Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Farewell to smoking bars.... and smoking guns....

A cross-post from brother blog Barstool Blues:

For those of you who might have missed it, for nearly 4 weeks now the comment thread to my post 'Shanghai'd' has played host to a ding-dong duel of words between my DC-based drinking buddy, The British Cowboy, and myself.

This should not have happened. Not there, anyway. The post was actually about the differences between Beijing and Shanghai, both in the bar scene and more generally. That topic could, should have provoked quite a lively discussion...... if I had any significant number of locally-based readers. Clearly I do not.

No, instead Denmark-based artist, 'The Earthling', posed a question about smoking in bars here in China. Which prompted The Cowboy - a semi-reformed smoker - to start bemoaning the imminent banning of smoking in bars in DC. Which prompted me - rather because I felt his debating skills were getting a little bit sloppy from recent disuse than because I actually disagreed with him all that much - to get on his case about that. And, well, one thing just led to another.... and another.... and another. And just when the smoking ban issue might just about have run its course, I rashly tossed in another provocation, by taunting the Cowboy (not yet an American citizen but thoroughly assimilated into the culture) about his sympathy for the American fetish with gun ownership. And so the whole thing got a second lease of life.

52 comments (by far the most active thread of any of the posts on either of my two blogs in their first 9 months of life), and more than 12,000 words (at least half of them mine!). It has become a 'blog within the blog' over the last few weeks.

But it has to STOP. It is becoming far too time-consuming.

Perhaps the Cowboy and I will resume our amiable feuding again at some later date (quite probably at some smoke-free, gun-free bar in his manor); but for now, I think we both need to take a rest, and get back to the more pressing business of our lives.

That stream of comments, though, is a fascinating little backwater of the blog - and well worth a visit..... when you have 30 or 40 minutes to spare.

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