But Chairman Mao on the other hand …
Harper’s just posted an interesting piece about cigarettes in China called “The Little Red Pack.” It’d be hilarious if it wasn’t real. Actually, even though it’s real, it’s still kind of hilarious. It is a translation of “essays and testimonials on tobacco-information websites run by the Chinese government.” And since they say websites, we can assume it’s all current. Here’s how it begins:
People often ascribe the inability to quit smoking to a weak will. In reality, it is well known that many great men smoked, like Churchill, Mao Zedong, etc. The smokers all around us now are also people of outstanding character. They have a great deal of determination and strength. The courage that they show in the face of unforeseen events—a courage that many nonsmokers are unable to muster—is unforgettable.
It only gets better — or worse — from there.
Excuse us. We’re going to go have a smoke — because we’re f*cking cool like that.
UPDATE: We were unable to muster the courage. So, no cigarettes. Sorry.
UPDATE II: We did chew a piece of gum, however.
UPDATE III: It was cinnamon. How badass is that?