Old Tech, New Tech
The cigar world is much more global these days – as, we suppose, is everything else.
That has both its benefits and its drawbacks. Thanks to the internet, to magazines, and to social media, anything remotely cigar-related is immediately beamed into our homes, our phones, onto our screens. A cigar event in Hong Kong can be watched as live from the comfort of your armchair at home.
New releases – be they Cuban or New World – are discussed, pored over, dissected and analysed by thousands of eager ‘experts’ before they’ve ever reached further shores. Videos (like the much-loved Sautter channel) reviews, tastings etc are broadcast and published like proclamations. Sometimes it all seems a world away from the general purpose of a cigar; to relax, to inspire, to allow time to reflect and appreciate.
In today’s world, you don’t have to seek out things that interest you like we used to have to. With the click of a mouse or push of a button, we can direct a never-ending stream of information to be sent forth to us. But we should use this powerful tool with caution.
There is so much as overload. Humans at times aren’t very good at knowing when to switch off. We can find ourselves thrashing against the tide and losing, being swept away in a torrent of distraction, that, unless checked, can lead to unhealthy and possessive behaviours.
The key is not to forget why you came to cigars in the first place and why you continue to pursue them with a passion. For once, blow the smoke aside and look at the real reason you love to smoke. Not because a stogie makes you look cool. Not because you want the chance to grab a new stick before anyone else has tried it. Not because you get the chance to mingle with the great and the good at swanky cigar events. Think back to when you started to realise you enjoyed the experience.
Yes, there’s a lot of camaraderie involved, and smoking cigars with good friends is, no doubt, wonderful. But look beyond. When did you first smoke a cigar with only yourself for company? Or perhaps another like-minded friend. When there wasn’t a lot of noise and distraction, and you were able to concentrate fully on the experience.
You selected your precious stick, and took your time admiring it. You clipped it and lit it with veneration. And you savoured it and allowed your cigar to give itself up to you in its own time. This is when we get the real ‘cigar experience’. That hard-to-describe sense of peace and elation that envelopes you when you reach Cigar Zen.
Don’t forget to take some time away from the distractions of everyday existence. And don’t forget to give your cigar the time and focus it deserves. Both these things will make you a more serene, contented camper.