A Life of Living Dangerously

Maxim has an essay in its January issue titled "A Life of Living Dangerously" by Vanity Fair columnist Christopher Hitchens, that is a must read. As usual, Hitchens is well spoken and opinionated in a subtle in-your-face way.

Most disturbing about his subject matter is the fact that this no-smoking revolution is even taking over France where all public places are already smoke-free and by January 2008 bars & cafes will be as well. I just can't imagine a Parisian cafe without the opulent stench of fresh Gauloises cigarettes. I obvsiously like it for my own health, but not for what it means to the culture - the image of France is defined in part by its smoky cafes and cigarette-puffing intellectuals.

As it relates to the US governing principles, Hitchens' conclusion is classic:
This is the only country in the history of the world that stipulates "the pursuit of happiness" as an inalienable human right. I once produced a book about Thomas Jefferson, who wrote those words, and I can tell you that nobody knows whether he meant pursuing happiness, or happiness itself as a pursuit. Whichever meaning he intended, it would clearly include the right to go to hell in your own way, and also the right to tell other people to go do the same.
A must read.
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