Friday, October 26, 2012

The jihad against Santa's pipe

Look, smoking in any form is bad for you. The trend away from the ancient habit of inhaling nicotiana tabacum is a good thing. But what is it with these severely uptight, anti-smoking zealots? Now they're going after Kris Kringle of all people. Yes, friends, Canadian publisher and noted anti-smoking crusader Pamela McColl has decided to tamper with Clement Moore's classic Christmas poem A Visit from St Nicholas ("Twas the Night Before Christmas," etc). In it, a description of Santa reads in part: "The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth / And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath." For do-gooder McColl, it's like, my god, we can't have any of that. I mean, how dare St. Nick light up in our 21st century No Smoking Zone. So without batting an eye, McColl simply expunged the two offending lines in her newly "edited" version of the 1823 story. "By removing these words we may save lives and avoid influencing new smokers," she says with a straight face. She even believes that children's books which feature smoking should include parental warnings. Right. Talk about ho-ho-ho. Is no one safe from these people? McColl has (rightly) drawn widespread criticism from anti-censorship groups. Stick that in your pipe, lady, and smoke it.

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