17 January 2008


Las Vegas: Apparently, it's topless revues. That's what the ads for Fantastique! say here at the Paris Las Vegas Casino Resort.

But at Bally's, next door and owned by the same company, they do even better than that. They are, "Making the world a better place, one dancer at a time" with their Jubilee! revue.

Down the street at The Venetian, they have a new restaurant / nightclub called Tao. It promises "spiritual dining" and "religious nightlife."

Now I can sort of understand spiritual dining. Maybe it's gourmet vegetarian food, something like that. Although I doubt it. I'm sure they've come up with some good excuse for spiritual fifty buck steaks. If the Dalai Lama can eat steak, I don't see why a diner shouldn't be able to tuck into an overpriced t-bone at Tao.

The religious nightlife though; that confuses me. That sounds too much like quiet contemplation in your cell, maybe wearing a hair shirt. Some people, I'm sure, are into that, but probably not here in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is once again trying to pass itself off as "Sin City." It fails, miserably. If there are any of the seven deadlies being broken here, it's avarice and gluttony. There's no doubt plenty of lusting going on as well, but it's mostly unrequited unless it's an expensive commercial transaction - and in that case we're back to avarice.

In truth, Las Vegas is to vice as Adventureland at Disneyland is to adventure. At Disneyland it's kids that are taken in by the artifice, here it's drunk college kids and people who've never encountered the real deal.

This evening I've got a book event at a new bookstore called Cheesecake & Crime. It's in Henderson, a suburb of Vegas. I think it might be where the real world - at least the real world of shopping malls and strip malls and grocery stores and little houses where the people who work along The Strip can afford to live - is to be found. Maybe there will even be some real vice. Although I doubt it.

No comments: