vrijdag, april 04, 2003

...I'd Like To Wake Up, In The Smoke-Free City, That Never Sleeps...?
"It has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain when awake." -- Mark Twain

Bad news, Mr. Twain. If you were alive today and living in Manhattan, all your smoking would have to be done out on the street like a vagrant or hidden like a criminal act within the confines of your 5 x 5, Fifteen Hundred Dollar A Month studio apartment.

Yes, since Sunday morning, one tick after midnight, New Yorkers have been under the jurisdiction of a cruel and evil piece of legislation and we are fast approaching the first full weekend of the state of seige otherwise known as "Why Did I Vote For That Jackass For Mayor?", or the ban on smoking in bars and restaurants in New York City.

Take heed tourists! Take heart all you second-rate cities throughout America and the World! From now on, if you're from any metropolis outside of California, you no longer have to listen to boorish New Yorkers tell you how hip they are. You can now respond with something along the lines of:

"If NYC is so hip, how come they have to sneak smokes on street corners like adolescents hiding from their parents?"

Because we have such a cool and thoughtfully parental mayor who loves us and cares about us soooo much that he doesn't want to ever ever see us die, that's why! So there. Go back to Philly! Go back to Chicago or Paris or Rome or Amsterdam. We're busy making a closely knit, close-minded family of postmodern iconoclasts so don't you dare get in our way!

Of course, not everyone sees things so optimistically:

"First they cleaned up Times Square, then they said you couldn't dance in bars or drink a beer in the park. Now you can't even smoke when you go out on the town," said Willie Martinez, 37, who sat, chain-smoking, in an East Village bar, shortly before the death-knell rang. "This is like no-fun city."

"There's one word for this: Ridiculous. Stalinesque. Brutal," interrupted Elliot Kovner, 48, as he added a few choice vulgarities.

"What's next, medievil torture practices? Eye gouging, cutting of ears and piercing of hands with drills? What is this, Baghdad? We need to be liberated! Where the hell is the 101st Airborne Division when you need them? Where the hell is Jesus in our time of need?" asked a high-ranking, unnamed patron.

Some of you may recall an earlier rant on this subject back in December which begged the question whether our bantom despot was a Mullah or Mayor?. Clearly, such skillfully and intricately woven arguments of syllogistic logic have no place in the Buffoonberg Administration. Striking a similarly unarticulated tactic of intolerance as does the fabled Bush Administration when challenged, Buffoonberg and his invidious groupies in the Let's Legislate Morality! fiefdom have settled for the old "Because I Said So!" argument to countenance this horrifically mutated miscarriage of democracy.

Not surprisingly, our lilliputian autocrat is a reformed smoker. Much like born-again Christians, these imperious dullards never fail to fall under the sway of their own self-righteousness. Again, here the NYC mayor mirrors his duplicitous counterpart in the White House. While Buffoonberg's overzealous anti-smoking crusade castrates the democratic prerogative of choosing to frequent a smoking or non-smoking establishment and replaces it with the much more reliabile form of a plenary intolerance under the guise of "employee health" concerns, Bush relies upon trumped-up fears of terrorism, which it does everything in its power to propagate, to continue its seige on the Constitution with stealth little nuances like the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 - commonly known as Patriot IIand its other innocuous-sounding partner in crime, CAPPS II

"Fundamentally, people just don't want the guy next to them smoking." Buffoonberg brays, self-righteously sermonizing in his sniveling, reformed-smoker's whine.

Fundamentally, people don't like billionaire assholes posing as the morality police while they use their pulpit as mayor to profane long- held and well-tested theories of democracy in their cities either. Either Buffoonberg is another one of the tunnel-vision thinkers like Bush who can't ponder more than one underdevelped thought at a time without suffering an aneurysm, or he's just plain too stupid to see that people don't have to have the guy next to them smoking. They could drink their daiquiris of intolerance and chew their filets of dogmatism in a smoke-free bar or a smoke-free restaurant. And the bars and restaurant owners who don't care whether or not the holistic, mulberry and granola addict contingent frequents their establishments, could pay a small licensing fee which would allow smokers to smoke and non-smokers to make their own adult choices about whether or not they wanted to be around smoke. But a mayor in a cash-strapped city in the midst of an overwhelming budgetary crisis wouldn't want anything like a little extra licensing-generated revenue would he? Noooo. Not when he can shove his value system down every else's throats instead.

Instead, the "city that never sleeps," long mythicized for its wild irreverence, will undergo a radical transformation as the ban covers all workplaces, including bars, small restaurants, bingo parlors and other venues not covered by the city's previous smoking law. Owners of establishments could be fined $400 for allowing smoking and eventually could have their business licenses suspended.

There are some nice consolation prizes available however via Disturbing Auctions where you can bid on a drunken smoker ashtray, for example, to calm your nerves while you go through nicotine withdrawals.

And don't think these concerned bureaucrats are heartless. To "help" you rid yourself of your filthy, disgusting, anti-social cretinous addictions, New York City health officials are offering residents a free six-week supply of nicotine patches. This patches program, bordering on a delicious missionary zeal, will cost the city 2.5 million dollars. So when your neighborhood fire department or your local precinct lays off policemen because of budgetary cuts, or your school district can't hire enough teachers to teach your children or there aren't enough sanitation services to pick up garbage on a regular basis, you can take consolation in knowing that somewhere out there, a sinister smoker has been saved!

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