From time to time, I have indulged in a French ciggie or two. The romance, the Left Bank chic, the je ne sais quoi, they have all seduced me into endangering my health. But now the health fascists are going to put a stop to it, by banning those brands seen as cool.
The Guardian bewails these developments:
Serge Gainsbourg and his daughter Charlotte, Brigitte Bardot, Django Reinhardt, Albert Camus, Alain Bashung, Jean Paul Sartre, Catherine Deneuve, Béatrice Dalle.
All are a bit sullen. All are a bit broken – all a bit twisted, a bit nihilistic, a bit dark. All have been known for their chain-smoking. You light a cancer stick, and you get to meditate on your own life going up in smoke. It may be appalling, but this aesthetic – just in case you’ve never seen our arthouse movies – feels very French.
To make matters worse, it also neatly embodies the rejection of a broader society constantly promoting self-betterment – which, judging by the output of “life coaches” and other charlatans everywhere, has never been conducive to good art, let alone a jovial debate between friends at a terrace with a pastis and a few smokes. And – did I mention? – French people don’t like to be told what to do.Moi, non plus, even if I received clearance yesterday that, following a CT scan, my lungs were OK. So from time to time I may buy a pack of Gauloises (sans filtre obviously) ...