Sunday, May 08, 2005

Austin joins the Axis of the Dissapointing...

What do you do when you have a city with a kick-ass reputation internationally as the capital of live music and general hedonism in the United States? Well d'uh, stupid. Ban smoking. My understanding of Austin as a city was that shit like this would definitely not be tolerated.

I quoted this on An Irish Experience last year when smoking was banned from bars in Dublin, and I'll quote it again...
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
Bah. Fight the powers that be, people.....

15 comments:

Thomas said...
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Thomas said...

banning smoking from public places and spaces is a good thing.

ma said...
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ma said...

yeah, but the government dictating a privatly run establishment isnt...

Tom Gara said...

I think passing laws that encourage or create incentive to places to become non-smoking is fine. If all the non-smokers feel so serious about their safety then why arent they exclusively hanging out at non-smoking places? Isnt there a bit of hypocrisy in the fact that these people, so concerned for their health, are willing to risk it to catch a great band or DJ, or enjoy the atmosphere of a smoking place?

T-rent said...

Its not for the patrons but for the servers and bartenders. I have a lot of friends, who are even smokers, who wait, and they are happy about the ban in Madison.

I agree with Tom though, there should be ways to earn a smoking license: Like if you put in a huge ventilation system, or in Austin there is plenty of outside dining, that should be fair game.

In Madison, if your sales are over 50% alcohol you can still smoke in the bar, also, there are special exceptions for Sheesha and Cigar bars.

Tom Gara said...

The Shisha, people.....Won't somebody think of the Shisha.....

ma said...

as a bartender, my pockets have been a lot lighter since our city wide ban has taken effect.

i agree with tom-no ones forcing me to work in a bar, if smoking bothered me, id use my 4 year college degree to work at kroger.

columbus, of course, has chosed a bass-ackwards way of enforcing the ban. since its within city limits only, many streets are divided in half--smoking allowed on one side, but not on the other. its hurting many local businesses-causing people opposed to the ban to lobby for the state to go non-smoking, just to make an even playing field.

if you think about its, its turning into a new wave of the "temperance movement", proving that the influential decision makers in america think our inhabitants aren't responsible enough to make our own decisions. no more supersizing, no more sodas in schools, no more smoking in privately owned establishments.

after all, this is how prohibition got started. and we all know how well that turned out for us.

M said...

Chicago will be joining the bandwagon soon although it will likely be banned just from places that serve food at first and not at all bars.

And I'm one of the happy ones about the bans on smoking. I'm allergic and everywhere allows smoking for the most part. You can't tell me to go somewhere else because then I wouldn't be able to go out! There can be 1 or 2 people smoking that can affect the air quality of the entire room.

Everyone I talk to in San Francisco loves the fact that there is no smoking.

Jesse said...

smoking bans are indeed for the health of employees. a smoking ban is probably cost-neutral averaged over a long time period for an entire city (customer loss vs. healthcare cost) in this way there is a conflict between personal choice and labor rights.

it is a murky decision because smokers cannot claim absolute freedom to smoke--it will effect those around them, and the only immediate change seen is a drop in business.

for an idea of the health effects due to second-hand smoke, consider that the improvement in public health in the united states due to smokers cutting back from on average 20 cigarettes/day to 19.5 cigarettes/day would be equal to that for every single coal and gas-fired power plant in the country shutting down completely. in improving air quality, cutting back smoking is one of the easiest and cheapest ways

all this withstanding, i still like to smoke at a bar, so i abstained from voting on the petition

Tom Gara said...

Mike, you say:

"I'm allergic and everywhere allows smoking for the most part. You can't tell me to go somewhere else because then I wouldn't be able to go out!"

Does this mean you seriously compromise your health and set off an allergy, just to be able to socialise?

Jesse, can you give me a link to where you saw that information about cutting down smoking being more beneficial than shutting down power plants? Sounds like an amazing figure, would love to read more about it.

Disclosure - I am a former smoker, now safely quit, although still enjoying the occasional shisha. I am opposed to banning smoking on philosophical, not personal, grounds.

Mel T. said...

New York still is a very nice place since the ban of smoking in bars. And I remember thinking to myself two weekends ago, how annoying it was that people (friends, too) were smoking at Trudy's.

It's inevitable people... smoking's bad bad bad and everyone knows it, so just get over it. (I was a former smoker myself, and am thrilled that there are less chances for me to be provoked by social smoking.)

If it was up to the privately run establishments in Austin what they could or could not do, they'd allow pot-smoking and drug deals to happen just to up their sales. (i.e. Goa, India) Just like it is profitable for food companies to sell apples coated with wax, soaked in pesticides because people like large, shiny, fruit.

Tom Gara said...

"they'd allow pot smoking"

Oh, that would reallllly suck.....

la Contessa said...

Do you know how DEAD Austin nightlife would be if they allowed pot-smoking in the bars? Sure, there'd be no fights, but then again, there'd be no action period.

I enjoy the occasional cig but I'm all for the ban. Do you know how many cigarette burns I have from OTHER smokers in clubs? They've dashed my aspirations of hand modelling.

Jesse said...

tom my professor said that in an air pollution class i took. i'll ask him for the source and pass it on to you. jen is correct about the pot smoking. but now that i realize it, the smoking ban will make it impossible to smoke pot in a smoky club without many people noticing. fuck...