Saturday, February 02, 2008

Fear & Loathing, Shock & Awe

Above left, baggage claim at Las Vegas airport. I passed many slot machines on the way. Right, obelisk at the edge of the Bellagio garden atrium.

On Thursday evening, after watching the Democratic debate and having delicious tapas at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, Darling Husband drove me around The Strip. Everyplace in Vegas, I discovered, has speakers blasting music: restaurants (no wonder I nearly lost my voice over dinner), sidewalks, the Bellagio parking garage, the unused swimming pools at our hotel.

NRA caps abound this weekend, as the SHOT show is in town. I stood by the Glock van at the airport while waiting for DH to come 'round in the rental car. (He's displaying his wares at the show, though nothing related to firearms.)

Imagine Times Square--only louder, taller, brighter, flashier and plastered everywhere with images of skinny white girls with big tits--spread out as vast as Los Angeles, surrounded by crenelated hills of brown dirt. That's Las Vegas.

"Oh My God," I kept exclaiming. "Our civilization is doomed."

And then on to Bellagio, where after slow traffic allowed us a nicely heated view of the Dancing Waters (with blaring soundtrack, natch), we were puzzled to find a lavish Chinese display in the atrium garden, per pix below. WTF? Then DH recalled that it's Chinese New Year; apparently the Year of the Rat. An Asian family, complete with baby in arms, posed for pictures.

Bugsy Siegel was onto something. So was Hunter S. Thompson.

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