Las Vegas: Love it or Loathe it?

Recently, I’ve been feeling the urge to visit Las Vegas again. What do you think of the city of lights? I have a few thoughts…
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Las Vegas is a money-sink, from which your wallet enters and never returns. But I think it has good qualities, too.

As I see it, Las Vegas has three primary draws: Gambling, Sex, and Shows. I dig all three of them, to some extent.

Gambling: If you have a modicum of self-control, gambling is no more expensive than a pricey night out on the town… I can sit down at a $10 minimum Blackjack table in Las Vegas and play all night on $50. That’s potentially five hours of entertainment, or $10/hour. Hell, if you get popcorn, a drink, and a movie ticket, you’re practically spending that much per hour anyway. Plus, Gambling is FUN. The adrenaline rush, the chance to play the odds, the crush of defeat, the surge of victory. It’s great fun.

Sex: Las Vegas is changing, slowly.. it’s becoming more and more of a family place (see Shows, below), and that’s beginning to impact the sex trade. But as it is now– oh no! Naked women (and men.. more than you might expect, if you’ve never been there)! It’s the end of the world! Oh wait, that’s right, it isn’t. I think sex and attraction are natural, and nothing to be ashamed of, or hide in closets of guilt and anxiety. I like seeing the female figure, especially when it’s dancing and shaking and trying to turn me on– it’s trying to turn me on. Hurrah! I’m not interested in pursuing the scantily clad dancers any more than I’m interested in holding a meaningful conversation with and starting to date a Simpsons episode on my TV at home. It’s entertainment, it’s harmless fun if you’re responsible, and our society makes entirely too much of a big deal about it. I’m not sure that I’d want to go to a sex show in Vegas, butI certainly see nothing wrong with it.

Shows: And what neat shows they are. I truly consider the Blue Man Group show that I saw a life-changing experience, and that’s only one out of probably a dozen big-time, expensive, and utterly amazing shows you can visit every night in Las Vegas. Plus, if sex still freaks you out, the shows are driving out the naughtiness and replacing it with video arcades, more little shows, and more children.

So I think Las Vegas is a great place to visit… If you visit sparingly and responsibly. What do you think?

One Response to “Las Vegas: Love it or Loathe it?”

“Love and loathe” are so diametrically opposed — how can somebody blindly pick one or the other? That’s why I didn’t respond for a while — I was very tempted to just say “one vote for loathe.” But, that’d probably give the wrong impression. Las Vegas has many redeeming qualities, one being, as you’ve mentioned, a kind of honesty. Other big cities might have all of what you said, but it wouldn’t be out in the open. Las Vegas says, “We know you want it, and we’ve got it.” It not only attracts the liberals with this openness, but the closet-liberals too (those raging conservatives).

However, what makes it so interesting is that Las Vegas is not only honest but completely fake at the same time. I mean, it’s in the middle of the desert — where’d all that water come from? And that’s just touching the surface.

Aside from that paradox, what I don’t like about Las Vegas is that so many people don’t realize what it is, I think. This gets them hurt. They get sucked in because maybe they’ve been repressed all their lives, or for other reasons. But, of course, you’ve got to have freedoms and that’s what Las Vegas is all about, right? With freedom comes responsibilities and maybe that’s what the problem comes down to. And, as you’re always adament about, you can’t start limiting people’s freedoms just because they’re too dumb not to hurt themselves.

As a more direct response, the few times I was at Las Vegas I only did one of the three things you mention — I gambled with $5 and left with a few dollars more. I know, I’m not that much fun. But, I stayed at the Treasure Island hotel, which was rather amusing, and wandered around the streets when it got dark which is really what Las Vegas is all about.

I must ask though — why this fixation on Las Vegas? My theory is it is another way to express your obsession with freedoms 🙂

Teisha - April 15th, 2005 at 2:05 pm

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