True cigar lovers do not need punctuation to get this.

Comparing why I like a particular cigar to my inability to fully understand the plot of a movie can have its pinnacle in the idea of mysterious thought of how a particular film confuses me or how a specific brand of cigar draws me to it repeatedly by trying to comprehend what that magnetic attraction is – is thereby creating a silent void that genuinely pulls me into trying to figure it out (such as the palindrome “Hannah” which is the same be it spelled backward or forward – or how did it become what it is?) grabs me even tighter to try and untangle the reality of such a phenomenon such as the unexplainable essence if I may call it that of a blend because it is hardly attainable through the normal course of trusting the senses or intellect to battan down the actual reason it is unsolvable and not wanting to let go or give up on its baffling existence that will not or cannot penetrate my psyche or my awareness to answer the conundrum (which in and of itself is a polymorphous predicament) with a logical and satisfying resolution because despite the voluminous varieties of brands available – and the sheer number of ideas that can twist and turn a plot into an extreme existential experience that there really is no definitive conclusion as to why one movie is impossible to make sense or why the description of a brand’s piquancy is hopelessly stuck in ambered limbo i.e.my raison d’être to confidently compare the two.

The Perfect Place to Smoke a Cigar.

I miss New York more and more each day.  I was there in 2019, just before the pandemic hit, with my wife, E, and Miles, my son.  Lately, I can’t get my mind away from that trip.  So occasionally I pick out one of the photos that I took while there and post it on Facebook’s My Story.  Each glimpse of the photos, and the crystal clear memory of the moment I took it, mesmerizes my nervous system transporting me back to that exact second in time.

(Cigar fanatics please stay with me – this is what you call “a buildup.” )

Why do I adore the city so much?  Partially it’s an unknown, subconscious emotional attachment that I’ve had since I was a small boy.  Sometimes my Dad would bring me the “real” New York Times from the newsstand downstairs at the train station in Chicago.  As I held it in my hands, I could imagine myself picking up the evening edition at Grand Central because this paper was flown in that day and was the same one that was available in New York City – that day.  My emotions run high because my heart warms to its highest temperature each time I visit The Big Apple or even anticipate an upcoming visit.

The city is the quintessential concatenation of cultural chaos that no other famous metropolis can compare to.  None.  Of course, many cities offer various attractions, but New York City IS the attraction!  

I write this article to cheer me up as I slosh through this crazy, bizarre, fragmented world WE have unknowingly created.  As mentioned in the paragraph above, every time I see a photo of that trip I post one of them on My Story on Facebook thus “. . . releasing in my body oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin . . . often referred to as our ‘happy hormones.’”  (Google)  The end result is a solid recollection of a particular sound, aroma, or shivering experience (like seeing Billy Joel live at Madison Square Garden).

(Okay, cigar freaks, this is for you!) 

There’s only one thing that – for me,  makes New York absolutely perfect.  And that is walking down a crowded street with Miles, smoking a free Martinez handmade cigar (gifted to me by José), fresh from the factory located at 171 W 29th St. while heading back to Sassoon’s to see how a hairdresser can make a beautiful woman even more beautiful.

Two Pet Peeves.

Two things that really tick me off are a cigar that has a tight draw, and a used book with writing or underlining of any kind on the pages. 

Case in point:  I just received “Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir,” by Anatole Broyard.  It’s a paperback and with my cash credits, I paid only 99 cents (for shipping) – the actual cost of the book was $4.79 (the exact amount of my credit).   

Now, this is the first time this has ever happened to me.  As a book collector, I trust the seller’s general description of the book that’s for sale.  It’s important to be exact.  Strike that.  No.  Condition is critical to me as a collector and crucial to my enjoying the read.

Why?  Lines under sentences (and this former book owner went gonzo) or blots of ink, smudges, or even bent pages are all distractions to the flow when I read the book because my eyes are drawn to these imperfections.  But do I throw the book out?  Absolutely not.  (I’ll explain below.)

Same with a cigar that has a kink in it so the draw isn’t velvety smooth – it obliterates the experience.  In fact, see that cigar in the photo above?  I can get more air out of a dry chicken bone that has been encased in plumber’s putty than I can from that stopped-up cigar.  Do I throw it away?  Absolutely not.

I’ll tell you what I do.  I fiddle with it for just a few minutes.  But, as a cigar broker (and one with very little patience), I have the advantage of going back downstairs and reopening the box or unzipping the bag and picking out a new one.  Once my choice is made, and after snipping off the end, I toast the foot and try it again.  Nine times out of ten the second one is fine.  Rarely do I find more than one bad cigar in a lot.

How long did that take me?  I have a small house.  So in a few minutes, I’m sitting back in the garage enjoying the cigar – and staring at the f#@king book that’s been zebra-ed to death wondering what to do with it.

So what do I do?  I would ordinarily bring up the website I purchased the book from and fill out the order form to return the book and ask for a credit on my account.  But this particular company will not pay for the return postage.  So will I send it back?  No.  It becomes a cost situation concatenated with common sense.  (Forget the 99 cents – it’s the principle here.) 

What I will do is go back to the same website where I bought the tagged book from, find another copy that’s in better condition and order it again (often a small note with the reorder about the damaged book will shame the bookseller to use the money I paid for the new one as a “credit courtesy” for being a discounter douchebag – no guarantee, however).

Point of all this?  Time and level of angst.  Time lost from the plugged cigar – a mere few minutes.  Level of angst in waiting for the book in better condition to arrive – approximately a week.  

What’s the point of all this? 

A fine smoke, and I did get the credit – without having to return the book.  

Smoke it for yourself.

Normally I’ll read a book before I comment on any portion of it, but in this case, I have to mention a most revealing quote from the review (TLS 2.26.21), that when paraphrased, will raise a red flag to all those who write and read cigar reviews, or attempt to predict to like or dislike a particular blend without lighting up.

The book is by Guy Davenport, a well-known American writer, and was originally published by Harper Collins in 1989.  Its title, “A Balthus Notebook,” is about the oft-misunderstood Polish-French artist, Balthasar Klosowski de Rola – known as Balthus.

It’s a short book of only 112 pages but covers an enormous amount of material about the painter.  

At one point the reviewer, Harry Strawson, quotes Davenport, “The ‘arrogance of insisting’ (on an artwork’s meaning) ‘closes off curiosity, perception, the adventure of discovery.’”

This latter paragraph can easily be paraphrased to read: “The arrogance of suggesting or meticulously attempting to describe a cigar blend’s flavor closes off ‘curiosity, perception, and the adventure of discovery.’”

And to wit – it’s the bloody truth.

So try ‘em all for yourself.  Otherwise, you’ll never really know.

Clear, concise critiques.

If cigar reviews were written as clear and concise as this article reproduced from the March 16th, 2020 New Yorker magazine – it would be interesting to see how the resultant critique would influence the sales of the brand.  (Warning: The article refers to a time in world history that is considered one of humankind’s most shocking atrocities. If you can’t hande facts – scroll by.)

********

The Dark Revelations of Gerhard Richter.

Though the artist was previously indirect in his references to the horrors of the Third Reich, he has reason to focus on them now, in a retrospective at the Met Breuer.

By Peter Schjeldahl

March 9, 2020

“Birkenau.”* The dread name—of the main death facilities at Auschwitz—entitles four large abstract paintings and four full-sized digital reproductions of them in the last gallery of “Painting After All,” a peculiarly solemn Gerhard Richter retrospective at the Met Breuer. The works are based on four clandestine photographs that were smuggled out of the concentration camp in 1944. Two, taken from the shadowed exit of a gas chamber, show naked corpses strewn on the ground and smoke rising from bodies afire in a trench beyond them. Men in uniform stand at ease—two appear to chat—amid the shambles. Richter first saw the images in the fifties. He encountered them again in 2008 and kept the worst of them hanging in his studio in Cologne. In 2014, he projected them onto canvas and traced them. As he worked, they became illegible. The finished paintings exemplify Richter’s frequent style of densely layered, dragged pigments. They are unusually harsh in aspect, with clashing red and green, sickly whites, and grim blacks. But you’d hardly guess, by looking (at) their awful inspiration.

“Richter’s “Birkenau” is a provocation—who dares take history’s ultimate obscenity as a theme, or even an allusion, for art?—but one that makes biographical sense. Born in Dresden in 1932, Richter is haunted, like many of his German contemporaries, by memories and associations from the Third Reich and the Second World War. Previously indirect in his references to the horror, he has reason to focus on it now, for a show that comes late in his life, and which he says might be the last one of his six-decade career as a chameleon stylist and visual philosopher of painting. (He’s eighty-eight and, not well enough to travel, did not attend the opening.) The shock of “Birkenau” retroactively exposes a thread of sorrow and guilt through (sic) an art of invariably subtle, at times teasing, ambiguities. His photographic images transposed to canvas and painterly techniques that exploit chance have often seemed deliberately arbitrary as if to forswear feeling. He brings to everything an attitude of radical skepticism. But it has dawned on many of us, over the years, that plenty of emotion, like banked fire, underlies his restless ways.

“Heretofore, Richter’s only overt reference to the Holocaust was a suite of touching illustrations for an edition of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” picturing Frank’s face in a range of styles, which he made in 1957, while he was unhappily apprenticed as a Socialist Realist painter in East Germany. (The illustrations are not in the show.) Having glimpsed free-world art when he was permitted visits to exhibitions in the West, he fled via East Berlin in 1961, shortly before the Wall went up. He was soon in Düsseldorf, in the thick of an avant-garde that was both piqued and excited by Pop art and the traditions of Dada. “Capitalist Realism,” he and some new friends, including the brilliant Sigmar Polke, termed their response, which, among other things, degraded the glossiness of advertising material to matte grunge. Richter took to painting copies of banal black-and-white photographs, smearing the paint to emphasize the change of (the) medium. Among a number of these in the show are paintings from family snapshots that touch on Richter’s and Germany’s dire past.

“One, “Uncle Rudi” (1965), is of a relative—in uniform and smiling goofily—who died fighting in the war. Another, “Aunt Marianne” (painted in 1965 and rendered as a luminous digital print in 2018), shows a woman cradling baby Gerhard in her arms; she was adjudged schizophrenic, imprisoned, and then killed in a Nazi eugenics program. Keeping company with those poignancies is “Mr. Heyde” (1965), taken from a news photograph of the concentration-camp psychiatrist Werner Heyde being arrested, in 1959, after fourteen years of maintaining a false identity. (He hanged himself in prison in 1964.) Richter wouldn’t have expected viewers to recognize those subjects readily, and he was at no pains to explain them. Their meaning stayed personal, with roots in his boyhood, when he was enlisted in the junior auxiliary of the Hitler Youth and his father served in the Wehrmacht. Not until “Birkenau” would he palpate the wound again.

“It feels heavy-handed of me (though on this occasion Richter quite asks for it) to be zeroing in on some specific content of his art, which always shades subjects with undecidable intention. That goes for early images of tabloid sensations, such as yearbook-style portraits of eight nurses who were murdered on a single night in Chicago, in 1966, and forty-eight deadpan copies of photographs of famous artists and intellectuals. The latter served, perhaps, as marmoreal father figures for a largely fatherless generation. (It’s estimated that more than four million German men died in the war.) Uncertainty clings, as well, to later works, including jittery cityscapes that may be bombed ruins or simply indistinct views of an intact metropolis; landscapes that could be either sarcastic or sincere (sic) revisitations to German Romanticism (I vote for wistful); funereal paintings of candles and skulls; and ravishing photo-realist pictures, true to the hues of color film, of subjects including members of his family. One of these last, from 1988, portraying his daughter Betty from behind, seems to (sic) me the single most beautiful painting made by anyone in the last (sic) half century. It is not in the present show. Nor is “October 18, 1977,” Richter’s famous series drawn from photographs of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang, in life and, as suicides in prison, death. Those darkling images will always tug at our general assessments of Richter. Whatever his reason for taking on a subject that was charged, at the time, with conflicting political passions, I believe that the work asserts an artist’s license to transcend partisan judgment, independent of opinions that may even include his own.

“Irony blankets Richter’s career. He is a darling of the contemporary art market, with his works selling at auction for tens of millions of dollars. But his longtime best friend, and a co-curator of this show, is the critic Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, a hard-bitten apostle of Frankfurt School anti-capitalist, all but anti-aesthetic, political theory. In a notorious interview, in 1986, Buchloh insisted on interpreting Richter’s art as (sic) historical critique skewering the bourgeois decadence of painting, and Richter placidly declared his wholehearted allegiance to Western painting’s grand tradition. Richter said, “The reason I don’t argue in ‘socio-political terms’ is that I want to produce a picture and not an ideology.” He declines to claim any subversive intent, even for his occasional work in odd formats, such as stark charts of random colors and the use of transparent glass in place of (the) canvas—two predilections that came together in his successful commission, in 2007, of an immense stained-glass window for Cologne Cathedral, proving that the experiments had been exploratory rather than tendentious. I like to imagine Buchloh as a negative conscience perched on Richter’s shoulder, amusingly scandalized as the artist hews again and yet again to ancient values of meaningfulness and pleasure.

“While never forsaking representation—as seen at the Met Breuer in portraits of his third wife, Sabine Moritz, and their three children, which radiate Titianesque color—Richter took up chromatic abstraction in the seventies, overlaying brushed, slathered, and scraped swaths of paint. I remember hating those on my first sight of them, circa 1980. They seemed to me sloppy travesties of Abstract Expressionism, and pointless: inferior coals to the Newcastle of Willem de Kooning. Gradually, I caught their drift as pragmatic explorations of painterly phenomena: ur-paintings. Not only condoning but soliciting accident, Richter attends to the multifarious effects of layered paint that has been repeatedly smashed and dragged, wet-in-wet. He appraises the results with an exercise of taste, deciding what to keep and what to efface. In this, his true predecessor is Jackson Pollock, who, dripping paint, collaborated with chance and monitored the results.

“At last I saw, as I still see, Richter’s abstractions as miraculously, often staggeringly, beautiful, with an air of having come into being through a will of their own, happening to—rather than issuing from—their creator. They provide the chief pleasures of the show, which excludes the more brazen of his subjects—there are none of his early borrowings from pornography, for example—and the most seductive of his color-photograph transformations, including floral still-lifes. The selection favors eerie minor keys, as seems appropriate for being a retrospective bathed in the terrible resonance of “Birkenau.” ♦

*(“Birkenau” 2014 by Gerhard Richter)

Common Sense Is Not So Common

Native Chicagoan, Clayton Moore, who played The Lone Ranger in the long-running television series (1949-1957) of the same name made a living wearing a mask to protect his identity and rid the West of the bad guys.

Why is it that some people absolutely refuse to wear a mask to protect their fellow man from this modern-day villain – the COVID virus?

It’s not a political issue.  It’s not the destruction of freedom.  It has nothing to do with comfort or discomfort. 

We’re in the midst of a serious pandemic – vaccine or no vaccine –  and we have to do whatever we can to keep everyone safe.

No, nothing about cigars.  

“Hi Ho Common Sense . . . .”  

The Cigar Industry Needs a Cigar Cellar.

Can cigar magazine content and reviews be entertaining,  informative, and brutally honest, and not elicit industry or advertiser retaliation?  Or must they permanently adopt the “Casper Milquetoast” approach in order to survive?  Consider this:

In May of this year, a book will be available in the United States that has already been released in the UK by Scribe Publications titled “Don’t Applaud. Either Laugh or Don’t” written by Andrew Hankinson.  It was reviewed by Madeleine Brettingham in the January 15 edition of the Times Literary Supplement.  The book is basically a history about The Comedy Cellar that opened in 1982 in Greenwich Village at 117 Macdougal Street between West 3rd Street and Minetta Lane.

This is the place where Dave Chapelle, Jerry Seinfeld, Artie Lang, Marc Maron, and Louis C.K., and hundreds of famous (and not-so-famous) stand-up comedians tickled the audiences’ funny bones with various brands of humor. And yes, this is the New York club where Louis C.K. pleasured himself in front of two female comedians in his backstage room.  Career chaos ensued for Louis from the action, yet one year later he was back at the prestigious comedy club trying out new material – comedy (pause) material.

The club’s founder Manny Dworman, and his son Noam have had their share of critics who skewered the club and its owners after the Louis incident was cemented into the annals of comedy club lore.

Noam had this to say about the pure and mighty stone-throwers, “The network, the newspaper, Facebook, Twitter. They are expected to fire people, censor them, ban them … As an employer, I don’t want to be (sic) judge and jury of peoples’ private lives. I can’t compel testimony, I can’t punish perjury, I don’t have a forensics lab … We have a civil and criminal justice system to punish people … People always ask if Louis will be able to perform at the Cellar again. My answer is yes … I’m not endorsing or even tolerating anything Louis did. But what’s the standard I’m being asked to follow? … I know of no crime that is punished with career capital punishment. The Comedy Cellar is just not the institution for such decisions. Buy a ticket (cigar) or don’t.”

Brettingham writes in her review, “The freedom of the comic to get onstage and share their weirdest and most unpalatable thoughts and feelings without fear of censorship is celebrated throughout, even if it is romanticized (after all, the few who ever attained such status have always had to negotiate outraged audience members and the subtle taboos of the industry itself). Hankinson does a particularly excellent job of examining the various new ways this freedom is under threat. Social media, for example, can preserve the formerly cramped, sweaty, and transient experience of a club set for posterity and bring it to a wider – and much more sober (sic) (and might I add hostile) – audience.  And it has the commensurate ability to bring that audience’s feedback to the comic.”

So to answer my opening question, my response would have to be, “Sure.”  But I would follow that with, “Only if cigar reviewers, bloggers, and writers of today have the steely nerve to step out on the stage and risk sinking a brand with a less than a meritorious review, or placing a manufacturer under a cigarscope.  And – is the industry confident enough to accept criticism?”

“Hankinson,” writes Brettingham, “has provided a fascinating tour through the history of a comedy club in a constant state of flux caused by the political and technological upheavals outside its walls. While the Dwormans’ defiance sometimes leads them to defend dubious positions, it also forces the reader (cigar smoker) to grapple with the question at the heart of this book (or the cigar industry): who should be allowed to say what, and why?

Longer Hair Grows Shorter Essays.

This is the year of change.  And one difference will be the length (not the complexity) of my blog essays.  I can go on – I’ll admit.  And I’m not saying I won’t from time to time – depending on the subject matter.  But the most dramatic change will be the visual reality of this shift.  Yes, fewer words of course.  But as my hair grows longer – the shorter the essays (depending on the blah, blah, blah). 

Why?  I’m bored.  As Clay Quinn used to say regarding bodybuilding exercise articles – “How many times can a magazine show how to build the biceps?”  I agree.  How many times can a cigar article show the swaying fields of tobacco leaves?

So I have every intention of continuing the essays on cigars and culture, but I’m going to try my damnedest to keep them brief and perhaps less frequent.  This will afford a minimum of effort on the part of the readers – and will be a hell of a lot easier for me (considering I’m branching out to other subjects and writing projects).

My reminder to keep them pithy – will be the hair. See.  I haven’t had my curly locks cut since this COVID virus changed the world – ergo, my retro appearance and alas – my concocted, personal visual cue.  Kinda like shock treatment without the pain.

So please continue to read and enjoy my posts and appreciate whatever I decide to mix into them to keep the writing out of the realm of banal conformity; and to permanently etch out a spot on “social” media for originality about the cigar industry and our chaotic, cultural ethos.  

Cigars could cure cultural chaos.

Sitting in the garage in my favorite chair, I’m smoking an Isabela Serpentine. My eyelids are barely open. The roofers about two houses down are replacing the shingles. My God how this day is dragging. I can only make so many calls, send out so many texts and emails before I hit the wall. Damn virus.
Suddenly I am shaken back from my somnambulist state with a notification “ding” from my phone, which prompts me to start reading a Times Literary Supplement book review by Ira Bashkow about the new work by Charles King that centers around the life of anthropologist, Franz Boas. The subhead explains its contents quite succinctly. “A story of race, sex, gender, and the discovery of culture.” Or better yet, “The man who opened up anthropology in America.”
An apropos subject, I thought to myself. Culture. My eyelids begin to flutter shut. But with the cigar in hand, I dare not succumb to my natural instincts and continue to concentrate on the review. The cigar’s aroma fills the garage with an alluring bouquet of slowly burning tobacco as I notice my eyes turn to the subhead again and again, “Race, sex, gender . . . .” Three hot topics in today’s world of change. Or is culture the enemy?
I can hear the muffled shots of nails being buried into the freshly revealed plywood that was simultaneously being covered over with felt weatherproofing paper. The sound of the nails piercing the wood is becoming louder and with the pace quickening, the resulting noise is beginning to wear on my nerves.
I take a long draw of the Serpentine producing a rapid spicy sensation on my tongue. The weather outside the garage is warm – hot, I’m sure – for the roofers. Plus I have been smoking the cigar long before my tolerance for virtual visits began to wane so the concentration of nicotine begins to affect my perception of the flavors coming from the burning cigar.
However, in this case, as with the line of Isabela cigars, the balance of nicotine, lush flavors, spice, and undefinable essences only complement the experience. It’s as if I were being hypnotized and wooed into the rhythm of the nail guns. A Glass-like symphony of smoke and sound. Rhythmically repetitive.
I lean back in my chair, allowing the thick cloud of smoke just produced to drift back toward my face and into my nostrils. I further draw in the fragrant particles and for some reason begin thinking of a thick mango slurpy mixed with mature pineapple and guava.
I tap off the ash – forgive me fellow aficionados, thus revealing a perfect conical shape of a glowing ember. The spice becomes intense on my tongue as the surfaces of my papillae begin to figuratively swerve back and forth duly accepting the fermented flavors of tobacco I am forcing upon them.
My Serpentine is getting shorter and my sleepiness is beginning to abate. Johnny makes a tremendous line of cigars and in this case, his expertise has allowed me to soften my fixation on those three little words, “Race, sex, gender” and concentrate on the fullness of his hard work when blending.
A small part of the wrapper lifts off this Nicaraguan delight. Maybe it’s making a statement of some kind. Making a point? I continue to read about Franz Boas. Was my experience insignificant when compared to the discoveries of this so-called “Father of Anthropology.” Hardly, I mused.
And then I read this one paragraph written by the reviewer, Bashkow, “To understand others, Boas taught, would require more than casual observation and reliance on second-hand reports by colonial travellers (sic) and missionaries. It would need first-hand acquaintance, competence in the language the people spoke, immersion in their environment, and adapting one’s ‘own mind, so far as is feasible’, to ‘follow [their] lines of thought’ and ‘participate in [their] emotions.’” We don’t do that. We fight!!
I continue to smoke my cigar. A fly is buzzing around seemingly trying to compete with the noise being made by the roofers’ automatic hammers. It only wants to land. Rest – be in a safe place.
A few last long draws and I begin to feel like the fly. The taste of a fine cigar could cure cultural chaos.
I only want to land. Rest – be in a safe place.

Split the fissure. Crack it. And, dive in.

I have bifurcated.  Officially. The numbers do not lie.  The thoughts in my brain are always whizzing about at such a blistering speed that I challenge Einstein’s Theory of Relativity that “no particle that has mass can travel as fast as the speed of light—about 186,000 miles per second.”

Ah but is a thought a particle?  No. Thoughts are “impulses of electricity . . . .”   How fast do electrical impulses move? Guessing from research, that depends on the size of the neuron but for the most part about 250 m.p.h.  S-L-O-W.

So what I think is fast – isn’t.  But in terms of recognition, it is – fast.  So in short, the changes that have taken place in my cranium may seem slow when compared to the speed of light, but in reality, they are more comparable to the leatherneck sea turtle when traveling on the land about 6 m.p.h.  This changes to about 21 m.p.h. In water. Still not fast – fast, but still not that slow. But a change nonetheless.

Point.  Cigars and Art are catching up with each other at what I consider a tremendous rate of speed.  Friends are increasing in number on social media and the communication between myself and other artists are growing exponentially.   My being asked to join art sites has been – even with my impatience, gotten out of control. I’m on long-term art crack. A slick thought of being out of my mind.

Point.  What is the point?   Growth.

Physically there are various differences in the shapes of cigars.  Figurado, Robusto, shaggy foot, smooth cap, there are cigars with caveman designs on them – no change in flavor, just appearance.  Same as art, I suppose. Although taste would be quite different. Taste in art means a preference.  Taste in cigars means, ah . . . having to do with the sensation of flavor in the mouth and on the tongue, etc., etc., etc.

What happens though is the shift has had such a noticeable effect on my consciousness, it’s like devouring donuts, and then one day the site of the fried desserts want to make me vomit.  

What do I do?  

Ponder this.

Can I fixate on them both?   Donut. Coffeecake.  Green River.  Perrier Peach.  Maduro. Connecticut.  Lonsdale.  Gordo. Barberpole.  Some unnecessary wrapper design.

Is satisfaction an element that needs to be discussed here?  Yes. And No.

Cancel cigars?  Accept art?

No.  And YES!

What, then?  Fusion during differentiation of muscle, bone, and trophoblast cells, during embryogenesis?”  (Google)

No.  Interest.  Man. Developmental dividends.  Of what? Desire. Lust. Passion.  A change, a metamorphosis? Morphing or collusion.  Shading or blacking out!

There is no explanation that will satisfy a cigar manager.  Nor a gallerist.

It’s FOCUS!

Deliberation.  Mass acceleration.  Pure glistening “Breaking Bad” powder-blue rock candy!  It’s the excitement that you’re not stuck. You can make transitions.  You can make the prayer a reality. Whatever you like and whatever you don’t like.  DO IT! Don’t be static, single, stagnant. To hell with the comments. You can’t hear them anyway.

PTL!  The mind is a magnificent gift.

So be bifurcated.  Go for it!   SPLIT!