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Simon G

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Everything posted by Simon G

  1. Lynn Seymour taught me to inhale.
  2. 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.
  3. Since this was brought up as part of the discussion, I'd be interested to see the disputed science. http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2006/04/false-claims-about-secondhand-smoke.html http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2007/10/blowing-secondhand-smoke-new-research.html http://www.forces.org/evidence/evid/second.htm http://www.healbuzz.com/All/Americans-for-Nonsmokers-Rights-Apparently-Retains-False-Secondhand-Smoke-Claims-Why-Is-It-Necessary-to-Lie-When-the-Truth-Would-Be-Enough These should get you started and point you in the direction for deeper, further study should you so desire.
  4. Okay, so posts which accuse other posters of being specious and silly are fine as long as the poster has a view in accordance with the prevalent argument that smoking outside is a subversive act of malice and an attack on civil liberties? There have been many specious aspects both pro and con. What I do take issue with is this assumption that the "youth" are so facile that they'll ape their idols by engaging in similar behaviours. My points were that Kurt Cobain a heroin addict, suicide and smoker, the biggest star in the world did not prompt a rash of suicides and heroin addiction amongst his young followers. Likewise the marvellously self destructive Amy Winehouse, who a few years ago was the biggest selling female artist in the world didn't prompt her fans to follow her into crack addiction. Kate Moss who has directly been blamed for anorexia, lung cancer due to her refusal to stop smoking, has rather candidly repudiated the claims that she is a bad role model, saying she's not a role model she's a model. And there is absolutely no proof to link her to anorexia, cocaine addiction and abuse nor to kids taking up smoking. What I do think is sad is how much smoking has damaged one of the most beautiful faces I've ever seen - and yes, there's no way I could argue against the damaging effects of smoking. If there is one truly specious argument here it's that young people's sense of self is so poor, their intellects so stunted that they have no choice but to follow their idols bad habits. And that much I don't buy. 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. Well, law has revoked many of those privileges. It's a done deal. I've also brought up several points about the usefulness of tax dollar and revenue from tobacco, though of course those points were ignored. This convo can't progress because there is no flexibility on the anti smoking brigade's part who do seem to like to feel indignant for the mere sake of it.
  5. Patrick, Sidwich is unfortunately very very right. A drunk driver does have the right to refuse a breath test by the side of the road and later at the police station in which case they're taking their chances by being solely at the mercy of the courts. If no accident has occurred prior to their being stopped by the police they may very well be better off taking the pot luck choice. In the case of Martins who was by all accounts plainly drunk to the point where he was mistaking the pavement for the road he gambled and rightly so, that a judge would see that a person as "important" as he had just made a "silly mistake". In the UK our laws regarding deaths caused by drunk driving are very different from yours unfortunately, it's only rare cases that a custodial sentence is given even for deaths caused by drunk or irresponsible driving, especially if it's a first offence. We don't have vehicular manslaughter per se, which is a mandatory sentence in your judicial system.
  6. 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?
  7. 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. 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.
  8. 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 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. Nanarina, Some dogs do smoke, you can always tell because when they bark they sound rrrruff.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. Maybe they bring the dogs and cats into hotel rooms in order to mask the smell of illicit cigarettes smoked craftily out of the window? A wet dog can smell very much like a pack of 20 Woodbines.
  16. Perhaps I haven't been clear. I'm not interested in discussing the discussion, which is against BA rules anyhow, and as I indicated, I'm trying to bow out here. But that's a rhetorical question, and like the points in your previous post, it would not arise if you understood my view. The "not discussing the discussion" argument is incredibly passive aggressive and I think misused here as what we are actually discussing is a continuation of the theme. I did understand the gist of your argument, I don't think though you've clearly expressed it, indeed the glibness of the original statement that getting into a car drunk was a one-time dumb move and we've all made those, is specious. It's also incredibly passive agressive to baldly state that I wouldn't make a point if I understood your view, implying what? My comprehension skills are lacking? I could counter that if you had made your view with clarity then confusion wouldn't arise. All this because Marie Agnes Gillot offered Aurelie Dupont a cigarette and she accepted. I suppose we should be grateful they weren't Friends of Gelsey, who knows how many pages that thread would have stretched to.
  17. Actually I just have to ask. If you absolutely had to choose and "neither" was an option, who would you rather be in the passenger seat of a car with? A smoker or someone who's just downed a half a bottle of tequila?
  18. Well, we have no proof it was a one off. Just the first time he'd been caught. And is Martins' daily discipline (who himself has liked a cig or two) any greater than Gillot or Dupont who go through the daily trauma and slog. It seems to me there's this odd sentiment pervading this thread that equates smoking with the most heinous crimes known to man and negates all other achievements, gracious qualities or morality a smoker may possess. If someone has no desire to be a role model, they aren't one. And if people look up to them expecting them to uphold standards they feel they should possess, then it's that person's problem when they're disappointed. I also get the feeling that you'd be less forgiving of drunk drivers who didn't happen to be the AD of NYCB and one of the greatest male dancers as well as an ex smoker. But like his insisting that his DUI was a one off, we have only Martins' word that he no longer smokes. Given that he vowed to uphold the tradition and legacy of NYCB to Balanchine on his death bed I do wonder how good that word actually is. Moreover, why can't you be a role model and smoke? Smoking is personal, climbing into a car, even once, drunk is an apalling act. It's not a lapse of judgement, it's not a "dumb move" it's a dick move and there's absolutely no excuse. This reminds me a bit of Whoopi Goldberg's charmingly bizarre defence of Roman Polanski's rape and sodomising of a 13 year old; as she said "there's rape and then there's "rape, rape". (BTW not equating rape with smoking or DUI or vehicular manslaughter. So if one kills, maims, seriously injures oneself or others at Christmas it's somehow a lesser offence or more acceptable than say after Easter, Pesach or Labour day? Festive Pile up, Yuletide paraplegia? This is turning into the biggest atrocity in the name of Festive fun since Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa Cake. Some people here hate smoking, some don't, some love it etc But please, getting into a car pissed out of your skull is not equatable, is in a whole other realm of irresponsible, is deeply criminally negligent and it belittles any argument against smoking but considering it in relation to DUI. DUI is a half tonne loaded gun with a moron at the wheel.
  19. I don't think we have any right to expect them to be good role models, but they're in a privileged position, so they have the opportunity to be good role models in that respect if they want to be. In any case, chosing to smoke and getting a DUI through carelessness when one doesn't abuse alcohol aren't parallel. The first is a conscious choice; the second is a dumb mistake, and we all make those. Kfw, This is where I really disagree and actually get pissed off. My sister was killed by an idiot who made the "dumb" mistake of getting into a car and driving while nearly three times the legal limit. In the UK our DUI laws are rather different, there's no vehicular manslaughter, he got off with a 12 month suspended sentence and a three year driving ban. There is absolutely no excuse ever to get into a car and drive drunk. Whether one is an alcoholic or just one-off dumb, is immaterial, being put out by passing through someone's smoke won't kill you. A half a tonne of metal ramming into you because some idiot has decided to drive sozzled will. There is absolutely no way that smoking a personal choice to harm oneself can be seen as a greater evil than drunk driving. The latter is an act of gross misanthropy, the effects are devastating, immediate and destroy lives in an instant. I'd share a cig with Aurelie and Marie any day, I certainly wouldn't get into a car with Martins, Snr or Jnr, who seem to view vehicles not so much as modes of transport but as party time. And to Puppytreats I fail to see how my post was more offensive than a blank statement that the homeless keep away from us God-fearing, ballet-loving, decent folk because they know their stench will affront our delicate sensibilities.
  20. Actually the Dupont version is much much harder. Vishneva opts for the "more bang for your buck" high leg extension variation, which in fairness is the Mariinsky version, it's flashier in an obvious way and also much less taxing on the ballerina - and let's face it if you had the Rose Adagio coming up you'd want to conserve as much energy as possible. The Dupont version, choreographed by Nureyev for POB is typical Nureyev choreography and is full of killing petit allegro and terre a terre work, those pas de cheval, temps de fleche, full pas de chat repeated over and over may seem somewhat more mincing in scope but use huge amounts of energy and build up the fiendish lactic acid in the calves like there's no tomorrow And then you have the full on horror of the Rose Adagio to get through. Nureyev also liked to slow the tempo down which makes it all the harder as all those steps must be performed there's no speed to fudge and hide behind.
  21. And the 2011 Marie Antoinette Award for the Civically Minded goes to.... The fact that she didn't makes me love her all the more, anyway, she was with smokers, why would other smokers mind? Now she has to be a role model for etiquette too? With that much weight on her shoulders the next time she performs the rose adagio she's going to fall flat on her face, as if crushed by a giant iron lung. Lebensraum is always a tricky one, but as the one to have coined the smoking Nazi soubriquette in this discussion I think I've hit upon the solution for the smoking problem. Some might say a Final Solution. Let's put them in camps. Great big camps. Where they can smoke like chimneys. P.S I'm Jewish so the last statement wasn't offensive rather post modern, self referential, culturally ironic humour.
  22. Hi Edith, There's actually no pas de chat in the Vishneva version, it's actually quite different to the POB version and indeed a much quicker tempo. Vishneva's variation is: Attitude devant, petit jete en avant, pas de bourree with the back foot coming into the coup de pied position before stepping back on it - this repeats six times before stepping back on to pointe and a developpe at 90 degrees before chasse-ing back upstage. Then she does a grand jete, chasse back, then a demi pirouette with the working leg doing a high grande ronde de jambe from the high retiree position placing back in alongee in fourth, she repeats this four times, a double pirouette, soutenus en pointe, three small grande jetes en tournant, chaines turns upstage to her mother, where she ends with a double pirouette and takes her mother's hand. It's very different from the Dupont. A pas de chat movement, where both feet come up in high retiree position is fundamentally the same regardless of school, but a Checchetti pas de chat in the most technical sense means that the step must be performed from fifth position and end in fifth position.
  23. 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. 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. 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.
  24. You probably did. Two of the greatest ballet artists in the world, who have offered 99.9999% more than most to the world, and yet they do something you don't like. Therefore they're 'stupid women'. And I'm a 'stupid man', with a new book cover with me smoking a cigarette in my own kitchen, eh? Say it ain't so. I definitely feel bad about this, because I'm, of course, a great role model for many perverts, and I shouldn't be seen by them smoking. Not many, ALL, you are the original pervert and best, one by which all others will be judged and ultimately fall short.
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