The "Tobacco Snobs" Thread That Got Closed

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Smoking a Pipe Right Now
Staff member
Nov 16, 2008
St. Petersburg, FL
Hi guys. It's about time the owner / founder of this joint posted something other than links to new content that's recently been posted to the articles part of the site.
Ironically, the "Tobacco Snobs" thread that got closed motivated this post as it brought me back to the early days (7-8 years ago) here at
Cosmic did the right thing to close it. It wasn't really serving any useful purpose anymore, and it makes us look bad to be attacking a new guy that made a mistake. I understand and appreciate the responses and defense of these forums all the same.
There have definitely been some instances here - I don't think recently - of snobbery AND reverse-snobbery - I wrote an article about it several years ago in 2012.
It IS an interesting discussion topic - and it carries over into just about every hobby or leisurely pursuit - not just pipes and tobacco. It could have been a better thread if it was approached differently - more as just a discussion of this phenomenon.
It made me think of that since day 1, in 2009, when it was mostly just me, Bob Tate, and two other guys talking to each other in the forums, that we always said: "If you like what you're smoking, then you're doing it right."
We also said stuff like, "If you're a pipe smoker, then you are welcome here - it doesn't matter what type of pipes or tobacco you smoke."
That still holds to this day.



Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
Moody, AL
I've said before that it can be difficult to communicate inflection in a textual environment. I still like my idea of using italics to denote a sarcastic tone... since we're not using italics for anything else :)
I never intend to be mean in any way and think the same of most here. I agree with what's been said here.



Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
As I had posted before, I think that most comments about aromatics are made in jest. But, I can also see whereas a new guy who doesn't know our personalities might not see the jokes in the way that they were intended.
I think that all genres are going to get someone making a disrespectful comment. I've seen Virginias called nasty cigarette blends, tasteless, boring; latakias blends called armpit funk, burning tires, etc... We even have some that like to remind us that they hate Penzance every time it comes up. Lakelands... Yeh, I could go on and on about those, ha ha. But, my point is that when a few make disparaging comments on a thread, we have to see it for what it is. It's just a few differing opinions. I bet that there is someone out there that says they hate pizza.

When a few make comments on an aromatic thread, it is just that, a few differing opinions.
So, the trick is, when do opinions cross over into bashing... where to draw the line?



Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
Monterey Peninsula
That's why we pay big bucks to the mods- to know where and when to draw the lines! :)
Since the other thread is closed and will pass into obscurity soon, it might be worthwhile to read the sticky on forum etiquette. It was revised and shortened from six years ago....



Preferred Member
May 9, 2015
So, the trick is, when does opinions cross over into bashing... where to draw the line?
These guys, :rofl: :nana: :mrgreen: can help express yourself without someone mistaking a joke for bashing. The closed thread had some replies that very well might have been an attempt at humour but look like outright bashing to me. I'm sure some replies were bashing just for the sake of bashing :roll:



Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
I remember a time when people didn't rely on emojis to convey what they were saying....

Jun 25, 2016
As a relative newbie to the forum, I will say that I've found the humour to be more "dry" here than on other forums, and without the "flags" which the emojis are to help set the tone, it's very easy to misinterpret someone's dry wit as a snipe, or miss out on spotting the sarcasm if you're new round here.
I try to spend time considering how my post might be read an interpretted by others before I click the post button. Sometimes I think folks can too readily assure you'll know what they're joking, without offering up a few extra clues to those of us who haven't sussed you all out yet :P
Overall, like I said in the original thread, this doesn't seem like too bad a place at all. I do find some comments a little "sharp" at times, but again, that might just be me not being in tune with someone's sense of humour.



Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
Ha, it's been interesting seeing these replies. I initially thought it was silly, and we're all pleasant as pie 'round here. As I read through this I realize that I must have been here just long enough to just read the sarcasm and "dry" humour in the situation. I am starting to remember my early days, and yeah, some people don't seem so joking all of the time, but I don't think there is any harm meant. Perhaps this group of people is a little rough around the edges sometimes.



Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
We all know that there are snobs and elitists out there.

We just don't cotton to being called on it.



Preferred Member
Dec 19, 2016
I have a different take on things. I'm a moderator as well and also owner of other discussion groups just as Kevin is here. I agree, the thread wasn't "going" anywhere, but only because someone who came on here and right off the bat started right in telling us our "problems" got a lot of very tolerant, helpful, but clearly increasingly unappreciative feedback for the longest time but was still unable or unwilling to read the tea leaves.
Is that really the way you say "Hello" to strangers when you join their group? "Boy are you guys screwed up! BTW, my name's Bob and I'm here to tell you to straighten out."
But that was not enough. He just did not get it. And 74 posts later, he was still at it! Pushing people's buttons that obviously were not digging it. The time to act was then and with the person doing the offending. In the time I've been on here I have seen others start off on the wrong foot for whatever reason and get it right away when people told them so and apologized. And things were happy since. Just as with when Jay was going on about the cellaring. I did not consider that thread a waste of time nor do I hold any issues with his opinions. But not this guy, after 74 posts, he was still going at it straight on and had only shifted into second gear.
Bunched up panties, this and that. I think the people here should be commended for putting up with the nonsense for 74 posts. I made the quite valid statement to him that if you talked to some people face to face like that on the street that way, a lot of people would get pretty upset with you! Just as I know a lot of people were getting highly offended and miffed here!
Talking that way to the wrong person on the street might get you punched in the nose. I had to look up what a jap slap was. OK, whatever. Just words. It isn't like Brad was actually threatening the guy, but making the same point! When someone gets 70 sarcastic or inflammatory rebuttals telling you they don't appreciate your attitude, statements, or what-have-you, and you still don't get it, THAT is the problem. No one is being intolerant here. Stopping a thread may curb the symptom, but IMO it was the wrong thing to do because it does not address the real problem from the source.
All it does is inhibit free expression that takes from the fun and reason half the people log on here. No one was attacking the guy, he came here attacking the forum looking for an argument. He even called the thread "Tobacco Snobs." I have not seen any snobs here---- not one. It did not make us look bad, it made him look bad. Excusing every bad behavior of new members and clamping down on the 99 others he is offending will not solve any problem other than to encourage more such rude threads in the future because they will be "tolerated," and that is exactly what the premise of the thread was-- downright rude. Considering that, I think the responses were pretty fair. Any time you have someone join a group and start right off telling them they are snobs, elitists and a whole lot of other things, you are bound to have a problem. One of the first things I tried to tell the guy was that this group is not going to change to suit him.
But maybe I was wrong. All that was accomplished here was to harm the friendliness and camaraderie that makes this group so much fun, because now, everyone will be just a little more afraid of kidding with someone else and pulling their chain in good-natured fun because they will be afraid of it being taken wrongly, being accused of something they did not intend, being censured or having another thread jerked closed. Now, you all might not agree, but thanks at least for considering it.
You have to be pretty comfortable with people to kid around with them, jerk their chains, etc., it really is a form of friendliness because it is well-intended. The author of the snob thread did not come across as well-meaning. And IMO, closing the thread in knee-jerk fashion and making this one just made everyone a lot less comfortable here. Everyone except the one person really causing the problem.



Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
Moody, AL
You really need to come into this group much like a dog approaching a new group of dogs. Let everyone sniff your ass. Roll over in submission for awhile. Let them get comfortable with you. These things take time because of ego which is where the dog analogy falls apart, but it's still similar.



Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
People wonder why pipe forums are dying.
This is why pipe forums are dying.



Preferred Member
Jan 14, 2012
I knew that posting the Jap Slap was going to close the thread, Kevin you're right in every way, Toob you're a very smart man and pick up on the slightest nuenace, Nate you made my day with the Dog Analogy. In my early UDT Training you didn't piss in the Chiefs diving hat., you carried it for him. The thing was a bunch of old farts putting him thru the gantlet , but maybe we were too snippy and the written word is so cruel, I was grinning when I was writing Jap Slap. Men we have some of the finest people here, My Apologies to all, Mike I knew you were gonna do what you did, your Dad raised you right.



Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
Well, Toobfreak, Cosmic and Kevin make good points. It was certainly a lively thread, and I had fun with it. How often does one get to use "bunched panties" and "aromatic" in a single sentence on a pipe forum?
But it's time to wipe my boots and move on.