You get the subtle humour- today is the first day of England’s Public Smoking Ban and a step forward for civilization as we know it. I will need to research how long the scientific evidence of the dangers of passive smoking has been available, but I would be surprised if it is less than 30 years. This creaking lethargy of goverment legislation is another example of how inept we humans are at dropping our irrational thoughts even when we should know better – and it is of course this same dopiness that allows bigotry, inequality, religious tyranny, pseudoscience, New Age frauds and celbrity worship to thrive. We just let things slide, don’t rock the boat, don’t make a fuss. Strangely, people seem more angered by the inconvenience of spam e-mail than someone breathing poison in their children’s faces. Oh well.
Well I welcome the ban wholeheartedly. The irony that some whinge about an affront of civil liberties is all too clear. What about the right to breathe without ingesting poisons? I couldn’t care less if anybody wants to harm themselves in whatever way they choose so long as they keep it away from others – including their own children- (I unfortunately need to add). If we condone indiscriminate public poisoning, then why make a fuss if terrorist sprinkles around some poison in a public place (“Don’t take away his freedom, man!”) or someone willfully infects others with HIV (“Hey! don’t cramp his style) But enough negativity, it’s happened now (albit very late) and humanity will adapt soon enough. Since my illness has compelled me to give up almost all my teaching, I plan to play a lot more gigs in public places, the ability of me to do my work in an enviroment that doesn’t harm my health, challenge my compromised immunity or make my clothes stink is indeed a (very) civil liberty.
And the government legislating to support the health of all of us, is truly a breath of fresh air.