Mike V. writes,
I am hosting the first meeting of The Dead Smokers Society on Monday, January 13th, from 10 a.m. to noon at the stoplight at Scottsdale Community College. I have invited all of my friends to smoke and vape with me on the street on the first day of school. This could be REALLY fun. I am inviting you if you can come.
The only rule is: Membership in the DSS requires use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or vapor devices.
I can only applaud this bit of commonsensical, liberty-affirming activism and I hope to be able to attend despite my quietism. I shall sport an Arturo Fuente 'Curly Head,' a cheap smoke, but a good smoke. Here is some background information and argument and polemic from an old post of mine dated 26 June 2012:
Peter and Mike teach in the Maricopa County Community College system. One teaches at Scottsdale CC, the other at Glendale CC. Over Sunday breakfast they reported that, starting 1 July (if I got the story straight), no smoking of tobacco products will be allowed anywhere on any CC campus in Maricopa County, Arizona. And that includes parking lots and closed cars in parking lots.
Now I would like to believe that our liberal brethren possess a modicum of rationality. But with every passing day I am further disembarrassed of this conceit of mine. The evidence is mounting that liberals really are as stupid and lacking in common sense as many on the Right say they are.
What does common sense suggest in a case like this? Well, that no smoking be allowed in classrooms, libraries, laboratories, restrooms, administrative offices, hallways, etc., and perhaps not even in individual faculty offices during consulation hours or if the smoke will make its way into occuppied public passageways.
This is a common sense position easily buttressed with various aesthetic, safety, and health-related arguments. The underlying principle is that we ought to be considerate of our fellow mortals and their physical and psychological well-being. It is debatable just how harmful are the effects of sidestream smoke. What is not debatable is that many are offended by it. So out of consideration for them, it is reasonable to ban smoking in the places I listed above. But to ban it everywhere on campus is extreme and irrational. For no one but Tom is affected by Tom's smoking in his car and while striding across the wind-blown campus.
You say you caught a whiff of his cigaratte as he passed by? Well, he heard you use the 'F' word while blasting some rap 'music' from your boom box. If Tom is involved in air pollution, then you are involved in cultural and noise pollution. You tolerate him and he'll tolerate you.
You say you smell the residual ciggy smoke on Peter's vest? That's too bad. He has to put up with your overpowering perfume/cologne or look at your tackle-box face and tattoo-defaced skin. Or maybe you are a dumb no-nothing punk wearing a T-shirt depicting Che Guevara and you think that's cool. We who are not dumb no-nothing punks have to put up with that affront to our sensibilities.
But there really is little point in being reasonable with people as unreasonable as liberty-bashing tobacco-wackos. So I think Peter and Mike ought to think about organizing a smoke-in. In the 'sixties we had love-ins and sit-ins, and they proved efficacious. Why not smoke-ins to protest blatantly extreme and irrational policies?
There must be plenty of faculty and staff and students on these campuses -- and maybe even a few not-yet-brain-dead liberals -- who would participate. Hell, I'll even drive all the way from my hideout in the Superstitions to take part. We'll gather in some well-ventilated place way out in the open to manifest our solidarity, enjoy the noble weed, and reason -- if such a thing is possible -- with the Pee-Cee boneheads who oppose us.
By the way, that is a joint old Ben Franklin is smoking in the graphic. In this post I take no position on the marijuana question.