Vegas Baby...and I'm Broke!
i think i've written enough journal entries on how broke i've been
over the years. during my senior year in college, when my parents
were going through a rough time financially, i usually had about $50
to my name...actually one time i had $7.
but now of course...with juliann and i both having professional
degrees...well we should be fucking rich, right? i'm entitled to that
damn it! actually i don't feel entitled at all. i view how broke we
are with slight amusement (and much chagrin). there will be at span
of 3 days in october when all juli and i have to our names are $127.
$127. for a couple with two professional degrees.
of course that didn't deter either me or juliann from acting
imprudently by going to vegas. in our defense, our respective
bachelor/bachelorette parties were planned long in advance. she went
with friends and i went with her brothers (one of which is getting
now juli's brothers are both high-paid professionals. they've been
saving literally for years. they also have expenseive taste.
needless to say, i got a lot broker (is that a word?) over the course
of this past weekend. but nobody reading this really gives a fuck
about how broke i am and how much it is my own fault. what i am here
to talk about is vegas.
i can't tell if i love or despise vegas. it allows all sin.
actually, my dad (who coincidentally was also in vegas that weekend
for a trade show) made a very interesting yet obvious observation.
you see...vegas is built around one simple premise. you come to vegas
and provided that you are 21 years of age and do not do anything that
is deemed illegal under nevada law, you can do whatever you want. no
judgments, no ignominy, just freedom. freedom to engage in whatever
debauchery you wish. in fact, we, as nevada lawmakers are even going
to bend the law a bit and accomodate you...legalizing gambling and
certain other veyr interesting things such as no prohibition on open
container laws (which of course means that you can get shit-canned
anywhere and everywhere in public...ah, freedom!).
one odd thing to me and something that my dad can't believe is that
prostitution is not legal in vegas. instead we have these "piss down
our back and tell us it's raining ordeals" where we have "escorts."
really? that's not prostitution? of cousre that led to a fabulously
uncomfortable moment in which a trashed escort came up to me as i was
with my brothers in law and offered that she would, "suck my balls
so what's interesting is that, when you are in vegas, and you see
people in vegas, this is how they want to act with no strings
attached. this is not how these people (at least i hope!) wouuld
normally act. shit, this isn't even how people would act on their
usual family vacation. rather, this is how adults act when they feel
that thye face little to no consequences.
the $10M question is...is it a good thign? a simple question with a
complex answer. my dad is of the opinoin that it is a great thign.
he has the view that people are necessarily evil by nature (a view i
share with him and is also shared by the renowned stephen pinker).
let me back up. people aren't necessarily "evil" in the classic
sense, but there is a drive to do what is normally viewed with
disfavor in general public discourse.
drinking and making an ass out of yourself. sex. oh god the sex. i
have never seen such eye-popping women as in vegas. sex is our
instinct, sex is good, sex in its depraved form, in objectifying women
(and men...they do have a LOT of male strippers in vegas), is what
it's all about.
i simultaneously hate and lvoe vegas. i begrudingly agree with my
dad. people need this "erlass" (a german word i don't know the
english translation for and am too lazy to look up at the moment).
they need that "freedom" to be who they want. and why is it such a
bad thing? as long as people aren't hruting others it is okay. and
frankly, you don't have to fuckign go to vegas. if you go there
expect shit to go down. in fact, it is ingenious. a place way the
fuck away from normal life in the middle of a desert state to allow
people to wild out.
it is always odd to me, as my parents are always the pinnacle of
reservation (even when they partied) that "normal" adults, who likely
ahve steady jobs and families will act in the manner that they do.
let me tell you what my dad did in vegas (with pictures as proof!)
while there for a trade show. he drove 45 minutes outside of vegas to
hte valley of fire. he hiked around and took pictures of rocks in his
contrast that to what most people did that i saw. men my dad's age
hit on the lovely young women mercilessly. it was awkward and
appalling at times (as some of them didn't even have the presence of
mind to take off their wedding ring in the process!).
the debauchery was not confined to the men. women were wasted and i
witnessed one 40 something woman get into it with another because the
other spilled her ridiculously large margarita. vegas baby, vegas.
i never understood why the taliban attacked new york and the world
trade center. it is the pinnacle of hard work, efficiency and what
capitalism is all about. capitalism, in my opinoin, is a blessing to
the world. i will argue to the death with socialists and communists
and i will win. capitalism for its many faults is the best system
there is. why did the taliban not attack vegas? isn't that truly the
affront to the 14th century caliphate they so dearly wish to bring
isn't it appalling to them and doesn't it make their blood boil that
women can walk around scantily clad, holding a 50 oz margarita and
flaunt themselves thrwoing themselvs on male strippers? isn't it
sickening to the taliban that men can gamble away their life earnings?
isn't that horrible? isn't that depravity in its true western form?
isn't that freedom? isnt' that the freedom that leads and allows
people to do things that i personally thing are also horrible and sad
at the same time? isn't that the freedome they wish to curtail,
binding everyone in the shackles of the most depraved book on this
earth..the quran? isn't that what they should hate and attack?
i suppose that that is why i ultimtaely love vegas. it represents
western civilization at it's "worst" but at the same time it shows how
our civilization survives and thrives and why i think it will outlast
all those that wish to shackle their populace under the yoke of
leaders the world over and people of extremist bent hate to concede
the truth in what i am going to say next. freedom is a beautiful
thing. true freedom that is. true freedom will lead men and women to
do things that are completely undesireable. if we surpress it it
comes out in other violent forms, in that men and women are willing to
strap bombs to themselves to destroy those that they see doing what
they are instinctually inclined to do. i find it a thousand times
better that somme drunk asshole will motorcycle in between some drunk
chick's tits on the stip thatn some oppressed, supressed youth will
walk into a market and blow himself up.
because true freedom, for all its faults and potential for depravity,
allows men and women to live the life they want. it is the only way
that we can ensure true happiness. even if it does mena that we have
to live in the shadow of vegas.