Saturday, August 15, 2009

Soothing Relief for Vampire Skin

Pleasure in Vegas is relentless. Upbeat music plays constantly. The
air is hot or cool as you wish. Magically, alcohol intoxicates but
does not incapacitate. People stream by, slender, beautiful, ugly,
man, woman, mascara, cleavage, fat, white, dark skinned wearing
couture or t-shirts from their last trip to Wyoming, carrying a Gucci
bag or a half-killed bottle of Bud lite. Long term planning withers
and dies. You think only of the next instant or you grind to a halt,
standing in stoned contentment.

Today's Vegas is beautifully designed and elaborately decorated. Some
of it is beautiful: jellyfish glass flowers growing from scalloped
ceilings, synchronized fountains dancing to music. Earlier casino
architecture strove to destroy all traces of the outside world by
blocking windows and killing natural light. Time withers from the
lack of clocks and a state of perpetual twilight and dawn. Our
internal clocks' rhythms die. Evaporating along with the primitive
brain's functions seasons and days fade.

Modern casinos filter the sun through latticework and leaves. Escape,
they say. There is the exit. Leave when you want. But you stay. Inside
is pleasure. Outside is the sun exfoliating vampire skin (and in Vegas
we are all vampires), polluted traffic, grimy men dispensing flimsy
booklets of women offering sexual collisions for the cost of a phone
call. Inside, the gilded ages of kings and empires.

Judgement requires imagining the possible, the good, and the bad.
Vegas destroys judgement by destroying imagination. You do not imagine
good things, but simply expect them. The envronment offers to ooze
them as it does the soft lighting and cool air. Odds are a suckers
game. Risk is not dead but vague.

At any given moment in Vegas, there is no danger, only pleasure. There
has never been danger nor will there ever be danger. Danger is not on
the horizon because there is no horizon.

\t : iPhone->you

1 comment:

Fred Wickham said...

Tony -- wonderful writing on all these Vegas posts.