Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wowsers are ever with us

Richard Miniter describes Why L.A. Should Be Pushed Into The Sea. Smoking, this time. Members of the anti-fun brigade are present in the comments.

John Lott says: "Nonsmokers may feel better off because of bans, but what they gain is less than what smokers lose. If the opposite were true, it wouldn’t be necessary to impose the bans."

In Gram Parsons' Sin City (almost 40 years ago!), the singer is resigned to the earthquake that will come to clean up the town, so to speak. Looks like the more puritanical segment among the bien-pensant would like to enforce righteous behavior lest the city be smitten. But since many of them would recoil at the notion that God would (or could!) smite a city for the behavior of its people, then the motivation must be be something else. What could it be? And what accounts for their inability to view other human beings and fellow-citizens as people like themselves, to be respected rather than to be controlled? Some kind of philosophical immaturity similar to what we see from the plaintiffs who sue over anything or nothing, I suppose.

A nation-wide smoking ban would be a lot like a return to Prohibition. Of course, we already have the "Son of Prohibition" going on, in the form of the War on Drugs; and MADD and their supporters and sycophants in the legislatures are working on the alcohol part of it. I'd like to see the pendulum swing back in the Dionysian direction in my lifetime. Less regulation, more freedom, please.


blake said...


Is that the correct past tense of "smite".

Smoten? Smited?

Smitten sounds like we're in love.

I don't have any idea how to stop this stuff. Well, I do, but it either takes a long time and a lot of education or a short time and a lot of weaponry. And the city fights the former a lot harder than the latter.

Hector Owen said...

Sorry, blake, it's smitten all the way, unless you want to be deliberately archaic and say "smit," which sounds really wrong to me. I have seen "smited," but the dictionaries don't like it, though it has an appropriate forcefulness, especially when proclaimed aloud.

The first thing I saw in the paper after returning from nine days or so away from papers, Internet, TV, and such things, was a story about the "Amethyst Initiative," but of course Althouse and Reynolds got there first. Reynolds's reader Cheryl Drury even sooner, with a comment that is worthy of some expatiation. I have only a few hours here in between bouts of frantic AFK activity, so there's no telling if I will get a round tuit.

The city fights education harder than weaponry? I've heard some things about the L.A. schools, but I think that went right over my head. Or right by me, or something.

blake said...

I like the idea of no drinking age.

When under age, it's up to the parents. When adult, it's nobody's business.

blake said...

Yeah, the city cares if you're armed, but they have an uncanny ability to detect education and stamp it out of existence.

Hector Owen said...

blake at 2:17:

Yes. The drinking age is a remnant of Prohibition, an intrusion of state power into the private realm. Both my parents are dead, now, so it's safe for them for me to say that I tasted my first liquor when my age was still in single digits, while helping to clean up after the grownups' parties. That the state should be interested in such things seems like a misapplication of state power, which should be reserved for things that are more important, such as actual crimes, murder, rape, robbery, that kind of thing. And see the Jefferson quote on the sidebar.

blake said...

Oh, my sister did the same thing. She'd go around after a party and drink the dregs.

Not me, though. That was some foul smelling stuff.

Jefferson quote new? On the site, I mean. I'm not suggesting you engaged in necromancy. Don't recall seeing it before.

Hector Owen said...

You're not supposed to smell it!

The Jefferson has been up for ages. (Internet ages. Over a year is an eon.) Almost as long as the not-exactly Trotsky. Which I thought was something that Aragorn or maybe Gandalf said to the hobbits. But then I Googled it, and found that I hadn't remembered it quite right, and that it was Trotsky (who said "strategy" not "war") and not Tolkien, and so I put it up as I had remembered it, and left it unattributed. Sometimes memory plays tricks. Who reads sidebars, anyway?

blake said...

My nose has full veto power over everything that my mouth wants to entertain.

Make of that what you will.

I usually do read sidebars which is why the Jefferson surprised me. Though just because I read it doesn't mean I remember reading it.