TIME's Weekend Review

  • Share
  • Read Later
The unhealthy American is fast becoming an endangered species. At no time has this been more clear than in the past week — in which any hardcore vice-meister who thought they could steer clear of nicotine patches or veggie burgers was forced to think again. It was an especially bad time for smokers. They woke up on Monday morning to the news that tobacco companies plan to stick them with the bill for their multi-billion dollar lawsuit settlement, costing an extra 62 cents a pack. By Friday, CEOs from Philip Morris and RJR Nabisco were tentatively admitting that their cigarettes could have — whisper it low — actually killed people.

What’s a self-respecting slob to do? Turn to the ever-reliable red meat? Not likely, after the e.coli scare caused by the largest ever recall of ground beef in the nation’s history. And as if couch potatoes weren’t infuriated enough by the sight of FDA swat teams swarming over hamburger patties like flies on the proverbial, they were also treated to the disgustingly healthy sight of all those UPS workers being active again. Not to mention the trim Mir cosmonauts and their astronautical acrobatics. As if to rub it in, the very first space commercial released this week in Israel featured Commander Vasily Tsibliyev downing a gooey gob of — ugh! — skim milk.

Finally, spare a thought for Ron Carey — who went from hero to zero in the space of four days. It wasn’t tobacco or red meat that brought the Teamsters President down, but that other American vice: alleged campaign finance abuse. Perhaps the FDA ought to stick health warnings on soft money contributions.