I had intended to go to this year's WesterCon until I learned something unpleasant about the state of California, the city of Pasadena, and the management of the convention's hotel -- the Pasadena Hilton.
First, the idiot government of California, which has managed to run broke the richest state in the country, thinks it has the intelligence to tell What's Best For Everybody -- whether the people want it or not. It's banned tobacco smoking (without legalizing marijuana!) from any building that's open to the public, and a lot of outdoor spots as well. Second, the equally-brilliant government of Pasadena chose to prove its Righteousness by going the state one better, and banned smoking from even more outdoor locations than the state did.
But the bigot's crown goes to the management of the Hilton, who banned smoking not only from all their rooms, not only outdoors within 20 feet of any door, but from their entire property -- even the parking lot. This means you have to go clean out to the public street, or at least sidewalk, to light up.
Now, even if you believe that all the stories about The Evils Of Smoking are true -- and in my next post I'll show good evidence that they aren't -- you have to admit that this goes far beyond science or common sense. Outdoors, a 20-foot distance is quite enough to dissipate smoke from any cigarette, or even cigar, and keep the smell from offending even the most sensitive aristocratic nose. (Yes, I've seen people -- no names! -- who claim to be terribly-terribly Sensitive and allergic to smoke, who go into pretty-good-imitation fits of anaphylactic shock if they see someone holding even an unlit cigarette 40 feet in front of them; I've also seen those same people somehow unable to smell a lighted cigarette 10 feet behind them.) 20 feet is enough. If Second Hand Smoke were as lethal as bigots (and their lawyers) like to claim, nobody would have survived the first colony at Jamestown.
So this lofty policy of We Don't Want That Sort Of People On Our Property is not based on health or science. It's based on something else, something I won't support or condone. I will, however, post a song about it.
SINCE THE CIVIL WAR (c) Leslie Fish, 2000
Where shall you walk tonight my love, to cause nobody pain?
Under the dripping trees, my love, or under the open rain?
You cannot step beneath a roof; the law has made that plain.
'Cause you're a smoker:
That makes you our Nigger now.
You're a toker:
We can use you anyhow.
We can't abuse Blacks or Jews
Or Spanish anymore,
But we can do things to you
The law has said we couldn't do
To anybody since the Civil War.
Don't try to give a cure, my love. Don't say what might be done
With filter-fans or ionizers; all such talk is done.
The point is not sweet logic, dear; the point is dirty fun.
We want victims.
This is our excuse today.
Don't take our excuse away!
We want free cruelty.
Compassion's such a chore.
Bigotry can be free!
Hard for you, but fun for me.
It isn't just for White folks anymore!
Praise the air, so free of smoke --
While pollution makes us choke.
"Scent of magnolia, sweet and fresh --
And the sudden smell of burning flesh."
Soon enough. (Burn the witch!)
Hang tough. (Kill the bitch!)
We weary of compassion, love. We tire of being good.
We're tired of toleration, and of doing as we should.
We want to go and raid again in any neighborhood.
Give us bloodlust!
Oooh, we've missed it for so long!
Now the taste is sharp and strong.
Just say yes to Righteousness,
And join the cause today!
Love so sweet can't compete
With hunting victims down the street.
Love, I think it's time you ran away.
--Leslie <;)))>< )O(