Tagged: Idiocies

Vaping in public.

Via VapeSquad comes the story of a NSW man who is facing trial and fine for vaping in public.

I’m having trouble deciding if this man is a brave trailblazer fighting for our rights, or a selfish motherfucker who is going to ruin it for the rest of us.

When vaping in a public place where smoking is prohibited or frowned upon, be discreet for pity’s sake. Double-inhale to minimize visible vapor. Keep a handkerchief or scarf with you to exhale into–unlike with real smoke, the hanky will absorb 95% of the vapor and leave no odor traces in the air. (Not 100%, though so keep the vapor down.) On planes, use the lavatory and use the hanky (it’s said that vapor won’t set off smoke detectors, but do you want to be the first to make it happen?). Rebuildable atomizers and other delivery systems that produce billowing vapor plumes are best left at home or for the company of people who understand that those clouds are not, in fact, the result of combustion.

Sasha's at-home rig: Provari Mini with AGA-T and green carbon fiber J-wrap. Not suitable for public use.

Sasha’s at-home rig: Provari Mini with AGA-T and green carbon fiber J-wrap. Not suitable for public use.



JudgyBitch has a post on the hypocrisy of the campaign to ban “lad’s mags”. The comments delve into the ridiculousness of magazines like Cosmopolitan which objectify women in the worst possible ways, and yet there are no calls for them to be banned.

I quit reading Cosmo when it became obvious that the writers were just making shit up because they thought it sounded good, without stopping to think if it made sense.

My favorite example: in one of their stupid “Ten Ways To Get Your Man In The Mood For Love” articles, one of the suggestions was, believe it or not:

4. Have your sweetie give you a manicure.


Even if, unfathomably, this did get one or both of you horny, you wouldn’t be able to do anything about it for an hour. You know why?


Incidentally, JB is one of my daily reads. I agree with her 80% of the time, and her posts are always interesting and fun to read.

Free trade.

MyChoice points out a wry truth about Australia’s ridiculous and ineffective plain packs laws:

Australia’s obsession with infantilising smokers has seen Canberra and the High Court bluntly refusing to acknowledge that preventing an entire industry from branding its products is a plain infringement of intellectual property.

Meanwhile, no-one can find any evidence that even suggests plain packaging has pushed smokers to quit, or prevented people from taking up smoking.

Tobacco producing nations, including the Dominican Republic and Cuba, argue that plain packaging laws create illegal obstacles to world trade.

Yes, Australia’s getting a lesson in free trade courtesy of communists.

Still life with electronic cigarette, space heater, and cat.

Still life with electronic cigarette, space heater, and cat.

There’s one bit of heartening news on the vaping horizon though: the EU has rejected the notorious Tobacco Products Directive, which would have either banned or tightly regulated most personal vaporizers.

It is a big win for harm reduction and an egg facial to nanny-state prohibitionists.
Links via Dick Puddlecote and the always vigilant Snowdon.

Wafels and Dinges.



I was reminded of the marvelous Wafels and Dinges earlier today. It’s a Belgian snack truck in New York City that sells waffles, of course, in two styles, and other acoutrements thereto. You can get them sweet or savory or any combination. The version pictured above is topped with spekuloos, a peanut-butter textured paste made of crushed ginger biscuits and quite the most craveable sweet goo since Nutella.

On the day this photograph was taken, the truck was down in the Financial District. I took my hot, fluffy, fragrant waffle and walked over to Zuccotti Park, where I savored it while making ostentatiously loud lip-smacking noises in front of the Occupy Wall Street campers.

They had their tie-dyed t-shirts and protest signs and righteous indignation.

I had a Belgian waffle.

I won.

The opera protests.

Lee Broomfield/Metropolitan Opera

Lee Broomfield/Metropolitan Opera

A petition has been circulating among the opera crowd: it wants the Metropolitan Opera to dedicate its opening night new production première of Eugene Onegin to LGBT people suffering under Russian president Vladimir Putin’s repressive laws. The rationales:

*Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was secretly gay and suffered for it.

*The production’s conductor Valery Gergiev, and star Anna Netrebko, are on record as being Putin supporters in the past.

*The singer playing the title role, Mariusz Kwieceń, is gay.

The movement has been gaining a lot of support from critics, singers and fans alike. There are plans to boycott and picket opening night.

The Met, however, via general manager Peter Gelb, has declined to submit to the petition’s demands.

As well he 10000% should.

Politicizing the arts is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Once you take that step for causes you believe in, you have implicitly consented to it for all causes. If someone has saved up their dollars to attend their first opera at the Met, are we now going to tell them not to go because of the boycott? And if they decide to go anyway, and cross a picket line to do so, are they now homophobes ? Maybe they just want to go to the goddamned opera, hear some beautiful music, be moved, and go home.

The arrogance of the petitioners is breathtaking: if you don’t sign the petition, you support Putin’s crackdowns. Attending opening night is as if you’re personally arresting gay people and removing their children from their custody. Who are they to make operagoers take sides in a fight they may not want? Who appointed them the arbiters of what is correct?

(There is also the not inconsiderable fact that people who publicly oppose Putin have a nasty habit of getting arrested, maimed, or killed. Think Alexander Litvinenko. Or Anna Politkovskaya. Or Viktor Yushchenko. Or Alexei Navalny. Maybe the reason Netrebko and Gergiev haven’t spoken publicly about this issue is because they don’t want to, you know, DIE.)

If this boycott seems justified to you, then surely you will have no problem with these:

  • Anti-smokers protesting Carmen
  • Sex worker opponents blacklisting La Traviata and Lulu
  • Advocates for the disabled objecting to Rigoletto and Das Rheingold
  • Animal rights activists offended by The Cunning Little Vixen
  • Planned Parenthood picketing Die Frau ohne Schatten
  • Coulrophobics united against Pagliacci
  • Satanists complaining about Faust
  • Masonic/Illuminati conspiracy theorists up in arms about Die Zauberflöte

Figure out other ways to fight for LGBT rights in Russia, as we should. But leave the performing arts alone.