I rented Argo last night on iTunes, and thought it was pretty great. One small thing I appreciated about the film: its period accuracy (1979-80) on the omnipresence of cigarettes in public life. People smoked everywhere, including in offices. It’s so bizarre to watch that today, given its disappearance from contemporary office life. My first job was in a newsroom in which smoking was not yet banned. I’d come home from work smelling like I’d been in a bar, with a pounding headache. Management opened up a smoking room soon after I started, and man, I can’t tell you what a great thing that was.
Watching Argo last night brought to mind the headaches I had all the time, growing up in a smoking household. Don’t get me wrong — many, many households were like this. Moms and dads smoked, and smoked inside. My parents, who still smoke, have been doing it outside of their own house for 20 years now, since their first grandchild was born. But it wasn’t like this in the ’70s and ’80s. So, so much better now.