Thursday, April 28, 2005


City of Austin bans smoking everywhere except Council Chambers

May 7th will bring either a reprieve for the Austin music scene, or a deliver an execution date. Our glorious comrades in the city council, after much consideration and several ounces of Jamiaca's finest, have determined that the smoke that lingers in Austin's bars is harmful, and that the average Citizen, being too stupid to know this and make a rational decision on whether or not to enter said establishments, have simplified the though process for us and decided to ban smoking in all public places, save the bingo halls and hotels. Just one more example of the City's love-hate affair with the live music scene. On one hand we as a city host SXSW and promote music and arts to the fullest, yet on the other we slap the music establishments with noise ordinances (to protect the geniuses who purchase lofts and apartments ontop of or near Sixth Street and whine about the noise), arrest and carry away aggravated, felonious conga-liners (if you place your head in your rectum, I'm told the drums do look like AK-47s from that angle), and now we shall seal the lid on the coffin (hehehe) with a smoking ban. The honest fact is that the bars and restaurants that depend on smoking clientele will suffer if not die out. Up & coming musicians don't get encouragement or like to play to empty seats. Empty bar stools don't tip and help pay the bartenders rent or waitress's tuition. Less liquor and beer sales, as well as revenue equals less tax revenue for an already tight budget. Some in this city see smoking on the same level as Al-queda, and I agree that smoking is harmful, but as an individual I choose where to go and what to subject myself to. I like checking out the Bob Marley Fest every year if possible, but I have never stopped from going for risk of smelling marijuana smoke, that's like going swimming and acting shocked that you got wet.....! For the non-smokers check out Smoke free Mondays, you find plenty of parking and bar all to yallselves. Ask the bar owners what Smoke Free Mondays would do to them if they happened 365 days a year. South By SouthWest would come to Austin and have to rent out all the Starbucks in town just to accommodate the music, much less the film fest. The idea that the nonsmoking segment of the population will flock to the smoke-free bars is a fairy tale, up there with Snow White and Cinderella. It's something that people tell themselves to make themselves feel better, for no one want to be holding the knife that stabbed the music scene and small business owners in the back and then twisted it all around. For those that still insist that the ban is a good thing and wont hurt the downtown scene, Ill make you a deal:
Should the scene remain the same 2 years from now, after a smoking ban, and no businesses were hurt, you shall have our praise and respect, we shall build statues and busts of you everywhere, rename streets in your honor, and sing your name before the National Anthem every day.

Should small businesses be hurt, bars close, people lose their jobs or the music scene change two years from now, you should compensate them since the non-smokers never turned out in the numbers to sustain their livelyhoods. Lead yourself and all the enlightened ones who voted yes to Mount Bonnell and pretend yall are endangered southern green somethinged lemmings, just keep pouring over the cliff (after compensating the people you hurt though, with your life insurance).

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Im not advocating suicide, but unless you're willing to sign something like this, you don't have the huevos to be making decisions that jeopardize people's futures without their choice.

P.S. If all it takes is 30k signatures to get something on the ballot, can't we get a law going to where our elected officials that present legislation and fail to have it passed are forced to wear big red shoes and a bright red nose everyday to work. I'd sign off on that.......
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