The young don’t know this, but there used to be a fabled time, think the late 50s, the 60s and the 70s, when most things people liked to do were simply… allowed! Imagine that! Only the kinkiest sorts of sex, overt racist insults, and jokes about the Royal House were strictly forbidden.
Ever since, the Anti-Pleasure Mob has made a mayor comeback, and we are pretty much looking at a definite Triumph of the Nerds on two or three continents and in places that used to vie with Sodom and Gomorrah in happy hedonism. Ah, Progress, Progress, whimsicality is thy name! The stuff these Geeks in Office manage to prohibit! Smoking of course, and innocent sipping from wine bottles in the street! Sugar for children, pastries, cookies and French fries in the schoolyard. Being overweight now carries heavy penalties in airfare and health insurance. Walking your dog off a lease is a mayor offence that must be rigorously cracked down on by the uniformed henchmen of the dorks. There are cases of senior citizens being heavily fined for making a picture of their own grandchildren in a bathing-suit…
Meanwhile a few other minor offences, which do have an occasional doubtful side-effect, do not perhaps receive the full priority which a man of taste and sophistication would hope they’d get. Such as the idiotic ease with which psychos can acquire automatic weapons, which results in massacres of the Breivik kind… Our forces of order must be too busy rotting out intolerable Nicotine Crimes in public places to give that their due attention… I congratulate them on their sense of priorities.
Anyway: so as to end this post with a twinkle instead of a lamentation, here is a snapshot I took at Prague airport back in 1997. The place had just been liberated from the Soviet regime, and was rife with mafia-style crime and leftover Bolshevik weaponry. Hence the formal forbiddance of guns in the precinct. I guess that nowadays, the prohibition sign for guns has been removed, and replaced by one which bans ice-cream cones. Because, as long as a gun doesn’t smoke, there ain’t no reason to object to its presence, right?