The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Friday, March 11, 2005

              Don't Like History? Just Change it.
Wretchard links to an article in the Telegraph, pointing out the absurdity of the anti-smoking campaign.
France's National Library has airbrushed Jean-Paul Sartre's trademark cigarette out of a poster of the chain-smoking philosopher to avoid prosecution under an anti-tobacco law.

"Smoking," the Left-wing existentialist wrote, is "the symbolic equivalent of destructively appropriating the entire world."

And yet in its poster for an exhibition to mark the hundredth anniversary of Sartre's birth the Bibliothèque Nationale de France decided, destructively or not, to edit out the philosopher's Gauloise.
I seem to recall that the US Post Office did a very similar thing with a stamp of FDR, airbrushing his trademark cigarette-holder and cigarette. Nevertheless, changing the past to suit our views about the present is truly Orwellian, and begs the question of what photos will be altered next? What history will be viewed as inappropriate and therefore subject to revision?
|| Nudnik 11:42 AM
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