Pipe smoking
creimann Wrote:Well! Maybe it's time to give up a few cups of coffee and try a pipe instead. A little balance!

I've been smoking a pipe for only about a year. It took me a little while to get used to it but I can assure you that you wont be dissapointed. (I gave up cigarettes about 7 years ago -about 40per day was average for me- and a pipe is a very different experience to the ciggies).

I'd been thinking of taking up the pipe for a few years, but after reading the following article (which was also posted <a target="_blank" href="http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/apologia/vpost?id=587473&highlight=smoke+pipe&trail=75">on this forum</a> awhile back) I really made up my mind. [Image: pipe.gif]

<b><font size="6"> Why I Smoke a Pipe</font></b>
by Jeff Culbreath
(Previously published in <i>Pipes Digest</i>, <i>Pipe Friendly</i>, and <i>The Tobacco Times</i>)

I have some friends, some honest friends,
And honest friends are few.
A pipe of briar, an open fire,
And a book that’s not too new.

— Robert Service

I've never been good with dates, but some few years ago I decided to take up pipe smoking. This decision was not made lightly. No other form of tobacco use has ever appealed to me, and in fact I had developed quite an anti-tobacco prejudice due to years of effective social indoctrination. Besides, cigarettes actually repulsed me, cigars were loud and ostentatious, and chewing tobacco was permanently wedded to an image of the adolescent rednecks I knew in school. Yet I had always enjoyed the pleasant fragrance of pipe tobacco. Often as a young man, while running some errand or another, I would wander nervously into tobacco shops for no apparent reason, compelled by some mystical attraction. It wasn't merely the "forbidden fruit" syndrome or idle curiosity — I had no intention of taking up the habit and no desire to learn of it — but was rather invited by something almost ghostly, something I might have called nostalgia if it had been more familiar.

Less mystically speaking, part of the attraction is certainly the association of pipe smoking with a vanishing Old World civilization. Pipe and tobacco shops, for instance, are the last bastion of the old merchant class, now disappearing into a sea of dull and impersonal corporate bigness. (The only thing like them today are the used booksellers.) A good tobacco shop is a time warp. There is no background music, no television. The courteous gentleman behind the counter calls you "sir" and is eager to talk shop. He knows his trade, and he probably knows your name. Gray-haired men look on silently, tell corny jokes, laugh politely, argue about politics, and reminisce about love and war. No one is in a hurry. This is business with a human face, a thing worthy of preservation.

Pipe smoking ought to be recognized as a cultural asset, a corrective for the many defects and dysfunctions of our modern age. As a leisure activity, smoking a pipe takes a considerable amount of time and trouble. There is the routine of packing, tapping, lighting, and cleaning. There are the many tools and accessories. To do anything else at all while simultaneously smoking a pipe requires skill, experience, and a good deal of personal composure. In our technological age of quick fixes and instant gratification, pipe smoking teaches manual care and patience. In a world where newness and sensationalism rule the day, pipe smoking provides ritual and familiarity. In a capitalist economy where "efficiency" is exalted above all things, pipe smoking glories in tradition and revels in culture. In a work-a-day world where people are always on the go, pipe smoking requires that you stop and smell the tobacco, so to speak. Dare we say that puffing on a briar inculcates virtue? Yes, we dare say!

Now we come to religion, sex, and politics -- everyone's favorite subjects.

First, I am a Catholic by conviction and communion. This is most fortunate, as pipe smoking is mainly the privilege of Anglicans, Lutherans, and Roman Catholics, no doubt because they best understand the liturgical and sacramental aspects of this venerable pastime. Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, and various other sects are generally unfriendly to smoking, reflecting protestant gnostic tendencies. Atheists who smoke a pipe are usually backslidden Roman Catholics, and we may still hope for their redemption so long as they continue faithfully in their piping. Furthermore, pipe smoking puts the traditional churchman in the eminently good company of his betters: C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkein, and other luminaries of the briar.

With respect to sex, it cannot be denied that pipe smoking is overwhelmingly a masculine enterprise. It would be imprudent to speculate as to the reasons for this; some things are best left undiscovered. Though certain confused people view this aspect of our habit (the idea of "habit" needs to recover its positive connotation) as a problem, I rather see it as a solution -- to the point where pipe smoking can now be viewed as a defiant stand against the boring and ill-considered androgyny of our time. Understand that it is not an Archie Bunker male chauvinism, but a humble appreciation for the mysteries of our God-given sex differences that gives me delight in helping to preserve one of the last remaining holdouts of gender-exclusive activity.

Finally, pipe smoking has all the right political enemies. It is difficult to understand the liberal's rage against tobacco without peering a little into political psychology. For the tormented liberal baby-boomer, pipe smoking symbolizes the oppressive generations of the past and their antiquated values; for the modern utopian who disbelieves in the hereafter, smoking is a threat to the earthly paradise he hopes to build; for the egalitarian and the feminist, tobacco in its several forms is a detested symbol of class and inequality; for the morally licentious, smoking serves as a convenient scapegoat for the real problems that plague our profoundly troubled culture, justifying a "moral" crusade that deflects attention from more serious (and far more deadly) moral failings. For these reasons and perhaps others, pipe smoking has managed to earn the wrath of society's forces of darkness -- proof enough of its inherent goodness!

Messages In This Thread
Pipe smoking - by Aloysius - 02-20-2006, 10:42 AM
Pipe smoking - by Historian - 02-20-2006, 10:45 AM
Pipe smoking - by Mark - 02-20-2006, 10:48 AM
Pipe smoking - by Aloysius - 02-20-2006, 12:12 PM
Pipe smoking - by Historian - 02-20-2006, 12:59 PM
Pipe smoking - by Credo - 02-20-2006, 02:18 PM
Pipe smoking - by Historian - 02-20-2006, 03:46 PM
Pipe smoking - by Pat - 02-20-2006, 10:32 PM
Pipe smoking - by Historian - 02-20-2006, 10:41 PM
Pipe smoking - by AGtoTrad - 02-20-2006, 11:01 PM
Pipe smoking - by Aloysius - 02-20-2006, 11:50 PM
Pipe smoking - by Historian - 02-21-2006, 12:34 AM
Pipe smoking - by Historian - 02-21-2006, 01:41 AM
Pipe smoking - by Varus - 02-21-2006, 04:15 AM
Pipe smoking - by Historian - 02-21-2006, 09:53 AM
Pipe smoking - by Historian - 02-21-2006, 03:19 PM
Pipe smoking - by nicollette - 02-22-2006, 08:14 PM
Pipe smoking - by francis - 02-23-2006, 03:38 AM
Pipe smoking - by Trevor - 02-24-2006, 02:33 PM
Pipe smoking - by Historian - 04-02-2006, 08:01 PM
Pipe smoking - by Historian - 04-02-2006, 08:10 PM

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