Welcome to Bad Sandwich Chronicles Beyond Thunderdome. If you’re a paying subscriber, thank you so much for being along for the ride. I hope you enjoy this whole thing (spoiler alert: it’s a totally awesome deep dive into deep dives [which will make sense soon enough]). If you’re not, thanks for stopping by and please enjoy the free excerpt, and if you like it, consider subscribing so you can see what goes on behind the curtain. It’s like Eyes Wide Shut back there, folks. Anyway, on with the show.
There are a few terms that get thrown around willy nilly that are almost ubiquitous in their misuse. I’m not talking about comedian bullshit like using “literally” when you don’t mean literally. I’m talking about (for example) using the word zen.
Zen is one of the most hardcore forms of meditation there is. It’s not easy. You don’t just “get zen” by relaxing. Zen is a strict, strict discipline. In fact, it’s what those monks were practicing when they burned alive in protest of the South Vietnamese persecuting Buddhists (the actual form was Nirodha Samapatti, but that’s still zen. As I’m not a Buddhist master this is all I care to/can say on this matter. I don’t need to parse the linguistic differences between Japanese and what? Tibetan? Vietnamese? I don’t even know. This explanation should serve as plenty for most of you and for those of you who it infuriates, go set yourself on fire I guess).
The point is that zen is misused to mean to relax when it’s actually a hyper focused cleaning of the mind. It’s like saying you’re detailing your car because you’re just throwing your White Castle wrappers everywhere. It’s kind of the opposite of what you’re actually doing.
Another constantly misused term is OCD. You don’t have OCD because you like a clean house. OCD is when you have to put your glove on and take it off six times in a row and then turn the lights on and off until you get it exactly right (for example). To say that your meticulous ‘neuroses’ is OCD is deeply shitty and disrespectful to the very real sufferers of what can be a very debilitating condition. (I should probably do a whole entry on words that people misappropriate huh? Because I’ve got more. [Like ‘big dick’ means any dick bigger than an inch, right? Whew.]) Anyway…
Here’s one that is consistently misused, and it’s the subject of today’s entry (enjoy it while you can freeloaders bc you’re gonna get cut off when the good stuff starts [that’s a thematic table setting device, which should hopefully become obvious soon, though I’m aware that right now it sounds kind of mean. Not my intent]). And that’s Dive Bars.
First of all, the phrase dive bar is already kind of selling itself out. It’s a bar. I happen to like ‘dive bars’ but you know what I call them? Bars. I also happen to like day drinking. You know what I call that? Drinking. There’s something vaguely condescending about the phrase dive bar, kinda like how there’s something vaguely shitty about saying ‘people watching.’ That phrase implies that you’ve got your shit all together and good and you’re unleashed in a Walmart full of mutants who are all weird as shit for your pleasure, ya know? You’re ‘people watching.’ Fuck you. You’re just boring and a little bit judgy and rude. That’s actually what’s happening.
It’s similar with dive bar. I recognize the shorthand that this phrase implies but it really truly also has a kind of snooty “I’m better than this place but isn’t it adorable here” kinda air to it. And here’s the real fucked up thing: Most of the dipshits that use the term dive bar misuse it HORRIBLY. They wouldn’t know a good dive bar if they did a bunch of ketamine in the bathroom that’s just behind a shower curtain in the corner between shots of Malort and swigs from their Budweiser.
So, without any further ado, I’m gonna run through what makes a good dive bar. this list is subjective but also 100% correct. Please enjoy.
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A good dive has one of three kinds of names: it’s either suuuuper simple like “Suzie’s Place,” a swing and a miss at humor like “The Mayor’s Office” or it’s something just too fucking bizarre to even be able to comprehend like “Six Randys Two Way Vestibule” or something.
There are no cool dives with Irish names (go ahead and throw your stones. Irish pubs…
in the words of Jim Morrison, “I suck metric tons of shit.” Also, this is the end. thanks for reading. there is a LOT more in this entry. I’m sorry to see you go. Please come see us again beyond the thunderdome! xoxoxoxo