Adjusting Vincent

Chris Snowdon on a lawsuit against various Hollywood studios for showing smoking scenes in movies:

During the period 2012 through the present, defendants’ film rating system – certified and rated thousands of films featuring tobacco imagery as suitable and appropriate for children under the age of seventeen without a parent or guardian, causing over 1.1 million children under the age of seventeen to become addicted to nicotine and will cause the eventual premature death of 360,000 of such nicotine addicts from tobacco caused diseases including lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and emphysema.

It’s well known that if children under the age of seventeen catch sight of tobacco imagery in any movie, they will become addicted to nicotine.

However, in movies such images are usually transient, lasting a few seconds or less. The same is not the case with still images, such as photographs and paintings. And if a party of unsupervised schoolchildren look closely at such images, they are bound to notice any persistent tobacco imagery present in them – which makes still images far more addiction-inducing than any movie.

An example of such a painting is Vincent van Gogh’s Chair with Tobacco and Pipe, held in London’s National Gallery (click on image to enlarge):


In an appreciation of this painting, the subject matter is made perfectly explicit:

The pipe, handkerchief and tobacco give a focus to the picture in both narrative and pictoral terms, providing a note of neutral white at the center of the interplay of cool and warm hues. The use of blue to outline the parts of the chair increases the sense of cool draftsmanship restraining the sensuous handling of the painting.

The painting is occasionally accompanied by another separate painting of Gauguin’s chair, strewn with innocuous candles and books.

Clearly van Gogh’s chair should normally be kept behind shutters or curtains (complete with No Smoking signs and attendants) to prevent under-age children from seeing the tobacco and pipe, and becoming addicted.

But another possibility, which would obviate the need for expensive curtains or attendants, would be a minor over-painting of the chair to remove the tobacco and pipe, and replace them with some other more suitable focus of attention. But what?

…Vincent painted the work before mutilating his ear, but continued to refine it after he was hospitalized. In one of his first letters to his brother, Theo, after being admitted to the hospital to recover from his self-inflicted injury, Van Gogh wrote: “I have just been working again today on its [Gauguin’s Armchair] pendant, my own empty chair, a white deal chair with a pipe and a tobacco pouch.”

So one fully authentic refinement might be to replace the tobacco with a bloody ear on a handkerchief, and modify the pipe very slightly to become, say, a large snail feeding upon it, painted in the sensuous manner of Vincent van Gogh (click on image to enlarge):


Chair with Snail Eating Ear would be a far more wholesome, tobacco-free picture, on which schoolchildren could gaze unsupervised for as long as desired, without any fear of consequent addiction.

We should now look forward to London’s National Gallery hiring a competent artist for an hour or two to make the necessary changes.

About Frank Davis

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27 Responses to Adjusting Vincent

  1. mikef317 says:

    Off topic. On the issue of food guidelines, but equally applicable to smoking.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Mike everything for the last 60 years has been a fraud it seems. Lifesyle warfare began in the 1950s.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        They point out its the same JUNK SCIENCE that’s been peddled everywhere for 60 solid years. The statistical junk science study full of recall biases. Its all the same epidemiological junk studies.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          To date, no researchers have published data that challenge or attempt to refute our findings and conclusions. The reason for this fact is simple: our science is strong and our findings irrefutable. Nevertheless, this has not stopped government-funded researchers and officials from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from demonstrating an unscientific intolerance to criticism by using rhetoric and fallacious ad hominems in defense of their pseudoscientific methods. While these attacks do nothing to advance the science of nutrition, the fact that taxpayer-funded NIH officials and researchers are attacking and attempting to bully and censor legitimate scientists serving the public suggests that publicly-funded science is in grave jeopardy

        • harleyrider1978 says:
  2. Lepercolonist says:

    Reminds me of the restriction of Popeye the Sailor because he smokes a pipe. What a joke.

  3. waltc says:

    Again, Frank, you made me literally lol. But I’d also like to nominate for oblivion Hopper’s “Woman in the sun, smoking” or for that matter, Lautrec’s “Woman smoking.” In fact, I think there might be a good game and/or weapon for fighting this bs, in making a collection of classic smoking art and straight-faced satirically demanding its removal

  4. Rickie says:

    There really is no excuse in these days of techno magic to still see Clint Eastwood chewing a cigar in those spaghetti westerns, why the hell can’t they do there magic and change it to an electric fag or perhaps a carrot.

    • prog says:

      Poor old Clint – the poor guy died shortly after making those classics. Hell, could nave looked forward to a fully active life well into the mid eighties (at least)….

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        Thanks for the irony… Of course, Clint Eastwood is still alive at 85 and was actually never a regular smoker although he did smoke on film.

    • Roobeedoo2 says:

      Well an ecig would turn those spaghetti westerns into sci-fi and a carrot…? Some sort of cartoon, though Clint did do an empty chair routine…

      Happy, Ricky?

      • Rickie says:

        I don’t blame Clint Eastwood, there was a lot of ignorance back in the day over smoking.

        Yeah chewing a carrot why not!

        • Roobeedoo2 says:

          There’s plenty of ignorance now about smoking. Mostly encouraged by the likes of you, Rickie.

          Why not a carrot? I suppose they could change the name of the film to ‘The Good, the Bad and What’s Up With the Ugly Docs?’. Funnily enough, the answer to the first two spaghetti westerns titles: ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ and ‘For a Few Dollars More’.

        • prog says:

          Yeah, why not…

        • nisakiman says:

          Oh gawd, not Dickie Doubletwat again.

          Why don’t you just stick to selling your second-hand car parts in Norfolk, sonny boy. You really are out of your depth here. Trying to be clever doesn’t work when you’re not.

  5. prog says:

    Frank, it’s well known fact that smoking drove him mad and therefore a lesson for all budding geniuses.

  6. Beautiful catch Frank! Actually perhaps the VanGogh should be burned as an example of Tobacco Pornography? I’m sure the good folks out at UCSF would be happy to throw it on the bonfire along with Tom Sawyer and Catcher in the Rye and Summerhill and such pieces of literary trash. The oils in the paint would just make the thought-cleansing flames leap higher and faster.

    – MJM

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      They already airbrushed out churchills cigars

    • Joe L. says:

      Oh God, no, Michael–they can’t burn a van Gogh! Imagine all the concentrated third-hand smoke on that thing! It would all be re-released back into the air in the form of super-toxic smoke! Since THS is so potent and has incredible scientific properties, one can only assume that turning it back into smoke must increase its powers exponentially! In fact, we may have just discovered 3^2 = 9th-hand smoke!

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        SHS is all over the constitution also as the founders smoked as they wrote it and signed it.

        • Joe L. says:

          Maybe that’s why our contemporary government seems hellbent on disregarding the Constitution–it’s covered in third-hand smoke, therefore they view it as a filthy document that should be destroyed.

  7. Pingback: Dangerous Ideas That Must Be Stopped! | caprizchka

  8. harleyrider1978 says:
  9. Frank Davis says:

    Another solution?

    The National Gallery is too big and should have some pictures forcibly removed

    • Roobeedoo2 says:

      ‘Frankly, it’s not hard to conclude that the big beasts have had their own way for far too long.’

      That could be applied to so much these days – just posted an interesting video on your latest post.

  10. Reblogged this on The Last Furlong and commented:
    Very amusing from Frank Davis. Enjoy

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