Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Fear and Loathing

I never really understood how ridiculously right on Hunter Thompson’s book title was until I started visiting Las Vegas on a semi-regular basis.  Not that I feel either of these things when I go to Vegas, though it seems the rest of the world is in direct agreement with Mr. Thompson.  They all hate the Vegas.  I’ve never really understood this concept.  How can one hate Las Vegas?  It’s basically a town that incorporates everything that is great about America…and even some of the not so great things.  It is the ultimate city of the get rich quick ethic (we all know that’s the true American Dream…who want’s to work when you can win it all in one epic round of Blackjack?)  Everything in Vegas, in true All-American fashion is bigger.  I mean, the hotels are miles long, the buffets are never ending, even daytime seems to stretch to oblivion.  Now, all these things also happen to be what most people find to be utterly disgusting about America, and I’m not putting myself outside of that group, but I’m also not putting myself outside of the group, ‘American.’  If I learned one thing from the time I spent living in another country it is this, I am American.  As much as I’m not some rifle-wielding, $4.99 prime-rib special eating, ford-truck driving, American, I can’t put myself outside of the group/label American because I am one.  Now aren’t I just disproving my point?  If this is everything to hate about America, why would anyone in their right mind like Las Vegas?  I’ll tell you.

Las Vegas is the ultimate example of freedom.  And though I wouldn’t argue that America is ‘free’ (here’s to you patriot act), it is a concept that we seem to be obsessed with.  And if you think about it, as far as countries in the world go, America is pretty free (not as free as we tout ourselves as being, but pretty free).  Take this mess in Pakistan.  When Kennedy was shot there weren’t fatal attacks and riots.  There wasn’t mass destruction in this country.  Also, I know it’s something we take for granted, but it’s a pretty amazing thing that every four years power changes hands in the U.S. and there is no threat of Coup, no bombings, it’s a peaceful process.  In that sense, I’d say we’re doing okay.  So in a country where it’s women are not forced to wear a veil to school, where we are able to disagree with, and even speak out against power (you’re hard pressed to find someone who won’t speak out against Bush now), Las Vegas is an outward expression of the freedom (or impression of freedom) we posses.  
In Vegas the societal conventions are slightly askew.  It’s not as though one can completely disregard all societal norms, and it’s not as though there are things that are legal in Las Vegas that aren’t legal elsewhere (unless you leave the city of Vegas and go to the Bunny Ranch or some such place of ill-repute that I will, at some point in my life, write an incredibly eye-opening story about).  But Vegas itself does not have legal prostitution or legal drugs, it doesn’t really have anything that one can’t get at Pechanga Indian Casino and Resort.  But what Las Vegas does have, and this is what is so great about it, is the illusion of being more open, a place to let loose where you don’t have to worry about the consequences of your actions.  I understand that this is just plain untrue, and if I ever get married or pregnant or arrested while in Vegas, I do understand that I will have to face the consequences, but when I’m in Vegas, things like that don’t phase me.  This is not to say that I do anything differently in Vegas than in my actual life.  I usually go to Vegas with my girlfriends, so I’ll probably skip the pregnancy, and until same sex marriage is legalized, we don’t have to worry about that.  Plus, you have to be doing something really amazingly crazy to get arrested in Vegas, so the threat is sort of gone.  
I don’t really gamble, I’m not much one for strip clubs (plus, there are about a gajillion in L.A.), and I can’t afford to see shows in Vegas.  So what, you might ask, is so great about Las Vegas that I go at least once a year?  Like I said it’s that perception of freedom.  If we were to order a stripper to come to our house in L.A., it might be a little embarrassing to face the neighbors in the morning.  But ordering one to a hotel room in Vegas (which has happened), we walked out of our room with pride, and, I might add, made quite an impression on the high school cheerleaders that were staying in the room next to us.  ‘That’s right,’ we seemed to say when we left the room in the morning on our way to a now infamous four hour long champagne brunch, ‘when you’re older, you too can order a short, oiled-up, faux-australian man in a leopard print thong and work boots to come to your room and make your friend eat one dollar bills out of his g-string.’  Can we do it in L.A.?  Sure.  Is it better in Vegas?  Of course.  Where else can you go drunken shopping at 1 in the morning, still carrying about six cans of bud light and not get arrested?  Where else can you jump in the fountains at Caeser’s Palace, fish change out, and give it to the homeless?  Where else can you see Cirque du Celine and Barry Manilow in a two day period?  
Vegas is all about letting loose.  It’s about staying up until 5 am and not even realizing that it’s 5 am.  It’s about drinking a 48 oz. Margarita in about an hour for the low price of $8.75.  Vegas really is America.  We’ve taken the best of all other cultures, and made one big obnoxious mega-meta-culture on one street in the middle of the desert.  In the course of a few blocks you can visit a pirate ship, Venice, a Jungle and have an arabian night.  There’s no where else in the world that this is possible.  For all you naysayers about the Vegas, I say this.  Vegas is a place where whether it’s winning big in the back room of the Bellagio, or going Rachel Ray style, for $40 a day, it is what you make it.  If you go to Vegas thinking you’re above it, then you’re going to hate it.  But if you go and embrace it for all its gaudy, faux-eiffel tower, showgirls, drinking on the street goodness, then you’re guaranteed to have a great time.  And remember that ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.’  Unless, of course, you let some guy take pictures of the tattoo on your ass for $20, then everyone might know what happened in Vegas.  Hopefully no one in that picture will run for a political office…
Peace, Love, and Viva Las Vegas,

Julia

December 29, 2007 Posted by | Friends, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Parties, Sex | Leave a comment