YouTube is probably the greatest anthropological project ever launched. It has managed to expose the multitudes of the human condition more than any other medium ever created, and allowed people to express themselves in more diverse ways than at any point in history. This weekly column is an outlet for me to share with you some undiscovered gems, as well some very well-trodden gems, and discuss just what it is that makes the chosen accounts so intriguing.
WHO: Cigar Obsession.
WHAT: A man reviews, gives tips on, but mostly enjoys cigars.
HOW MANY SUBSCRIBERS AT TIME OF WRITING: 57,038.
WHY SHOULD I CARE: I feel like the vibes in this column thus far have been decidedly un-chill. It's been all roller coasters, competitive eating, doom metal, car accidents, spicy food, vegan bodybuilders, murders, video games, shit like that. I feel like this column needs a bit of a sit down, a bit of a break. Not an actual break – I'm still going to do it – just more of a can of Coke and a fag kind of break. Or maybe... a can of coke and a cigar?
Bryan Glynn is a man from Florida who has been making videos for about seven years. He is the proprietor of a website called Cigar Obsession, which is also the name of the 50,000+ subscriber channel he runs. Bryan is a very chill guy.
I would never move to America, but the one thing that tempts me about it is having a giant house with a giant garden in the middle of nowhere that I can just sit in, in silence. Listen to crickets, look at the stars, drink myself into an early grave, that sort of thing. This is the sort of live I envisage Bryan leading, with his tiki-style flame torches in the background of his videos, as he softly describes why a certain cigar is so expensive.
When I was a child I stayed at a hotel in Europe where there were two dickheads smoking cigars near an open fire. It made me think cigars were lame. It was only when I grew up and started routinely giving myself cancer that I realised cigars are kinda cool. They smell nice, nicer than cigarettes. Cigarettes can make most people look cool, whereas cigars require an inherent panache. But in Bryan Glynn's case, the cigars just complement his already extremely friendly face and manner.
I don't want to get too weird with it, but I could watch Bryan Glynn smoke cigars, and talk about smoking cigars, all fucking day. There is something very trustworthy about his mellow blue eyes, soft-edged face, clear-rimmed glasses and soothing, teacher-like voice. Good teacher, too, not dickhead teacher who loses the room and goes "UMM!" and "UHH! EXCUSE ME!" a lot. The sort of teacher who lets you use swear words a couple of times a year, with only a wink for punishment.
If nothing else, YouTube is a place of learning, and channels like this open you up to great new experiences. Did I know where you're supposed to cut the cigar? I didn't. Did I know there's, like, five different ways to wrap the things? Or how to light it? Do I really need to know any of this shit? Not really, but I like knowing it. Knowing it makes me feel slightly fulfilled. And being told it by a calm, kindly man gives me the sensation of meeting a fascinating stranger in a bar, something that has literally never happened to me and I doubt ever will.
This is because real life people are rubbish. Some people probably think Bryan Glynn is lame in real life: boring, weird, the "boring weird cigar guy", or something. But here on YouTube he's a smoking sensei, a puffing professor of quality cigars, and I enjoy learning from his ashy textbooks. I'd like to sit cross legged on the shag carpet of his infinite knowledge, and listen while he softly tells me why a $750 cigar kind of sucks and isn't that great.
People reviewing shit you don't care about is great because you have nothing invested in it. If you buy a £1,000 lawnmower and some internet man tells you it's shit you're going to blow a gasket. Here, you can just sit back while Bryan Glynn blows expensive smoke all over your face. Bliss.
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