Friday, June 19, 2009

Leaving Las Vegas. Already. And None too soon.

I suppose I should say something about las vegas since I'm leaving it today.

First off it's not immediately as extreme as I was expecting. I, at least wasn't struck with a sense of inescapable seediness. Not right away, though, that's all. It comes on slow, like good mescaline, as the man says. The terrible desperation on the faces of flocks of overweight white haired middle Americans isn't immediately as palpable as that on the faces if the droves of San Franciscan homeless. In fact, though I'm the first person to admit that I think of all addictions and afflictions gambling is absolutely the most stupid and least deserving of sympathy, and of all types of gambling addictions a problem involving ones love if slot machines is the most stupid and ridiculous of an already empty and petty way to screw up one's life, I couldn't help throwing a few dollars into one myself. And I will admit that I am part of the problem that makes the shrewder element of this city unspeakably rich in that I am now one of an untold number who can say they essentially considered it worthy entertainment to put their own money into someone else's fancy money box (there an be no better metaphor for these things) but I quit at five, okay, ten dollars (not counting the money I won and then put back in the machines.) I will never understand how, first someone could sit all day at one and lose more than they expected to and second how they could possibly get angry with it or the establishment for any negative consequences arising from their own negligent pre frontal cortex. So yeah, if you're reading this thinking I'm too hard on the poor gamblaholics just remember that I couldn't care less about them and that they deserve everything they get.

Also it seems to me so far that this is where B-listers from Hollywood go to die. Better Midler is playing across the strip from our hotel in Caesars palace. She has been playing nightly for years and will continue as such. Nightly. We saw Penn & teller the other night and they've been doing it for 8 years now. 8 years. Nightly. Ditto for David Copperfield. I know prostitution is legal here but that has to make you feel a little dirty at some point. Making the same joke at the same time every evening and, worst of all, getting the same laugh, night after night, thinking about all the money and how it is totally worth it because, well yeah, it's every night in Vegas, and it's this horrendous treadmill of falsities but the money is just great. Really... wonderful.

Other amusements include being handed wallet sized photos of naked ladies every where you go on the strip. Each night the ground is carpeted in these little pictures and armies of people are employed to rid the morning of this x-rated cushion underfoot.

Also yesterday was spent, 15 hours of it at least, busing to and returning from the grand canyon. Which was large and spectacular as natural holes in deserts go. Pictures to follow when connections permit. As it is now a flight leaves for the city so good they named it again and again which I shall be on within the hour.

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