Случайно попал на страницу блоггера в поддержку курения и курильщиков - похоже, что лет 10 или больше он об этом постоянно пишет, агитирует, тревожится и ругается. Меня поразило, насколько хорошо, живо выражены у него тоска по потерянному раю, возмущение ежедневным преследованием таких людей, как он, ненависть к социальным реформаторам. Мне не близка совершенно эта тема - никогда не курил, не сомневаюсь во вреде курения, редко задумывался о запретах на курение. Но то, как он это пишет, каким тоном выражено, понравилось и хочется процитировать. Вот вырезка (на английском) из двух записей - Expulsion и The Continued Expulsion:
For people like me, who conducted the entirety of their social lives in pubs and cafes and restaurants, the smoking ban was not simply an exile to the outdoors, but was a complete expulsion from society. We may as well have been launched by rocket into space, and spent the rest of our lives in orbit around the Earth. Everything changed. And everything changed completely. The world was never the same after 1 July 2007 as it was before it.
Since that day I have been embarked on a journey that I didn’t want to make, watching the world change around me, and watching myself change with it.
One change in me was that I stopped watching TV or reading newspapers. For what I saw on TV was a world to which I no longer belonged, that I was no longer part of, that no longer spoke for me or for people like me. I may as well have been watching Spanish television rather than British television, and not understanding a single word of it.
And gradually I stopped going anywhere. Why should I want to go anywhere when I am not welcome anywhere? Smokers like me are not welcome in cinemas, not welcome in libraries, not welcome in art galleries, not welcome in museums, not welcome on trains or buses, not welcome in hotels, not welcome on planes. And yet once we were welcome in all of them.
I still vividly remember the day – 1 July 2007 – when we smokers were expelled from all the pubs and cafes and clubs in Britain, and exiled to the outdoors. It might have seemed at the time like a singular, one-off event, but it was actually the beginning of a process of expulsion, not just from pubs and cafes, but from the whole of society.
On that first day, the pubs in Devon (where I was living at the time) were quite crowded. I suppose everyone wanted to see what would happen. But after that day, they emptied. I used to have a number of acquaintances with whom I swapped conversation and drinks, or with whom I played pool. And they all vanished, and I never saw them again. An entire circle of acquaintances dissolved away in the space of two or three weeks.
It took a lot longer to lose the wide circle of friends in Britain that I’d known before the ban. But as one by one they started banning smoking in their own homes, and I became as unwelcome there as I was in pubs and cafes, I grew steadily more distant from them. And furthermore, ours had ceased to be a shared experience of life: I was one of the excluded, and they were not.
But this was a process that took place over time. It didn’t happen suddenly. It took years.
And also I had a deep nostalgia for the way thing used to be, when smokers like me were welcome. I longed for the vanished, congenial, smoky pubs of yesteryear. And I longed for much else beside that had now been swept away.
The oddest thing about all this is that: nobody can see what’s happening. This doesn’t just apply to the progressive Left: it applies equally to the conservative Right. All over the world, hundreds of millions of smokers are being expelled from society, and nobody notices it happening. There’s complete, dead silence. There’s not a peep about it on any radio or TV channel, nor any mention of it in newspapers, or in parliaments, or churches, or community associations. Can’t they see? Haven’t they got eyes in their heads?
One possible explanation for this is that smoking bans are not regarded as political measures, but as health measures. So if you mention smoking bans to anyone in any position of authority, they will immediately drop it into the medical in-tray. Whereas if you mention blacks or gays or women or muslims, they’ll drop that into the political in-tray. Smoking is not treated as a political matter at all, but as a medical matter, and in fact as a medical emergency, during which normal rules of care and consideration are suspended, and ambulances may drive through red lights and on the wrong side of the road. Once something has become an urgent matter of Saving Lives, it ceases to be an ordinary political matter up for discussion, and there can be no debate about it whatsoever.