Thursday, May 17, 2007

Herfing (2) from Fred Thompson's coolerdor (1)

I’ve been following the tit for tat exchange between filmmaker Michael Moore and politician/lawyer/actor/cigar lover Fred Thompson with a bit of a smirk on my face. Its not Moore’s filmmaking or Thompson’s political aspirations that is making me smirk, it’s those damn Montecristo cigars that have suddenly jumped into the limelight. I’m a smoker who also has an appreciation for good cigars so this has my attention, even if I’m not a big Montecristo fan, except for aged #2s. La Gloria Cubana, Punch and Sancho Panza are my favorite, go-to cigars actually.

I started smoking premium cigars in 1998 and I understand the allure that those mysterious cigars from the Island South of Miami (ISoMs) can hold over the cigar lover. There is an entire sub-culture and market that deals with these creatures and based on comments I have read over the years from various cigar smokers all over America, they are far more common that you may think. Even in small, middle American towns you can find clutches of illegal Cuban cigars stashed in coolerdors. The owners will freely admit they buy and own them in Internet message boards and they will even mail them to other cigar smokers in Secret Santa style fashion.

With that said let me state that I not only do not own Cuban cigars, I’ve never even smoked one. The reason is simple. I don’t want to deal with the hassle of getting busted over them and paying a fine and losing the cigars in the end over something I know is wrong. It’s not that I have anti-Cuban feelings, I believe buying Cuban cigars is wrong because it is against a law that I feel is just, and buying those cigars does in the end support a regime that I do not believe has the best interest of its citizens in mind. So, I’d rather wait until the day comes when the embargo ends and the market adjusts to the supply and demand after the novelty of legal Cuban cigars passes. When a good, legal, Cuban Punch Churchill is available at my local cigar shop and the price is less than twice that of a Honduran Punch, that’s when I will buy my first Cuban cigar.

Moore has brought attention to a certain segment of cigar smokers that I first came to know around the 2000 Presidential elections. I discovered that there was a certain group of die-hard conservatives who smoked Cuban cigars and had absolutely no problem with the hypocrisy that those two things entailed. It was kind of funny to me when those same people pitched a fit after China captured a Navy spy plane in 2001, complained to high heaven about the Communist Chinese, yet found a way to justify their own purchases and ownership of illegal Cuban cigars. Thompson, apparently, is one of those people too.

From all that I know about fine Cuban cigars I can completely understand wanting them as I too am really looking forward to the day when I can experience the complexity that a Cuban cigar has. Once the embargo ends and the market adjusts I’m going to start stocking my coolerdor with singles and maybe boxes if I find something I really like at a great price. The key to this is “when the embargo ends”.

This episode brings to light Fred Thompson’s real feelings about the law, what is right and personal responsibility can be seen from this episode. Thompson believes that the law applies to you and not himself. He believes that if he wants something, the law is an inconvenient speed bump to what he desires. He believes he is above the law. I wonder what Thompson’s thoughts are on marijuana possession, driving under the influence and tax evasion. Those are all illegal too just as is possession of embargo era Cuban cigars. Thompson’s possession of illegal cigars is simply a sign of what is really happening in this country. Those in positions of true power view the laws that you and I must follow and something that does not apply to them. They put their wants and desires above the rest of us and they have no problems with flaunting that in our faces.

(1) A coolerdor is a large cigar humidor made out of a large ice chest, usually an Igloo or Coleman brand.

(2) Herf is that Godawful looking facial expression all cigar smokers make while trying to get a good draw and a good mouthful of smoke from a particularly robust cigar.


Angrie.Woman said...

I am so glad to see you say this! I felt exactly the wame way when I read it. Washington is FULL of people who consider themselves better than the rest of us. I was sad to see that Fred is just another one of them.

By the way, I questioned this on a pro-Fred board, and my posts were deleted. I also mentioned it on the YouTube comments section, and that post was deleted.

Fred's married to a political strategist - go figure.

The CT blogger said...

Thanks for the comment, Angrie.Woman. It is disapointing when someone in the public eye shows the rest of us how they really think through their actions. Phonies like Thompson always show their stripes in little ways, like the Cuban cigars. The true shame of it is that Thompson apparently thinks it is fine if his money winds up in Casto's coffers, while his people suffer

Sorry to hear about your comments getting scrubbed off of some boards. You'll be happy to know that I fully welcome dissenting views on my blog. My only criteria for deleting comments is if the poster spews threats or is intentionally insulting folks just to bait them. Other than that, speak your minds!