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Dancers Who SmokeWhy do they put their life at RISK?


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#61 Simon G

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 05:33 PM

About role models: You don't choose to be one, you're chosen. When chosen, some try to live up to it, others not.


Anthony, I simply don't agree with that. Yes, a person can be designated a "role model" however without that person's complicit agreement that they are willing to fulfil the obligations of being a role model it's useless and indeed pointless. Were one to challenge Gillot and Dupont on their smoking as being destructive to their positions as role models, they would be well within their rights to tell you to do one, they never asked to be role models, nor are they under any obligation to act or behave as role models. And anyway, role models for what? Ballet, sure but certainly not the anti smoking lobby and to anyone who argues dancers shouldn't smoke they can quite rightly say here are two that do. In that respect they're role models for freedom of choice, smoking in the arts and whatever brand of cigs is their poison of choice. Role modelling cuts both ways.

Also, I've had my peace in the park spoiled way too many times to object to the smoking ban there. It's just as disruptive to my enjoyment as radio playing, and that's outlawed so why not smoking?


You discuss your rights. What about the rights of smokers to enjoy a nice relaxing cigarette without the smoking Nazis banging on about their personal space. In an open area you can move and by the time the smoke hits you it's so diluted it won't do any harm. Smokers have rights too, to enjoy their vice without being ostracised, demonised or attacked.

I feel one does have to emphasize the human cost of smoking. My father did three packs a day, and when he finally quit it was too late. With his chronic emphysema, we who loved him got to watch him for twelve years very slowly and painfully drown. Trust me, there was nothing glamorous or sophisticated about it.


These are your personal views. The human cost doesn't need to be emphasised again, everyone is well aware. Your dad's death was horrible, I'm not denigrating it or mocking it, nor the pain to him and yourself, but your father made the choice to smoke, it was his decision and sadly when he did give up it was too late, but he wasn't a passive victim unable to make decisions, uninformed or unaware of the dangers. Everyone knows what smoking does, no one says a tortuous death is glamorous nor sophisticated. But like Nanarina personal tragedy is no basis for prescriptive didactic laws, nor infringing on others human rights and it's certainly nothing to do with Dupont, Gillot or any other ballet dancers who likes a cigarette.

#62 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 07:35 PM

... smoking Nazis...


:rofl:

#63 kfw

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 08:26 PM

Yes, a person can be designated a "role model" however without that person's complicit agreement that they are willing to fulfil the obligations of being a role model it's useless and indeed pointless. Were one to challenge Gillot and Dupont on their smoking as being destructive to their positions as role models, they would be well within their rights to tell you to do one, they never asked to be role models, nor are they under any obligation to act or behave as role models. And anyway, role models for what?

Role models for responsibility and gratitude - people who don't just tiresomely insist on their rights as modernity has taught us to do, but in gratitude for their good fortune give back to the community by not glamorizing unhealthy behavior, and by positively modeling wise behavior.

I can anticipate all sorts of objections to this. But wouldn't it be nice . . .

What about the rights of smokers to enjoy a nice relaxing cigarette without the smoking Nazis banging on about their personal space. In an open area you can move and by the time the smoke hits you it's so diluted it won't do any harm

Yes, that's just it - you do have to move around, not just to be unharmed, but not to get a headache, or just to enjoy your sandwich. Smokers claim quite a bit more "personal space" than non-smokers. On what grounds?

#64 Nanarina

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 09:16 PM

In the era when our Fathers started to smoke, the pitfalls and danger was not fully appreciated, one of my own Fathers remarks after smoking to collect vouchers, which he gave away, when thanked replied"But it has killed me doing so". By that time he knew the dangers and had given up.
Too late, but he told me and my friends never to smoke. In fact two members of The Royal Ballet, who were very fond of him, never smoked another cigerette afterwards.

#65 Nanarina

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 09:50 PM

Sadly one will never know, some do and some do not,my Mother and I were disgusted with her when my own daughter smoked through four pregnancies.

#66 dirac

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 10:00 PM

Yes, that's just it - you do have to move around, not just to be unharmed, but not to get a headache, or just to enjoy your sandwich. Smokers claim quite a bit more "personal space" than non-smokers. On what grounds?


On the grounds that they are citizens who have a right to enjoy open public spaces just as others do as long as they observe certain rules. If you object to being downwind of the fellow, is moving such a titanic effort?

#67 Helene

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 10:05 PM

Yes, that's just it - you do have to move around, not just to be unharmed, but not to get a headache, or just to enjoy your sandwich. Smokers claim quite a bit more "personal space" than non-smokers. On what grounds?


On the grounds that they are citizens who have a right to enjoy open public spaces just as others do as long as they observe certain rules. If you object to being downwind of the fellow, is moving such a titanic effort?

It is when you are, for example, waiting in a queue, like at a bus stop, or you've established your picnic spot in what was a smoke-free vicinity and are enjoying the day, only to have a smoker move right next to you, or are walking down Granville street to the bus stop, where smokers pack the sidewalks outside the clubs and you have no choice but to walk along that street.

I am glad that those certain rules more and more include a smoking prohibition in more and more public spaces, including the outdoors.

#68 kfw

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 03:54 AM

Yes, that's just it - you do have to move around, not just to be unharmed, but not to get a headache, or just to enjoy your sandwich. Smokers claim quite a bit more "personal space" than non-smokers. On what grounds?


On the grounds that they are citizens who have a right to enjoy open public spaces just as others do as long as they observe certain rules. If you object to being downwind of the fellow, is moving such a titanic effort?

“Certain rules” just begs the question of what the rules should be. Helene gave a few examples of when moving is a pain or else defeats one’s purpose for being there in the first place. Why should the rules favor the person giving other people headaches, making their clothes smell like smoke, ruining their meals, and possibly doing much worse in the long run? Why should they have the right to spoil someone else’s enjoyment?

Having said that, as a former smoker, I do think smoking should be allowed in Chicago blues bars. :D So does just about everyone else in Chicago blues bars.

#69 GoCoyote!

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:09 AM

Fascinating thread.

Am I the only one who thinks that, for social issues like smoking in public, going down the path of rules, regulations and laws in order to protect people's rights and freedoms often achieves little except to transfer the problem somewhere else while encouraging all the wrong attitudes in everyone concerned?

Smoking (or not smoking) should never be anything less than a matter of etiquette, politeness and consideration. But it seems that (inevitably) by banning smoking outright in certain areas people are trained to consider it their right to smoke in areas where smoking is permitted. Such 'nanny state' rules encourage child-like behaviour.

eg - 'If you don't like me smoking in the park then tough, because I don't like not being able to smoke in the shopping mall.... It's my right by law to be able to smoke in the park' ... and so on...

In a funny sort of way, consideration for others actually depends on us being able to offend other people and be offended by them. If that ability is taken away and instead every social action and interaction is dictated by laws and regulations then future generations will no longer have any use for common sense, courtesy, politeness, consideration (and like an underused muscle such concepts will wither away) ... instead, everything will be determined by state regulations and laws and their enforcement and penalties.

I do think smoking should be banned where we can't escape it (such as theatres or public transport) ... for venues like bars and clubs why not let the consumer decide? ...... but beyond that where there is a grey area I think even with the best of intentions, trying to substitute personal responsibility and courtesy (in the moment) with fixed laws and regulations seems to be just rearing a society who do not know what personally responsibly and courtesy are.

#70 Anthony_NYC

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:13 AM

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

#71 Helene

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:20 AM

I do think smoking should be banned where we can't escape it (such as theatres or public transport) ... for venues like bars and clubs why not let the consumer decide? ...... but beyond that where there is a grey area I think even with the best of intentions, trying to substitute personal responsibility and courtesy (in the moment) with fixed laws and regulations seems to be just rearing a society who do not know what personally responsibly and courtesy are.

People still have plenty of opportunities to learn what personal responsibility and courtesy are, especially in public places. Just consider noise levels -- speaking on cell phones, keeping voices down at 2am walking down the street instead of having conversations at normal volume -- not making noise during performances at the theater, not dropping someone else's laundry on the floor at the laundromat, not dousing oneself in cologne/perfume and going to the theater. Given the number of threads about bad theater behavior, which were there long before smoking regulations and accusations of a "nanny state", I would give very low marks to self-regulation.

As far as rules and policies are concerned, I'll use Ballet Alert! as an example. When it was first created, there was no need for an "official news" or courtesy policy, because the original members needed neither. As the board expanded, the choices were to set policies and enforce them, or to have the board devolve into a place where intelligent and informed discussion was drowned out by gossip and ad hominem attacks. This is a private board, and we aren't subject to the same legal constraints as public policy, but when there is a critical mass of discourteous and/or dangerous, disruptive behavior, I see nothing wrong in focused, protective regulation.

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!

As someone whose grandparents owned a liquor store and who spent weekends of her childhood perched on stacks of cartons of whiskey, I don't share this one, but I try to be extra-vigilant about not crossing against lights, even if there is no traffic for miles, or stepping off the sidewalk to wait for the light to change, when there are children standing at the same corner. (As a former New Yorker, this takes a lot of self-discipline.) That's my personal quirk.

#72 dirac

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 09:33 AM

“Certain rules” just begs the question of what the rules should be. Helene gave a few examples of when moving is a pain or else defeats one’s purpose for being there in the first place. Why should the rules favor the person giving other people headaches, making their clothes smell like smoke, ruining their meals, and possibly doing much worse in the long run? Why should they have the right to spoil someone else’s enjoyment?


Well, there are risks you take when you walk out your door in the morning and as mentioned the anti-smoking strictures are generally promulgated in the name of health, not enjoyment. The question is how far you want to go in using state power to regulate the personal conduct of others when such conduct may or may not be harming the general enjoyment or anything else. The whole point is that in open spaces, you are in the open air and free to move about.

...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.

#73 kfw

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 09:58 AM

Well, there are risks you take when you walk out your door in the morning and as mentioned the anti-smoking strictures are generally promulgated in the name of health, not enjoyment. The question is how far you want to go in using state power to regulate the personal conduct of others when such conduct may or may not be harming the general enjoyment or anything else. The whole point is that in open spaces, you are in the open air and free to move about.

I disagree. There isn't any question that secondhand smoke affects enjoyment and sometimes health, and I'm all for laws that cost little or nothing to enforce but cut out risks created by rude behavior. That's what it comes down to for me - it's a shame we need "state power" (which conjures visions of cops pulling guns) for that, but my sympathies aren't with the risk creators.

#74 dirac

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:22 AM

I disagree, too, kfw, and perhaps we can agree to disagree at this point. Certain themes on this thread became repetitive a long time ago and several of us, including your correspondent, are raising points already made.

#75 kfw

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:56 AM

I disagree, too, kfw, and perhaps we can agree to disagree at this point. Certain themes on this thread became repetitive a long time ago and several of us, including your correspondent, are raising points already made.

:shake: You're right, we are.


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