The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

28 March 2006

Thank you for smoking

It's not just a movie or a novel; it's a boon to us all, or at least to the U.K.:

For all the finger-wagging about how their noxious habit clogs up their arteries and the nation's hospital beds, smokers more than clean up after themselves. They currently generate about £8 billion in tax revenue — roughly five times what their coughing, spluttering and death cost the [National Health Service].

Then there is the fact that, in exchange for making our clothes smell and our eyes sting, many smokers pay a fortune into their state pension fund, and then selflessly refuse to collect it — by dropping dead before the age of 65. At a time when Western governments are desperately seeking ways of solving the pensions crisis, do we really want to discourage such altruism?

Not that I plan to stock up on Marlboros or anything, but with not a whole lot of rewording, this stuff is equally applicable to those of us who are supposedly going to drop dead a week from Tuesday because we said that yes, we did want fries with that. What we don't have, so far, is a suitable satirical film.

Posted at 7:45 PM to Political Science Fiction

OTOH, Thank You for Smoking is a very, very funny satire. I hope the movie is just as good./f

Posted by: fritz schranck at 7:55 PM on 28 March 2006

I'm almost afraid to see the film; I read the book back in the middle 90s, and there's this lingering fear that they've softened up the zingers.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:36 PM on 28 March 2006