Wednesday, November 29, 2006
It's hard not to believe that Hamlet has a point when Allen Carr dies of lung cancer. Carr gave up a 100-a-day habit 23 years ago and went on, apparently, to cure millions of their nicotine addiction. But it's difficult to know exactly what the Divinity is up to here. Qutting smoking and saving others should, perhaps, have saved him from such a death. On the other hand, the message could be that the weed will always get you, so don't even start. Or something. I am more at ease with the death of Jim Fixx in 1984. He was the great prophet of jogging for health - we would rightly call it running now as jogging is a most horrible word, suggestive of an unwise bouncing movement that would inevitably result in skeletal damage. Fixx, of course, died of a heart attack while running. He was 52. Very neat of the Divinity if He is against running on principle. But I think His real point was that Fixx, in his Complete Book of Running, invoked Mao-Tse Tung as an authority. The old mass murderer approved of running. But, if there is one thing of which we can be sure, it is that Mao angered the Divinity more than any other human being. So, if you want to live a long time, don't smoke at all and never say anything nice about Mao. Obviously.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 3:47 pm