April 23, 2006
"Thank You for Smoking" — No, Thank You!
Aaron Eckhart—another good German name!—is particularly well cast as the devilishly mellifluous tobacco lobbyist who turns the tables on his adversaries by exposing their many hypocrisies. “My job requires a certain . . . moral flexibility,” his character, Nick Naylor, confesses. Hmm… Do I smell antinomianism here, or merely anti-moralism? I know I smell something! Wait—my lunch!
Perhaps not worthy of mention in my Top 95, but an otherwise memorable line: “The great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese!” Improvised by William H. Macy, although the original book by Christopher Buckley is itself rife with clever verbal constructions. Another one: “I'm going to impale your mom on a spike and feed her dead body to my dog with syphilis.” Ah ha ha ha ha ha! I wish I had used that one against Erasmus, that pelagian son-of-a-priest pinhead!
The legalisms that prohibit that which Scripture at least tacitly permits invites a tyranny that borders on the papistical! When the sword of civil government overreaches, innocent heads fall. In my own case, I find smoking a disgusting practice worthy only of a canon lawyer. Smoke near me and I will sit on you. English king James I, an otherwise despicable character whose superstitions bespoke a lack of trust in the providential care of Our Lord, was right about tobacco at least. We have been given the fruit of the vine—not to mention that of good hops—in which to drown our sorrows, so long as Proverbs 23:21 is kept in view.
Vulgarity Alert: A particular four-letter word finds its way into the mouths of the characters in this picture, no doubt responsible for the "R" rating. I have been known to let loose with an earthy expletive myself from time to time. I don’t believe in mincing words when issues of great spiritual importance are at stake. But for those of my readers who are feint of heart where such matters are concerned, be forewarned! At least Maria Bello keeps her clothes on in this one! O sweet modesty! As lost as Pope Alexander VI’s virginity!
Question for the Council: “If you argue right, you are right.” Is this sophistry? Or is a sound argument by definition an earmark of truth?
Links to this post: