Thursday, September 27, 2007

Culture, Class, Smoke and Mirrors

I happen to know that it takes rather more than it does the average person to make Jay Currie angry. So when he says that he's really, really angry you can bet that he's got a pretty good reason for it:

At one point my local was the British Ex-Servicemen’s Club out on Kingsway. Cheap beer, decent pool table, a bunch of old guys who had, foolishly enough, fought for King and Country and rather liked popping in for an evening’s couple of pints and a cigarette or seventy. They came from a culture which, well, smoked cigarettes.

Unfortunately they were white and British. Which does not cut it any more.

Emad Yacoub, who runs five restaurants in Vancouver, also attended Thursday’s meeting to ask council to protect hookah lounges.

“I support no smoking on the patios,” he said, saying it will make it easier for him since he won’t have to settle fights between his smoking and non-smoking customers.

But he said hookah lounges are essential for immigrants from hookah-smoking cultures, because it helps them deal with the depression common for newcomers and gives them places like they have at home. vancouver sun

Essential for immigrants from hookah smoking cultures…right, well, England was a cigarette and pipe smoking culture. Working class Canada was a cigarette smoking culture. A bunch of Greek guys I know who own restaurants in Vancouver come from cigarette smoking cultures. Punk rockers are a cigarette smoking culture But, hey, they are not Muslims and are unlikely to, in the midst of their depression, blow something up.

Watching this sort of craven pandering is just sad. Up until now the smoke Nazis have been beating the “health of the workers drum”…but, apparently, the health of the poor, likely Muslim, staffers in the hookah cultural clubs doesn’t matter.

One of the problems with multi-cult posturing and cultural sensitivity is that it leads to such brilliantly racist outcomes. By creating a special exemption for Muslims - who do seem to be the only immigrant group actively demanding these sorts of “cultural accommodations” we are basically declaring our Muslim citizens worthy of special treatment and, at the same time, unworthy of the health concerns which are purported to be the basis of general smoking bans.

But the bigger problem is that we are granting to noisy newcomers the rights which we have taken away from men who fought for Canada or England. And that should worry all of us a lot.

To which Mark Steyn adds:
The state, in other words, is prepared to treat Muslims as free-born adults who can weigh the "cultural value" (ie, the pleasures) of smoking against the health risks. But not the rest of us.
The cynic in me really wants to get it out there that (as Jay subtly suggests) this should not be interpreted as evidence that the state privileges Muslims over non-Muslims, but that our racist and imperialist heart still beats strong--under its thin, politically correct skin--as ever it did. That this merely comprises Phase 2 (one guess as to what Phase 1 was) of our genocidal agenda to rid the world of the threat of Islam, this time by insidiously killing off its adherents with lung cancer.

But no. This represents only the latest knot we were bound to tie ourselves in under the iron-clad direction of our national Boy Scout's handbook: the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (Preceded by such dazzling feats of ethno-political dexterity as the Aboriginal Tobacco Strategy--which, rather sadly I thought (as I'm fairly certain it wasn't disingenuous), goes even further in securing its self-interest by couching its exceptionalism in Marxist terms: "Commercial Tobacco is a KILLER!" the slogan blares, "Traditional tobacco is a HEALER!")

That there's embarrassing-much that is telling about the sort of society that puts the horrors of fragrant blue clouds that disperse quickly into thin air, on a competitive footing with the apparent horrors of discrimination, has yet to register anywhere in any significant way. And until it does? Smoke 'em if yer Musl'em!