Nanarina

Dancers Who Smoke

242 posts in this topic

Still on the same subject, but taking a slightly different direction, is it acceptable to suggest that it is okay for people to smoke as they are adults.and it is their business only. What about the situation when a smoker dies, leaving a heartbroken family, including children, spouses, parents, siblings, relations and friends. Death in any form is hard, but for it to be the result of a self inflicted habit, that could easily have been avoided, with

better will power and effective safer subsitutes, it only makes the loss the harder to bare. The smoker misses sharing the lives of their loved ones, they in turn are left to face the future without the smoker, the only people who benefit are the cigerette manufacturer and taxman. And at the end of the day

it all burns ang goes up in smoke. So often people realise too late they have past the point of no return, having disregarded the inevitable. This is a selfish act, and what do you tell their children when they ask Why their parent died, of course you could never tell them, but what ones to mind could be the words "Because Mummy or Daddy , smoked when they knew it was bad for them." "That is why it is not sensible to smoke".

Nana, my ole chum, no more or less acceptable than it is to suggest a sentient, autonomous adult must adhere to behaviour we deem to be proper or acceptable. This is the crux of existance, the moral conundrum, the soul of classical tragedy and the nature of man's division from God - we are each and every one of us responsible for our own life, our own death, our own choices and we live, die, succeed, fail, laugh, cry, smoke by them.

So many things, my dear Nana, could be avoided, so much senseless waste, if only my son, my daughter, my father, my mother, my sister, my brother, my wife, my husband etc etc had not become a soldier, had not bought that Harley, had not worked with asbestos, had not become a stuntman, had not decided to swim the Channel, had not gone exploring, had not had that final drink, had not turned to heroin, crack, cocaine, crystal meth, Kaht, MDMA, hard ganja, PCP, AngelDust, Methamphetamine; had not taken that wrong turn, had not moved to cyclone country, had not walked 13 miles to the only water source passing Tutsi warriors, etc etc etc

Indeed you say tax revenue benefits only the taxman, true, but in the beautiful irony of life those tax pounds could fund schools, libraries, special care units for babies, charities, medical research, arts grants, Opera Houses, there is no black and white in life Nana, from the dark loamy soil and tar stench of evil grows lillies of purest white opening their mouths to heaven, dreaming of God while their roots stay mired in Hell.

Indeed seeing as the three biggest industries on the planet are drugs, arms & porn none of which depend on nicotine, and seeing as 84% of the world's wealth is owned by 7% of its population, one wonders just how much money is being laundered through the World Bank and IMF from these illegal industries, where that revenue is going? At least with the money from nicotine the revenue is traceable and accountable.

I suppose ultimately Nana the problem you have is one all humanity shares, raging against the dying of the light, it's what makes us human.

Finally since we are discussing dichotomies you brought up the subject of children left parentless by cigarettes, asking why? Why, did that happen to mummy and daddy? A beautifully evocative image, but may I turn our attention to the millions of children abandoned, street children, orphaned, parentless, in long term foster care, homeless, alone, hunted by death squads in Africa and South America, children falling through the cracks. Surely the greater tragedy for them is that they have no parents at all? For the loving embrace of a mother those children would gladly accept a Marlboro light nestled between the fingers of the hand that rocks the cradle.

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This thread is really irritating by now. Is there any possibility of closing it? Aren't we all done with this?

This is also discussing the discussion. Stop it.

If there's a policy violation, hit the report button, and the Moderators will take a look. If not, then skip the thread. The people who are done with this will, and the people are not done with this will continue to discuss.

Helene,

Do you realise what you've just done? You're Discussing, the discussing of the discussion.

And now I'm Discussing, the discussing of the discussing of the discussion!

Woah, trippy!

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The number of dogs and cats that are likely to be staying in a hotel at any one time, will be far lower than smokers actually in residence.

Nanarina,

Some dogs do smoke, you can always tell because when they bark they sound rrrruff.

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Simon, don't you see how heartless you are? Now I don't want 'an eternal spring', or even 'an eternal return', but rather 'an eternal Marlboro Country', lying back against 'an eternal World Ash Tree' and dreaming of Ruth St. Denis in her voluptuous prime...while I reach for...you see, I hadn't planned to smoke again until Friday, and yet...it's just in my nature...

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Do you realise what you've just done? You're Discussing, the discussing of the discussion.

And now I'm Discussing, the discussing of the discussing of the discussion!

Woah, trippy!

I have to remind people that administrators and moderators HAVE to read this thread. It's our job. At this point, few of us would choose to continue reading here if not for that.

If you will excuse me for "discussing the discussing of the discussion," a once interesting thread has become tedious and acrimonious. That sometimes happens even when the participants are intelligent and sincere (as all Ballet Alert members are, of course).

Please -- one more time -- take this back-and-forthing to the Personal Messenger service.

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Do you realise what you've just done? You're Discussing, the discussing of the discussion.

And now I'm Discussing, the discussing of the discussing of the discussion!

Woah, trippy!

I have to remind people that moderators HAVE to read every post and remind people about the rules when necessary. It's our job.

If you will excuse me for "discussing the discussing of the discussion," an interesting topic has become tedious around the edges. That sometimes happens even when the participants are intelligent and sincere.

Please -- one more time -- take personal comments and recycled arguments to the Personal Messenger service.

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Did that smoking pattern ever become widely socially acceptable among other groups and areas?. In my suburban family, I recall adults of both sexes smoking at table with the coffee -- after dessert -- but never (NEVER !!! :speechless-smiley-003: ) before.

My blue-collar worker father always smoked throughout his dinner, cigarette in one hand, fork in the other. My (classy) mother, who has never smoked, just learned to live with it. To me, it was a normal thing to see while I was growing up in suburbia on LI in NY. Oh, and my dad's highball, which he made for himself after getting home from work, sat to the upper right of his plate. He sipped it between bites and puffs.

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...where smokers pack the sidewalks outside the clubs and you have no choice but to walk along that street.

Not sure what to tell you. I believe people have walked past such clubs and lived to tell the tale. And of course the smokers are out on the sidewalks because that's where they have to go now. If you don't want them inside presumably that's the tradeoff.

I view it not as a trade-off, but a transfer of the problem from the people who frequent the clubs and restaurants to the people on the street. The city has moved the bus route from Friday-Sunday after 9pm to a residential street one block west to keep drunken club patrons from walking in front of the buses, thus transferring the problem from the commercial block to the residential block, where apartment dwellers have to keep their windows shut or suffer not only cigarette smoke, but loud conversations among people waiting for the bus.

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There's a road in London in the very genteel area of Ladbroke Grove called All Saints' Road. All Saints used to be a total no go area, unless you were in the market for crack, prostitutes, dealers or had a penchant for getting the **** kicked out of you - and even though just round the corner you had some seriously rich people everyone accepted that All Saints was social control as much as anything. It localised a problem.

Then developers decided that the Georginan splendour of All Saints and its proximity to Kensington & Chelsea made it a very attractive proposition. So CCTV were installed all along the road, fancy restaurants & shops took up residence, a De Rothschild trust fund brat bought the top floor of one of several of the buildings and had some very wild parties and a police presence was prevalent. The dealers, crackheads, prostitutes etc then scattered to a far wider catchment area throughout the same area. To the estates round the corner, throughout the streets, around the Harrow Rd - all the cleaning up of one area, one road did was push the problems throughout the entire locale. All Saints Road you could always avoid, the business that spilled out throughout that area you can't.

I'd much rather walk past a crowd of smokers than past a small gaggle of crack heads or dealers and their lookouts. Smokers don't go up to strangers and try and push cigarettes on them.

People do things we don't like, we do things other people don't like. At the end of the day we have to deal with it, or alternatively if the evils, perils and irritants of modern city life are too much, maybe it's time to relocate to the country?

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I'd much rather walk past a crowd of smokers than past a small gaggle of crack heads or dealers and their lookouts. Smokers don't go up to strangers and try and push cigarettes on them.

I don't know about the posh environs of Notting Hill, but in Central London cheap illegal cigarettes are frequently offered to people in crowded areas and the like. They are made of far more dangerous substances than the legal ones and packed with so many extra carcinogens they are supposed to be lethal. Stand at the south side bus stop just to the east of Oxford Circus in Oxford Street and you'll meet the cigarette pushers in no time at all.

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I don't know about the posh environs of Notting Hill, but in Central London cheap illegal cigarettes are frequently offered to people in crowded areas and the like. They are made of far more dangerous substances than the legal ones and packed with so many extra carcinogens they are supposed to be lethal. Stand at the south side bus stop just to the east of Oxford Circus in Oxford Street and you'll meet the cigarette pushers in no time at all.

Yes. I found this googling, from BBC 1 (Scotland.): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00xy80z

BBC Scotland investigates the multibillion-pound world of the criminal tobacco trade. We discover that more than half of all hand rolled tobacco in the country is now either counterfeit or smuggled, and one in five cigarettes smoked is fake. Using secret filming, we expose the gangs which are costing British taxpayers four billion pounds in lost revenue a year. Taking you to the heart of the supply chain, we buy directly from the criminals and reveal their products are the most poisonous ever discovered in the UK. And with exclusive access to customs investigators, we watch as they take out a major organised Chinese tobacco gang which has set up home in Scotland.

At first I thought you were talking about the cheap fake cocaine and fake crack that can be bought legally in head shops here, and is so poisonous it has caused young users to kill themselves (this was about 2 months ago I read this, I believe.) I've never looked in the shops by me, and am not sure I would recognize the kinds of things they are referring to anyway. I'm sure there's a parallel illegal cigarette scene here, although I haven't looked into it.

But this would therefore be true too:

Smokers don't go up to strangers and try and push cigarettes on them.

By the time it goes illegal, it's not 'smokers pushing cigarettes', it's part of the greater general drug trade.

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This discussion is making me want to take up drinking and smoking.

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This is a note from dirac - apparently in an attempt to cut and paste I deleted the text of kfw's post and substituted my own. This is a public apology to kfw for the screwup and I'm leaving this in place so kfw can re-post or delete. Sorry!!!!!!

Edited by dirac

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I think we're all beginning to repeat ourselves again to some extent, but I can keep it up as long as anyone else. :) Part of sharing public space is sharing it with other people, some of whom may be annoying.

I view it not as a trade-off, but a transfer of the problem from the people who frequent the clubs and restaurants to the people on the street. The city has moved the bus route from Friday-Sunday after 9pm to a residential street one block west to keep drunken club patrons from walking in front of the buses, thus transferring the problem from the commercial block to the residential block, where apartment dwellers have to keep their windows shut or suffer not only cigarette smoke, but loud conversations among people waiting for the bus.

"A transfer of the problem" is more or less what I meant by tradeoff. You solve the "problem" in one area but the solution has complications. That's how such things often work, most particularly in cities where there are a lot of diverse people with varying interests and needs living close together.

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To me, it was a normal thing to see while I was growing up in suburbia on LI in NY. Oh, and my dad's highball, which he made for himself after getting home from work, sat to the upper right of his plate. He sipped it between bites and puffs.
This is OFF TOPIC, but ... Marga, you reminded me of the omnipresent "highball" of my youth. Requiring frequent use of the ice-cube tray. Only martinis came in oddly-shaped glasses without ice cubes. Wine was usually served in glasses too small to allow for swishing it around..

All of this was observed, by this particular kid, through a warm, slightly cloying, very familiar fog of white-gray smoke. Ash trays were on every table. By the end of an evening some of these were overflowing. My mother was obsessive about emptying and cleaning ash trays, but many were not. There was, of course, always the danger that you would toss a partially lit butt into the trash and cause a fire. Better to let them grow cold and take on fascinating new odors, I suppose.

Cigarettes themselves seemed normal, as did smoking. But old butts were always, imo, disgusting.

PS. Just thinking about my use of the sentence "Cigarettes themselves seemed normal." This is something that has changed drastically since those days. We would not even be having this conversation if we still thought of smoking as normal.

Smokers in our Eurocentric culture were treated as outsiders when tobacco was first introduced. Over a century or so, smoking became the norm for men who could afford it, then for all men (once tobacco prices decreased), and finally by women. Women, however, never smoked in the percentages that men did. I recall a book of old cigarette ads featuring Hollywood stars touting the benefits of their particular cigarette brand. Claudette Colbert, I remember, actually claimed that smoking improved her speaking voice, essential when you are in a career in which you have to talk a lot.

Now, in the early 21st century, smoking is once again out of favor. We all agree it's bad for you. Some on this thread also consider it anti-social. There are, on the other hand, those who feel that smoking is essentially a personal choice if indulged outdoors, rather than a social action with social consequences, and that smokers should be left in peace to reap the rewards of their behavior.

I can imagine that people were having the same debate back in the 17th century.

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This is a note from dirac - apparently in an attempt to cut and paste I deleted the text of kfw's post and substituted my own. This is a public apology to kfw for the screwup and I'm leaving this in place so kfw can re-post or delete. Sorry!!!!!!

Hah! :) Don't feel bad. That's a very easy mistake to make.

I'll just let things be.

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There are, on the other hand, those who feel that smoking is essentially a personal choice, rather than a social action with social consequences, and that smokers should be left in peace to reap the rewards of their behavior.

Well... a number of people here do support social restrictions in certain circumstances but not in others. Smoking is many things. It's not a clear cut either-or. There are aspects to the issue that we haven't even begun to discuss here, not that I'm suggesting we do so. :)

Thank you for being understanding, kfw. :)

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Jonathan Raban:

In Soft City I was trying to write about metropolitan life as it had existed since the 18th century – as a theatre in which the newly arrived could try on masks and identities more daring and extravagant than any they had been allowed in their villages or small towns, as a place that guaranteed a blessed privacy, anonymity and freedom to its inhabitants and, most of all, as somewhere where every citizen created a route of his or her own through its potentially infinite labyrinth of streets, arranging the city around them to their own unique pattern.

FT: Soft City

Rather than with new identities of our own we presently seem to define ourselves by unmasking others' identity choices or being annoyed with their weaknesses, especially that of the Smoker (whose new status in the city would have greatly interested Baudelaire and Rimbaud and Manet). If we were really concerned with foul air in cities, then boycotting drycleaners, not driving cars, shutting off window air conditioners for a few hours of the day – in general slowing down one's life – might do the parks and commons more good.

And smoking's not so much a "personal choice" that falls equally on everyone – one's social situation, metabolism, vulnerability to images, need for a physical stimulus have a lot to do with it. And terribly difficult to kick, despite one's pluck and character and couragousness and all those great american building blocks of success.

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And lest we forget tobacco farming was one of the biggest industries in the US from the early 17th century for a good couple of hundred years. It was expressly for the farming of tobacco that tens of thousands of slaves were brought to the US.

Tobacco is one of the cornerstones of the US' emergence as a superpower, the foundation of democracy, enriching the African American diaspora and heritage.

Without tobacco we wouldn't be able to debate this subject on these fair boards.

Man's inalienable right to freedom of speech is synonymous with his right to have a nice puff on a cig could be argued as the quintessential American dream. Without a Marlboro there'd be no Obama.

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In reply to Dirac: Yes, I was being sarcastic, but in my anxiety to be brief as I found most people too longwinded, it misfired.

To get back to where all this actually started with those mesdames of the POB. They could learn a bit from European royalty - who may smoke in private, but never does so in public. Take the example of HM Queen Margrethe of Denmark, she is an avid ballet fan and has even designed sets and costumes for the RDB, she smokes, yet you will never see her doing so at a public function or find a press photo of her smoking - at any rate not a recent photo. These people also have spare time and private apartments where they can smoke and swing a bottle if they feel like it.

I strongly believe that if you are a public person you have a duty to behave in a proper manner in public. Yes, yes, I know that there are some wellknown people here who have appeared somewhat the worse for drink in public - not at all

recommended. Just poor judgment, IMO.

It seems to be a bit fashionable for want of a better word (being sarcastic again) to get up in arms about smoking, yet, if we now stick strictly to the ballet world - though it applies elsewhere as well - there are more important issues to deal with.

Anorexia is rife and getting out of hand - whilst many in any population is obese - that should be addressed.

My mother when she died weighed 34 kilos and she was a life long anorexic, that was pretty scary. FYI one kilo is 1000

grams and one lb is 453 grams, you have to do the maths yourselves.

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Marga, you reminded me of the omnipresent "highball" of my youth. Requiring frequent use of the ice-cube tray...

...All of this was observed, by this particular kid, through a warm, slightly cloying, very familiar fog of white-gray smoke. Ash trays were on every table. By the end of an evening some of these were overflowing.

Cigarettes themselves seemed normal, as did smoking. But old butts were always, imo, disgusting.

I just wanted to tell you how nostalgic you have made me, Bart! I miss my father terribly, and all his siblings. All 5 brothers, 1 sister, and their spouses - everyone of them except for my mother - smoked and that smoky haze was part of every family gathering. Ironically, the children - my cousins - don't smoke and my own foray was relatively short-lived.

Folks smoked in their cars, too, so anyone being transported by a smoker had to inhale the smoke encircling their heads. How many of us spent our childhood sitting captive in such cars? As smoking was considered normal, no one said anything. I'm surprised that more people haven't succumbed to smoking-related diseases now that a few generations have grown up having lived with the smoking addictions of those close to them.

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Let's keep the "smoking-nostalgia" going on...! :) . One of my favorite things as a kid was while in bed and ready to sleep, lights off, to ask my father-(who was an avid smoker all his life until he suddenly stopped after more than 50 years of puffing)-to stop by my room with a cigarette, seat at the bedside and start swinging it very fast in circular motions in front of me. The effect of the whole thing was a lit up red dot dancing and swirling and forming all kinds of cirles and forms in the middle of the darkness..! When eventually I started smoking at the age of 14 I sometimes used to lock myself in darkness and repeat the childhood game. It was-(is)-very hypnotic. I still do it.

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"A transfer of the problem" is more or less what I meant by tradeoff. You solve the "problem" in one area but the solution has complications. That's how such things often work, most particularly in cities where there are a lot of diverse people with varying interests and needs living close together.

To me a transfer is moving the problem from a person or group's shoulders to another's. A trade-off is when a person or group deliberately agrees to forgo A to get B.

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Let's keep the "smoking-nostalgia" going on...! :) . When I was a kid one of my favorite things was while in bed and ready to sleep, lights off, to ask my father-(who was an avid smoker all his life until he suddenly stopped after more than 50 years of smoking)-to stop by with a cigarette and seat at the bedside and start swinging it very fast in circular motions in front of me. The effect of the whole thing was a lit up red dot dancing and swirling and forming all kinds of cirles and forms in the middle of the darkness..! When eventually started smoking at the age of 14 I usually used to lock myself in darkness and repeat the childhood game. It was-(is)-very hypnotic. I still do it.

Great story, Cristian. My parents never smoked, but I remember standing on a beach in shallow water, having fun knocking the ash off of my grandfather's cheap cigar.

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To get back to where all this actually started with those mesdames of the POB. They could learn a bit from European royalty - who may smoke in private, but never does so in public. Take the example of HM Queen Margrethe of Denmark, she is an avid ballet fan and has even designed sets and costumes for the RDB, she smokes, yet you will never see her doing so at a public function or find a press photo of her smoking - at any rate not a recent photo. [ . . . ]

I strongly believe that if you are a public person you have a duty to behave in a proper manner in public.

Thank you for posting, Pamela. Standards have slipped so far, and the concept of duty has been so eclipsed by the worship of freedom, that in my opinion it's unfair to ask much of celebrities these days. But examples like Queen Margrethe's are invaluable.

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