Friday, January 31, 2014

Las Vegas Visit

   I just spent 4 days at Treasure Island. Or the TI as they are now mysteriously calling it. Turning a product name into its initials is always a sign of an impending apocalypse of the entire enterprise. Not that the place is falling apart. Though they are apparently dismantling the pirate ship performance that used to occur on the sidewalk. Down at the south end of the Strip there is even more ruinous destruction happening where the foul stench of sewage used to roil through the streets.
   Making accommodations for pedestrians is at the very bottom of the priority list on the Strip. High on the priority list is wedging still another heinously "high end" fashion into a sprawling indoor walkway inside a hotel-casino combo or one of the proliferating mall environments.
   Having been born into a carnival family it is immediately apparent to me but probably not to anyone else that all of Las Vegas is basically an evolved carnival. I see the same scams in operation there that were in operation in the Checcini & Leveggi "Kraft's 20 Big Shows" that used to meander up and down Central California from Fresno to Bakersfield to Willows to San Fernando, wherever white trash and illegal Mexicans gathered together and near whatever railroad tracks harbored the most plush and lavish hobo jungles that my father worked in. As I walk down the Strip and look up at all the flashing lights I can still feel the dirt under my bare feet that I felt in the fields and empty lots that the carnival would set-up for a week or whatever to provide some surcease from the ennui caused by the exhaustion and meaninglessness of the United States entry onto WW2, the war that if left alone would have resulted in Europe becoming Advanced. Certainly at least more advanced than they are now as they sink into the oblivion of fruit stands and pastry shops on the cobbled 500 year old sidewalks of the cobbled 500 year old alleyways they call streets.
   Las Vegas is the only city where "liberty" has any actual existence at all in America. And the Mob created the city. The people who according to Law Enforcement are devoted to curtailing peoples' liberties. Law Enforcement I would remind you is in the business of kidnapping strangers into slave labor camps and looting all their property. The Good Citizenry calls this "maintaining order." I call it rampant anarchy. You can understand why I have such a low opinion of the good citizenry: they have everything 180 degrees 100% backwards.
   The members of "organized crime" or as I call it "the free market" created the happiest place on earth and didn't bat an eye when Walt Disney dared to use that expression for his silly little childrens' playground. His spirit did however inhabit Las Vegas during the bleak period when Whoever Was In Charge decided that "creating a family atmosphere" was a good idea. Even today the place is rife with children, but fortunately most of them are Chinese children who are very well behaved and seem to have a distinct yen for a carnival atmosphere which they all seem to quietly observe with interest.
   By about 8 PM all the casinos are alive with noise and drunks, none of whom I have ever seen become disorderly. I think all the racket keeps them in a stupor that can only be expressed properly by yelling at a craps table. Apparently my long-time insistence that the things you want to do the most when drunk is take off your clothes and or drive was not completely thorough. Apparently the urge to gamble is right up there with the other two because it's only after a few drinks have been guzzled that the conviction that losing all of one's money wagering is a good idea hits the brain hard. The fact that every casino and gambling hall encourages drinking would be enough - if you were raised in a carnival and automatically see-through veneers as a result - to show even a moron that something was afoot with gambling in general if the proprietors will get you drunk for free. But most people unlike myself were not raised in a carnival. A carnival owned and operated by Italians, I might add. Most people think that what's there is always what's actually there. In Las Vegas this is never the case. In Las Vegas what you think is there is actually hiding a pickpocket.


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