pale beneath the blue

Road stories and more from singer/songwriter, pale beneath the blue.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

To ban or not to ban?

Being a musician/singer/songwriter has its perks. Mainly, I don't have to work a normal job. However, there is a downside. I'm stuck in smoky clubs all night, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. Then when I finally get home, I have to shower before I get into bed, that is, if I can stay awake long enough to do so.

Now folks, if you want to smoke, hey, that's your business. I'm not mad at you and yes, it's my choice to play music in smoky clubs. However, the argument here in Cincinnati, Dayton and Indianapolis is that 1)how many more rights should the government be allowed to take away? 2)if we ban smoking, people will just go to another nearby town to smoke and drink and 3)people will no longer go to bars and all the bar owners will go out of business. What???!!! Are you people serious? First off, you can't smoke in any public building in the entire state of Florida and I don't hear those people complaining about their rights. Second, folks are already leaving Cincinnati to head to Northern Kentucky because it's new and interesting and it feels safe--no smoking ban or lack thereof will change that. Thirdly, bar owners who can't be more creative about finding new ways to be profitable deserve to go out of business. That's just business.

On Saturday night, we played a packed bar that was completely smoke free. Columbus Proper has decided to ban smoking and honestly, it didn't seem to hurt business at all. What's more funny is the fact that there were quite a few people there from Cincinnati and their comments were all about how nice it was to not have to deal with the smoke.

So, what can we do? Well, we can write letters to the editor at the local papers. We can tell club owners/workers that we would frequent their place of business more often if there was no smoking. We can probably join organizations like www.standohio.org or www.smokefreeohio.org and if you aren't in Ohio, I would recommend searching Google for an organization in your state. If anyone has any better ideas, please post them.

Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now. This is the only time I will mention this because I'm not one of those artists with a political agenda. I just needed to get this off my chest.

Rhonda

3 Comments:

  • At 9:18 AM, Blogger Micah said…

    Business in bars is actually down 35% since the city-wide smoking ban took effect in Columbus.

    And the difference between the ban in public buildings (which I have no problem with) and those in bars is that the government owns those buildings. Bars are not public property. The owners of those establishments should be able to dictate their own policies.

    And the free market always provides. Just look at Applebee's decision to go smoke-free. That wasn't made from some government mandate, but from a business standpoint. Granted, Applebee's sucks, but there are options out there for people who don't like to reek of smoke. (Personally, I don't either, but it's not about what I want.)

    I applaud you for recognizing that you assume the risk playing in smoky bars. From the TV news and articles that I've read, it is always portrayed that people are seemingly forced at gunpoint to go to these establishments.

     
  • At 9:25 AM, Blogger Micah said…

    Oh, and I'm intrigued by your cello/piano combo. What kind of music do you play? And where can I hear your it?

     
  • At 8:39 PM, Blogger pale beneath the blue said…

    No, not forced at gunpoint. However, when the opportunity arises to play a venue which is smoke-free, I take it. In fact, for nearly two years I was restricted from going any place where folks might be smoking...doctors orders.

    I don't think that folks actually realize what the stuff can do to you, or they just don't care. I was told horror stories in the hospital about skin, bone and muscle grafts/flaps that never healed on patients who smoked. After so many agonizing sugeries, the last thing I wanted to do was risk needing another.

    Oh, and you can find us around...check out www.myspace.com/palebeneaththeblue
    www.palebeneaththeblue.com for a complete schedule.

     

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