The Tao of Booze

By Dave Fox
Las Vegas, Nevada
March 20, 2006


Walking through the Venetian in Las Vegas, I spot a nightclub called Tao, named after the ancient Chinese philosophy. I’m not quite sure I like the idea of naming a nightclub after a religion.

For starters, the bar has its religions confused. The nightclub’s centerpiece is a 20-foot-tall statue of Buddha. Buddha was not Taoist. He was Buddhist.

Devout Buddhists don’t drink alcohol or eat meat, but in addition to serving a plethora of cocktails, the club also boasts on its website that it serves Kobe beef. I’m wondering how Buddha feels as he looks out over the throngs of drunken carnivores.

Meanwhile, down the road at the Zanzibar Cafe in the Aladdin, one of the menu items is “Buddah’s [sic] Delight with Chicken.”

Okay kids, I am only going to say this one more time: Buddhists don’t eat meat! It is not nice to put deceased chickens in their leader’s delight!

But back to the concept of a nightclub with a Taoist theme; there is nothing in the Tao Te Ching, the original Taoist spiritual text, specifically addressing the consumption of alcohol. (Lucky for me.) The book, and other Taoist teachings, simply
say you should live a balanced life and respect your body. So I suppose it’s okay to call a nightclub “Tao,” although naming a bar after any religion makes me squirm. I’m thinking a bar called “Jew,” or “Allah’s Place” or “Drunken Willy’s House of Christ” wouldn’t go over so well.

Published on Monday, March 20, 2006

4 Responses to “The Tao of Booze”

  1. Ted
    March 21, 2006 at 2:58 PM

    I reckon you have to chalk it up to the fact that the majority of the public walk about with blinders on and are more than happy to accept whatever tripe is fed them regarding other cultures, etc.
    They would do well to travel a bit (outside of their home nation, of course) and perhaps pick up and read a bloody book for a change!
    Perhaps if the unwashed masses were a little bit worldly vice following like sheep off a cultural cliff, stupidity like the “Tao” wouldn’t happen as often.
    As far as bar names go though, I’d be kinda partial to one dubbed the “Heathen’s Haven” myself… [snicker]

  2. brrre
    April 7, 2006 at 9:43 PM

    Actually Dave there is a lot more where that came from. The most popular (read; posh and uptight) bar in Oslo a couple of years ago was named “Buddha Bar”. A restaurant named “Mecca” was also to be found. Funny enough they moved in in where a record-shop called “Helvete” (“Hell” in English) used to be. I have also not inhaled at a coffeshop called “Judas” in Amsterdam(ned)… What I do find strange though, is the casino named “Taj Mahal” in Las Bogus. Who on earth came up with the idea of naming a casino after a tomb?!

  3. November 15, 2006 at 4:44 AM

    Heh… where shall I begin responding to that last comment?
    1) If you look at the overall context of this blog, you will see that it is a humor blog. It is not intended to be taken so seriously. I’m not sure I’m the uptight one here.
    2) I never said putting Buddha in a club called Tao was “heresy.” That’s a pretty strong word. I think it’s ironic… and, well, kinda dumb… to call a bar Tao and make Buddha its centerpiece. It made me laugh. I think it would make Buddha laugh too. I also think it’s goofy to have Buddha gazing out over a restaurant whose specialty is Kobe beef. If you don’t get the irony in that, oh well.
    3) It always cracks me up when people tell me Taoism isn’t a religion in the same sense as Christianity or Judaism. Belief in a higher power? Check. Guiding set of moral values? Check. Buildings where we gather to pray? Ummm… not exactly, for reasons that go hand in hand with the philosophy. But define religion as you wish. I’ll be a good Taoist and afford you your own definition.
    4) Me uptight? Hell yeah. I’ve been uptight my entire life. Case in point: the fact that I’m responding to these comments. Taoism leads me away from some of my uptightness. That’s one of the things I like about Taoism. We can acknowledge our imperfections and work to improve upon them. People who claim to be spiritually perfect scare me.
    5) Come on, man. Did you really think I meant to be taken seriously when I wrote: “I’m thinking a bar called ‘Jew,’ or ‘Allah’s Place’ or ‘Drunken Willy’s House of Christ’ wouldn’t go over so well?”
    I’ll say it again. Listen carefully: This is a humor blog.

  4. gordon
    November 15, 2006 at 3:30 AM

    I read your article with some confusion. If Taoism is your ‘religion’, then why are you so uptight about this? Taoism is not a religion in the same sense as Christianity or Judaism so its not exactly heresy putting a budda in their nightclub. I mean ‘Gods Kitchen’, as one of several examples, is a name for a nightclub that many religions could get sniffy about, but as far as I can see most don’t bother about such trivia. I understand your article makes points that may educate the layman about some of the differences between Buddist and Taoist beliefs, but the tone of the article is quite far from the taoist approach to things.

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