Fairly sure I’m done with them. They’re not really debates anyway, just polarisations. Something about the medium lends itself to people adopting very simple, uncompromising views and just blurting them at each other.
So I guess I simplified my views on smoking. The complex version is that I grew up in a household where smoking was considered the norm and I hated it. I hated the smell in the air, the smell of exhaled smoke on people’s breath and the ashtrays everywhere full of revolting fag ends. People who drove considered it their right to smoke in a car, and people who visited the houses of non-smokers considered it their right to ask for an ashtray and pollute that house. I worked in a bar in the early eighties and every night after work I would have a painful sore throat from smoke inhalation. Throughout my adulthood and early middle age it was not possible to spend a night out in a pub without having to wash the stink of smoke out of all your clothes the next day. The day the smoking ban came in I deliberately went into a pub just to smell things other than smoke. Passive smoking is not a myth: it’s a reality. People in my family who were smokers knew I felt this way but carried on because they couldn’t help it. Nicotine addiction is more powerful than heroin addiction. If any smokers don’t believe this, try stopping for only two days from tomorrow morning. If the smoking ban has killed the pub trade, there’s something wrong with the pub trade.
So I guess I simplified my views on gun ownership. The complex version is that guns statistically do kill people. It takes people to operate them, but making them widely available causes more deaths. That is proven. If it takes a re-write of the constitution of what has fortuitously become the most powerful nation on Earth, then so be it if it saves lives. There is nothing more sacrosanct about the laws of America than there is about the laws of any other nation. If those laws need to be changed in order to preserve life, let’s do it. Barak knows this.
So I guess I simplified my views on The X-Factor. The complex version is that to serve the commercial interests of only a few people genuine creativity is being stifled.
And so to more interesting stuff. I deleted the smoking post from FB. It no longer exists.