Pipe Smoking Politics

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daimyo

Preferred Member
May 15, 2014
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For the longest time I was a solitary pipe smoker. Even as a cigar smoker I did not participate much in any community. I read some magazines and books, I spoke with employees of stores and the occasional smoker I met but as hobbies went, I didn't feel the need for much input. In the last year that has changed drastically and I have benefited greatly from my interactions here and learning from the pipe smoking community at large. The first thing I noticed was the quality of people that I encountered. This is truly a great resource for our hobby and a place of both generosity and camaraderie. What took me longer to notice though is that pipe smoking also seems to draw out rumor, conjecture and much speculation about our hobby. Most is good natured, driven by curiosity and generally hearsay is taken as just that. I myself am certainly guilty so this is not about pointing fingers or making judgements. I should also note that this forum seems to be much more casual about and respectful of these subjects than a few of the other places I have poked my head into. That said, there seem to be quite large swaths that take both the desire for such scuttlebutt quite seriously and become well invested in stories they have heard second hand. Now don't get me wrong, I believe that for the vast majority it is a passion for our hobby that drives this need. None the less the type of information in question is rarely functional to improve one's smokes. The tobacco and pipes smoke as they do regardless of such politics. Is it the simplicity of what we actually do that sends people scurrying for more but mostly irrelevant information? Is there something about the deep roots of tobacco that intrigue people to speculate on things and claw for answers while few to none exist or are lost to time? Is it simply passion for our long and storied history and the natural desire to fill in any blanks that exist? I must say that in most of my hobbies such discussion was more about performance or competitive edge and less for its own sake. In many hobbies it is all but nonexistent. Even when I was smoking and reading up on cigars it rarely ranged outside complaints that demand was lowering the rolling quality of some of the big names in an effort to meet demand. Sure some is searching for justification on why one dropped so much on a TAD or PAD but surely it extends beyond that horizon. What do you think causes pipe smokers, to varying degrees, to be so opinionated about people and events they do not know and were not there for?

 

daimyo

Preferred Member
May 15, 2014
1,460
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It does seem pretty reigned in and reasonable here Warren but on Facebook pages, it can get fairly nuts. I am afraid to even venture into the Reddit sub-communities. :lol:

 

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warren

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Sep 13, 2013
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I do not "do" social media so I can't speak to it. I've never visited either of the two you cite above. Perhaps I'm missing something but, I think not, given your description.

 

daimyo

Preferred Member
May 15, 2014
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This is why I wish we had a longer edit window, sometimes it's not an issue of proofreading but of further thoughts that do not need their own post. That should read some pages on Facebook and I do mean this in a light hearted and inquisitive way. I have just heard so many stories that start with "a tobacconists I know heard from a rep that" or "a friend of a friend who sells pipes visited this factory and." I've got to say that in most of my hobbies I did not hear nearly as much of this type information and anecdotes. I am not seeking to be critical, just curious as I often find these interesting while taking them with a grain of salt.
Warren, I would not say you are missing much by not frequenting some of the social media sites. I often wonder if they are worth the time or energy, although they do serve a purpose for myself.

 

settersbrace

Preferred Member
Mar 20, 2014
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If I repeated all the gossip that floats around working in a B&M it would make your head hurt. I'm not into social media either and right here is where I go to discuss pipes and tobacco. No where else. Gossip whores will do what they do an that's fine. There's two sides to everything and usually somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

 

monty55

Preferred Member
Apr 16, 2014
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Huh?? I'm sorry, I really tried to follow your OP, I read it 3 times :roll: and I still didn't understand it! I was trying very hard to follow your logic, but I can't connect the dots without more information. It was very vague in what you were referencing.

 

indianafrank

Preferred Member
Oct 15, 2014
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daimyo, I believe what you are stating is all over the place.
My hobby, which was turned into a profession some years ago is ripe with opinionated people, professionals, and academia. Much more so than on this forum, or with pipe smokers in general. Many in my hobby/profession argue without facts. The forums and facebook are incubators for a certain kind of idiocy. I use social media not because I enjoy it, but because it helps my business.

 

gloucesterman

Preferred Member
Jan 4, 2015
1,859
1
Massachusetts
I never use social media. If most people knew how those sites were mined it would scare the hell out of them. But there does seem to be a willingness to share the unconfirmed here. That however is how I think most see it.

 

daimyo

Preferred Member
May 15, 2014
1,460
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Sorry for my wandering thoughts and lack of clarity. I suppose a good and light hearted example would be the discussion I was in with Cosmic the other day. Someone heard something, shared it in a wink... wink, what if fashion and it sparked a thought in Cosmic's head. He brought the question here, labeling it correctly and not overstating what had been said and we discussed it. It was a fun and thoughtful thread but all based on rumor or speculation more than fact. Likewise while on social media or even in a pipe store, you may hear all sorts of accusations leveled at Dunhill. Some boasts without backing sources, some attacks at their quality or methods of manufacture. Whether these rumors about Dunhill are true or false, positive or negative, they all seem to start as something someone heard as opposed to actual information directly from the source. I was asking why people felt this happened so much in the piping community, be it online or over a counter. While some are just jealousy and malicious gossip, most seem to be like the thread I was in with Cosmic. Just pipe smokers discussing something that was heard or asserted. So I do not mean to suggest that what I am discussing is a good or bad thing. I just hear tons of stories that I am receiving second or third hand and there seems to be little data to actual confirm or deny these stories or tidbits. I was asking why people thought so many stories exist in the piping world but got a bit too verbose. Cosmic, I hope you don't mind being part of my example, I thoroughly enjoyed that thread and do not think anything negative about said thread or discussion.

 

monty55

Preferred Member
Apr 16, 2014
662
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If you are referencing a thread, or post to make a point, please post a link, not everyone reads every OP started.. especially me. I just read your last post and I'm just as lost as your first one. Sorry daimyo, I don't mean to be an ass, really, I am trying to follow what the heck your talking about. I'm a pretty intelligent guy, but when your talking about vague references to a thread I never hear of or read, and don't tell me what the thread is so I can follow your logic.. it's all greek man. I hope someone can lend you a hand in fixing whatever problems you are experiencing.

 

daimyo

Preferred Member
May 15, 2014
1,460
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All my thoughts in this thread revolve around one question, why are there so many second hand stories in piping as opposed to facts, first hand accounts or clarification from the involved parties? The actual discussion we had is secondary to the fact it was based on rumor. Here is the thread in question though. I apologize for any confusion, I am mainly a visual/concept thinker and often I lose something when trying to get my ideas to words.
http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/what-if-the-removal-of-the-pixie-pipe-dust

 

bigvan

Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2011
2,192
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I do not "do" social media
I never use social media.
I hate to break it to you, guys, but this forum IS "social media". And given the recent spate of "What's your favorite color?" and similar posts, one might say that this forum has become more Facebook than Facebook.
But there are also some nice posts regarding pipes, so I stick around.

 

daimyo

Preferred Member
May 15, 2014
1,460
2
I should also add that some brands go out of there way to be connected to the community and answer people's inquiries and even the occasional accusation. So thank you to folks like Mr. Pease and Ouellette for participating so often in our discussions.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
8,099
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Social media, in the sense I was using it, refers to the non-moderated melees so prominent these days.
daimyo: If you are writing about "rumor mongering" you need to spend a bit of time in the military. By golly, there were a lot of people that had "rumor mongerer" as an AFSC or MOS. I believe the "press" these days generally fits that discription also.

 

daimyo

Preferred Member
May 15, 2014
1,460
2
I suppose I am Warren but at the same time, I do understand why people want back story and information. I know that many great names and blends are now gone and people will talk as they always do. Some secrets are held by companies and the general public will speculate, accurately or not. I don't even buy Dunhill pipes but have become honestly curious which rumors are true and which are not. Heck, maybe none of them are true. I think most people here treat rumor as rumor. I am not seeking to be hard on our community as I think they tend to be fine people. I have just been surprised how many of these second hand stories get floated about.

 

monty55

Preferred Member
Apr 16, 2014
662
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why are there so many second hand stories in piping as opposed to facts, first hand accounts or clarification from the involved parties?
Well, I'm not sure I agree with the primus of this, but there is always going to be a portion of ANY population that speculates or regurgitates second hand information to try to get a point across. It's just human nature my man. I don't know that you could go anywhere on the net that has a sizeable following that doesn't have this! But I don't see it like you do I guess, at least in the same light as you do. Greg Pease is a member of this forum and I'm glad he is! To me, he's kinda like "EF Hutton".. when he speaks, I listen! lol. You are not a new member, I am surprised that after 1270 posts you don't know who knows their shit and who doesn't. For me, I know who does, when they speak I listen, most of the others I am thankfull they participated, but take what they say with a grain of salt.

 

daimyo

Preferred Member
May 15, 2014
1,460
2
I have a very good idea of who I trust to speak on which topic and I even thanked Greg and Russ for their willingness to share information. There exist so many stories though that are not simply malicious rumor sharing. If one could confirm them, they would answer many people's questions and lay to rest some areas of contention. Dunhill has been brought up and I'm sure everyone here has heard some rumor about them, be it positive or negative. You would think that with all the distributors, vendors and people they must have employed over the years that more of these would have been confirmed or denied at this point. Issues like who is making the Becker pipes selling right at this moment will get you get various answers too but often two shop owners who carry the line and certainly know more than me suggest two different answers. Someone out there must know how the original Balkan Sobranie was formulated but the answer never seems to materialize and you have many educated guesses. The reasons for some of these are obvious but it seems that many such questions and partial answers swirl around this hobby. Perhaps that is merely my perception though.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
20,963
9,296
Outer Space
No way, I am honored to have been included in the example, especially if you're going to speak so well of me, ha ha.

In pipe club meeting where we have invited guests from reps to company people to talk to us about pipe or tobaccos, people always throw down on the big companies. We will never hear Dunhill admit to anything, so we will never get a first person admission to any accusations, not directly from a tobacco company, nor a vendor. that is just the way of things. I think Dunhill is just a walking target. People will compare other pipes to them, and I've heard so many other pipe companies say negative stuff about them that could never be proven. It's just the way of things. It's always wink, wink, nudge, nudge... On places like this, people will conjecture, assume, and rumormonger. We are passionate about this, our pipes, and our tobaccos. And, some companies just bring out the worst, because of jealousy, disdain, or whatever.
We are human. And, frankly, I think it is ok to have a dislike for a brand. I find myself becoming a bit of a snob myself, although, I try to keep it in check. I've been spanked on here for letting my zeal get the best of me. Even Jim spanked me one day for getting carried away about a company. I love this hobby, and I have my favorites and my hated ones. I have to admit, when someone gives a jab at some companies that I don't like either, I sort of smile. I know, I know, I'm awful. I admit it. And, I do get carried away and forget that someone on here may actually like that garbage, ha ha. So, I try to keep a check on it.
That all said, I think it's ok. It is pipe politics. The Pete lovers are a political party that loves them cheap pieces of crap, and the Dunhill men, are the elitists that... ha ha, ok, I will reel it in. I'm just kidding anyway. I guess that makes me an artisan pipe snob and a right wing Straight Virginia thumping evangelist. ha ha. I hope that it all can be taken with a laugh, a jeer, or a slap on the back. Ribbing so to speak. I have everything from cobs to Dunnies, and smoke everything from Carter Hall to Peacehaven. I'm actually pretty open minded. But, I do love to jab at Sutliff occasionally. And, yeh, some people do take me seriously and get bent. That's usually when I realize that I've gone to far or was misunderstood, and I try to keep it on the funny side. But, it's sometimes hard to convey sarcasm on a forum. And, sometimes I don't understand why some people do get hurt. These companies are millionaires. Like a little ribbing is going to hurt them. But, anyways, like with regular politics, some people take it all too seriously, I guess.
I just hope you guys will pop me down to size if I start stepping on toes. I do try to chose my words wisely, but sometimes... but, all in all, I don't want to piss any of you off, especially over a tobacco or a pipe. it wouldn't be worth it to me to make an enemy over something like that, especially if I was just joking or not taking myself seriously. You guys are my amigos, my homeboys, so to speak. I am just glad that you are here to revel in the love of this hobby.
But, ...have you heard about Dunhill including a dead rat in each new pipe, and I just heard that MacBarons is now spraying their blends now with asbestos to keep down the bite, ha ha... JK
Keep it smokey guys. Love ya all... :puffy:

 

alval

New member
Mar 28, 2015
6
0
Given the parameters of the Internet 'everyone and anyone can be an expert '

Another forum which I am a member deals with all things related to flamenco guitar - often used to slander and breed contempt for various makers - which instruments that are labeled 'made in Spain' but are rumoured to be made in China, Canary Islands or Mexico - so on and so forth - relabeled with out the consumer being aware -

Non of these posts bare any first hand experience - except poossibly for owners of these instruments - who by all accounts seem happy with their purchase ..,

Same sort of deal I imagine would go across the board for all specialised interests ...
Personally I switch the off switch for these type of discussions and take the mind set to go back in time and rely either on my own experience or someone's opinion that is obviously first hand

But such is the nature of social media and forums
I've found my recent entry into this forum a breath of fresh air ( or Latakia in this case )...so far anyway on the threads I've read
On facebook

Joined in 2007 to keep in touch with travelling friends and family

By 2014 I had 4900 'friends' ( one who I can recall lent me money another who helped me moved house - a true friend )

Really got tired of the opinated posts , the political rhetoric , the marriage proposals from Nigeria and cheap ray ban sunglasses

So deactivated that account some 6 months ago -

So now ?

Might have a look here - check emails for work and from friends

Light a pipe - and relax

People can voice their options, bully or indoctrinate as much they want on social media

I have the choice of not reading it or wasting energy on their views ..
Kind of hope this may be on topic
Best

Al

 
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