Food & Drink » Barfly

Why Drink?

A diatribe of the not-so-Barfly-est order


Let me share with you my thoughts on the bar scene. I drink occasionally, mostly socially (which is probably the worst reason for drinking there is). Why in society (especially America) is drinking so prevalent? What's so great about it? Why is drinking the most diverse activity around? What do we find inside these bars? Besides the fake testosterone-front meatheads wish to portray, and besides the sleazy-with-a-sensitive-side attitude that bar sluts hope to exhume, and no matter how much fun a bar might try to make itself seem, it all seems fake. As I write this, I analyze my situation. I'm a fairly intelligent 22-year old heterosexual male who enjoys the company of friends, and conversations involving politics, life and religion. (I'm not big into 'who won the Lakers game,' or fart joke conversations. Life's to short, and I don't give a fuck about sports.)

I'm not personally opposed to drinking, but question the desire to do so. Big into conspiracy theories, I love to somehow correlate humanities bad habits with a general weakness that lies within ourselves--define it, then ponder solutions. People will tell me that going out to bars frequently is "normal" for a 20-something. I say they're full of shit. Like everything, excessive amounts of anything is bad, but excessive amounts of drinking is worse. Besides the already immature and bad decision-making, why not add being half drunk and horny to the next generation of our country? No wonder people don't give a shit. As a nation, we've drank ourselves into complacency. The more we drink, the more we relax, and feel like not doing anything. The more we drink the less we feel like thinking, (especially thinking about bettering ourselves or improving our lifestyles). Our capitalistic society is based on keeping us (the working class) content with working our entire lives for nothing ... and the only way to relax and "get away from it all" is found in the bottom of a Budweiser? What are they selling us? It doesn't matter, 'cause they're full of shit.

My first experience at a bar ended the way most young adults end the night of their 21st birthday: covered in vomit. My "drinking buddies" (that is, friends that really aren't your friends but rather just people you know that want to feel better about themselves drinking so they invite you along), had gotten me plastered and I passed my 21st birthday initiation by puking Jack in the Box tacos all over the side of a cab for an hour.

But the more I began frequenting bars with my "drinking buddies" the more I realized how depressing bars really were. Everyone smiled but no one was happy. People were smoking and drinking and laughing, but it wasn't real. When we walked up to bar and ordered a drink, what were we really ordering? Fake happiness? The coolness of walking around the bar with a beer in our hands? The rebelliousness of knowing our moms wouldn't approve? Where's the fun in all of this? Drinking to me became a hollow activity reminiscent of eating an Oreo cookie without the cream filling. It's good, but not as good as you were hoping it was going to be. Individual experiences at a bar depend greatly on company in tow, and the way you were raised. But the outcome is still the same.

Lameness. Now there's a lot of people that are going to disagree with me, and that's awesome. But I pose one simple question to those who think I'm full of shit. Give me one reason why you drink that can't be related to a weakness in you. Good luck, and in the meantime-bottoms up.