I am not sure how shrewd it was. It was obvious in November that Mark E Smith was doing quite badly. Sure, you could say that he was *always* seemingly about to snuff it since the mid-1990s, but the fact that he just kept on going made him seem almost invincible. Fuck it. That was a life well lived. MES didn't want anyone's pity while he was alive, and he sure as hell wouldn't want it now.
"Desiring and then acquiring an expensive watch is prima facie evidence you are a cunt." — Steve Albini