Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Coincidence of the day:

In 1957, Humphrey Bogart, age 57, a heavy smoker and drinker, dies of cancer of the esophagus, after losing his esophagus, two lymph nodes, and a rib to cancer.

In 1957, Ayn Rand, a heavy smoker, publishes Atlas Shrugged, a book that she claims contains the gospel truth on all things in the universe (she claimed it encompassed her whole philosophy and that that was a closed system, i.e., not amenable to amendment), a book that features scenes that glorify the cigarette as symbol of the fire of the mind:

"When a man thinks, there is a spot of fire alive in his mind — and it is proper that he should have the burning point of a cigarette as his one expression." (P. 64.)

She had driven far down the winding road, and the lights of the diner were long since out of sight, when she noticed that she was enjoying the taste of the cigarette he had given her: it was different from any she had ever smoked before. She held the small remnant to the light of the dashboard, looking for the name of the brand. There was no name, only a trademark. Stamped in gold on the thin, white paper there stood the sign of the dollar.
She examined it curiously: she had never heard of that brand before. Then she remembered the old man at the cigar stand of the Taggart Terminal, and smiled, thinking that this was a specimen for his collection. She stamped out the fire and dropped the butt into her handbag.
Train Number 57 was lined along the track, ready to leave for Wyatt Junction, when she reached Cheyenne, left her car at the garage where she had rented it, and walked out on the platform of the Taggart station. (P. 310.)

She was a slow learner. Later in life, she lost a lung to cancer and finally died of heart failure.

These days, aging objectivists are slowly smoking themselves to death. Though they are self-proclaimed advocates of reason, no amount of reason, logic, and evidence can convince them that that work of fiction is wrong and that smoking kills.

So sad.

And at the other end of the Nolan Chart, the authoritarians are busy confiscating weed. Not that killing people to save them from themselves would ever make sense, but if they would steal their cigarettes instead of their weed, that would be at least slightly less illogical. Not that there is any sort of smoke that isn't carcinogenic, though.

Don't drink and smoke, folks. That combination is as sure to kill you as you're to kill someone else if you drink and drive.

Here the movie version, thanks to Murray Rothbard:

And here the remake:

End of the public service announcement.

No comments: