06 October 2006

oldie cover

Cig Power

With news of my belovèd France caving into the nico-nazis and approving a proposal to ban smoking in public areas, it really does seem that the nannies are winning.

Only slight hope from an IHT article that "We French have a terrible contrarian characteristic that makes us reject anything imposed from above."

Three huge cheers, therefore, to my favourite reading, The Oldie, for devoting their October issue to splendid cover art and good writing in praise of the cancerous art of hacking and wheezing.

I'm not sure this is true, but word has it that the British busybodies want to set up an 0800 hotline for stoolpigeons to squeal on us persecuted puffers whenever we flout the smokes ban.

Can't you just imagine the loathsome specimens they'll bring in to man such a hotline:

"Thanks for calling CigSnitch. Your whistle-blowing is being recorded for training purposes.

  • Press one if you're reporting a cigarette smoked stylishly in the manner of a femme fatale
  • Press 2 for a secretive cig concealed in a cupped hand
  • Press 3 for a furtive fag behind the bike sheds
  • If you wish to report someone wearing nicorette patches in a flamboyant self-satisfied manner, press four ....

Speaking of T'Oldie - which I do everywhere I go - Jerusha McCormack's oddly moving piece on Enduring Grief is online for bereaveds and others to read and gain whatever comfort they can from it.

Basically, Ball in jar beats trad crap platitudes.

Speaking of my beloved France, amused to see the old chestnut revived. You know the one, two reasons for the British to dislike the French: Firstly, they are too logical; secondly they own France - "a country which we have always judged to be much too good for them".

Now it seems we Brits want to be  French.

Well not me, if les francais are going to be so pusillanimous as to hound puffeurs of les bonnes gauloises. Greece seems to be the last bastion and I know that there's meant to be some ruling around the corner but I am assured by one and all that we will simply be very Greek and nod the sniveling legislation in and proceed to ignore it with the contempt it deserves. (Coughing will be believing.)

Trademark cigar: A sad tale from the world of books concerning the once-proud house of Heinemann under whose umbrella my former employer, Martin Secker & Warburg, once preened.

Last year, the Heinemann's childrens books section published The Life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

The cover featured the iconic shot of the great man - from which the pricks removed his cigar because - whimper mewl - they thought teachers wouldn't like it.

Well, fuck you Heinemann - down whose corridors strode such giants as Tim Manderson, Tom Rosenthal and the Nigels Hollis and Viney, real  publishers with vision and backbone whose boot laces the current herd are not fit to lick.

What a spineless toadying shower they've turned out to be, no longer fit to call themselves publishers and a disgrace to such distinguished back-list scribblers as as Maugham, Ustinov and Vidal.

No comments :