Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Paris Ain't Smokin Hot Anymore

The ban on smoking in cafés in France seems to signal a cultural
shift toward a more wholesome, modern and adaptable image.
(Richard Harbus for the International Herald Tribune)

Will the smoking ban in France mean the end of café society?

Having enjoyed their cafes for years and observing the unique culture of the cafes I would say, yes. Others will say, 'so what', and be happy that another menace to society has been stopped.

I do not look forward to the "perfect" world we are building toward. Nobody offended, nobody endangered and everyone healthy. The truly intriguing cities such as Prague, Shanghai, Paris, New Orleans, Rio and Hamburg, to name a very few, will cease to exist as they become just another cookie cutter rebranded product of our "new and better" society.

The old sad, sick, selfish cultures that brought us smoking also brought us great art, jazz, the Blues, rock and roll, poetry and great authors and playwrights will change as well. Will the next Edgar Allen Poe or Willie Dixon come from a starbuck environment? I doubt it. This new culture would turn a black chanteuse such as Ella Fitzgerald white and have her sing like a Joni Mitchell.

How incredibly sad and boring.