A Short(ish) Dissertation on the Extent to which I love Technology and hate Las Vegas.
This past week has been a blur. I know, so cliché, but it really has. (Is it cliché to refer to a popular cliché as cliché when other people undoubtedly do the same?) Last Saturday, I boarded a plane and flew over the country, all the way to Las Vegas, Nevada. If you’ve never been to Las Vegas, I suggest you go. If you’re a gambler, you’ll love it (and most likely you’ll end up broke). If you like to see new things, you’ll find plenty in LV. If you have ever wanted to see the epitome of human depredation condensed into one thick, seething, noisy, obnoxious conglomerate of people, then Las Vegas is the place for you.
Las Vegas is one gigantic money-sucking pit. The entire purpose of the city is to squeeze every last coin from its tourist’s pockets. The first thing I saw when I disembarked from the plane was an array of “one-armed bandits” (slot machines). They sat there dinging away and hungrily flashing their ever-beckoning lights, and people sat in the seats and fed the slots, watching their credits dwindle to zero. Gambling. When one goes to leave the airport, one must find transportation, right? Of course right. Transport. Now that you’ve wasted some money in the slot machines and paid a taxi driver or bus driver or rental car fee, you can hand over some cash for lodging! Hotels. Of course, now everyone’s hungry. Care to spend $45 for a burger? Food. Oh, good, now that we’re where we wanted to go and comfortably rested, why don’t we check our emails? It’s only $10 a day for wifi! Internet. Maybe we could play some cards while we’re wandering through one of the countless casinos in the bottoms of all these hotels. More Gambling. Perhaps we could go see a show or visit a local attraction? Entertainment. Maybe we have loose morals and we’d like some company tonight. Erm… Entertainment? I could go on, but I have the feeling you get the point.
I did enjoy seeing the fountain show at the Bellagio, the volcano at the Mirage, and the luxurious decor in the other high-end temporary lodgings. I couldn’t help but feel, though, as I walked through all of the semi-opulence, how much waste was all around — the ridiculously expensive hotels and the fancy clothes and the pricey food and the silly trivialities on which people spend their money! The entire city centers around the gambling; it’s where the casinos really make their money, but then there’s the high price of everything else. The interesting thing is, everything combines to create an attraction in and of itself. People pay to see Las Vegas for Las Vegas! They pay to ride in limousines and helicopters and all of modes of exotic transport. All to see what? The product of their waste.
Oh well. This, I suppose, is why I’m not extremely wealthy. I’d spend it all on technology and charity.
Oh, I said technology up there, didn’t I? Did I mention that I actually went to see the NAB show? More on that tomorrow.