Saturday, September 27, 2014

How much sin can one take?

"In a town full of bedrock crazies, nobody even notices an acid freak." (13)

I find the idea of the people raised and working in Las Vegas more interesting than the city itself a lot of the time.  The people who have to accommodate the guests coming and going around them, all looking for a very specific "Vegas Experience" and expecting to be handed whatever that entails.  It's a lot to live up to, like any big city, Milan, Los Angeles, Tokyo, out-of-towners have certains ideas in their head of what they're going to see.  Vegas however, is the only place I can think of, where your expectation, and intent, is to do bad things.  You expect to be able to go to Vegas, live in a land of vice for a few day and skate away.  Now many of the people living and working there, have no interest in giving you that experience, it's not actually their job.  They're restaurant works, bartenders, cab drivers, and even most of the people who work at the hotels along the strip.  However the fact still remains, this is where you go to be bad.  No wonder Gonzo Journalism is the perfect fit.  Take a bunch of drugs and just write everything until you pass out - in a town like that, it's the only way you can write.  No one is going to go to Vegas and sit in their hotel room typing away on their work, usuing only their imagination and taking in the scenery.  That's for Paris, London, New York - those are cities you can sit in.  

Anthony Bourdain went to Vegas for his show Parts Unknown, highlighting many of those very people, the ones who are still there, even once the dust clears and the crowds fall into a stupor.  Most of the people there are much more cynical than those who arrive - so the question remains, what's the point?  What does it really offer?  

1 comment:

  1. Eleanor,
    What exactly are you asking in those last questions? What does Vegas offer or what does writing like Thompson's offer? And to be fair, Thompson did a bunch of drugs and engaged in craziness everywhere he went, not just Vegas. :)