Just spent Memorial Day weekend in Durham, NC at Animazement. (Hi, Bex!)
And they love us!
We print the con shirts for them each year (this is our third annum), and the con -goers are enthusiastic about OUR designs, aussi. Animazement is, if not my all-time favorite anime convention, it is tied with PersaCon, a tiny little family con near Huntsville, AL.
OK, Animazement was in Durham, NC. I'll bet G. Gordon Liddy is NOT the most popular personage in The Triangle. NC is NOT a hotbed of conservatism, and Raleigh-Durham is a major centre of academe. Hence my own amazement (pauses a beat...) at going to Ragazzi's Casual Italian Restaurant, and being asked by the Sweet Young Thang at the door....
"Smoking or non-smoking?".
The anti-smoking fascisti have NOT taken over the Triangle.
Wish I could say the same about North Alabamastan.
I am of two minds on this, because I was raised by a Smoker, one who was sure that my childish complaints were just showing out, who smoked whilst driving. With the windows shut. Thus I have a genuine antipathy toward cigarettes. Filthy, stinky, NASTY cigarettes.
Unlike cigars and pipes, which smell and taste lovely, which I enjoy, and self-medicate with.
The lesson here: Your dirt's dirty. Mine's not.
I REALLY despise cigarettes, as they stink, and are worthy of nothing more than burial. In the Sun.
Yet I LOVE liberty, and equally despise the Tyranny of the Whiners. Technology is such that ionising filters are affordable, even for small restaurants, and thus the problem can be solved with ease. But no, we must bring the Armed Might of the Givemint into the mix. The Smoker can no longer dine in comfort in many locales. Who does this hurt? Mr. Businessman. Ms. Restauranteur. So Huzzah to Durham, NC, for though the City Planners, et al, have banned all billboards, and require approved tapioca facades, they have allowed "smoker sections" in restaurants to remain.