Quiggin, on 21 June 2011 - 10:22 AM, said:
It's really no longer glamorous to smoke in the way it used to be and most European countries have smoking bans – Germany appears to be the exception. I believe that part of the impetus for the bans had to do with the costs to national health systems.
"J'adore fumer", said DeNeuve in 'Pola X', and she's talked about cutting down to two a day after dinner, and probably does that or did for a time. She's said "I used to smoke a lot, but these two are delicious". I think so too. In the case of the smoker, it's usually that it's a very small minority that can smoke as a kind of 'dessert' thing like that. I smoke about a pack every 3 or 4 weeks, and don't intend to stop if I can continue it like that. I do it after a meal too, and yet it is not because DeNeuve is my role model in all ways. However, if you can do it like that, it's not even a 'filthy habit', as almost everybody seems to feel self-righteous enough to call it. I know someone at the moment who feels exactly this way about alcohol, and was never an alcoholic, but just cites statistics, so that at the age of 20 she never had a drink, and is now at the age of 35 much like a much older person.
Contrary to what some commenters have said, smoking is still very sexy and glamorous, and I'll get around to reading the wiki specificities later. A Swiss French friend who also smokes lightly says that smoking is allowed in outdoor areas of restaurants in Switzerland and in France. I am fine with bans in restaurants indoors, although personally, I like a good Italian or Spanish restaurants flavours and aromas mixed with cigarette and cigar smoke (this is different from one poster's discussion of the 'loss of scent' when you smoke: It's according to which kind. In a pristine outdoor environment, I'd never think of smoking, but again, I know I'm in the minority about not having the same kind of addiction--and it's not to make me 'special', it's that I get a headache and a sense of depression if I smoke except when partying with other people. I always thought the worst offense vis-a-vis smoking was allowing it in public workplaces, where it was simply nauseating, even if you smoked some yourself, but that's just acc. to the person.)
I like the thread though, as it has caught me up on attitudes about the outdoor anti-smoking campaign in a way I would usually associate with the New York Times. I see it is a kind of war, insofar as the extreme cases of 'right to not smoke' are being invoked as well as 'unhappinesses' of various kinds, and desires for the 'most stringent' forbiddings. I have no sympathy with this, because everything Simon has said is true except for knowing anything about Marlboro Country, he's too young to have known what being a Marlboro Man is like. But even objectively I don't have any sympathy with it, because it really is like liquor prohibition, but just different in kind: A drunk is very glad to impinge on your desire not to be a drunk or around drunks, and for this reason, we may not reinstate Prohibition.
I see nothing whatever in the thesis of 'role model' for young dancers for Aurelie and Marie-Agnes. Obama has a fag or two, as is well-known, and that's the U.S. president. Nor do I think that dancers and others who use their physical powers ought to 'know better', because they do. They don't need anything explained to them. They want to smoke, and one can simply try to force them not to. But I doubt they care about lip service on this matter, they want to see tanks if they're going to pay attention.
BUT...the fact is that the thread has proved that there is just battling it out. There are those who don't think smokers have any rights at all, and those who think they should be veritably policed. So they'll just have to see if they can get it done. Nothing really to discuss unless one has the power and energy to call up and join organizations, etc. People in the U.S. have long been smoking much less (last 20 years, I guess), and those who do smoke will continue to until the new crackdowns occur. And of these impending crackdowns I have no doubt. This is an increasingly sterilized country in a number of ways. And while even in France, DeNeuve can't smoke at the Tour d'Argent, she can at the Cafe des Deux Magots, if she ever goes there.
It seems to have an element of melancholy and solitude to it now. The compulsion to text has taken its place, a small decafinated pleasure that seems to dull rather than sharpen the mind.
Not necessarily. I rarely have even a single cigarette when I'm alone, it's for being sociable, even if the other person doesn't smoke (unless s/he minds the smoke, in which case I don't.) I like your comparison of texting, though, which has recently been written up in NYTimes as having ascended to heights of such extreme rudeness that the bimboes who must remain glued to their cellphones don't even mention mid-conversation that they must tend to this; they just do it, and start talking, with the flesh-conversation person left either to decide this is normal or abnormal and maybe just walk away quite as naturally as the texter thought it was to text. But I've seen no attempts to take LEGAL ACTION on all sorts of addictions to technology, because it's not been around long enough to show just how HARMFUL it is to the OTHER person. It boils down to whether you want to be strict and virtually totalitarian or accept some of the imperfections of democracy which are bound to accompany some of the freedoms it gives, as dirac pointed out about halfway through.