Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fear and Loathing in Viva Las Vegas

I have a very complicated relationship with Las Vegas, and by Las Vegas I don't mean the normal, real-people Las Vegas, I mean WOOO-HOOOOO, LAS VEGAS!! like girls in straw cowboy hats and little short shorts leaning out the window of a Hertz rental car at 2:00 am while stuck in traffic on the Strip. I like regular Las Vegas, the pretty landscaping of the temple, the good people I've met from there. But Woo-hoo, Las Vegas?

I have a sympathy for it, even an affection. That being said, I wouldn't touch it. It's almost exactly the same way I feel about a stray dog in the third world.

I spent this last week in Las Vegas at a convention for the College Composition and Communication group. English teachers.

Here's our tattoo offer:

And here's the sweet party up in the Stratosphere, a hotel best described as "scrappy." We did have a DJ and bright lights and lots of food.
 Speaking of food, here is some of the many unhealthy foods of which I partook:

But I love this town, weirdly. There are so many interesting people. The obviously high guy who did my temporary tattoo when I was there for Divine Comedy tour, the homeless guy asking me for a smoke while I was running (while I was running), the flocks of hen parties stumbling around in their high heels with absurd drinks in their hands.

And everything is carefully curated. This, for example, is Caesars Palace (There is no apostrophe and that drives me a just a little crazy, unless it's the palace of multiple Caesars and the word is being used as an adjective, like writers strike. Again, English teacher conference.) But it is beautiful. I mean, the classy casinos are. In the Bellagio, we listened to a harpist and flautist play Edvard Grieg while we took tea in a flower garden over looking a butterfly sanctuary.

It's hard to remember that this is all funded by the Wheel of Fortune-themed slot machines in the bowels of the casino.

1 comment:

Makayla said...

The last line of this post made me think of Ursula Le Guin's "Those Who Walk Away From Omelas." :)