?

Log in

No account? Create an account
ENTRIES FRIENDS CALENDAR INFO PREVIOUS PREVIOUS NEXT NEXT
Smokes! - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Smokes!
Much to the chagrin of my libertarian and anarchist friends, I'm glad the American Cancer Society-backed proposition to limit public smoking passed here in Arizona. I don't mind accompanying my friends outside when they have a cigarette -- preferably an Export A or equivalent on a rainy night -- but know my respiratory system will find concert-going and other forms of carousing a lot easier if there's no smoke inside clubs and bars.

It's a little ironic, then, that I walk around the house saying, "Smokes!," whenever I see our adorable girl cat, almost as though I'm forced to find an outlet for the decadence I wish to suppress. But I become unreasonably happy just looking at her:

Don't you want to walk up and give her a nudge? Nicotine addiction is pretty fierce, but the need to run one's hands over soft fur is just as strong. I'd better stop: this is one of the strangest entries I've ever composed. Before I do, though, let me enjoin you all to pour out a Mickey's for Rick Santorum, a Senator with the rare distinction to have had a mixture of bodily fluids named after him.

Tags: , , ,
Current Location: 85704
Mode: giddy and grim
Muse: Raphaël - Carla Bruni - Quelqu'un m'a dit

30 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
flw From: flw Date: November 8th, 2006 07:42 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

RS

I happen to be from the District where Prick Sphinctorum won his first Congressional Seat. I feel like I just took a sixteen year dump. I remember him winning. I remember it well. I voted against him, of course.

No one thought he could possibly win, and many, many people cast "protest votes" to "send a message" to the incumbent. People were shocked when, for some bizarre reason, it turns out that a "protest vote" against Doug Walgren was considered to be legally indistinguishable from a vote FOR Rick Santorum. "But I didn't mean it!"

Everyone thought that everyone else was going to vote for Walgren. Oh well.

So, tonight was a fine night for me! Seeing that hypocritical ... well wait, he's not hypocritical, really. He's just an asshole! Seeing that asshole get hosed in his own Santorum was a treat.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 8th, 2006 11:56 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: RS

Speaking of your apt metpahor, you know about the bodily fluids named after him?
flw From: flw Date: November 8th, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: RS

well, yeah... "hosed in his own Santorum" was referring to that.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 8th, 2006 10:32 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: RS

I figured. But since others were confused, I thought I'd better ask.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: November 8th, 2006 11:40 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Much to the chagrin of my libertarian and anarchist friends,

:)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 8th, 2006 11:59 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Smoking is a tough call for me. If I couldn't tell the difference between the effects of smoke on my lungs indoors and outdoors, I'd advocate for a more moderate restriction in public smoking. But it often takes me days to recover from even slight exposure, Asylum included. Besides, I used to love the ritual of trooping outside with my friends in the Bay Area to talk with them while they smoked. Of course, I could handle outdoor smoke better there, with the foggy breeze and all.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: November 8th, 2006 12:05 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Well, yes, but of course the principle of the issue has little to do with smoking itself.

But! We'll save that for our beach-side retirement-years discussion!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 8th, 2006 02:59 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
True, but if I may ever so briefly gesture towards that future conversation, my critique of libertarian thinking is that the insisting upon principle too often trumps the details of the particular case. In principle, banning smoking inside public spaces is just like banning the consumption of chocolate or horse meat. But the effect that smoking has on those who aren't smoking is more immediate, from a health standpoint, than the effect of eating chocolate or horsemeat on those who are merely witnesses to those acts of consumption. In principle, I support the principle of laissez faire social policy. In practice, however, I find it too idealistic and therefore abstract to cope with all the concrete situations that social policy must consider.
siyeh From: siyeh Date: November 8th, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
As someone who enjoys about one cigarette a week, I had a hard time with the smoking ban, but I'm fine with the results. It will be nice not to have burn your clothes after being out.

And seriously, watching results come in last night was a bit like watching a good college football game, except I can't believe AZ voted down the land one. Blech.
From: bobo_amargo Date: November 8th, 2006 06:39 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Catachresis

Since despite the high number of commentators, no one has seen fit to correct you, I will. Where feline beauty is concerned, the happiness it causes is never unreasonable. It's rather like Jonathan Edwards on the benevolence of god and my virtuous "agreement" with it in redemption: mere causality is no more; identity-in-absolution is all. (I love that photo.)

Re: the Libertarian position, isn't J. S. Mill's way of putting the matter self-evidently perfect? My liberties should not be infringed upon by any stripe of paternalism unless the expression of those liberties directly or indirectly infringes upon those same liberties of others. I'm a smoker, but I do not believe the harm I do to my own lungs should impinge upon the lungs of others, especially not the tiny ones of beautiful felines (which is why I smoke outdoors in my own house!).

Oh, and I know once you tell me, I'm gonna feel like a dumb-ass, but I don't get the Santorum joke (is it a joke?).
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: November 8th, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Catachresis

Re: the Libertarian position, isn't J. S. Mill's way of putting the matter self-evidently perfect? My liberties should not be infringed upon by any stripe of paternalism unless the expression of those liberties directly or indirectly infringes upon those same liberties of others. I'm a smoker, but I do not believe the harm I do to my own lungs should impinge upon the lungs of others,

Where the issue gets murky -- and why CB and I have to postpone our Ultimate Discussion until we have about 14 months straight, and a lot of scratch paper for chart making and such, to devote to it -- is in libertarian principle of the the initiation of force, which is a pretty sketchy line when it is applied to one's "right" to enjoy themselves at a bar on Friday night.
From: bobo_amargo Date: November 8th, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Free to Be Me (up to a Point)

It's precisely that "murkiness" -- I put it in quotation marks because I don't find it to be a particularly murky ethical moment -- that Mill's harm principle addresses. It accepts -- in fact, partly founds -- the Libertarian's nonaggression principle with the codicil that insofar as the exercise of one party's liberty (say, smoking) itself constitutes an initiation of force against another party, the state is thereby empowered to take or threaten retaliatory force against the first party in order to preserve the not-harmful-to-others exercise of liberty of the second party.

That what counts as a harmful-to-others exercise of liberty is subject to interpretation is a further reason why institutionally sanctioned adjudicatory objective criteria are politically necessary.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 8th, 2006 08:38 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Catachresis

Oh, I like that correction, because I like the idea of my slavish devotion being reasonable. Still, I do wander around the house talking to Smokey and her "brothers" a lot, which might be construed as a sign of approaching madness.

That Mill formulation works for me, but it doesn't acknowledge the role of the marketplace in bringing consumers to their desired ends. I think a serious libertarian might say that, if your cats want a smoke-free zone, they should shell out the money required to pay for one!

The Santorum comment refers to something Stranger editor Dan Savage wrote in his "Savage Love" column a few years back. If you search the internet, it should turn up. I'm loathe to explain here, since I have students who read this.
From: bobo_amargo Date: November 8th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Mage

Got it.

I'm soaking in it now.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: November 8th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Catachresis

I think a serious libertarian might say that, if your cats want a smoke-free zone, they should shell out the money required to pay for one!

ahahahaha, I was just about to comment to the comment to me that I wasn't getting sucked into this here and now because somehow a conversation on Utilitarianism turns into a conversation on Rothbardian ethics turns into a conversation on Keynesian economics turns into a ....
30 comments or Leave a comment