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Dancers Who SmokeWhy do they put their life at RISK?


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#196 dirac

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 12:06 PM




Helene, I said that was not going to be a fight I was going to start on this thread and indeed I would never have raised the matter myself and I didn't. I remain untempted to take up the cudgels. I simply pointed out that the matter was disputable. Your access to the Internet and the relevant research available elsewhere is as good as mine. :)

:dunno: Once raised, it becomes a legitimate part of the discussion. I asked for sources, because there's a lot of literature out there from both sides of the debate, and I was curious what the basis of your statement was, since there are arguments against global warming and evolution as well.



You know, I am tempted to respond to that, but instead I'm going to let the provocation speak for itself. You may take my refusal to engage in any way you wish.

#197 Simon G

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 12:15 PM

:dunno: Once raised, it becomes a legitimate part of the discussion. I asked for sources, because there's a lot of literature out there from both sides of the debate, and I was curious what the basis of your statement was, since there are arguments against global warming and evolution as well.


Well if we want to extend the argument of a human practice impacting disastrously on not only mankind but the environment, when it comes to global warming one of the biggest contributors to methane gasses destroying the ozone layer is anal emissions from livestock specifically bred intensively in increasing volume to feed mankind's demands for meat, specifically cheap meat.

Nature didn't design livestock with McDonalds, Burger King, In & Out, Wendy's etc in mind, animals aren't intended to be bred in such volume, where life cycles are sped up, nor did design intervention by man on the process, modern farming and volume. The meat industry meets a demand it and the public have created and the results are proving disastrous.

#198 Helene

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 12:20 PM

I agree, there are a lot of environmentally bad practices on this planet. I even agree that there are worse environment impacts than second-hand smoke. (Shocking, I know.)

I don't think, though, that reducing or removing environmental impacts is an all-or-nothing proposition.

#199 kfw

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 12:20 PM

As a practical matter, where wills clash, one or both sides have their liberty curtailed. The issue of smoking in public illustrates this fact. When non-smokers have to move, their liberty is curtailed. Sometimes we pass laws taking one side or another. That's the law's function. And in a democracy, where each side can push their case, that's not unfair.


Smokers, who are the objects of social shaming and reproach, as this thread demonstrates, are at a plain disadvantage in these debates. These laws are passed for reasons of health, not as matters of "personal liberty." My own feeling that if non-smokers can't be bothered to move, it might be best and safest for them to stay home.....

Iíll grant you that smokers are often the objects of social shaming and reproach, and that stinks, no pun intended. But as I have tried to say in one way or another on this thread, thatís not my approach to them. As I believe I have explicitly said, I donít look down on them Ė that sort of attitude is very far from my thinking. I do think that under some conditions smoking is rude, but that isnít to say that rudeness characterizes smokers, as if all smokers were rude, or no one else ever was. I am not on a crusade against smokers or smoking, I'm just taking a position on the rights of smokers vs. non-smokers.

I believe Simon was the first to speak of liberties here, when on page 11 he wrote of ďa total curtailment of [smokerís] liberties.Ē I completely agree with you that the laws are passed for reasons of health, and so that everyone can enjoy public spaces (the latter is the same thinking behind some noise ordinances) and not in order to curtail liberties. But there is legal liberty and practical liberty, and as the saying goes, your freedom/liberty ends at the point of my nose. Where wills clash, which to say in any society, no one can be completely free, and we make laws to side with one disputant over the other. As a practical matter then, laws curtail legal liberties, but their absence sometimes curtails practical liberties.

Leaving aside for the sake of argument the issue of harm, I still donít understand why if the smoker is bothering the non-smoker and not the other way around, the smoker should be accorded a right to do as he pleases and the non-smoker not.

#200 Quiggin

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 12:25 PM

wikipedia smoking entry

From 1965 to 2006, rates of smoking in the United States have declined from 42% to 20.8%. A significant majority of those who quit were professional, affluent men.


simon g

This whole thread started on very shaky ground by attacking two ballerinas as being poor "role models" and indirectly setting a bad example to kids.

It's plainly obvious that kfw and several others see smokers as being sub classes of society whose liberties are privileges demanding of being revoked.


This thread also begins to separate people by class and to ostracize certain groups, in a very polite way of course, and to stigmatize dancers – whom Ballet Alert professes support.

#201 kfw

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 01:49 PM

This thread also begins to separate people by class and to ostracize certain groups, in a very polite way of course, and to stigmatize dancers – whom Ballet Alert professes support.

I disagree and I think that feeling is at the heart of some misunderstandings here. To criticize people is not necessarily to stigmatize, and at most it is a couple of very narrow behaviors - smoking in public and smoking in public despite being a role model - that has been criticized here, not the individuals in a larger sense. To criticize is not to reject. Everyone, after all, is open to criticism. Everyone can be criticized on some fronts.

#202 Simon G

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 02:45 PM

Lynn Seymour taught me to inhale.

#203 dirac

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:18 PM

I completely agree with you that the laws are passed for reasons of health, and so that everyone can enjoy public spaces (the latter is the same thinking behind some noise ordinances) and not in order to curtail liberties. But there is legal liberty and practical liberty, and as the saying goes, your freedom/liberty ends at the point of my nose.


I explained my distinction between smoking and noise ordinances earlier. I'm sorry that the end of your nose is annoyed by smokers -- so is mine, on occasion, but I don't see that as a reason for depriving smokers to light up in public spaces as long as they are minding their own business.

#204 Simon G

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:26 PM

I explained my distinction between smoking and noise ordinances earlier. I'm sorry that the end of your nose is annoyed by smokers -- so is mine, on occasion, but I don't see that as a reason for depriving smokers to light up in public spaces as long as they are minding their own business.



But what if they're a role model?

#205 Simon G

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:29 PM

I completely agree with you that the laws are passed for reasons of health, and so that everyone can enjoy public spaces (the latter is the same thinking behind some noise ordinances) and not in order to curtail liberties. But there is legal liberty and practical liberty, and as the saying goes, your freedom/liberty ends at the point of my nose.


That all sounds very neat. Except that legal liberty is enforceable by law and a part of statute, practical liberty doesn't actually exist and is personal to the individual's moral code and sensibilities and hold no water in terms of the real world, unless of course they become an illegal act.

And just as a smokers freedom ends at the point of your nose, so does yours at the point of the smokers as he exhales.

#206 kfw

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 06:48 PM

I completely agree with you that the laws are passed for reasons of health, and so that everyone can enjoy public spaces (the latter is the same thinking behind some noise ordinances) and not in order to curtail liberties. But there is legal liberty and practical liberty, and as the saying goes, your freedom/liberty ends at the point of my nose.


That all sounds very neat. Except that legal liberty is enforceable by law and a part of statute, practical liberty doesn't actually exist and is personal to the individual's moral code and sensibilities and hold no water in terms of the real world, unless of course they become an illegal act.

Iím not sure I understand all of what youíre saying, but it's intriguing. What do you mean when you say that what I've described as practical liberty doesn't exist? Iím talking about whether smokers are free to smoke in certain public places or non-smokers are free to enjoy them as they wish to, without breathing smoke. Both freedoms, both liberties, canít exist at the same time. The law decides between conflicts like this all the time. There are noise ordinances, upkeep of property ordinances, and ordinances that restrict panhandling and picketing to certain areas. There are eminent domain seizures. There are laws against various types of behavior on the grounds that they cause harm, and as has been pointed out, smoking bans are based on what is believed, rightly or wrongly, to be harm. Do you oppose all these philosophically, is that what youíre saying?

#207 bart

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 07:15 PM

I'm talking about whether smokers are free to smoke in certain public places or non-smokers are free to enjoy them as they wish to, without breathing smoke. Both freedoms, both liberties, can't exist at the same time. The law decides between conflicts like this all the time. There are noise ordinances, upkeep of property ordinances, and ordinances that restrict panhandling and picketing to certain areas. There are eminent domain seizures. There are laws against various types of behavior on the grounds that they cause harm, and as has been pointed out, smoking bans are based on what is believed, rightly or wrongly, to be harm.

kffw, you express this very well. We have been personalizing this a bit too much, it seems to me. In discussions like this, it helps to know precisely what the law can and cannot do under our constitutional system. Your examples make this clear..

Anti-smoking laws have almost without exception been sustained by the courts, which have taken the position that the people, through their government, have a legitimate public interest in this matter. This public interest in this case trumps most smokers' claims of personal choice.

Of course, an individual may choose to smoke or not. However, this particular choice does not have constitutional protection.

You don't have to like these laws or court decisions. But they are constitutional. The proper course of action for those who disagree is to to use the political system to change or repeal them. Another option -- and it sounds like Simon might be sympathetic with this -- might be to organize civil disobedience, rather like the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. during the 50s and 60s. In other words: break the law as a tactic for changing the law.

#208 Simon G

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 03:26 AM


I completely agree with you that the laws are passed for reasons of health, and so that everyone can enjoy public spaces (the latter is the same thinking behind some noise ordinances) and not in order to curtail liberties. But there is legal liberty and practical liberty, and as the saying goes, your freedom/liberty ends at the point of my nose.


That all sounds very neat. Except that legal liberty is enforceable by law and a part of statute, practical liberty doesn't actually exist and is personal to the individual's moral code and sensibilities and hold no water in terms of the real world, unless of course they become an illegal act.

Iím not sure I understand all of what youíre saying, but it's intriguing. What do you mean when you say that what I've described as practical liberty doesn't exist? Iím talking about whether smokers are free to smoke in certain public places or non-smokers are free to enjoy them as they wish to, without breathing smoke. Both freedoms, both liberties, canít exist at the same time. The law decides between conflicts like this all the time. There are noise ordinances, upkeep of property ordinances, and ordinances that restrict panhandling and picketing to certain areas. There are eminent domain seizures. There are laws against various types of behavior on the grounds that they cause harm, and as has been pointed out, smoking bans are based on what is believed, rightly or wrongly, to be harm. Do you oppose all these philosophically, is that what youíre saying?



Kfw,

I don't know what more to say, as I think this argument reached an impasse or rather several, several pages ago and if my posts have become silly or specious at times it's due to frustration if nothing else.

For the record, I support bans on smoking in enclosed spaces, work spaces and places where smokers & non smokers mix whilst inside. I do think the abolution of smoking rooms for smokers in workplaces or enclosed places where smokers can specifically go unneccessary, but that's the way it rolls both here and Stateside. In which case open air areas for smokers are only fair, and yes, it's only fair that people who choose to smoke can have a designated area where they can do so - and non smokers have to either accept the momentary unpleasentness of passing by or through, or avoid those areas. And if you feel it's a curtailment of your civil liberties, sorry, tough. Smokers have to accept that their civil liberties to go where they choose are curtailed whilst engaged in the act of smoking. That's my view it's differenet to yours, we'll have to let that be.

I do think that banning smoking in parks is somewhat overkill and rather precious, it's not so in the UK, but I have to say I find many laws in the US rather extreme or indeed unneccessary and in some cases, such as Don't Ask Don't Tell, plain wrong and borderline malicious. Gays & lesbians have been completely legal within the the UK armed forces for over a decade now and it's rather strange that the US would rather someone who's mentally ill or a convicted criminal seeking to escape jail time be allowed to fight over a sound, fit healthy man or woman who just happens to be gay and wants that knowledge to be public.

The arguments that several people have put here that whilst out walking it upsets them greatly to have even a stray whiff of smoke pass their way - well, okay you have every right to not like it. BUT it won't kill you, it's not harmful that diluted, especially with all the other junk in city air, it's a transient moment and it will be over very very quickly.

I'm not getting into another argument over perceived civil liberties, I've made my feelings quite clear on that we'll have to agree to disagree.

The "yoof" question, well, I don't have such a poor view of the very young to think them so facile that they'll smoke because a pop star does (and when was the last time anyone did anything because a ballet dancer did.) Young people smoke as rite of passage often, most don't stick with it. I'd be far more interested to look at societal causes of why people smoke than blame it on Adele, Amy Winehouse or Jay Z. Lack of money, opportunities, education, career options, boredom, frustration - I feel are far more condusive to enticing young people to smoke. Smoking wastes time, it relieves frustration, there's a peer element to it. Smoking is also more prevalent amongst the poor than the middle to upper classes.

Someone also spoke here about dancers smoking, specifically one dancer who smoked as she became anorexic. Well in weight control cases, especially extreme ones for which the ballet world is famous, I think blaming cigarettes is like blaming the symptom for the disease. Smoking suppresses appetite, it also gives you something to do orally when you should be eating - the culture of thinness is what's the issue here, smoking is just a means to achieve this.

And the issue of role models I've spoken at at length, I have a more lenient approach to how people choose to represent both themselves and their actions and the demands that society should place on them. I do think that Nanarina's original post should have been treated far more censoriously, with a quick swift "none of your business".

#209 lmspear

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 04:37 AM

Health considerations aside, the odor from the smoke lingers after the cigarette has gone. If you get on an elevator after someone who's come back inside from a smoke break sometimes you've got to cover your nose. If two or three smokers are returning after a joint smoke break at work (I realize the social and mental health benefits of the activity) I've learned to wait for the next elevator. It stinks.

#210 kfw

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 05:44 AM

Simon, I understand and probably obviously have shared your frustration with this thread sometimes. But surprise, surprise, I agree with a lot of what you wrote here. I’ll only make a few comments.

For the record, I support bans on smoking in enclosed spaces, work spaces and places where smokers & non smokers mix whilst inside. I do think the abolution of smoking rooms for smokers in workplaces or enclosed places where smokers can specifically go unneccessary, but that's the way it rolls both here and Stateside. In which case open air areas for smokers are only fair, and yes, it's only fair that people who choose to smoke can have a designated area where they can do so - and non smokers have to either accept the momentary unpleasentness of passing by or through, or avoid those areas.

I think this is quite reasonable. The goal is to share space, not stamp out smoking or drive out smokers.

The "yoof" question, well, I don't have such a poor view of the very young to think them so facile that they'll smoke because a pop star does (and when was the last time anyone did anything because a ballet dancer did.)

Well, we can hope, right? Seriously, I don’t simply blame celebrities for teen smoking, as if there’s a one-to-one correlation and no other factors. I do think they play a role, whether intentionally or not. Youths model adults. Dance students surely model admired dancers, in my opinion. That's not expressing a low opinion of them, it's just observing human nature.

And the issue of role models I've spoken at at length, I have a more lenient approach to how people choose to represent both themselves and their actions and the demands that society should place on them.

I think that ideally society has high standards and we all welcome its demands, at least intellectually, because we recognize their wisdom and justice. But we’re not living in those times, and it’s not fair to hold people to standards no longer shared.

I also think that bart’s post was right on.


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