Taste, by its very nature, is a subjective entity. A cultural litmus test which dictates—by those shadowy arbiters of the latest zeitgeist—what is essentially what. The old adage “history is decided by the victors” very much applies in matters such as these. What will forever be remembered is contingent upon a consensus—not of majority—but of metaphysical social hierarchy.
For fear of digressing, let us return to the topic on hand: what defines a quality evening out? What mixture of characteristics is universally lauded as “successful” by a species so enamored by the subjectivity of personal opinion? It is a slippery slope, yet scale it we shall, for within this conundrum lies the kernels of the human psyche—the highly stylized engine of experiencing revelry.
Somehow the tycoons of the nightlife industry must appeal to these multi-faceted desires of the human race. This mean feat entails a sociological approach detailing the ever-fluctuating tide of social mores—the knife’s edge of the “trend." It is a balancing act in maintaining relevance and freshness—a tug-of-war in cutting edge versus classic. This precarious equilibrium requires juggling and juxtaposing a multitude of factors. It is part of the larger schema which night life enterprises employ—the cultivating of a crowd.
Nestled within the complicated confines of human nature is a desire to prescribe to a commodity—a fabricated, society-defined illusion of categories. Lounges, ultra-lounges, raves, EDM light shows, poetry readings, bar crawls—these are but a few of the myriad examples involved in creating a market. When cultivating a crowd, one must play the game—succumb to society’s impulse to label and define—and work within this niche to create an “environment” conducive to revelry. Finding the right mixture of music, ambience, and relevance (within this societal spectrum of commodities) is the key to unlocking the monetary deluge so avariciously sought.
So what is it that truly determines a good night? First, and foremost, is the providing of a vessel for escapism. Revelry, by its very nature, is the antithesis of duty—and therefore exists in brazen refutation of the tethering impulses of society. Like it or not, responsibility is an amalgamation of societal, familial, and personal “guilt-induced obligation” suffocating one’s desire to live expansively. We acquiesce and compromise along the way—make justifications and rationalizations—but reality ultimately reveals otherwise. Time and again the impulse is to escape—to momentarily shrug our Atlas burdens—and breathe emphatically of Adventure’s intoxicating musk. Catering to humanity’s escapist desires creates a cycle of enabling—one that is marketed, bottled, and lustily imbibed by consumerist society.
Plain speak: provide the momentary illusion of fun, and people will spend the majority of their hours justifying their pursuit of it.