They ranged the holy hecatomb all orderly round the altar of the god…hymning him and chaunting the joyous paean, and the god took pleasure in their voices.
Here’s hoping that Homer (translated above by the admirable but neglected Samuel Butler) was right, that the gods do take pleasure in sacrifices like the one just offered by CVS on the twin altars of Health and Political Correctness. The pharmacy cum convenience store chain has decided to stop stocking tobacco this coming October. They expect to lose some two billion dollars in revenue.
It’s no use asking why they don’t get rid of malt liqour or microwavable burritos instead. Anti-smoking is a kind of secular religion–or, rather, a popular form of personal devotion adherents of the religion of liberalism. Four hundred thousand people do not die smoking-related deaths each year; no one gets lung cancer from so-called “second-hand smoke,” and “third-hand smoke” is so risible a notion that no one but readers of the New York Times seems to take any interest in it. (Probably somewhere someone is preparing for a research colloquium about the dangers of “fourth-hand smoke” even as I write this.)
Ugh. I really have no patience with these people. Even if the dangers of cigarettes were not exaggerated, they would still be worth ignoring as far as many of us are concerned. On the other hand I’m not too worried about CVS. I’ve never found its selection of cigarettes all that impressive. Better to take advantage of two- and four-pack specials on American Spirits (always full-bodied or robust perique) at your local 7-Eleven.