Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Kevin Bacon, May/Jun 00
(continued from page 1)
I would like to point out to John Scott ("Out of the Humidor," February 2000) that Cuba has the right to do on its own soil as it likes and that John F. Kennedy had as much to do with the Cuban missile crisis as Fidel Castro. The United States did not have any problems parking nukes in Germany, right next to Russian territory. This is clearly a case of American hypocrisy.
I don't know if anyone at your organization saw the TV show "The Practice" in January. One of the story lines depicted a husband leaving his wife because of his new life after "finding" cigars. He happened to be down on his luck, career-wise, but smoking cigars, going to upscale cigar clubs, reading upscale cigar magazines supposedly made him feel differently. What the producers were trying to show was that cigar advertising and the "ambience" of cigar smoking could easily sway cigar smokers.
The poor idiot in this episode was portrayed during a deposition scene as someone who was possessed by how cigars made him feel. He almost went into a trance while explaining the feel of the cigar in his hand and how the cigar clubs and magazines made him feel like a "big man." The opposing lawyers kept making the point that cigars are more dangerous than cigarettes and that magazines such as yours perpetuate a false sense of identity.
I've been smoking cigars for about six years now, reading your magazine for about five, and going to cigar dinners/clubs for about four and yet I have no false sense of who I am! I am a hard-working man, with a family, a modest home and no delusions of grandeur because I enjoy cigars regularly. I find it offensive as a responsible cigar smoker that a show like this puts all smokers into one category. Worse yet, it stereotypes less affluent cigar smokers as buffoons who can easily be swayed into believing we are something different than just ourselves.
Your magazine gives me hours of pleasure, provides me with useful information, and allows me to read about places that I may never get to see. Never, ever have I thought that because of cigars my wife was not good enough for me and I am some sort of "big shot." I enjoy cigars for what they are: an opportunity to sit back, relax for an hour or so with or without friends, and savor the taste of something pleasurable. That's it, case closed!
Cigars help enhance conversation, help enhance meditation or reading, and provide time aside from our crazy lives. They DO NOT make me important--if I can't feel important or special without them, then I need to seek professional help for confidence problems. I am sure there are many others out there who are sick of the media's treatment of cigars and cigar smokers. We are intelligent people capable of making our own decisions and they simply can't deal with that.
Plainview, New York
Editor's response: While that episode did portray cigars in an absurd light, we know that "Practice" creator David E. Kelley's "Ally McBeal" has featured at least one episode with cast members relaxing with cigars. Go figure.