The painter David Hockney has been using the London press to basically talk about how he loves smoking and that people who judge him for it do not deserve to live on the same planet as him. We love him for it.
His latest diatribe is in the Daily Mail. It’s a real doozy:
“The anti-tobacco professionals have gone far too far in a country that prides itself on freedoms.
Denying cigarette companies the right to decorate their cigarette packets is a draconian measure of which Stalin’s censorship police would have been proud.
It suggests that the Government thinks it can control our thoughts and our desires.
Well, it can’t. I admit there are many people who don’t like smoking, and things should be made convenient for them, but there are ten million people (myself included) in the UK who do.”
Here is our favorite bit, which demonstrates the kind of harsh realism and charming crankiness that reminds us of why we started thinking Mr. Hockney was the coolest in the first place:
“I was told by an anti-smoking fanatic (and I know about them as my father was one, although my smoking elder brother has now lived longer than he did, as I will this year) that tobacco ‘killed’ one hundred million people in the 20th Century.
I pointed out one hundred million people were killed in the 20th Century for political reasons and their deaths were very unpleasant indeed. You cannot use a word such as ‘killed’ with smokers.”