Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vegas - Final Thoughts

I would describe Las Vegas as a tender, loving monument to human weakness. It seems to dangle a seductive little carrot over the desperate center of the American psyche. It offers a temporary vision of existence, but it is a vision of existence that many Americans, in their laziest spiritual moments, would hope to eventually make permanent. It gives its visitors a sense that they are being "bad" and "naughty" for one pathetic weekend before they have to go back to work and be "proper." "Man, I wish I could just drink and gamble and go to a strip club every freakin' day! I wish I could just walk downstairs and gorge myself at an all-you-can-eat buffet whenever I felt like it!" Do you though? Do you really?

I think there is a lot of darkness in the American character. Vegas manages to exploit it with expert proficiency. I have darkness in me too, but the good kind. The people who enjoy Vegas don't seem to be fully aware of what they want. The town excels at making people think they're happy for about five seconds, and then just as they're about to realize how unhappy they are, the town throws something else bright and shiny at them in the hopes that they'll never notice. Yes, it's nice to see a scantily-clad woman dancing on a tabletop three feet in front of you...aside from the fact that she's being paid to do that. Yes, it's cool that somebody took the energy and time and creativity to build a giant replica of New York City...aside from that fact that it's a casino and that they're trying to take your money. Vegas is like the obnoxious frat party I decided to attend on a whim and after five minutes I knew I wanted to go home and watch a movie. I don't think people are really getting in touch with each other in Vegas. I like sitting down and having conversations. Sue me.


On the plane ride home, I ended up sitting next to the most aggressively shallow young woman in the history of aggressively shallow young women everywhere. She was flying with another young woman, and they seemed to know each other only slightly. Quite why they were traveling together I could not say. As soon as they sat down, she opened her privileged, suburban mouth:

"I didn't really like Vegas, I don't know if I ever want to come back, you know? I'm just not that into guys just constantly coming up to you all sleazy-like and everything. I'm really more about like, staying at home with my boyfriend, cuddling on the couch, you know?"

Yeah, sure you are.

"My boyfriend is really, like, individualistic. He didn't really hang out with like the cool crowd in high school or anything, he just did his own thing, but that's why I like him, you know? Like, I just always want to fit in and do whatever everybody else is doing or whatever, but he's totally not like that. He's got this tattoo on his arm that says 'Stand,' he says it's for his favorite song or something."

Not R.E.M.'s "Stand"? Can you imagine a guy getting a tattoo because his favorite song is R.E.M.'s "Stand"? How about a tattoo of "Orange Crush" while you're at it?

"Guys always come up to him and are like, 'Stan'? Do you have like a really close friend named Stan or something? It's funny."

I was waiting for the "No Electronic Devices" sign to finally flash off, so that I could crank my mp3 player up. LOUD.

"She's like my best friend. We met on the first day of 1st Grade and we're still like the best of friends, but sometimes we stopped hanging out for long periods. Like, she didn't have that many boyfriends, and I always had a bunch of boyfriends, so she was always kind of jealous..."

Dear God! Get me off this plane! And then she began showing off all the photos she had of her shallow friends on her digital camera. I was not offered a peak. Admit it you little skank, Vegas was perfect for you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Thank you so much...
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