Big in Japan
Let’s try a little faux-sociological experiment. I’ll say the name of a club, and you tell me what kind of club you think it is.
Since newsprint, obviously, is not interactive, I’ll have to fill in your responses for you, dig? Here we go. The Blue Oyster. Gay club, right? Full disclosure: The name comes from a scene in Police Academy in which one of the cops asks several of his partners if anyone knows where a gay club called The Blue Oyster is located, and one of them rattles off the address by heart, accidentally outing himself. (I guess that was funny 20 years ago, when the movie first came out.) Moving right along, here’s another club name: Hot Rods and Hogs. Biker bar, right? Great. How ’bout this one: Asian Nights.
Now, not to offend the Asian community, but c’mon! First of all, in a club title, any word trailed by “Nights” is bound to sound totally strip club-y. (Which makes me wonder if New Orleans Nights, Last Call’s favorite house of semi-ill-repute, is reconsidering its name. ‘Cause of Katrina and all.) Secondly, the “Asian” part really doesn’t help: Here in the States, zillions of movies, songs, tv shows, books, and web sites have created the misconception that Asians are freaky-deaky, sexually. You know: The “company men” cheat on their wives with schoolgirls, the wives are submissive, and the “pop stars” have zero talent and are only famous for their ability to pose naked in magazines and on web sites. Put “Asian” and “Nights” together on this side of the Pacific, and you got yourself one helluva strip club name.
The real Asian Nights, a recently opened nightclub in Haltom City, is not a strip club, but it is a fun place to go to chill or avoid work. Tucked away in a strip mall between an Asian grocery store and a massage parlor, the joint can be described in two words: upscale karaoke. While the average American dog can’t wrap his brain around the idea that “upscale” and “karaoke” can appear in the same sentence, Asian club-hoppers know that a swanky night club ain’t half as swank without a killer karaoke system like the one at Asian Nights. It makes Axis’ look like a transistor radio.
The HC hang-out also looks great, and even though I despise Lost in Translation, I thought of that pretentious piece of crap while taking in Asian Nights’ orange fiber-optically illuminated bar, the nine (count ‘em – nine!) plasma screen tv’s, the six plush black couches, the crazy-sexy-cool bartender, and the hip, mostly Asian crowd. Who needs poorly written, unnatural dialogue when you got all this eye – and ear – candy.
OK, I admit: I went on a little too long about the name stuff, but seriously. Could you imagine if some other ethnic groups followed Asian Nights’ lead. We might end up with places like Italian Nights (cheesy double-breasted suits, the aroma of pasta sauce and garlic, gunshots, Sinatra on the juke), Irish Nights (the musky bouquet of three-month-old spilled Jameson, flying fists, jeans, The Dropkick Murphys), and, the scariest of them all, Redneck Nights (Aledo – wink, wink).
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