By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Feb 04, 2016 at 3:16 PM

The opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, its advertisers or editorial staff.

A word of warning: Here comes the curmudgeon, Old Man Crusty!

Let me start by saying I have tremendous interest in the younger generations. I am sophisticated enough to know they are going to be running things in just a short time, crafting the kind of world my grandkids are going to grow up in.

There is one general wish that each generation, including mine, has. We want the following generation to be better than we are. We want them to be more caring, more committed, more successful, more … everything.

We want to feel that they have learned from us, from both our successes and our mistakes.

Most of the time I feel pretty good about all of this. I joined up with OnMilwaukee after writing a letter to Jeff Sherman after seeing him on television. I wrote that I felt good about the trust of our future being held by young men like him and Andy Tarnoff, who co-founded OnMilwaukee.

In a few days, I will celebrate my 10th year writing for this outstanding publication (my first article was published on Feb. 18, 2006). In that time, I’ve met countless young people who have impressed me with their dedication and intelligence, people like Molly Snyder, Matt Mueller, Jimmy Carlton, Lori Fredrich and the uber-smart Carolynn Buser. Bobby Tanzilo is at the head of that list.

I’ve been to restaurants and bars with them. I’ve been in their offices, which they try to convince me is also my office. I feel good about these young people and their contemporaries. Every day.

And then there comes Sabbatic Bar and their celebration scheduled for tonight, and I’m forced to wonder about the youths.

I learned about this in an article written by Molly Snyder, but here’s the main quote that caught my eye:

"Women ... will pay $10 to get handcuffed to a rail on the bar and be allowed to drink as much of certain beers and liquors as they want; however, as soon as they need to un-cuff to go to the bathroom, they have to start paying for their drinks again."

When I read the story, it was like a bomb exploded inside my head. All my good feelings were laid waste. On how many different levels is this thing wrong?

First of all is the safety aspect. Purposely making it easy to get customers – men or women – drunk isn’t the surest path to safety, for the drunk or for people the drunk might drive by.

But the worst part of this whole thing is that the idea of a bar helping to get a bunch of women drunk with the handcuff gimmick is one of the most misogynistic concepts I’ve ever heard. It feeds into a stupid widespread male fantasy of being in a bar with a bunch of drunk women around him, just waiting to be picked up and whisked off for a night of debauchery.

I thought about calling the owners of this bar, but realized from Molly’s article that they have an excuse-filled bucket of answers ready for critics.

Over 40 years ago, a group of women in Boston wrote a book called "Our Bodies, Ourselves." It was about women being in charge of their own bodies, and I clearly agree with the premise. 

But you have to wonder if the authors were talking about women handcuffing themselves to a bar and drinking until damnation. There are women who will say that if they want to handcuff themselves and drink until they either pass out or pee, then it’s nobody else’s business.


Or as Forrest Gump said so eloquently, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.