Not too far from where I live is a creek. You might even call it a runoff, I don’t know but let’s stick with creek. I walk Flo in a variety of directions and one is next to the main drag here in town. Now, there’s this one spot on the sidewalk at the end of the bridge that is the penultimate in the danger zone. You see, if you were not to pay attention and became fascinated with the rushing water below and continue to walk east, there’s this abrupt stop of concrete that would lead you directly over a jumble of rocks and wild foliage smack dab into the water. It’s a long way down by anyone’s standards. And before you would hit the moving water you no doubt would be cut, sliced and perhaps even killed if your head hit any one of the scrambled rocks – provided gravity retained its earthly powers. And when you eventually stopped tumbling into the abyss, you would be in severe pain (that, if you’re lucky).
There is a serious lack of safety at the end of this gap in construction logic. So I had to ask myself is that what happened to the cigar industry? Was there an ominous, dangerous drop off that was there all the time but the industry just blissfully went along, not paying any attention to the road ahead and now we are at the bottom of the gully totally shocked at the distance we have fallen?
I always seem to get myself in trouble when I write about how the cigar industry has interacted with governmental agencies. There’s always too much partying, smiling faces, sultry females blowing smoke on FB, new brands coming out daily from people who really don’t know the first thing about the industry but jump in any way. And now that we’ve been dealt this sobering blow, the darkened room has suddenly been lighted with rules, regulations, forms to fill out, deadlines, etc., etc., etc.
And so we are no longer teetering on the edge of destruction but must look up after the fall and wonder, “Gee, what do we do now?”
We are bloodied, bruised, and bedazzled by the conks on the head and as we sit in the muddled mess below we are now being asked to climb back up and do something about it. Climb back up and? Do what? We are in the vortex of political polemics! And I am afraid to say that most are not cut out for that type of fight. Go ahead bitch slap me, put my neck in a noose and let me drop, call me names – the fact is we were unprepared. Me included! And now we have to do something or the industry we love is going to be controlled and modified by an agency that hasn’t a clue of what to look for in the cigar industry.
Oh, yeah. Go ahead, say “Fuck the FDA!” That’s infantile hyperbole and does nothing. The term “Fuck” is now used as common as the words shit and asshole. So where’s the shock value?
I’ll tell you where the shock will come from – the consumer. Once the government hears from the consumer then and only then will things begin to turn around. Why? Votes. It’s that simple. Politicians want to stay in office and if they want to do that they have to listen to their constituents. But only if we are loud enough to hear.