Hat tip Smoking Lamp for what looks like good news:
VIENNA, Dec 11 (Reuters) – While much of the West has barred smoking in restaurants and bars, Austria’s planned ban has gone up in smoke.
The small, affluent country is famed for its Alpine scenery and its capital, Vienna, is regularly rated as the world’s best city to live in. But many visitors are surprised to find that nights out often feature the acrid smell of decades past.
Austria passed a law banning smoking in bars and restaurants as of May 2018. But that will now be overturned under a deal between the conservative People’s Party (OVP) led by Sebastian Kurz and the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) reached during their ongoing negotiations on a governing coalition, according to a person familiar with their discussions.
“The current rules will remain in place,” the person said, confirming reports by local media. Smoking is banned in general in the restaurant industry but various exceptions are allowed.
Scrapping the impending ban was an idea championed by FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache, 48, who has repeatedly tried, in vain, to quit smoking. Kurz, who is just 31, has never acquired the habit and even shuns coffee, a rare abstinence in a country with a celebrated cafe culture.
I say that it only looks like good news because this seems to be the word of “a person familiar with the discussions.” What if they’re making it all up? What if they’ve actually agreed to implement the most draconian ban they possibly can, in order to make Strache finally stop smoking.
And this Kurz sounds like he’s a bit of a Trump, if he doesn’t smoke or drink coffee. Odds on he doesn’t drink alcohol either? But, again like Trump, Kurz doesn’t seem to want to make other people conform to his own habits (or lack of habits).
Why doesn’t Trump smoke or drink (not even coffee)? To the best of my knowledge, he had an older brother who drank himself to death:
In a major speech today, President Trump declared the opioid crisis in America a public health emergency. By designating it a federal “emergency,” Trump could freed up considerable resources to help people and communities fight addiction; it is a powerful official acknowledgement of an epidemic that killed more than 59,000 people last year.
But the issue of addiction is also a deeply personal one for Trump. His older brother Freddy suffered from alcoholism, and died in 1981 at the young age of 43.
The president spoke about his brother’s struggles with addiction during today’s speech, and it’s not the first time he’s shared his brother’s story publicly. Trump has said in the past that Freddy’s death had a “tremendous impact” on him. Perhaps most notably, he does not drink alcohol, do drugs, or smoke cigarettes, avoiding these vices because of his brother’s alcoholism.
“He had a profound impact on my life, because you never know where you’re going to end up,” Trump said. “I’ve known so many people that were so strong and so powerful [yet] they were unable to stop drinking.”
“[Fred] was a great guy, a handsome person. He was the life of the party. He was a fantastic guy, but he got stuck on alcohol,” Trump said of his brother.
“And it had a profound impact and ultimately [he] became an alcoholic and died of alcoholism. He would tell me, ‘Don’t drink ever.’ He understood the problem that he had and that it was a very hard problem.”
To the best of my knowledge, Freddy also advised Donald not to smoke. Maybe he even threw in coffee for good measure.
Now years later, Trump’s views about his brother—and his addiction—have softened. “He would have been an amazing peacemaker if he didn’t have the problem, because everybody loved him,” Trump said. “He’s like the opposite of me.”
I guess that here Donald Trump is saying that he knows that a lot of people absolutely detest him.
I’ve known one or two people who were the life of the party. They’re very rare. Things just relax and start to happen the minute they walk in. I don’t know how they do it.
But I guess that if you’re the life of the party that way, you’ll be in demand everywhere. You’ll be invited to lots and lots of parties. And at those parties you’ll spend your whole time with a cigarette in one hand, and a glass of champagne in the other. Hour after hour after hour. So maybe you’d end up drinking much more, and smoking much more, than more or less anyone else ever does, because they only ever go to one party at a time. You spend your whole time in a permanent alcoholic haze, perhaps alleviated by periodic strong coffees to help you concentrate. And maybe if you’re drinking all the time, you start to need to drink all the time, and things just don’t seem quite right if you haven’t got a cigarette in one hand, and a glass of champagne in the other.
One person I knew, who I thought was the life of the party, was the celebrity chef Keith Floyd. He opened a little bistro in Bristol back in about 1968. It was a tiny little place, with an assortment of different tables and chairs crammed into it. And it was always full. And it was always a party. Food would arrive periodically from the tiny little kitchen at the back. But nobody cared. I think everyone came because they knew that it would always be a great party. And Keith Floyd himself would periodically wander in with a glass of wine, to talk to the people sitting and eating. He’d cook with a glass of wine beside him.
But that was all before he became a celebrity chef. And when he did, he carried on cooking, party-style, with a glass of wine beside him. And so he was someone who spent hours and hours drinking (and smoking) every day. I don’t know that he was an alcoholic, but I’m guessing from the following passage that he was:
I met him only once, when I was presenting a series called the Food Quiz for Radio 4. We had him booked for an afternoon session and were told in no uncertain terms by Clarissa Dickson Wright, a regular panellist, that getting him after lunch was a very bad idea. “Take it from me,” she said. “I’m a recovering alcoholic and I know.”
My mother had a terror of alcohol, and she dreaded that I would, when I grew up, follow in what seemed to be a long family tradition of drinking oneself to death. The way she talked about alcohol, it was that once you taken one swig of the stuff out of a bottle, you’d be a slave to it for the rest of your rather short life. It was perhaps for my father to teach her (and me, and my brother) that it was possible to drink moderately.
And I’ve always drank moderately. I’ve never (or hardly ever) spent all day and all night in a drunken haze. These days I only drink at the very end of the day, to send myself to sleep. For me, alcohol is almost medicinal. There is a precise amount of whisky that is needed to bring on the wings of sleep.
So my guess is that Freddy Trump, like Keith Floyd, was one of those people who was the life of the party, and that both of them paid the price that such people very often end up paying, much like sailors often end up drowning, or soldiers end up shot: it’s one of the attendant perils of such trades.
And one other person who I suspect was also the life of the party was Jesus of Nazareth. For what else was the Last Supper but a dinner party? And it seems to have been just one of many such feasts and parties. And what an amazing party trick, to be able to turn water into wine. Or multiply loaves and fishes. And bring the dead to life – for when Jesus walked in, everything came to life. And he was in constant demand everywhere, of course. And many of his pithy remarks, and his humorous banter, were remembered and recorded.
The pinch-faced killjoys got him in the end, of course. All the Deborah Arnotts of Jerusalem showed up to condemn him. And they really crucified him. It’s one of the attendant perils of his trade too.