Recession Culture: And Bring My Slippers, Too

smokingPhoto: orangeacid

If cigars were the big-money-culture item of the booming 1990′s, and ever-larger S.U.V.’s and McMansions were the status symbols of the mid-2000′s, maybe it makes sense that we’re wrapping ourselves in Snuggies as the recession sets in.

What else symbolizes our new austerity? Apparently, tobacco pipes.

The Wall Street Journal reports that pipe smoking is on the rebound, especially among younger people:

“Cigars said, ‘I’ve made it,’” Mr. Shindler says. “It was a form of reward for yourself. When Wall Street crashed, people backed off from that.” Pipe smoking, he says, has a more calming effect. “It’s a comfortable aroma. It reminds you of grandpa. People are looking for that kind of comfort.”

Snuggies are one thing. Now, tobacco pipes for young people as a cheaper and more ruminative (though definitely not safer) alternative to cigars and cigarettes? What’s next, single guys with cats?

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  1. Nosybear says:

    Wait a minute! I’m a single guy with cats…..

    Although I’d never consider stuffing one of mine inside a bong. They’re alley cats, the guy’s breed.

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  2. Grant says:

    The only people I’ve ever known to smoke a pipe were doing it either ironically, jokingly, or both. I suspect this has little to do with the recession and everything to do with hipster fashion.

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  3. Steven says:

    For me and my buddies who are commission based, we have turned back to playing video games instead of going out to drink and play pool…. Nothing like an unemployed man staying home to get his video game on.

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  4. Kate says:

    Actually, smoking a pipe is safer than smoking cigarettes in terms of life expectancy:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17400948?ordinalpos=5&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Cigars and Pipe smoke, while quite bad for your periodontal health, are not associated with as high incidences of pulmonary disease as cigarette smoke, and, therefore (as the lungs are what will get you, more chances than not), decreased mortality.

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  5. David says:

    Two Snuggie posts in a week? What’s this blog coming to?

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  6. liberalarts says:

    I am not a smoker of anything, but I am with Kate that pipe smoking is indeed safer than cigarettes. My understanding is that lives are probably being lost due to the general unwillingness of people to acknowledge these risk differences, esp. with snuff (“they are all dangerous..”).

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  7. jake says:

    a modern-day resurgence in pipe smoking – at least among the young – may well be rooted in a leisurely, ruminative tip-o-the-hat to bygone formality, but the practice reeks of hipster sheik. one simply asks oneself “i know i will spend most of this evening standing around smoking on someone’s balcony, and then afterwards, in someone’s all night diner, so how to do it in a way that best establishes and illustrates my quirk and keen sense of the absurd – other than my over-the-top moustachio?”

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  8. jake says:

    pardon my use of sheik instead of chic. ha! too much of the pipe, i suppose (whimsical laugh).

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