pipe-smoker. Child molesting, maybe,nbut not mugging. Some time ago thenLutheran Standard ran a photographnof a man with a pipe, and somenchurlish Mrs. Grundy wrote toncomplain. Another reader, a pipe-man,nwrote wistfully about “the little songnthat Johann Sebastian Bach wrote fornAnna Magdalene, Erbauliche Gedankenneines Tobackrauchers,” with itsnhappy reflection on the spiritual meaningnof pipe smoking — “the smoke thatnrises like incense, the fire that remindsnone of hell, and so forth.” He translatednthe refrain thus: “And so on land,non sea, at home, abroad, / I’ll smokenmy pipe and worship God.” Lutherans,nhe wrote, should resist “the furthernMethodistization of what wasnonce the church of the Bible, Bach,nand beer.” Amen to that, says thisndisaffected Anglican.nI like the company of smokers, evennof cigarette smokers. I like to be withnthem when they’re smoking, becausenpassive smoking is the only kind I allownmyself these days, and when they’rennot, because they tend to be goodnfolks. Didn’t you ever notice that peoplenin the smoking sections of airplanesnwere having more fun than the folks upnfront? Laughing and joking and talkingnwith one another? Getting acquainted,nnot just staring glumly at their newspapersnand avoiding eye contact? Smokersnare sociable folks. That’s why mostnof them started smoking in the firstnplace. I wish airlines would set asidenspecial sections for smokers, even ifnthey won’t let people smoke. I’d ridenthere.nYes, I like smokers for their goodnnature. I also like their humility. Smokersnare acquainted with human weaknessnand frailty. They know that peoplenare a pretty sorry lot. They don’tnhave great hopes of changing humannnature. Few are into social reform in anbig way. Hell, they can’t even quitnsmoking.nMany smokers would agree withnRobert Rosner of the (antismoking)nSmoking Policy Institute who said thisnto The Wall Street Journal: “Smokingn—the very fact of a cigarette danglingnfrom one’s mouth — is viewed as anbreakdown in someone’s self-discipline.”nBut they would go on to asknwhether self-discipline is the highest ofnvirtues. Higher than charity? Compassion?nHumility? Not all of us admiren40/CHRONICLESnthe ostentatiously self-disciplined. Butnsomeone like Rosner (who makes hisnliving “help[ing] companies to establishnsmoking restrictions” — and whatnkind of job is that?) couldn’t be expectednto understand.nSo I like smokers, and I feel sorry fornthem, even more than for other abusednand downtrodden minorities. As thenhabit wanes, I also feel sorry for thentobacco farmers and cigarette-factorynworkers whose taxes pay my salary, andnfor Garland, my long-time tobacconistnand friend.nBut I must say I’m damned if I feelnsorry for the tobacco companies. Likenrats leaving a sinking ship, they’rendiversifying out of the cigarette businessnas fast as they can. I see herenwhere RJR Nabisco has even developedna “smokeless cigarette”—aboutnthe sort of limp-wristed accommodationismnyou’d expect from ancookie company, isn’t it? That’s the actnof a company that doesn’t believe in itsnproduct.nI don’t like cigarette companies thatnimply that there’s something wrongnwith smoke. Smoke is their businessnand they ought to like it. I do: one ofnmy early memories is of my grandfather’snsmoking Camels at a high-schoolnfootball game — a crisp Novembernevening, and that marvelous fragrance.nSneer if you will, but if people can waxnlyrical about wood smoke on the NewnEngland air or burning leaves in thensmall-town Midwest, I reserve the rightnto my own smelly nostalgia. I smokednfor 30 years, and quit for health reasons,nnot because I didn’t like smoke.nSo I’d have more respect for RJR ifnthey’d taken a lead from the success ofnJolt Cola (“All the sugar, twice thencaffeine”). That Jolt is selling out innUS college towns tells me that collegenkids are sick of being told what’s goodnfor them by middle-aged health-andsafetynfascists. If RJR really wanted tonsell cigarettes, they wouldn’t dinknaround with gimmicky smokeless cigarette-typennicotine-delivery devices.nThey’d bring out something liken”Death” cigarettes: “All the nicotine,ntwice the tar.” They’d put a skull andncrossbones on the pack, print the surgeonngeneral’s warning twice the requirednsize, and sell them with slogansnlike “What the hell!” and “Do younwant to live forever?”nIf they smelled like those Camelsnnndid back in 1950, who could resist?nJohn Shelton Reed teaches at thenUniversity of North Carolina. Henhasn’t smoked for several years, but isnlooking forward to starting again whennhe’s told he has six months to live.nLetter From Parisnby Curtis CatenBut Why the “Red Flag”nof Revolution?nI have never been a flag-waver, nor feltnmuch sympathy for howling mobs, particularlynwhen bent on destruction. Butnsince this year, 1989, marks the bicentennialnof the world’s first and mostninfluential revolution (there is hardly anrevolutionary notion or motif that cannotnbe traced back to Danton,nRobespierre, Marat, Babeuf, and theirnspiritual ancestor, Rousseau), we mightnpause to ask ourselves how it is that thenonce royal, not to say imperial, color ofnred should in our time have come tonsymbolize the cause of the downtroddennproletariat. For it was during thenrevolutionary turmoil that accompaniednthe death of France’s ancien regimenthat the red flag was first brandished,nthough not, curiously enough,nby proletarians.nIt is indeed a curious story, and onenmore proof of how, like words andneveryday expressions, traditional symbolsncan be semantically inverted andninvested with radically different meanings.nFor a long time red and its firstncousin, crimson, were colors closelynassociated with authority and power.nTwo thousand years ago, when thentinctorial art was still in its infancy,ncrimson — or what the Romans callednpurpura—became the privileged colornof successive emperors because of thenextreme costliness of its production,nthe hue being derived from a Mediterraneannshellfish that gave rise to thenfamous Tyrian dye. Later, the descendantsnof Saint Peter having inheritednthe mantle of the Caesars, the cardinalsnof Rome took to robing themselves innred.nIn the Middle Ages red became thenfavorite color of the Crusaders, and itnwas under a scarlet banner with a bign