The Late Night Buddhist: Beer haters gonna hate

By Scott Taylor
Reader Columnist

I was recently in Eichardt’s Pub (no big surprise there) on a Thursday night in January when they had scheduled a special event with Deschutes Brewery. The plan was for Deschutes to have their Woody Wagon present — a rolling trailer taphouse shaped like a wooden beer keg — along with Deschutes beers featured on tap, and enjoy fun games and giveaways. But the plan was derailed when that morning an email was sent to Deschutes warning their employees to be prepared for a possible armed and “nasty” confrontation if they showed up. (The implication, so it seemed, because Eichardt’s advertised in and therefore supported the Reader.)

Out of concern for its employees’ safety, Deschutes elected to cancel its appearance. The celebration, however, went on as planned. 

It was heartwarming to see people pouring into the pub — locals and visitors alike — laughing, smiling, eating and drinking. A local bakery brought goodies, the owner of the bottle shop across the street came over in support, even the mayor showed up. 

Honestly, we probably wouldn’t have gone that night if it hadn’t been for the threat, but like many others there, we felt the need — no, the desire — to support our friends and local business and show those who try to use intimidation and threats of terrorism to gain a feeling of power that those tactics won’t work.

Blah, blah, blah, Scott. By now, others have surely written similar pieces of triumph and defiance commending everyone’s bravery and spirit. This column is supposed to be from a perspective of Buddhist philosophy, so enough with the chest thumping and pats on the back. Get on with it. 

OK, here ya go:

As we sat at the bar conversing with bartenders and fellow patrons, I found myself expounding on various creative ways to expose, humiliate and infuriate the person(s) responsible for making threats like these. 

I theorized that people who do this kind of thing have lived, or are living, a life of desperation: always being the outsider — whether brought on by their own doing or forced upon them —  feeling that they’ve been forgotten or marginalized by those whom they view as holding power over them; or threatened by others’ differing political or social views. Probably with a touch of mental instability thrown in, too. 

One of my suggestions involved a group photo with everyone giving a one-fingered salute (totally un-Buddhist-like). Thankfully, Eich’s employees were much more positive and opted to ignore the threat and focus on having a good time. But a Buddhist perspective was offered — and not by me:

If a person feels like that, then why not invite them in, accept them, and show them care and concern? Let them see that we’re all just human, just like them. Let them see that we all “belong” together. Isn’t it better to make friends than enemies? Someone has to take the first step.

Well, I couldn’t argue with that. Just about every spiritual path encourages us to “love our enemies,” in some way or another. Better yet, let’s once again take a cue from an Avett Brothers song: “I Have No Enemies.” I dare you to listen to it and not cry. Choose happy!

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