Martins' word that he no longer smokes.

Given that he vowed to uphold the tradition and legacy of NYCB to Balanchine on his death bed I do wonder how good that word actually is.

Moreover, why can't you be a role model and smoke? Smoking is personal, climbing into a car, even once, drunk is an apalling act. It's not a lapse of judgement, it's not a "dumb move" it's a dick move and there's absolutely no excuse.

You could argue that, sure. I’m just giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. You could also argue that he’s not the first person to drink too much on New Year’s Eve.

This reminds me a bit of Whoopi Goldberg's charmingly bizarre defence of Roman Polanski's rape and sodomising of a 13 year old; as she said "there's rape and then there's "rape, rape". (BTW not equating rape with smoking or DUI or vehicular manslaughter.

So if one kills, maims, seriously injures oneself or others at Christmas it's somehow a lesser offence or more acceptable than say after Easter, Pesach or Labour day? Festive Pile up, Yuletide paraplegia? This is turning into the biggest atrocity in the name of Festive fun since Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa Cake.

Some people here hate smoking, some don't, some love it etc But please, getting into a car pissed out of your skull is not equatable, is in a whole other realm of irresponsible, is deeply criminally negligent and it belittles any argument against smoking but considering it in relation to DUI. DUI is a half tonne loaded gun with a moron at the wheel.

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Actually I just have to ask. If you absolutely had to choose and "neither" was an option, who would you rather be in the passenger seat of a car with? A smoker or someone who's just downed a half a bottle of tequila?

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Actually I just have to ask. If you absolutely had to choose and "neither" was an option, who would you rather be in the passenger seat of a car with? A smoker or someone who's just downed a half a bottle of tequila?

Perhaps I haven't been clear. I'm not interested in discussing the discussion, which is against BA rules anyhow, and as I indicated, I'm trying to bow out here. But that's a rhetorical question, and like the points in your previous post, it would not arise if you understood my view.

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Actually I just have to ask. If you absolutely had to choose and "neither" was an option, who would you rather be in the passenger seat of a car with? A smoker or someone who's just downed a half a bottle of tequila?

Perhaps I haven't been clear. I'm not interested in discussing the discussion, which is against BA rules anyhow, and as I indicated, I'm trying to bow out here. But that's a rhetorical question, and like the points in your previous post, it would not arise if you understood my view.

The "not discussing the discussion" argument is incredibly passive aggressive and I think misused here as what we are actually discussing is a continuation of the theme. I did understand the gist of your argument, I don't think though you've clearly expressed it, indeed the glibness of the original statement that getting into a car drunk was a one-time dumb move and we've all made those, is specious.

It's also incredibly passive agressive to baldly state that I wouldn't make a point if I understood your view, implying what? My comprehension skills are lacking? I could counter that if you had made your view with clarity then confusion wouldn't arise.

All this because Marie Agnes Gillot offered Aurelie Dupont a cigarette and she accepted. I suppose we should be grateful they weren't Friends of Gelsey, who knows how many pages that thread would have stretched to.

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The "not discussing the discussion" argument is incredibly passive aggressive and I think misused here as what we are actually discussing is a continuation of the theme. I did understand the gist of your argument, I don't think though you've clearly expressed it, indeed the glibness of the original statement that getting into a car drunk was a one-time dumb move and we've all made those, is specious.

It's also incredibly passive agressive to baldly state that I wouldn't make a point if I understood your view, implying what? My comprehension skills are lacking? I could counter that if you had made your view with clarity then confusion wouldn't arise.

All this because Marie Agnes Gillot offered Aurelie Dupont a cigarette and she accepted. I suppose we should be grateful they weren't Friends of Gelsey, who knows how many pages that thread would have stretched to.

This post pretty much defines "discussing the discussion". Stop it. Take it to PM.

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Take it to PM.
A very good suggestion. We have an excellent Personal Messenger feature, for just that purpose.

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Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa Cake.

Oh. My. God. You have made my day, I hadn't heard about this, although as a very serious cook myself, I haven't actually gone nuts over some of her imitation canned pineapple juice that wets Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix. Oh lord, not a role model except for good husband-choosing, she ought to go to the Martha Stewart Show like I did. Even if Martha does shamelessly insert insidious product placement like confusing people's names with 'L'oreale', which turns out to be all over her magazine, she DOES know how to countenance ingredients in a reasonably basic form (I do her Romaine Salad with Feta and Anchovies all the time.) She also begrudgingly admitted that you could frost a chocolate butter cream with 'just a regular spoon', after trying to sell all sorts of specialized paraphernalia.

I just Googled several sites, and this is so hilarious, I fully believe a new era in inedibility has impinged, one which may well signal the downfall of all civilization. And I do NOT like it that she's well-known in Britain either! I had thought she had a reasonably localized 'trashin'-cookin' following..

Sorry this is so :off topic: but Simon's pm was full, so I could not 'emploi' that method :P

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Adding to what Patrick said - the distinction between "conscious choice" and "dumb mistake" is a bit of a stretch, surely? You don't know the motivations and the history of the smoker down the way, and one could argue that the casual drinker who has a few too many and gets behind the wheel is more culpable than the alcoholic, because the former has the judgment to know better and prepare for the contingency.

You could argue that, sure. I’m just giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. You could also argue that he’s not the first person to drink too much on New Year’s Eve.

Dancers are obligated to dance well. Which is certainly hard enough, we don't have to load them down with anything else. Let's just put Aurelie and Marie-Agnes in stocks in the public square and have done with it. Good grief.

Again, that is not at all the spirit of what I’ve been saying. And now I should follow your good example in regards to an earlier point of disagreement, and say that I'll leave it there.

The remark about dancers being obligated to dance well and only that was not addressed to you personally, FYI -- it was a commentary on the "role model" exchange that had just occurred. As for giving people the benefit of the doubt, I think it's a good general principle. I've even applied it to the occasional smoker....

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My, this subject brings up strong emotions!

Personal space, yes. Also, good old-fashioned manners. If you know you stink, you stay away from people; even homeless people who don't have an opportunity to bathe understand that and usually settle themselves in some out-of-the-way spot. And when did it become all right to light up without asking in the presence of someone who's not smoking?

Nearly every weekend when the weather is nice you can find me reading in the park. I can't tell you how many times over the years somebody takes a spot on the bench next to mine, or occasionally even on my bench, and without so much as asking do you mind they start puffing away. I mean honestly, they *never* ask. Ever! It used to be I would say something, but that sometimes led to testy words that spoiled my mood. So now I don't say anything, though I suppose the alacrity with which I stand and vacate the vicinity makes it pretty obvious why I'm leaving. Who, please, is the "smoking nazi" in this scenario? Who has a seat, and who has none? Surely we can agree that if we non-smokers avoid smokers when we see them in the park, they can do the same for us?

But getting back to the original subject: it seems what I said before was taken exactly the opposite of how I meant it. My "thing" about not drinking in front of children is, I know all too well, my own personal quirk, and I know of not a single person who shares it! I only spoke of it as an example of how easy it is to make a habit of not doing something possibly offensive in front of other people, especially children and teenagers. On the other hand: One is chosen to be a role model, yes, I believe that; but I don't think anybody has to feel obligated to live up to that responsibility if they don't want it. And the younger somebody is, the more likely they will choose the deliberately provocative action rather than the one that would mark them as a good citizen.

Oh, but if Dupont had just said a quick "do you mind?" to those present before taking that cigarette, I would have cheered for her! If more people were willing to be a role model for etiquette, perhaps we wouldn't need so many laws to enforce what should just be common sense and good manners.

Anthony

She did not need to ask anything, there was only her, Marie Agnes G. and possibly the camerman. It was a "ciggy" brake on the balcony of the Garnier. But the programme went out on DVD available to her followers of all ages. Some of who would have been impressionable young people who treat her like a pop star and put her on a pedastal. Surely if you are a person in the spotlight you should consider your actions.

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