Las Vegas Stories

24 04 2006

When I first arrived in Los Angeles in the Seventies, it was very typical to hear New Yorkers like myself comment on the unreality of it all. I remember saying myself that I spent hours looking behind every building, looking to see if they were propped-up false fronts.

Okay, so I wasn’t very original.

But all of this palls completely when faced with the complete unreality that is Las Vegas.

Okay, so I’m aware that this also isn’t an original statement. Every tourist in the world seems to be taking pictures of the fake Statue of Liberty outside of one casino/hotel, or the fake Sphinx outside of another one. The really impressive thing about all of this is that they seem to be taking picture of it to preserve the touching memories, not because they are totally cynical about it.

It boggles the mind.

Yesterday I checked their Yellow Pages. There are almost twelve pages of check cashing (called “Payday”) and Pawnbrokers. It’s a place where it seems that if you aren’t giving your money away to someone else, you are being positively Unamerican. Is it simply lack of access that prevents Al Queda from blowing the place to smithereens? Or do they secretly harbor the desire to get that big casino payoff, or ride on the Monorail past the Paris Hotel and stare at the fake Eiffel Tower?

The town completely creeps me out.

On the other hand, since I’m here in Lost Wages (sorry sorry, old joke there) to attend the NAB convention, I don’t really see much of the town. I’m too busy in the middle of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Much interesting here at NAB. I’ll report on that some other time.

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