1:36 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Not The Onion:
The 1875 work by Georges Bizet is one of the world's most popular operas and the heroine, Carmen, works in a Spanish cigarette factory.
Carolyn Chard, General Manager of the [Western Australia] Opera, said the company made the decision not to program the opera after it secured the two-year deal with Healthway, the state government body that sponsors arts and community organisations to promote health messages.
"Carmen is an opera that is actually set in a tobacco factory, so that does present some difficulties if you're promoting non-smoking and healthy work environments," Ms Chard told 720 ABC Perth.
We await others in the dramatic arts community to follow the Western Australia Opera's pioneering example. Surely, performances of Macbeth condone murder. Sophocles can only encourage incest. And it's high time audiences realized La Traviata is a morally backwards tale that endorses the oppression of sexually liberated women.
UPDATE—Smoking is a bridge too far, but somehow the Metropolitan Opera deems this high art:
In 1985, New Yorker Leon Klinghoffer, 69, and his wife Marilyn took a cruise to celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary. Leon never came back: Four members of the Palestine Liberation Front hijacked the Achille Lauro, shot him in the head and threw him overboard in his wheelchair.
Starting in October, The Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center plans to show a mockery of this brutal murder — the long-dormant “The Death of Klinghoffer.” The title gives away the show’s agenda: Klinghoffer didn’t “die”: This World War II vet was murdered by terrorists.
Sep 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 03 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Undoubtedly much to the chagrin of the former mayor, more New Yorkers are smoking these days. According to the latest data from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, adult smoking rates in New York City have risen to 16 percent, from an all-time low of 14 percent in 2010.
May 26, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 35 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
New York enjoyed a mid-season subway series last week with four games between the Mets and Yankees. Seeing the two teams play every year instead of once in a generation is one of the upsides of Major League Baseball’s recent experiment in inter-league play. But for the hometown TV audience, it means enduring grotesque public-service antismoking ads. New York State promotes nonsmoking by showing gory surgeries, rotting lungs, and a man struggling to breathe: “Dying from smoking is rarely quick . . .
9:01 AM, Apr 24, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
A study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that "[m]arijuana use makes tobacco use more pleasurable and may increase the user’s risk for becoming addicted to nicotine." Experiments involving rats found that those animals exposed to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, self-administered nicotine at higher rates than rats with no such exposure. This connection raises concern that pot may be a "gateway" drug to nicotine.
7:01 AM, Feb 19, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The Department of Defense (DOD) has just announced that the public will be invited to vote in a video competition called "Fight the Enemy." In this case, the enemy is tobacco. The innovation office of the military's assistant secretary of defense for health affairs is sponsoring the competition among U.S. service members around the world who were invited to film and submit "tobacco countermarketing" videos.
Jonathan V. Last, non-tokerJan 27, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 19 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
As Colorado’s new law permitting—encouraging?—the recreational use of marijuana went into effect, many of our country’s finest journalists felt the need to share the details of their experience with the ganja. Some came to celebrate the state’s new liberality, others to condemn it.
Australia’s doomed effort to kill tobacco sales.Dec 16, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 14 • By P. J. O’ROURKE
I'm sitting at my desk, looking at a photograph of a gangrenous foot. It is a bloated thing in hues of phlegmatic gray rot, sanguine inflammation, melancholic black bile, and choleric open sores—exhibiting all the humors of a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
1:14 PM, Dec 2, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
In a routine, short-run economic downturn, people tend to adopt more healthy behaviors. You quit smoking and cut back on the drinking because … well, maybe to save money and maybe because you tend to focus more on the essentials and live less indulgently. But our current long, lingering economic malaise seems to have pushed people toward unhealthy choices. For release, perhaps, or from a fatalistic sense that things may not get better and so what.
9:56 AM, Apr 2, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The federal government will now allow companies that sell "nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products," such as Nicorette, not to put warning labels on their merchandise, the Food and Drug Administration announced. The change, the FDA now admits, is because the warnings, which were mandated for the last 30 years, were misguided from the very beginning.
And move to prevent the rise of the next Barack Obama.1:13 PM, Aug 31, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
One would not expect that college campuses would go out of their way to accommodate the habits of the Republican speaker of the House, John Boehner. But how respectful are colleges of the current occupant of the White House? Not very, it would seem.
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