Today I hit up a new bar here at the top of the Great State. Yes, yes, I sold out my old haunts for a job and a bar in a strip mall. Sue me. I needed a gig. Anywho, this place is a chain of sorts, seeing as it has three other locations, or so I’ve been told. From the outside, its pretty mundane, like any other store in a strip mall. Uniformly built to the specs of the mall’s aesthetic orders. On the inside, though, I have to say I was impressed. Nice wooden bar, friendly bartenders who wanted to know my name. The whole deal. The only problem was that it only made me miss my old haunts and old friends even more. Nostalgia hit me like a freight train. This bar will serve its purpose, but I just might have found the best places back down in the Capitol City.
So I was watching basketball at this bar. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll call this bar, “Mall Bar.” Basketball in October. Fucking strange world. For some reason, the NBA has decided to do a series of “China Games.” Basketball in China. Before the game, ESPN was doing a whole thing about how wonderful Beijing is and how its all lit up like Times Square. Yea, go 100 miles outside of Beijing and it’s the Middle Ages. Back in 1989 China sold its soul for neon lights and government controlled capitalism. I wonder if Mao ever predicted this? Mao once said, “Religion is the opiate of the people.” The adage should have included that neon is a derivative of the poppy plant. The West is so afraid to show pictures of the Dalai Lama with Bush for fear of pissing off the Chinese, and ESPN broadcasts live from downtown Beijing. Something wrong with this picture? Selling products and endorsing Gatorade is ok, but human rights take a backseat to a country where most of the people live in the 16th century.
So I sit at Mall Bar and watch ESPN glorify the worst human right abusing country in the history of the world. I finish my beer at the strip mall and go home, amazed that I live in a country that wears blinders in favor of Gatorade and LeBron James.