13/12/09 Rebel With A Cause

Gone perhaps are the days of rebellious rock stars throwing caution to the wind and taking no notice of laws and rules, but we do still have the people overlooking draconian laws that shouldn’t exist in the first place. While Lady GaGa’s recent trouble in Canada for smoking onstage is probably just another publicity stunt to keep her in the public eye while simultaneously diverting attention from the terrible ‘music’, it is still good to see someone with such fame and adoration from young generations claiming her liberty.[1]

The Daily Mail – consistent source of reliable journalism that they continue to be – explained without a hint of sarcasm that “this time Lady Gaga may have gone to [sic] far.” Too far from what, exactly? Prior to 2007 we were exposed to tobacco smoke indoors as often as we wanted to be, yet it seems to have slipped people’s minds to the point they react as though she were distributing anthrax around the building.

According to British Columbia law, smoking in all public spaces such as restaurants, pubs and private clubs, offices, malls, conference centres, arenas, community halls, government buildings and schools is banned.

Those found guilty of breaking this law may be liable to a fine.


A fine? Surely attempted murder should at least get a custodial sentence? Or is this the authorities way of letting us know it isn’t attempted murder or any other affect on health, but merely a load of bullshit?

The action isn’t limited to North America though. Our homegrown Lily Allen, no stranger to controversy, sparked up during a show in Liverpool. Unlike British Colombia’s reaction though, Lily is having environmental protection officers “investigating” the “misdemeanour” [2] That should be interesting, perhaps they will be the first to find a link between a single cigarette and illness.

But, according to one David Hall, 52, Allen’s indulgence influenced others in the audience to follow suit, which he was disgusted with not for his own sake, but the noble protection of his children. His children who, by the way, were 15 and 17 and probably no stranger to a crafty smoke when he isn’t looking. He said “the cigarettes were waving about in my children’s faces.” This may be true, but the follow-up question should be “so what?” Hall characterises the typical Brit who wants everything for nothing; so concerned was he by this outright display of law-breaking that rather than assume responsibility for the welfare of the children he so sought to protect and find a security guard or just ask those around him to stop smoking, he did nothing and got upset.

“We like Lily Allen because she’s a bit of a rebel. But it completely ruined the night.” So only rebels who rebel against things you’re also against are acceptable? Unfortunately, rebellion doesn’t quite work that way. Even more strange is that Hall finds it perfectly acceptable to take his offspring to a performance where subject matters include leaving your boyfriend for his poor performance in bed to oral sex and bedding the girl next door, but a few fumes of tobacco is just too much for their innocent minds.

Maybe more stars will follow suit. Maybe more of the general public will follow suit, and if it does, we can see the end to this ridiculous ban.

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1235271/Smoker-face-Lady-Gaga-faces-potential-fine-smoking-onstage-Canada.html

[2] http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2009/12/12/lily-allen-sparks-smoking-ban-row-at-liverpool-echo-arena-gig-100252-25375229/  

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