Friday, 4 August, 2006

The Reviewer and the Critic

Posted in Opinion, Pipes & Tobaccos, Rants & Raves at 1:51 pm by glpease

When you put yourself in front of the public eye, poised to be subjected to its scrutiny, if you’re going to survive the ordeal, you develop a thick skin and learn to take the knocks that come with the exposure. The occasional attacks come with the territory, and I can generally take it in stride. Once in a while, though, something just rubs the wrong way. That’s when a good rant does the soul some good.

Tobaccoreviews.com is a great resource for lovers of pipe tobaccos. There, you can read the opinions of many diverse pipesters about a great many pipe tobaccos, including some that have been out of production for years. The reviews range from short, simple statements of preference, to longer, prosaic and sometimes lyrical expositions about the blend. It’s fun to read what others think about our favored smokes; the entertainment value alone is worth the price of admission, and the informed reviews given by some are even useful in furthering the universal knowledge of pipe tobaccos in general. It’s not a perfect site, but it’s a damn good one, and we should all be glad to have it, whether or not the information it contains ever influences or even informs our purchases.

I’d say this even if my blends didn’t, overall, get pretty good reviews. Certainly, not everyone will like everything that I produce. That’s really as it should be, and I actually enjoy the thoughtful negative reviews as much, or almost as much as I enjoy the positive ones. I learn something from each.

But, once in a while, this wonderful resource is transformed into the stone on which some self-professed expert grinds his axe. I’m not talking about those odd little non-reviews: “I don’t like this kind of tobacco. If I did like this kind of tobacco, this would be a really good one, but since I don’t, I don’t like it, and therefore can’t recommend it.” Why one would review a tobacco made in a style they don’t like is quite beyond my ken, but there it is. I don’t claim to fully understand human behaviour. These are puzzling, but easy to ignore, and are only annoying to those who lack tolerance for folly. No. What I’m talking about is something that, in a civilized world, can only be considered spiteful and repugnant. I’m talking about the critic who goes beyond the review, and casts aspersions upon the individual behind the product being reviewed.

The reviewer reviews. He has some knowledge and some understanding of the product, and brings this to bear in forming an opinion on something that is within his purview. A good review discusses what something is, compares it with similar things, and perhaps contrasts it with dissimilar things. Occasionally, a good review will side venture gently into the realms of what something isn’t, but the overall thrust remains on the object at hand. Overtime, one learns the preferences of the various reviewers, and, in the best cases, gains some deeper understanding of the object of the reviews. Good reviews, positive or negative, can help to inform the choice of what things to try next. More than once, I’ve tried something that someone didn’t like, simply because their description led me to think that it might be something that I might like, even though it didn’t please the reviewer.

The critic does something different. He goes beyond opinion and seeks to pass judgement upon the merits of the thing. There’s a place for criticism, certainly, but it’s not the same as a review. And, outside of the worlds of art criticism or literary criticism, or even political criticism, I’m often left to wonder if the criticism itself has much merit, or if the critic would endure his own scrutiny were his attention turned selfward. Those who can, do, and those who can’t, become critics.

What’s the point, Pease? Once again, I found myself in the short iron sights of one of the more caustic critics, and he’s finally got under my normally elephant thick skin. Well, he’s got his forum; I’ve got mine. And, unlike his public attacks on tobaccoreviews.com, mine will not be hidden behind pseudo-anonymity and preclude response. Anyone can comment here.

This particular spite filled critic has returned to my sphere with his latest “review” of Odyssey. For a change, he actually says something almost nice about one of my blends, but, can’t seem to help himself from impotently and weakly thrusting his dull and rusty daggers in the direction of my back. In the unilateral world of this review site, he’s able to tap out whatever foolishness he wishes with no fear of reprisal from those he attacks – which, if a cursory scan of his other reviews is any indication, is only me. Why this limp little man has chosen to direct his impotent attacks at me is unknown, but some people just like to have enemies, and it seems I am his chosen one.

Regarding Odyssey, the critic writes, “The last time that I reviewed a G. L. Pease blend I intended to achieve my goal in that review by not buying another Pease product. In a moment of insanity, that might have been disguised as drunkenness, I bought Odyssey.” My advice to this fellow would be either for him to drink more or to drink less, but in any event, to stay out of the zone of drunkenness which enfeebles him to the point of staggering to the local tobacconist’s to purchase another of my tins.

In other “reviews,” he refers to my blends as “rubbish,” “refuse,” calls me a “Master Marketer,” casts aspersions on the contents of my blends, an even takes oblique bank shots at those who enjoy my blends, indicating they’re apparently unable to think for themselves, and have simply been skillfully indoctrinated by my masterful brainwashing. Just call me Svengali. I’ll give him credit, though, for coining the term “mis-terpiece.” While the internet has proven false the notion that 10000 monkeys at 10000 typewriters would eventually tap out the collected works of Shakespeare, it’s nice to see that, given enough tapping, one clever thing might be generated at a single keyboard.

“I am ashamed that Greg again managed to trick me long enough to take my money. This time, though, is the last time.” Would that it were true. Please, Professor, next time your drunken stupor stimulates you to purchase, smoke, or, God forbid, “review” one of my blends, have another drink or two instead. If you want to reveal yourself here, you’re certainly welcome, but try to play fair if you want to box. So far, I’ve kept the gloves on….

There. I feel much better, now.

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30 Comments »

  1. Richard H. Davis said,

    I have read the Professor’s “review” of the tobacco mixture known as Odessy and have concluded that the old stereotype of the pipe smoker as being a thoughtful, possibly philosophical intellectual, has some chinks in the armour. Professor adds additonal support for P J O’Rourke’s opinion that 50% of the country’s poulation has below average intelligence. If you don’t like someone or their products when there is amaple evidence you are in the minority, keep your poison pen to yourself. My 2 quid.

  2. glpease said,

    I’m certainly not willing to bring the critic’s intelligence into question. It seems quite apparent he’s actually a fairly bright fellow. His motivations, howver, are suspect, and if he wants to lob his volley over the net, I’m happy to return play.

    As for the minority negative view, I often enjoy reading those. When someone thoughtfully expresses their dislike of one of my blends, it provides added food for thought, and gives me greater insight into tastes that are different from my own. That’s a good thing. Simply referring to something as rubbish, and then attacking the producer with ad hominem vitriole is simplistic and far from thoughtful or thought provoking.

    After my rant, I’d be hard pressed to call someone out for scribbling with the poison pen, unless I’d want to admit to hypocricy, which I don’t.

  3. Tim Kinstler said,

    Greg:
    I’ve been into the pipe thang for a mere 2 months but in that time I’ve found that there are quite a few folks that apparantly have an axe to grind about how things are going in the world of pipes. Der Proffesor has already come on my radar screen a number of times. I’ve wondered if he has a problem with your elevation to “guru” status amongst some of us. Or there may be a miriad of other reasons that would be a waste of time contemplating. One shall be enough. As far as Odyssey goes, it’s my desert island blend so far. I became positively enthralled after my first bowl, which I might add, I had no problem keeping lit. I’ve certainly learned alot from you in reading over your web site a few times. However, jealousy can’t be the only trick in his bag as he has spared no expense in tossing his vitriol at some of Esoterica’s wonderful blends amonst others. Thank you for your succinct description of the difference between a reviewer and a critic. These distinctions get lost for me occationally when I’m in the process of reveiwing wines for my job as a buyer. Lessons like this can only help to keep me grounded. One corrolation I’ve found between my job world and my pipe hobby world is how reviewers can have widely skewed opinions about blends. I’m not crazy about the 1-4 star scoring system, but when I see loads of 1 star reviews from a person, that persons opinions are not to believed. 1 star blends should be resaerved for something that has distinct and serious flaws. We use a 5 star system at work allowing for 1/2 point gradations. In tasting some 5000+ wines in just the past 6 years there have been only a hand full of wines that scored below 2 stars(1 star on the 4 star scale). The preponderance of reviews on that scale should be 2 and 3 stars. I rarely give out 5 stars on our scale but I have given out more of them than below 2 stars.In the modern production world, truly abominable products are very rare. Add to that that, someone reviewing ablend when there is a predisposition towards disliking it is just plain silly. Tobaccoreviews.com being a public site, they can’t help but have less than insiteful folks chiming in. In my job I can’t afford to have many general or even specific dislikes. On the otherhand, I try to be honost with myself and will refuse to express an opinion on a wine that’s made by someone that I feel doesn’t the best interests in making something that expresses some “truth” about what the grapes and soil were trying to make come alive. Retsina and to a lesser extent, Pinotage are the only wine types that I just can’t come to grips with. Beyond that all fair game. I’ve considered posting these opinions on one of the BB’s but have not cared to create a needless firestorm. Thank you for bearing with my ramblings.

  4. On the bright side, it’s not just you!

    He calls FmotB, “hot-burning twig-ridden rubbish”, whereas Margate “might be a good fertilizer”, and of Rose of Latakia he writes, “I have tried cat food and it tasted better than this”. And when he cast an eye to Onyx, he found himself “dumbfounded at the high reviews for this weed”.

    And when it came to Escudo, he falls victim to reviewing the style instead of the blend: “the perique–with its peppery attack–destroys what could be an enjoyable smoke”.

    I find his reviews unremarkable and rather useless.

  5. cme said,

    In the ‘could be worse’ category… I make video games for a living. And I can say, you haven’t really lived until some anonymous person on the internet has called your work “a steaming pile of dog$#*%,” said that you and your whole company “should be chopped up and sold to Malaysians for fish food,” enumerated the deviant sexual practices they would like to perform upon your corpse. So, as far as this Professor fella goes… he is weak sauce indeed.

  6. David O'Flaherty said,

    This is the reviewer who called Cairo “dull”. I think he must be puffing it or something. As I guess everybody knows, Cairo’s a sippin’ mixture and what you get out of it pretty much runs parallel with the care you take smoking it. Maybe Cairo can be bland or boring but that’s its way of saying, “Hey, you’re not paying attention to me, are you? Here’s some hay.” It’s tempermental, like the sophisticated woman who doesn’t like your running around with the boys anymore. When you smoke Cairo, you’re supposed to concentrate on it and nothing else–when you do, it starts telling you some rather exotic stories. At least that’s what I find.

  7. Tony Gaito said,

    I’d be curious to learn from Professor how he thins you tricked him into buying another of your blends.

    Does he thimk you sent one of your one of employees, fans or agents of some other kind to him and lead him by hand where he was seduced into a purchase?

    Might he think you used voodo or some other kind of magic? After all, it was you that named one of your blends Mephisto!

    That this guy took it upon himself to part with his money on your tobacco (knowing full well his prejudices towards you) says a great deal about him and absolutly nothing about you or your products.

  8. Odyssey….my favorite. It is the standard by which I judge ALL others. I have a “cellar” of sorts which contains nothing but tins of this blend…aging…perfecting… but I digress…

    Most critics are self-important asses with superiority complexes. It’s how they justify their existence.

  9. Tony Ferrill said,

    Funny thing,I had just looked at this review for no particular reason(Odyssey has been my favorite for several years)before I clicked over to this site;thank you Mr. Pease for your comments!I love Odyssey so much that I took personal affront to the slack-jawed rant posted on tobaccoreviews.com…..if you don’t know anything about Balkans,leave them alone!
    I too am one of those who just cannot figure out the motivations of them who insist on reviewing styles or blends they don’t like;makes me wonder if these are another example of the feistiness not evolved quite completely from the reptilian part of the human brain….

  10. Hemlock said,

    I wouldn’t worry about any such opinions of someone such as Professor. Your company’s name could have been Fenario Inc., and I’m sure it’s not personal (unless he/she is an acquaintence?) Life can’t all be a bowl of roses, so look at it as natural balance of humility to great success. My wife always says “you can’t argue taste”. How true. Some folks just never got that bit of advice.

    Cheers and keep on truckin’…

  11. Imapuffin said,

    Keep your chin up Greg, I promise the professor is not man enough to take a swing. Odyssey is perhaps the most flavorful blend I’ve ever smoked, and like you, I enjoy it most as the days become shorter and the nights a little cooler. I just picked up another tin from Mike at GFO when I visited him a few weeks back. I like what you do with latakia, and you do it best with Odyssey, IMO. Peace Pease.

  12. Ian Weeks said,

    Ahhhhh… So the Pied Piper led the great and intellectual Professor to another Pease blend and he was “tricked.”

    Hmmmmm… Sounds to me like the professor needs to go back to school. As a matter of public record there are a few lessons he might benefit from- one of them I seem to remember learning in Kindergarten: Playing well with your peers.

    I think that the professors problem has less to do with your tobacco and more to do with his opinion of himself Greg! Don’t let his mouth flab distract you from your laboratory and creation of some of the worlds finest tobacco blends. We all know what a loser this cat is.

  13. Allen H. said,

    Hey Greg! Well, you’ve hit the nail on the head here. Luckily, we’re not paying for his “reviews”. Incidentally, coming across someone like that would not even register for me in my perusal of tobaccoreviews.com, as I only look for those that I deem helpful. His most certainly is nowhere near helpful.

    With freedom comes the ability to make a fool of oneself. The fact the Prof. was “tricked” into getting another GLP blend just highlights this fact quite nicely.

    Cheers, Greg! Odyssey is a wonderful blend! I am never without a tin in my cellar.

  14. Bart Hovis said,

    Everyone who has read more than a couple of these “reviews” realizes that this “professor” fellow 1) knows nothing about tobacco, and 2)is a sorry case. His ridiculous, malicious and baseless comments about some of the finest tobaccos available (Greg’s and others), while providing no information of value, is a misuse of tobaccoreviews.

    The puzzling personal attacks on Greg result from, I assume, jealousy of Greg’s success and, bitterness about his own life.

  15. Professor said,

    I appreciate all of your comments. You have, however, spent far too much energy talking about me. I read “topdogue’s” reaction to my review of Odyssey and found my way here. You have done a great deal for those of us who smoke a pipe, Greg, and I am sorry if I have offended you (as well as others) with my reviews of your tobacco blending efforts on Tobaccoreviews.com. I have read many of your comments on agingfaq.nocturne.org, sir, and they certainly contain enlightenment. You are obviously a gentleman and I respect you for that. If you would like me to remove the content of my reviews of your tobacco blends on Tobaccoreviews.com, email me and I will do so. In all of my years of pipe smoking (and living for that matter) I have always endeavoured to make friends in this hobby (and to be a good human being). I see that I have, though, misplaced my decency in writing about your blends, Greg, and again I am sorry….

  16. Ian Weeks said,

    What a nice sentament Professor:

    “In all of my years of pipe smoking (and living for that matter) I have always endeavoured to make friends in this hobby (and to be a good human being).”

    If this is true than why did you write this?:

    “I am ill that I bought this stuff only because I actually smoked it in a good pipe and honestly thought that Greg Pease might create something worthy for a dedicated pipe smoker (and Balkan enthusiast). Alas, unlike me, the general public will continue to be brainwashed by the misleading marketing of this charmer. If you not easily fooled, however, do not waste your funds or efforts on this refuse. I am ashamed that Greg again managed to trick me long enough to take my money. This time, though, is the last time.”

    And this:

    “In RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, when John Rhys-Davies as Sallah declares “Cairo–city of the living, a paradise on Earth” he was not implying anything about this G. L. Pease weed and would have been insulted by its namesake had he known about it. There is so much praise for the work of Gregory Pease and it is a mystery to me. This was the first of three G. L. Pease miss-ter-pieces that I tried last summer and I found it, as well as the others (notably Raven’s Wing and Renaissance), bland and boring. It should have been called America’s Midwest (no offence there, mates). It seems to me that the quality of the tobacco is high, but the blend is dull. I found no depth, no character, and no nuance in G. L. Pease’s Cairo. The last half of the tin went into the bin and it actually tuned the garbage sour. Such a shame–it would bring tears to the eyes of the Sphinx.”

    And this:

    “The last time that I reviewed a G. L. Pease blend I intended to achieve my goal in that review by not buying another Pease product. In a moment of insanity, that might have been disguised as drunkenness, I bought Odyssey. Scotch (the proper variety) is indeed a celebrated companion that sparks such marked moments of clarity and venturing for this blend was indeed worthwhile. The description from the master marketer certainly is marvellous. Odyssey tastes quite wonderful (unlike other Pease descriptions, ‘loaded with Latakia and harmonized by exotic Orientals’ is no exaggeration). I have bought many tins of this little offering (mild yet full-bodied) and have been enjoying it with certain degrees of titillation. Unfortunately, the smoking qualities demand that I go limp and they leave a lot to be desired. As tasty as Odyssey is, it burns unevenly–when it burns (frequent relights are commonplace).”

    My personal opinion is that you have allot to learn about allot of things. Even if you did not enjoy the blends that you have sampled by Greg Pease (which there is nothing wrong with) that does not give you the right to besmirch the good name of a man who spends his waking and sleeping hours trying to improve himself and our fine hobby.

    If you were truly sorry you would have removed those reviews as soon as you realized what an ass you have publicly made of yourself, and how rude most of the pipe smoking community that is aware of your reviews of GLP think you are. Very unnecessary and unfair of you and very bad form.

    Ian Weeks
    Danepipesmoker

  17. It seems to me that the Professor has been watching too much American Idol, and fancies himself tobacco’s Simon Cowell. Like Mr. Cowell, he seems fond of hyperbole in stating his dislikes. I find, however, that unlike my reaction to Simon, in the Professor’s case I more often disagree than agree; and never more so than in his review of Odyssey.

    In fact except for rare cases where we inexplicably agree (eg. Larry’s Blend) I could almost choose tobaccos by reading his reviews and then buying whatever he dislikes. That’s fine by me; such differences of opinion are what makes horse races. His venomous overstatements, though, are simply too much for me. There’s a difference between bitin wit and simply biting, and the Professor appears to be having trouble with the distinction.

    Greg, you make some blends that I don’t care much for. I’m lukewarm, for instance, about Haddo’s Delight, despite the general accolades for it. But I’ve not tried anything of yours I consider actually repellent, and if I did I hope I’d be able to just say I don’t care for it without trying to boost my ego with vituperation.

  18. vic seested said,

    uh oh!!! quick, someone tell craig tarler that he now seems to be the object of the professors keen tobacco eye. to wit, his latest review or update of da vinci, i can’t tell which is which. but the end result is the same. this man has major issues and he should withdraw all of his bashings and cease to post such crap any further.

  19. Patric Dean said,

    Mr. Pease,

    You well know that a thick skin is needed for this world. I find many people are always trying too belittle others hard work simple for the fact that they them selves could not accomplish the same task. The sheer time it must take to refine a blend would drive those with no patience mad and far from what you have set out and done with your blends. I would love to see your critics take there precious time and devote it to something more positive than having a bias to your blends, after all not every blend is for everyone, but it makes no sense to dislike everything a blender puts out simple because of a blend that they do not care for.

    As a newer pipe smoker I do not have the seasoning nor the time that many other have had to try the hundreds of blends that are on the market today. But I do know what I like. I enjoy many strong-mild English blends. I regularly enjoy yours along with C&D. Keep up the “good” work.

    Cheers and regards!

  20. doug arnold said,

    I am, for my sins, a novellist, not a widely recognised, wealthy, or widely read writer, but one day maybe? What I do know is the subject of narrative and “Professor” writes very bad narrative. I rederve the right to critique the critic, but will not do so here.
    I reserve that privelege in the pipester world to ranting about low quality, branded, over priced products. My question is “Who is professor?” A professor is someone who has been elevated to the chair of a faculty by their peers, who themselves are doctors of philosophy. What is he a professor of? vitriolic clap trap perhaps? Forensic spleen venting? I wonder if he would be better off either learning how to smoke a pipe, or going back to fags,(Brit slang for cigarettes, but a useful double entendre nonetheless).

  21. Matt Robillard said,

    Greg,

    I know there are 100 responses here. But for the record.
    Greg- The world is full of Professors. They were put in this life to remind us to be humble with our works- We can’t please everyone. They remind us that we have a lot to be thankful for in our lives- We aren’t them. We don’t have to tear someone else down to acheive self satisfaction- Your works do that for you.
    I found Odussey intriging, I like Balkans- But I think the sample I tried was a bit too new. I still bought a tin and am currently saving in for Christmas to try again. Review pending.
    Haddo’s on the other hand, you could tap straight to a vein.
    I hope my reviews help the reader(I review under Talonr1701)- and if the Professor has done anything positive, may it be this. When I review- I hope that my negative views will be expressed to educate both the reader and the creator. That the creator finds my opinion of value not only as a consumer- but a Brother of the Briar.
    Oh…and all Hail Svengali the Dark Lord!!!
    Peace,

    Matt

  22. Matt Robillard said,

    P.S.
    Next time your in Morganton N.C. Visiting the Tarlers, throw me an e-mail and I’ll buy you a drink…..
    Wait- Was that my free will being subverted?
    🙂

  23. Paul Holderman said,

    Here here –
    We can’t please everyone. or should I say”PEASE everyone” hehe – Greg you are a celebrity in this pipe world and I don’t like everything you make but there some I love.. yes I am a POD I will return to my spot in line…. sorry – And hey Talon21 I want to go too!!! i wanto buy Da Man a drink too!!!

  24. Trilithon said,

    Hmmm…

    Having reviewed Odyssey myself, I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut.

    It has never failed to baffle me as to why some people out there feel they must prove their superior abilities to judge. They have superior tastes, superior intelligence, superior insights into life. In my 42 years of experience, this usually comes from deep-seated feelings of inadequacy thus leading to a compellation to show a mastery of the world. Much like a compulsive liars I have known, they believe they are somehow more fully developed on the surface, when in actuality they truely are very hurt inside.

    Now I really don’t know Professor. I have read his reviews, and don’t find them to be reviews. I also don’t believe they are true criticism. I am just guessing, but they appear to me to be more of a mirror he holds to himself which he refuses to look into, so it comes out in the form of repulsion for most things he observes in the world. I believe he lives in a world devoid of beauty; lacking the ability of aesthetic appreciation in any form.

    You claim you wish to have comradery Professor, then seek it and you will find it. But if you want to seek fault it everything you encounter, you shall also succeed at that. I can find fault when I look for it, which I do, but I also seek the things that were done right. There is no thing that is perfect. Seek perfection, but NEVER expect it, in all things.

    I love your work Greg; keep it up. I hate it when I find a piece of sand in my oyster, especially when you know what pearls taste like. I think currently I must have about 20 tins of Odyssey tucked away for the future, while I continue my weeks-long flirt with Abingdon and Blackpoint. It boggles the mind how people who know they don’t like a particular style of tobacco choose to review it. But then again, I don’t smoke anything I am not fairly certain I am going to like. I wouldn’t ruin a pipe like that. Don’t these people know the influence it will leave behind? Baffling. Or maybe I am totally wrong about all of the above, and Professor and these people are drunk on Absinthe, or something better (or worse, depending on your viewpoint). Keep up the good work Greg, and thank you for many hours of enjoyment.

    Matt

  25. George Dibos said,

    Interesting (and frustrating) how often people miss the obvious when it comes to leadership and popularity. Such things can’t be forced UPON a group, but are the result of DEMAND. Consider the state of broadcast television quality, and those who endlessly blame the media for it. I’ve talked to CHILDREN who understood that if meaningful historical/educational/scientific programming was what most people wanted to see, that’s what the networks would give us.

    Ditto everything from our political “leaders,” to the quality of American-made cheeses and beer.

    It isn’t rocket science.

    (Obvious) conclusion? The world of pipe smokers, being a thoughtful, ruminative, and gregarious lot–but who also (for the most part) are retiring by nature–were delighted when Greg came on the scene. His commercial success and personal popularity then rose in proportion to their desire to have such a person (and his products) in their world.

    It appears that desire was considerable.

    End of story. That’s how markets work.

    The “Prof,” is simply made from whatever the stuff is that makes some people bitter about everything, and he just happens to be a pipe smoker. If he raised prize Airdales, in other words, he’d be spewing forth on the dog show boards.

    Perhaps what makes him notable (or even noticed at all), is that such creatures rarely become pipe smokers in the first place.

    George

  26. George Dibos said,

    P.S. Upon re-reading my last post, I realized that it could be interpreted in a way I did NOT intend: That popular taste invariably results in poor quality. If that was the impression you received, it’s only because I (inadvertently) used negative examples.

    So let me be 100% clear: I was only trying to illustrate a principle. It works independent of quality: exactly the same effect is observed when the group doing the demanding wants an IMPROVEMENT in the staus quo, as well. (And an improvement is definitely my view of the GLPease phenomenon.)

    My apologies if there was any confusion.

    Whew! I almost stepped in (on?) it that time, didn’t I?

    George

  27. Vrginian Nr. 10 said,

    It isn’t about you, Greg. Really. Every review is, at the same time, an equal and opposite self-exposure.

    The more someone lacks authentic self-esteem, the more important job titles, academic degrees and that sort of thing are to him. But he can’t be continually reminding people that he’s the executive under-assistant marketing director for the Kansas City Metro area region, so he needs “the Good stuff” to define him.

    As in “I only _____________ (drink, wear, eat, smoke, drive, copulate with) the GOOD STUFF.” (Choose one). This guy doesn’t like Dunhills because he likes the way they smoke, he likes them because they’re Dunhills. Meaning they cost a lot of money. Meaning they’re the Good stuff. Meaning he’s Somebody because he flaunts them as a fashion accessory.

    At the extreme end of the self-esteem deprivation scale is the Contrarian. The only way this guy can acheive the requisite degree of ersatz coolness is to dump on the Good Stuff, loudly and often, as not good enough for Him.

    Recap : Every review is, at the same time, an equal and opposite self-exposure. While the reviewer’s going on about the topic, he’s unavoidably showng people what he’s about, by implication.

    So why get upset because some guy exposes himself ?

  28. I hope you do not find my remarks too lacking in artfulness or finesse, but I find the Professor’s opinions impeached by a certain meanness of spirit.

    I know for a fact that there are some great – and by that I mean both accomplished and beloved – tobacco blends out there that I simply cannot smoke because my palate and experience are poorly suited to them.

    Though I may not find these tobaccos endearing, I see that more as a reflection of my taste than the integrity of the blend or the blender.

    I really do not believe that my feeble little insight has been ensconced in a philosopher’s stone, waiting for a genius to admit it to the world.

    I really don’t think any reasonable person would take this person seriously, Greg. I don’t, and I would hope that he is well out from under your skin.

    Oh, and by the way, you ARE a master marketer and thank God for it. One shouldn’t have to apologize for one’s competencies. If you weren’t so good, a lot of grateful pipe smokers would be deprived of your gifts.

  29. It is a wonderful thing to discover a new kindred spirit, in this case a true epicurean, writer, rebel and lover of all things fine and good! In beginning my works on fine tobaccos for custom made cigarettes it wasn’t long before my love of pipe tobaccos begin to make their way into making great custom made cigarettes, replete with Latakia and Perique, even thoughts of toasting my own tobaccos! Horrors. What WILL he think up next? Alas, I find that much of my own rebellion is but a replay of past great minds…Clarence W. Walker http://customcigs.blogspot.com

  30. Ian Minton said,

    Forgive me for beating a dead horse…

    Today I read the entire list of reviews for the recently released blend Fillmore while adding my own glass of wine and came to the conclusion that http://www.tobaccoreviews.com is fatally flawed because there is no standard of review, nor is it selective in any way shape or form of reviewer-indeed my 9 year old nephew were he adept enough with a computer would be able to register and review any blend he wanted~ and perhaps with some of the same experience and knowledge of tobacco as some of the so called “reviewers” that regularly post there. And I’ll not even address today the personal agenda’s that so frequent the GLPease reviews for whatever personal reason.

    It is my wish that some enterprising individual with the time on his (or her) hands would entertain the notion of creating a website that serves the needs of the pipe smoking community at large by incorporating a review site with experienced and qualified reviewers that have been discerned from the mass of fools that frequently write sentences like: “I gave this blend 1 star because I don’t like Latakia.” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All of the stomaching of this fungus is made more difficult by the mantra of GLPease: “…forgive us our trespassers as we forgive those who trespass against ourselves…” because he is so humble and concerned with pleasing his customers.

    In closing I’d like to make a call out to the pipe community at large here and everywhere else to come on to page- can we get a fair and unbiased review system that can be a logical measuring stick that pipe neophytes- and even experienced pipe smokers can use as a tool for discovering new treasures in our hobby?

    Thank you,

    Ian Minton
    http://www.iansforest.com
    ianminton@aol.com


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