The Gesture of Smoking a Pipe

Have you ever asked someone why they smoke? Maybe they’ll say it relaxes them, or that they enjoy it, or that they really just like being able to talk with other smokers. It all comes down to some sort of enjoyment. The late media theorist, Vilém Flusser argued that this enjoyment isn’t found in the experience of the smoke or in any isolated part of the gesture of smoking, but rather to act out one’s own being.

This week, my students in my honors class are exploring depictions of smoking through Flusser’s theory of gestures, and I would like to share the readings and lecture with you.

Readings

Poems

Essay

“Smoking as a Fine Art” by A. A. Milne (Yeah, THAT Milne)

Podcast

To relate contemporary pipe smoking communities to the historic ones they read about, students listen to Country Squire Radio’s episode on A. A. Milne. See more from the podcast below.

Tobacoo Talk: Crumble Kake Barrel Aged No. 4 & C&D- Morning Light Country Squire Radio

What would a pipe tobacco podcast be without a good deal of pipe tobacco reviews? Loose leaf, tin, and even the hard to find stuff will all find their way into our pipes and into our heads as we review the entirety of each pipe tobacco from the packaging, marketing, tin note, texture, flavor, and smoke. This week: Crumble Kake Barrel Aged No. 4 & C&D- Morning Light Pipe Question: (From Frank) Got a show question for you. If you could turn back time… if you could find a way…. What episode/topic would you ‘take back’. That is to say, is there any episode you wish you could revisit due to feeling that you either didn’t do the topic justice or were just plain wrong about something? Maybe nothing! Afterall you guys are the best! But if you could…. What would it be? – Frank Quick Fire Questions: N/A Listener Feedback: (From the other pipe smoking Steve) Hello JD and Bo, I found the country squire store/and podcast about 6 months ago. I am slowly working my way through the country squire blends and have enjoyed them all. The 50th anniversary blend being my favorite so far. I have really enjoyed and learned A LOT from the podcast. Its interesting that my pipe journey sounds a lot like others I've heard on the show. I bought my first basket pipe about twenty years ago and have put it down and picked it back up several times over the years. It was my NEED to slow my mind down during meditation and prayer that brought me back to the pipe this last time. It was during a frustrating evening trying to connect with God on my back porch that the idea of 'the pipe' miraculously popped into my mind. I dont even know why because up to that point everytime I tried smoking it, it just ended in searing tung burn that lasted days. I give God the credit for turning me back to the pipe and slowing my mind down so I could start having some real conversations with him or sit in meditation and try to hear what he is trying to tell me. Also during this time I have of course been catching up on country squire radio. I started with the 2015 episodes and just now on 4-29-22 got caught up to the current one in Miami. You guys feel like family. It sounds like you are intentionally trying to keep that vibe while introducing new ideas for shows, after all one must change in order to grow. Excellent idea I hope you can do it…so far I love all of the ideas yall are putting on air. Be careful you dont let the show grow too big, you will never be able to downsize it. It will just start to implode on itself if you do lose the small town Jackson feel. FYI…I live in Nashville now but I am from just down the interstate from you guys, West Monroe Louisiana. There is nothing wrong with small town USA. A lot of days I wish I could be back there. Anyway I have a problem I need help with. For the past six months I've been listening to about a show a day, sometimes two. Mostly on the drive home in the evenings I can listen to a whole show and it makes me forget about the long drive. So I'm gonna need yall to crank out 1 show everyday now. As far as I know this is the only podcast in existence and it checks all the boxes for me! LOL!!! Just kidding of course but it will be difficult waiting a week to hear from you guys again. Thanks for what you do, love yall. I will hopefully be able to make the pilgrimage one day soon. God bless, – The other pipe smoking Steve
  1. Tobacoo Talk: Crumble Kake Barrel Aged No. 4 & C&D- Morning Light
  2. Squire Select: Boodles Rhubarb Strawberry Gin
  3. Ahoy!
  4. A New Kind of Pipe Show with Brian Levine
  5. Pipe Smoking 101: Is It Necessary to Have a Dedicated Pipe?

Lecture

Further Reading and Resources


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