Nanarina

Dancers Who Smoke

242 posts in this topic

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.

Well actuallly, no. In this scenario a trade off is one group imposing its will on another, what does that mean "deliberately agrees"? In the case of smokers they have had no choice but to acquiesce to the increasing restrictions as to where or when they can smoke, which has now been written into law and against which they have no right of reply except by passive protest of smoking in illegal areas and risk arrest.

But they comply. But for you this in itself is not enough - what is the "B" that smokers are getting by having all their rights to smoke removed? A total curtailment of their liberties because it offends a minority who in some cases appear to be so egotistically fragile they wish all examples of smoking to be expunged from all media, including a casual moment where one smoker, while being interviewed accepts a cigarette from her friend and asserts her rights to engage in a legal act; which it would appear many wish to no longer be so.

"Moving a problem from a group's shoulders to another's", "Imposing of a view of one group on a universal level, if necessary by law", "Demanding that others conform to one's own point of view or morality for "their own good" "Changing constitutional laws to make previous acts of legality, criminality to suit one's own desires"? "Demonising a certain group, scapegoating them as examples of social evil who must be cleansed for their own good?"

In these charming little credos, advocated in this coversation again and again you have the cornerstones of Fascism. A big statement, but it's the truth.

Share this post


Link to post

what is the "B" that smokers are getting by having all their rights to smoke removed? A total curtailment of their liberties because it offends a minority who in some cases appear to be so egotistically fragile they wish all examples of smoking to be expunged from all media, including a casual moment where one smoker, while being interviewed accepts a cigarette from her friend and asserts her rights to engage in a legal act; which it would appear many wish to no longer be so.

A total curtailment would of course be that smoking was outlawed, period. Who actually advocates that? And what is the alternative to curtailing the liberty of would-be smokers in public? It is to curtail the liberty of non-smokers on public. Really, if more smokers just showed common courtesy and lit up less often in crowds, anti-smoking laws might be few and far between.

"Moving a problem from a group's shoulders to another's", "Imposing of a view of one group on a universal level, if necessary by law", "Demanding that others conform to one's own point of view or morality for "their own good" "Changing constitutional laws to make previous acts of legality, criminality to suit one's own desires"? "Demonising a certain group, scapegoating them as examples of social evil who must be cleansed for their own good?"

In these charming little credos, advocated in this coversation again and again you have the cornerstones of Fascism. A big statement, but it's the truth.

Each of these blunt characterizations could be challenged.

Share this post


Link to post

A total curtailment would of course be that smoking was outlawed, period. Who actually advocates that? And what is the alternative to curtailing the liberty of would-be smokers in public? It is to curtail the liberty of non-smokers on public. Really, if more smokers just showed common courtesy and lit up less often in crowds, anti-smoking laws might be few and far between.

What crowds? Smokers can't light up in an increasing number of public places, including in NY parks. Not in public spaces, nor open air arenas. You're talking about transient moments on the street. People here seem to object to noise from people talking in the streets waiting for buses, stray whisps of smoke, people smoking nearby, I very much doubt any smoker will blow their smoke directly in your face as an act of malice.

The alternative to curtailing the liberty of smokers is NOT to curtail the liberty of non smokers. That's specious, indeed the liberty of smokers has been greatly curtailed already. The two can co exist and there has to be compromise on both sides

"Moving a problem from a group's shoulders to another's", "Imposing of a view of one group on a universal level, if necessary by law", "Demanding that others conform to one's own point of view or morality for "their own good" "Changing constitutional laws to make previous acts of legality, criminality to suit one's own desires"? "Demonising a certain group, scapegoating them as examples of social evil who must be cleansed for their own good?"

In these charming little credos, advocated in this coversation again and again you have the cornerstones of Fascism. A big statement, but it's the truth.

Each of these blunt characterizations could be challenged.

Okay then challenge them, they're there to be challenged. I've said some pretty out there things, but there's truth in them. Tobacco helped build America, the tobacco industry was linked to the increased need of African slaves and hence helped build the richness of African American culture. Tobacco taxes help fund many worthy causes, indeed tobacco company dollars help fund and sponsor many artistic and social endeavours. The didactic preaching against tobacco by many here is Fascism, it's a form of agressive credo asking for universal laws be in place to ensure the views of one section of society suppress all others.

I object to the assumption that I was advocating that crime should not be punished re: Goldberg's distinction between rape and rape rape. I stated that rape & DUI were absolutely not equal in terms of crime. but that each must be punished for what is. What I did find a bit odd was the assumption on your part that DUI was just a "dumb move" a "silly mistake" and we've all made those. Well, no, we haven't. The crux of my issue with that statement was whether it would be a dumb move still if an ordinary member of the public had gotten into a car drunk and not Peter Martins AD of NYCB. There's one law for the famous, one for the common man.

Indeed if the luminati of the ballet world are accorded special favours then returning to original point of this thread Gillot and Dupont shouldn't be judged as bad role models as being smokers, merely exercising their rights to not be judged as we would judge an ordinary woman smoking.

Share this post


Link to post
What crowds? Smokers can't light up in an increasing number of public places, including in NY parks. Not in public spaces, nor open air arenas. You're talking about transient moments on the street. People here seem to object to noise from people talking in the streets waiting for buses, stray whisps of smoke, people smoking nearby, I very much doubt any smoker will blow their smoke directly in your face as an act of malice.

I object to loud music in cars; I've never heard anyone object to people talking on the street. I object to unnecessary behavior that annoys other people. In other words, I object to rudeness. No we shouldn't ban every kind of rude behavior - that would be unworkable and it would set people against each other - but in the case of smoking, the rude behavior is also potentially harmful.

The alternative to curtailing the liberty of smokers is NOT to curtail the liberty of non smokers. That's specious, indeed the liberty of smokers has been greatly curtailed already. The two can co exist and there has to be compromise on both sides

What compromise would you recommend? If people have to vacate or avoid a public space for health reasons, or just to enjoy a picnic, for example, their liberty has effectively been curtailed. Smokers, on the other hand, can enjoy their food without lighting up.

Okay then challenge them, they're there to be challenged. I've said some pretty out there things, but there's truth in them. Tobacco helped build America, the tobacco industry was linked to the increased need of African slaves and hence helped build the richness of African American culture. Tobacco taxes help fund many worthy causes, indeed tobacco company dollars help fund and sponsor many artistic and social endeavours. The didactic preaching against tobacco by many here is Fascism, it's a form of agressive credo asking for universal laws be in place to ensure the views of one section of society suppress all others.

There is only so much time in the day, and we could go back and forth about each charge. :) I imagine too, that you can easily see the weakness in each characterization (I'm not saying there is no truth in any of them). The fact that tobacco has been important historically and that Big Tobacco today does some good doesn't change the fact that when it's used in public it harms people who don't use it. And the arguments against smoking restrictions are no less didactic. Subjective characterizations like “aggressive" and "fascist" are no more than rhetorical exaggerations, on the order of "far Right" or "hard Left," which shut down careful examination and debate. Laws are by nature “universal” in the sense you seem to be using it i.e. that they apply to everyone within the law’s jurisdiction. The object of smoking restrictions of course is not to suppress anyone or any group, but to suppress smoking. You may as well argue that traffic laws are intended to suppress speeders. And here’s a point I want to emphasize: I’m sure there are many non-smokers who feel morally superior to non-smokers, but that’s their problem. Arguments for restricting smoking in public places do not depend upon a presumption of moral superiority.

I object to the assumption that I was advocating that crime should not be punished re: Goldberg's distinction between rape and rape rape. I stated that rape & DUI were absolutely not equal in terms of crime. but that each must be punished for what is. What I did find a bit odd was the assumption on your part that DUI was just a "dumb move" a "silly mistake" and we've all made those. Well, no, we haven't. The crux of my issue with that statement was whether it would be a dumb move still if an ordinary member of the public had gotten into a car drunk and not Peter Martins AD of NYCB. There's one law for the famous, one for the common man.

That we’ve all made dumb mistakes is obvious. Some have potentially grave consequences and some don't. I’m not disputing that the lightness of Martins’ sentence is suspect. The point I was trying to make . . . well, see below.

Indeed if the luminati of the ballet world are accorded special favours then returning to original point of this thread Gillot and Dupont shouldn't be judged as bad role models as being smokers, merely exercising their rights to not be judged as we would judge an ordinary woman smoking.

That would be the two wrongs make a right argument, but in any case, I am not saying that driving a car after having a few drinks is not as bad as chosing to smoke habitually, or that the former shouldn’t be strongly punished, or that the latter should be punished at all (again, restrictions are not intended to punish, but to protect others). I’m saying that they are apples and oranges. Taking two hypothetical people – not Martins and Gillot or Dupont – and looking at the sum of their actions so as to decide who if either is a good role model (not a moral or less moral person) all other things being equal, I would take the person who made one big mistake and endangered himself and others that one time over the person who the person who habitually endangered his health by smoking heavily. But of course all things are never equal.

Share this post


Link to post

Regarding role models, I was reading a "New Yorker" book review from April in which Tim Parks wrote about Italian politics,

n a culture where winning is all-important, [berlusconi's] flaunted relationships with beautiful women and the general perception that he plays fast and loose with the law are factors in his favor.

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Re: cheap cigar: what about getting to wear the paper ring and play with the tin container? fun fun fun but the smell was awful

Share this post


Link to post

A total curtailment of their liberties because it offends a minority who in some cases appear to be so egotistically fragile they wish all examples of smoking to be expunged from all media, including a casual moment where one smoker, while being interviewed accepts a cigarette from her friend and asserts her rights to engage in a legal act; which it would appear many wish to no longer be so.

Of course I agree with this, but I chose this piece of post because it's so well-written, reminds me of someone else as far back as the early 70s talking about another kind of 'fragility', or rather the same kind, but in a different domain.

I also liked Pamela Moberg's posts on this, which I think put an alternative balance, or rather some new twists, on the matter, although I think the Queen of Denmark's case is not the same as the Paris Opera Ballet dancers. Strangely enough, people almost always talk about the Danish queen's smoking, including Geza Von Habsburg in a lecture once at the Met on royal Danish jewels; whether in the end, 'a picture is worth a thousand words' is borne out (or the reverse) I don't know. I know of other examples of smoking by monarchs, but won't name them here, although theirs, too, are not photographed. Other public people like Jackie O'Nassis smoked a great deal in private, but never in public. I also recall a Vanity Fair article about Shirley MacLaine, during her most hyper New Age days, saying 'I smoke sometimes too' (in addition to 'throwing back Ouzos' at a party she'd just been to.)

Share this post


Link to post
Let's keep the "smoking-nostalgia" going on...! :)
I've been participating in this. And enjoying it. That feels quite strange, since my own family history with smoking has been so full of disease and early death.

To remember those times is comforting in a complex way. Not because of the smoking per se. But because smoking was so much a part of almost all social gatherings. Only those with religious or philosophical objections seemed not to smoke. So, I associate smoking with memories of loved ones, closeness of family, and -- most bizarre of all -- the sense of safety and security that is associated with those things. Even though I did not smoke and often found the effects unpleasnt, it still reminds me of feelings of belonging and being loved.

On the other hand, the costs of smoking were for the most part hidden from my parents' generation, as well as many in my own generation. If not "hidden," at least they were easy to deny. This is no longer the case. Just an hour ago, I had another reminder of what smoking does. Earlier in the thread, i referred to a cousin, a wonderful, athletic woman but also a longtime smoker and smokers' rights advocate, who developed emphysema and was now in need of a double lung transplant. Other ailments, the kind made worse by a history of smoking, made such an operation impossible, so she was not even on a waiting list. This morning, I received a phone call. My cousin died of a sudden heart attack, most likely induced by the strain of ... breathing.

Memo to myself:

By all means, remember the positive feelings associated with smoking in the good old days. But definitely continue to remind yourself, and others, of the dreadful ongoing costs.

Share this post


Link to post

A total curtailment of their liberties because it offends a minority who in some cases appear to be so egotistically fragile they wish all examples of smoking to be expunged from all media, including a casual moment where one smoker, while being interviewed accepts a cigarette from her friend and asserts her rights to engage in a legal act; which it would appear many wish to no longer be so.

Of course I agree with this, but I chose this piece of post because it's so well-written

Well written but inaccurate. In my experience, supposition that doesn't begin with presuming the best motives and seeing if those don't provide adequate explanation usually results in a false understanding. In this case, it's not ego that makes people object to a bad example - someone who has enough perspective to recognize a bad example is unlikely to be influenced by it - it's concern for others, particularly the young.

Share this post


Link to post

Cigar boxes were made of real, if light, wood back in the day. I remember going to the Rheinbeck Aerodrome with my father and noticing that the old open planes were repaired with parts of old cigar boxes: you could see the logos and decorations.

Share this post


Link to post

A total curtailment of their liberties because it offends a minority who in some cases appear to be so egotistically fragile they wish all examples of smoking to be expunged from all media, including a casual moment where one smoker, while being interviewed accepts a cigarette from her friend and asserts her rights to engage in a legal act; which it would appear many wish to no longer be so.

Of course I agree with this, but I chose this piece of post because it's so well-written

Well written but inaccurate. In my experience, supposition that doesn't begin with presuming the best motives and seeing if those don't provide adequate explanation usually results in a false understanding. In this case, it's not ego that makes people object to a bad example - someone who has enough perspective to recognize a bad example is unlikely to be influenced by it - it's concern for others, particularly the young.

I'm fairly sure Simon was not using the word 'ego' in the same sense you are, but he can clarify for sure if he wants to. He was using the phrase 'egotistically fragile' in a different sort of way which I assume is more subtle than when one is talking about 'too much ego' or just 'ego-driven' or 'selfish' or what have you. If you want the example I was thinking of, it was in one of Joan Didion's essays in The White Album, but that's all I'll say, it's in one of the essays there; to be specific would only add fuel to the already raging controversy.

My reading of Simon's 'egotistically fragile' was that he was referring to 'not strong enough ego'.

Share this post


Link to post
And what is the alternative to curtailing the liberty of would-be smokers in public? It is to curtail the liberty of non-smokers on public. Really, if more smokers just showed common courtesy and lit up less often in crowds, anti-smoking laws might be few and far between.

People have to light up somewhere, and judging by the rationales presented for the most repressive of these bans, I doubt if the behavior of smokers is really the issue, although smokers sometimes show bad manners in public just as others do. Nobody is curtailing the liberty of non-smokers. You are free to move. Yes, you may also have to wait in line for a bit or otherwise tolerate temporarily something you would rather not, but that's life in public places for you.

Share this post


Link to post

"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.

I think it's clear enough what I meant. People did point out while the new laws were being considered that there would now be smokers on the street rather than inside, so presumably everyone knew what would be coming.

Share this post


Link to post

I think it's clear enough what I meant. People did point out while the new laws were being considered that there would now be smokers on the street rather than inside, so presumably everyone knew what would be coming.

I know what you meant -- clarity is not an issue -- but I disagree. I know plenty of decisions that are coming, for example a $150K drop in the acquisition budget of the Seattle Public Library, but notice does not make them any better. When smoking was banned from the indoors based on health concerns, it was not a given that the problem would be transferred to the streets which escalated the amount of smoking on the streets, especially in groups. The other option, being considered and legislated now, is a smoking ban in public spaces, confining smoking to private, indoor, non-commercial spaces.

Share this post


Link to post

And it has not been exacerbated in all cases. People used to smoke on the street and outdoors far more than they do now, no matter that there weren't the prohibitions in offices and restaurants. At least they don't smoke in New York on the street to nearly the degree they used to. PLUS--there are already cases of people being complained about in multi-dwelling units and 'having to go outside to smoke', so that will hearten all the anti-smoking contingent. There was an elderly lady written up in NYT a few years ago living somewhere in Silicon Valley that this happened to, and she started smoking on park benches, but I don't know if they've yet banned smoking in parks in that part of CA.

Share this post


Link to post
Nobody is curtailing the liberty of non-smokers. You are free to move.

Smokers are free to move as well, to smoke elsewhere. If, to use Simon's terms, their liberty is curtailed by having to do that, then the liberty of non-smokers is curtailed by having to move to get away from them. So whose liberty should be privileged, that of the person who is doing no potential harm and causing no annoyance, or that of the other guy?

Share this post


Link to post

They've already moved. They still often move, in order not to bother non-smokers. Onc person's anecdotes from awhile ago have not changed that. Both should show consideration, or you just go for the legislation, get smoking prohibited. Nothing else will do.

Share this post


Link to post
Nobody is curtailing the liberty of non-smokers. You are free to move.

Smokers are free to move as well, to smoke elsewhere. If, to use Simon's terms, their liberty is curtailed by having to do that, then the liberty of non-smokers is curtailed by having to move to get away from them. So whose liberty should be privileged, that of the person who is doing no potential harm and causing no annoyance, or that of the other guy?

Love it. So all liberty is not created equal, if the smoker was there first smoking when a non smoker turns up does the liberty of the smoker prevail as they marked that territory first, or does the superior liberty of the moral right of the non smoker take precedence. Like I said earlier the Final Solution may be camps, great big camps, where smokers can smoke like chimneys.

Or, since the history of tobacco in the US predates European settlers, African American immigration perhaps the right of the smoker that of the Native American should trump all other considerations. I suppose there's a poetic irony in the fact you gave them syphilis and blankets, they gave you lung cancer.

Well written but inaccurate. In my experience, supposition that doesn't begin with presuming the best motives and seeing if those don't provide adequate explanation usually results in a false understanding. In this case, it's not ego that makes people object to a bad example - someone who has enough perspective to recognize a bad example is unlikely to be influenced by it - it's concern for others, particularly the young.

Patrick pretty much summed up what I meant, I'm surprised that you read my meaning as you do. What exactly are you concerned about for the young? You accuse me of a facile reading of ego, but equally you seem to prescribe a similar facile ego to the "young" (and how young is young) that you think they're so easily swayed. If it's for their health then you'll be hard pushed to find a smoker who'll force their smoke on kids. I mean, on one level I actually agree that parents who smoke in the presence of their children is irresponsible, but you will find that many smoking parents take their habit outside and away from their kids and are extra vigiliant in warning their kids off the habit. Of course this is just anecdotal, as indeed is much of the anti smoking sentiment and examples trotted out in this very very long thread.

I have accused the rather didactic sentiments here advocating total policing and suppression of people's right to choose as Fascistic which is is. Back to the camps.

I suppose ultimately what is it exactly that you'd like to see done about this? Total ban on all smoking, everywhere? The treasurey wouldn't recover, and we all know how well that went down with alcohol during Prohibition.

Share this post


Link to post

Cigar boxes were made of real, if light, wood back in the day. I remember going to the Rheinbeck Aerodrome with my father and noticing that the old open planes were repaired with parts of old cigar boxes: you could see the logos and decorations.

One of my most memorable childhood activities was creating cigar box gardens, miniature architectural displays, really. Our elementary school teacher had us make them and I got hooked, creating many more after the class assignment. All I had to do was ask the corner candy store owner for an empty cigar box when I wanted to start a new one. I filled the box with dirt, dropped in grass seed, landscaped (the creative part), then waited for the grass to grow. The inside of the cigar box lid was painted and illustrated to complete the diorama.

(Helene, The mere mention of Rhinebeck brings back a flood of memories, too...)

Share this post


Link to post

it was not a given that the problem would be transferred to the streets which escalated the amount of smoking on the streets, especially in groups. The other option, being considered and legislated now, is a smoking ban in public spaces, confining smoking to private, indoor, non-commercial spaces.

You (and others) are ignoring the fact that many people rent their apartments and many rental agreements now preclude smoking in said apartments. So unless you are rich enough to own abode, you cannot smoke in your "private spaces."

Share this post


Link to post

So whose liberty should be privileged, that of the person who is doing no potential harm and causing no annoyance, or that of the other guy?

This question of yours, kfw, is the crux of the matter. Delving further - and getting more philosophical as well as political: why should anyone's liberty be privileged? History has shown us, and world events continue to show us, that, despite written constitutions, democratic discussions, common sense and logic, liberty (in general) is not an equal-opportunity privilege for all human beings.

Share this post


Link to post

it was not a given that the problem would be transferred to the streets which escalated the amount of smoking on the streets, especially in groups. The other option, being considered and legislated now, is a smoking ban in public spaces, confining smoking to private, indoor, non-commercial spaces.

You (and others) are ignoring the fact that many people rent their apartments and many rental agreements now preclude smoking in said apartments. So unless you are rich enough to own abode, you cannot smoke in your "private spaces."

Exactement. And a couple of years ago, an elderly woman smoker somewhere in Silicon Valley, CA, had to leave her apt. and go to a nearby park to smoke. I don't know if smoking is outlawed in her park by now. Probably. And even in multi-dwelling buildings, people complain of smoke that is not even possibly being diverted into their apartments--as from apts. ABOVE and with a window taking the smoke out. Such is the nature of the new mores, though. I think one of Pamela's many excellent observations was that some of this is also just particularly 'fashionable', and it's often practised by those who don't mind making you hear all their private cellphone conversations (I certainly don't mind being the one to 'move' when I'm stuck hearing these Reality TV Cellphone businesses.)

Share this post


Link to post

So whose liberty should be privileged, that of the person who is doing no potential harm and causing no annoyance, or that of the other guy?

This question of yours, kfw, is the crux of the matter. Delving further - and getting more philosophical as well as political: why should anyone's liberty be privileged? History has shown us, and world events continue to show us, that, despite written constitutions, democratic discussions, common sense and logic, liberty (in general) is not an equal-opportunity privilege for all human beings.

Exactly, Marga. Moreover the implication that liberty is a "privilege" that should be taken away if behaviour doesn't meet with the approval of certain factions of society is and I know I've used this word several times, kind of fascistic.

I mean, sure the concept of liberty as privilege to be removed is what the penal system is based on, though certain crimes such as DUI apparently aren't crimes merely dumb moves and pall in comparison to having a smoke outside. Though to my knowledge no one ever died of their first cigarette, though plenty have from their one and only DUI.

Of course this concept of liberty extends to the earlier example, didn't anyone who might have either been walking or driving home along the same route as Martins that night he made his "one and only" dumb move deserve the liberty of expecting their passage home to be as safe as possible and not come into contact with a drunk in a half tonne lethal weapon mounting the curb? Whose privilege was being revoked then and by whom?

Share this post


Link to post

Of course this concept of liberty extends to the earlier example, didn't anyone who might have either been walking or driving home along the same route as Martins that night he made his "one and only" dumb move deserve the liberty of expecting their passage home to be as safe as possible and not come into contact with a drunk in a half tonne lethal weapon mounting the curb? Whose privilege was being revoked then and by whom?

And remember, for the record, that Martins refused a breath test. Does one refuse this more likely for having been just a little over the legal limit or perhaps a good bit or even a lot over? You have a lot to lose or a lot to gain if you choose to have one, but if you refuse one (I remember not being aware that you could do so, but nobody answered me on that), you may look suspicious, but that's still the less risky choice if you HAVE imbibed excessively.

Share this post


Link to post