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December 20, 2005

Comments

North Dallas Thirty

One of these days, that will be Gay.com's new advertising theme...."Get Sex, Smoke-Free". :)

John

I love Mark Lee - he's a really nice host at his weekly party. However, I doubt the gay boys will be headed to Arlington when the smoking ban settles.

hank

I didn't realize that you've only been here a short time.
Welcome!
I too came here from Wash. (home town)a short time ago (1967)and I stil like. never more so than today. I just saw Brokeback. Thank God I'm city boy! And what's all the fuss about anyway. It was small and harmless. And wasn't political, so wahy is it making such a stink?

At any rate, from one Washintonian to another, remember;
"IF YOU CAN MAKE IT THERE
NO-ONE WILL REALLY CARE...;)

Dan

Mark Lee's Lizard will be fine. He packs them in cheek-to-jowl most of the time, so there's literally no room to smoke anyway. The "it'll kill our business" argument is pure bullshit. And I love halo. As a non-smoker, I enjoy going out and not coming back smelling like an ashtray. It's nice when the only reason you quickly strip off your clothes after going out is to... well :)

But I still oppose the anti-smoking law. Why? Well, to be honest, it just feels a little too... fascist. Sure, smoking's bad. So's eating fried chicken. Are we gonna shut down KFC next? Make salt a controlled substance? And yes, I know secondhand smoke is bad. That's why I support smoking bans in public spaces. But a bar isn't a public place. If the folks at Cobalt/JRs/Remingtons (personal favorite) want to allow their patrons to smoke in a designated area, they should be given that liberty. And the patrons, likewise, have the right to go to those places (like Halo) which voluntarily enforce a no-smoking policy. Let the market take care of this.

The only argument that made me think twice had to do with the bartenders/waitstaff. Why should they have to endure secondhand smoke just to do their job? Well - two things there. One, nobody's holding a gun to their head and telling them to be a bartender. If they're that concerned about carcinogens, they should look somewhere else for work. Just like if you're really afraid of guns, you probably shouldn't be a cop. Or a cab driver for that matter. Second - I remember reading about a proposal that Carol Schwartz (the lone republican on the DC Council) was semi-jokingly proposing. She proposed a law that would require bar owners to provide personal respirators to their employees on request. I kinda like that idea - protects the bartenders and also shames the asshole who lit up to take it outside.

So there. If mal can be the libertarian who supports a smoking ban, I guess I can be the liberal who opposes it.

Jack Malebranche

I have to say, as an on-again, off-again sometime smoker (I'm off right now)...I see both sides of this. The smoke in poorly ventilated bars can be a little much if you're not smoking yourself. You come home smelling like smoke and I've even left with an occasional sore throat.

But on the other hand, I'd stick by the capitalist solution. If there's a demand, meet that demand and the market will follow. People who like smoking will go to smoking places, and people who don't will go to non-smoking places. Your story about Halo is a perfect example of how this would work.

Banning smoking in a place designed for moderate self-destruction and/or indulgence is just nanny culture. You don't have to go to bars, right? Drinking isn't exactly fantastic for you (as my head often tells me in the morning); it ain't a health spa. You have to admit there's some inherent comedy involved in being self righteous about health issues when talking about your experiences in bars.

I'm all for creating smoke-free restaurants. Even as a smoker, I never really missed smoking in restaurants.

But bars are designed for imbibing a controlled drug. It's hard to feel sorry for bartenders. Bartending is easy money, which is why people do it, and most bartenders I've known can out-drink and often out-smoke almost anyone else. If they don't like it...they're always free to join everyone else in 9-5 land. Which they won't do, because walk with wads of cash that they barely pay taxes on, they often wear what they want, don't have to deal with corporate bullshit and generally only have to work part-time.

Imposing a ban is just another example of a majority trying to control a minority--largely, 'for their own good.' There's a distinctly morally self righteous, prohibitionist taint to most arguments for banning smoking in bars.

(I'm not, for the record, necessarily saying that about your argument...I'm just saying...)

hank

I would agree with you ,but recently lost two friends to lung cancer. Both were bartenders.
If they could ventilate the places...

I spend alot time in Paris, where even THEY have banned smoking!Ever smell a Gauloises? yuck

Dan

And I lost an uncle to hypertension. Dumb jerk wouldn't stop eating that fatty stuff even tho his heart couldn't take it. But do I blame Domino's for his death?

Come on...

hank

No, but did he force feed you the stuff?

Dan

People can quit, hank.

(hint, hint)

hank

interesting remark

Stephen

Just another law made by bureaucrats to pacify their capitalist angst. For heaven's sake, never let the entreprenuers make these decisions, the consumer go where wanted, much less accommodate both/either smoking and non-smoking sections. Allowing CHOICE is too libertarian!

hank

Are you the Stephen that drives em so crazy at GayPatriot?

Aatom

I haven't smoked regularly for years, but when the ban took effect in new york i thought it was the dumbest move ever made. it was really hard to imagine life in the city's bars/restaurants/clubs without the ubiquitous smoke. but years later i don't miss it, and as new yorkers always do we adapted rather quickly to the new reality.

now when i travel to DC to see my family it always startles me to see indoor smoking. it's amazing that in such a short time i have gone from outrage over the ban to a kind of prudish horror when i witness people smoking anywhere indoors. it's amazing how quickly the human mind can readjust to these types of things. and i don't miss the smoke at all. it's hard to believe at this point that i ever spent so much time breathing in so many unecessary carcinogens.

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