Now this is really stupid. Moves are afoot to censor pictures of famous people sucking on a smoke. Jacques Chirac, Rachmaninov, Mikhael Bakhtin, Winston Churchill, Louis Althusser, Marlene Dietrich, Josef Stalin – some of the best shots are of them with a cigarette, pipe or cigar in hand. But now those photographs are under the censor’s stern gaze. I’m a smoker who doesn’t smoke (I did for many years but sadly gave it up since it’s supposed to be bad for you), but I love these pictures. And they are certainly not going to make me smoke again, or, for that matter, become president or sing to the troops.

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