Because I always pay attention to and click ads on the internet, here comes this trailer for a television show that I’ll never watch on a cable channel that I don’t have access to called ‘Bar Rescue.’
In this trailer, we witness the story of a successful bar which was earning $15,000 per week (that’s $780k in gross annual revenue — not bad for a new bar in Pennsylvania)… until the entrepreneur’s wife elected to divorce him, sapping the man’s motivation and much of the cash flow.
This is actually a fairly common story, a story common enough that most American men in their 20s either had it happen to their family, or know someone whose family it happened to. Wives will often try to divorce their man right at what they perceive to be his peak earnings, even if the peak is only a sudden spike which was quite fragile in reality. They figure that if they hook him for alimony and child support at that point, they can be set for life without working.
Unfortunately for adventuring divorcees everywhere, the typical result of a divorce is to destroy a man’s motivation, sapping his ability to earn at his peak.
At any point, a man’s wife can screech ‘BETTY FRIEDAN AKBAR,’ call 1-800-DIVORCE, and destroy their lives both financially and morally.
The producers of this particular show try to develop some dramatic tension by saying that the man owes it to his ex-wife and their 10-year-old daughter to get the business earning like it used to, because he has obligations whereas the wife apparently has no obligations to either her husband or to the marriage itself. This perverse set of values is reflected in the legal system.
These kinds of divorces tend to hit small business owners much harder than large corporations. If this bar were a part of a larger corporate chain, Bruno the bar owner would be out on his ass the moment that his wife blew up his life. He’d be replaced with someone else in a blink — someone without a direct ownership stake in his community.
Multiply such stories thousands of times over, and it begins to make sense why the greater Philadelphia area is so ramshackle compared to what it was a couple generations ago. There may be a connection, there.
In the second clip, the ‘bar rescuers’ berate the man for ‘not coming through for his little girl,’ perhaps to build some artificial dramatic tension. Whatever happened to holding women responsible for their destructive actions? The producers script this show, supposedly for a men’s cable network, to solidify a legal system in which women hold high status, and men are just truculent slaves who must be shamed into cutting fat checks to women who have become their worst enemies.
Younger men look at stories like this and opt out. Bars like this just don’t get started. If they do get started, they’re administered from Greenwich, Connecticut by owners in private equity who will strip and dump the entire chain when it eventually stops performing.