Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Soteriology of Smoking (remise à jour)

Blest leaf! Whose aromatic gales dispense
To templars modesty, to parsons sense :
So raptured priests, at famed Dodona’s shrine
Drank inspiration from the steam divine.
-- Isaac Browne, “A Pipe of Tobacco”

Evidence that tobacco now exists in a Fallen condition, from a state of prelapsarian purity:

I’d Walk a Mile for a Camel.

Bonus mini-thingie:

Dead Men Don't Smoke Camels.

Not just (original, unfiltered) Camels, though; take it from Sherlock Holmes:

“Watson, when you pass Bradley’s, would you ask him to send up a pound of the strongest shag tobacco?”
-- The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)

A testimonial from Dr. Sigmund Freud, 1926:

Renouncing the sweet habit  [Süsse Gewohnheit -- Goethe, Egmont] of smoking  has resulted in a great diminution of my intellectual interests.
-- Ernest Jones, Freud: The Last Phase (1957), p. 121

(Compare the tale of Paul Erdös  and his very temporary forced abstention from amphetamines:  "You have set mathematics back by two weeks!")

Freud suffered an excruciating jaw surgery for cancer, with many unpleasant after-effects.  Yet he resumed smoking, with the consent of his physician.

Freud, post-surgery, 1929
~  Posthumous Endorsement ~
"If I were alive today, and in the mood for a mystery,
this is what I'd be reading: "
(Ich bin Sigmund Freud, and I approved this message.)
~         ~

It was the opinion of the poet Calverley, expressed in his immortal ‘Ode to Tobacco’, that there is no heaviness of the soul  which will not vanish beneath the influence of a quiet smoke.
-- P.G. Wodehouse, Summer Lightning (1929), ch. 3

[Update  21 July 2013]  The latest in the chasse aux fumeurs, from the land of the politiquement correct:
Marisol Touraine évoque l'interdiction de fumer dans les parcs et à la plage
La ministre de la Santé aimerait que les villes songent à étendre les zones non-tabac en interdisant la cigarette dans les lieux publics en plein air, comme les parcs, les plages, ou devant les écoles.

To this, a learnèd reader makes reply, dans la langue de Molière:

Vous n'avez vraiment rien d'autre à foutre  Mme Touraine?

For an even more in-your-face defense of a good smoke, check this out:

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