24 October 2009


I gave up many years ago but lots of my friends still smoke. I confess that it can make a good looking actress (actrice) seem beguilingly sexy, but only on film. I've never been out (sortie avec) with one so I don't know what they look like in the morning. Smoking is really big with the youth (la jeunesse) here in France. Soon, packs of cigarettes (paquets de cigarettes) will show horrific looking graphic photographs of mouths in a various states of disease. Its the new government policy. The French Government is very serious about this business. I think they have even sold off (vendu) their interest in the largest tobacco company SEITA (Societe Nationale d'Exploitation Industrielle des Tabacs et Allumettes) which eventually merged with a large Spanish tobacco company. But smoking is still cool, like misbehaving on a vespa, its part of youth to defy death even if its stupid.

The French Government is so serious about smoking that when a retrospective of the celebrated film maestro Jacques Tati opened last year they actually removed (enlevé) his celebrated pipe from all photos! Naturally it created an uproar (un grand bruit).

They did the same with Jean Paul Sartre quite recently. From a very famous photograph of him, they removed the imfamous Gaulois from his fingers.

But the latest dilemma concerns Jacques Chirac, whose Memoir  was coming out last month when it was suddenly stopped at the presses. His aides had found the front cover (la couverture) unacceptable due to (à cause de) a freshly lit cigarette  in his hand.

In Chirac's case, I can understand as he is still alive. But regarding Tati and Sartre, it is unacceptable to present (montre) History as it wasn't. Personally, I wonder (je me demande) when all this foolishness (stupidité) will stop. Didn't we always accuse the Russians and Chinese of this sort of Orwellian behavior?

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