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Alienation and Smoking

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  #51  
Old April 17th, 2010, 07:57 PM
Hookah-burdar
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Default Re: Alienation and Smoking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajo Flettner View Post
My friends photolinger and dusty made a lot excellent points. I do think that the extent to which the masses are being defined by trivialities has gotten to the point that what has come to be known as culture is in fact just an endless series of corporate created fads. It also seems that such a situation is favoured by those that run the global plantation because rootless, fad obsessed consumers are easier to manipulate and control then are those that understand themselves as a unique refection of their ancestors with some sort of responsibility to provide a sense of continuity from the past into the future.
Dusty is of course right that the meteoric rise of faux moassel is a product of big companies finding a market. Consumerism of course is possible because local tastes, customs and ways have given way to homogenization making the tastes of what is readily available largely a matter of the lowest common denominator and economies of scale which naturally benefit huge multinational companies. American bier was quite varied and far more flavourful a couple of generations ago then it is now so bier fans have faced the same discouraging trends that we smokers have faced. The same applies to all forms of food and drink and anything else based upon craftsmanship.
The bottom line is that concentration of economic power is as undesirable as the concentration of political power if not more so. Moassel is merely a reflection of the anti-culture taking something sublime and transforming it into something banal.
True, but then, with the increase of the standards of living, there appears a new and much bigger market for luxury products. These where formerly limited to the most privileged, and where in some cases of fantastic quality (textiles for example). But when it comes to briar pipes, wine or food delicatessen, among others, the market for luxury products, made by craftsmen is actually surging. Take briar pipes: they where made and smoked by the millions just before the First World War. Now in England, where You could hardly imagine a man, and an army officer particularly, without a pipe, you see very, very few pipe smokers. Nowadays the market for mass produced low quality pipes has almost completely disappeared, but there never where so many and such good pipemakers, that is crafstmen, making high quality briar pipes. The same happens with some cheeses or beers, for example. We just have to make sure that demand (even for relatively few persons) for higher quality better tasting tobaccos does not dissapear in order to prevent the disappearance of Tombak, Jurak or good moassel. Lets hope the current trends will not be stronger, and that these products do not stop being made, and distributed, even on a limited scale, for a happy few connoisseurs...

Last edited by Hookah-burdar; April 17th, 2010 at 08:01 PM.
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  #52  
Old April 17th, 2010, 09:40 PM
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mattathayde
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Default Re: Alienation and Smoking

so im just going to go out and ask this before i start, shouldnt this be in serious discussion? now any way

Hajo i agree part way with you about the tobacco stuff, i dont like a lot of the super fake stuff but i dont really want to usually smoke something very traditional, i keep to nakhla usually and toss in some tangiers once in a while, i like stuff that is "candyish" but not everything, certain flavors are better IMHO as a candy flavor (grape, lime- which even as a candy flavor is very true to the real flavor, even rose is a "candy"). i like having tobacco undertones but if i want a robust tobacco flavor i will pull out a nice cigar.


as to the general talk about the BS with people., ya there is a lot of it but part of it is that we hear about it more and with social media and modern communications it is more centralized than it has been in the past. it seems like in america there is a much louder cry from the extreme right than from any other group, partly of the religious groups that want everyone to follow their beliefs; the groups that call for more power to be given to the states as apposed to the feds yet when the states try to exercise the powers of regulation and taxation they yell and moan again that they are being forced to do things.

people need to understand the larger and more diverse a group of people, be it a club, school, class, town, city, state, nation, world, what ever, you need to have more regulation to prevent things from going wild.

look at the "freedom" and "Capitalism" that is pushed in america, capitalism has gone from the textbook idea of making a better product because they will make more money to making the lowest acceptable product and charging the most they can get away with it. the freedom that some people say is a "right" is taken to be freedom to do what they want when ever they want with no regard to their fellow man.

i am seeing some "anti-progressive" in some of the posts here and frankly you cannot look at history with out seeing "progressives", the founding fathers were not conservative by a long shot, they were very radical, anti slavery was radical, civil rights movements were radical, yet we dont see any of them as being bad now. hell the norm up until about 60 years ago native americans were not granted the right to vote (starting with new mexico and arizona) despite the fact they fought in every war america has had

to the multicultural discussion, i dont think a total blending is good but everyone has blended cultures to some extent. my self looking around my apartment alone i have middle eastern from my hookah hobby, a touch of asian/English culture from my loose leaf tea and all the info i have gained learning about that, italian from my heritage but a big chunk of it from my studies in glass working, a vast mix match of history and culture from my metalsmithing studies, and a lot of "western" culture cause i live in. i have a different view of the world than the average 20 year old from the bit i have traveled, the info/thoughts/opinions i have heard from my family that has been exposed to many cultures, my trail to eagle scout, and my experiences of the native american culture through scouts. basically what i am getting at is most people/communities/cultures have a lot of influences from outside groups and it is not a bad thing the vast majority of the time. i think as i read your posts Hajo that more or less i agree with you on this subject

Hookah-burdar, you raise a good point about "luxury" items but i think in a lot of fields it has gone 2 ways, 1 to the low cost, cheap, crap, and the other to the very high quality. i see this daily and ponder it in relation to glass working. the degree i am seeking is "craft/material studies" since it is a BFA there is a lot of "art" (i.e. conceptualism) pushed with it, but frankly people dont buy shit cause of the concept 99% of the time. in the glass world most of the true craftsmen have gone out of business since the chineese can make it look good enough and make it cheaper so the general public will pay 20 bucks for a low quality vase that looks ok compared to the 400 buck vase that is quality glass, well made, and not just one more of a billion production pieces. even murano italy, known as the center of glass, doesnt make a lot of glass any more , they get a lot of stuff in from china and sell it a "italian glass".

i dont think im really going any where with any of this, just responding to everything i am seeing here

-matt
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  #53  
Old April 18th, 2010, 12:11 AM
Hajo Flettner
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Insofar as Hookah-burdar's points are concerned I can't really address them properly within this forum do to timely and topical matters. Instead I will say the Guildists, Distributalists, Christian Socialists (in the 18th and 19th century context) and Classical Corporatists, The Peasant Empowerment parties of the pre-war period as well as Islamic economic doctrine is the direction I look to.

A as to Matt again the matters you address are rather complicated and too far apart from the basic gist of my opening post and the overall thrust of this part of the forum. Still, I will state the terms Liberal, Conservative, Progressive and Traditionalist as they are commonly understood are meaningless in within the context of my weltanschauung. The mislabeled conservatives and liberals in the formally Western nations are both equally opposed to Traditionalism and equally malignant. In order to understand the perspective I hold you need to familiarize yourself with it’s cannon. I oppose statist economics and capitalism for the same reasons. Off hand i'd say that Burke's Madras to Mancester speach is worth a look to get a small taste of what I am talking about.

As to slavery I oppose it from a Traditionalist perspective because:
1) It broke off the slaves (of all races) in North America and the U.K from their organic settings and robbed them of their identity.
2) Slavery was simply another for globalism in which concentrated wealth was used as means to undermine the healthy, folkish elements of society by artificially denying them of a fair footing in the national economy for the benefit of plutocrats.
3) Causal brutality suppresses the development of normal societal ties and fosters imperialism and an overall sociopathic disregard for that which makes societal cohesion possible.

Getting back on topic I love real moassels, tombac and juraks not just because of the delightfully complex range of tastes and textures but also because I know they represent a real love and care for the best product possible within the context of a genuinely folkish expression of uniqueness. Seeing the artistry and hard that goes into making Shooting Star, The Pride of Al Qimishli or Bachi-Bagli Halva I can’t help but to be moved by the passion and honesty involved. I feel the same way when I make a real ale like Gotlandsdricka or Sahti. Such things are the perfect counter point to a general trend of crapulence that I see in all spheres of human endeavor.

Last edited by Hajo Flettner; April 18th, 2010 at 12:18 AM.
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  #54  
Old April 18th, 2010, 06:14 AM
Hookah-burdar
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Default Re: Alienation and Smoking

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattathayde View Post
so im just going to go out and ask this before i start, shouldnt this be in serious discussion?
[...]
i dont think im really going any where with any of this, just responding to everything i am seeing here

-matt
Well yes Matt, obviously this thread as gone far beyond molasses, and more than 80% of the discussion would rather fit the "serious discussion".
Now as many others already pointed out, I would say we have read many an interesting comment or reflexion. Very interesting thread!
Now it might appear that some of us are so to speak against "Progress"... Without going into a deep philosophical discussion, I would just say that as far as I am concerned, this would be far from the truth. I would just like more people to know and respect the past (or for that matter, other cultures), the Centuries long experience of our forbearers (or other cultures), instead of believing that everything new, modern and Western(ized) or "global" has to be better. Above all, I think some of us would like more and more people to appreciate real quality, complexity, and to learn and respect the rituals around smoking a narghile, or eating a given type of food. Some pleasures take some time to be appreciated, and would be more so if one respects and enjoys the rituals. As an example: How many times does the question of how to lit natural charcoal appear on fora such as these? Now, is this a problem in middle eastern countries? The answer I think is NO. In Tunisia people would go out, on their balcony or garden (if they didn't have a kitchen using gas, or charcoal) and use a traditional clay brazier (brasero in Spanish or French or kanoun in Arabic), which would be a brass mangal in Egypt or Turkey, where they put some paper,some hay and wood, and then the coals. They lit it and use traditional fan to accelerate the process of igniting the coals. It takes around 25 minutes, but is part of the ritual. It is simple and cheap! The same happens with making good coffee. It takes some time and some effort, thus requires some patience and some love for what we are doing. Well Nespresso might be interesting, and might be a progress, same as expresso machines where an innovation when they appeared. We should be able to choose our way, being well informed about products and processes. I prefer to use a coffee grinder, and a "traditional" expresso machine... I just do not know what goes into the Nespresso capsules. It tastes ok, but... Some might argue that I cannot be sure about the quality of the coffee grains I buy... and the discussion will go on an on.. I like to take a couple of minutes to make coffee, while trying to understand what goes into the process, instead of pressing a button...

Last edited by Hookah-burdar; April 18th, 2010 at 02:50 PM.
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  #55  
Old April 18th, 2010, 08:15 AM
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Default Re: Alienation and Smoking

Hookah-burdar, i agree with you, im not trying to say that total change is good but i also think no change is worse. as an example i will again use glass working. the modern way people blow furnace glass is pretty much the same way that it has been done since the 14th cent in italy, the tools are pretty much the same (with the exception of modern alloys, machining, and welding on them as apposed to being made with iron and simple steels but the function, shapes, and uses are pretty much the same). we still use furnaces to melt the glass and the glass has the same chemicals in it. how ever we have developed better glass that requires more heat to melt, we use gas (some times electricity) to melt the glass in the furnace and have built glory holes (every one has 30 seconds to laugh about this one, that is it) which are tubular furnaces with no glass in them kept hotter than the main furnace to rehaeat pieces. we have computer controlled annealers as apposed to putting everything over the furnace and letting the fire die out by the next morning to cool pieces.

i think this example has a great balance of how tradition is kept very well but technology and progress has been used to augment as apposed to replace tradition

-matt
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  #56  
Old April 18th, 2010, 01:23 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Matt:

Being a Traditionalist is not about saying no to any and all change. It is not about being a Ludite and hating technology but it does have implications about how technology is implimented and it's purpose. Nor is being a Traditionalist about nostalgia or maintaining that some long distant epoch was some utopian golden era. This is a subject that to comment upon requires a fair amount of reading and thinking in order to have some inkling as to what it means to be a Tradionalists.

Hookah-burdar:
As to your points about "progress" I hold that Burke, Heidegger, Maurras, Chesterton, Pareto & Fiore have addressed that issue with such insight and clairity that the matter is resolved in my mind.

The tritual aspects or smoking certainly interest me as does the reasons behind ritual. That is why I don't look at it as a way to cause a stir at a party, I don't care about clouds or getting a buzz. Like all things worth while smoking takes a bit of effort and an appriciation of what goes into making a great session possible is a real delight.

In any case the topic has wondered a great deal from initial point but with just a few exceptions the comments have been worth reading and responding to.
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