I flew into Las Vegas last night after a trying week and trying day. It was such an interesting experience...I have never been here previously. From the sky above the city looks like a series of glittering jewels...shining in the sea of darkness. My first impression of the city is that it is a place filled with people trying to mask who they really are and rout with the ideology of instant gratification. Everything is accessible and possible and there is a profound sadness at the root of unending freedom because we forget that everything has a cost. The cost of life here in Vegas is written on everything...what would be provocative and challenging in any other environment, here becomes blase because five other store fronts down the street are offering what you have. The city is an insomniacs waking dream where everything has a sense of the surreal and unnatural. What strikes me the most is the casinos and bars here... people are draped in a zombie like effect or the visage of an addict completely numb to their setting. I don't understand the compelling nature of gambling maybe that's because I have been so broke for so long that money wasted is a heart breaking reality. Maybe I just choose to gamble on things I feel have a better return, like relationships and art and faith and creativity. Like my reason for coming here was to see one of my favorite bands play three free shows...that is something I am willing to risk and gamble on...
They were lovely, the band I mean, after the last show we got to chat with a lot of people and everyone had such nice things to say about them. Yet even in seeing them play, and they are one of the three or four bands that I will go absolutely out of my way to see play when ever I can, there was a sense of the surreal because the set up of the venue placed a bar between the stage and the audience. In addition there was the constant sound of the casino in the background. It's a good venue for a chill jazz band or someone playing an acoustic set but rather frustrating to see a band that is so engaging and multi-layered. Really they are a band that needs to be in a space that allows them to be the focal point...not background.
I also found that Vegas is place that really screws with one's head...I can't even begin to explain how many women I saw who were just sadly dressed in next to nothing...and I'm not talking about showgirls. No these were people who were patrons gambling and trying to get attention from whomever would give it. That mentality totally depressed me to no end...I can/don't do harems of any sort I can't stand to be associated with a gaggle of women throwing themselves at men...not only does my feminist leanings start screaming about the bullshit crap that happens because of women being subsequently objectified and subjectified but on a personal level it just makes me want to eliminate any desire or need I have for sex and relationships if this is what it is. I can't stomach that belief that we women are here to serve men either as sexual robots or servants in other forms. All of the negative voices in my head about what men really want and how inadequate and unwanted I am came raging up. Once again I found myself in a space of self hatred and chaos. For a city that sells sex it's incredible how much is being offered for free.
In the end I am so grateful to see two free shows of one of my favorite bands with my best friend, for the chance to get out of dodge for a few days, and for the lovely trip with two incredible women. As for the town it's not somewhere I would really want to spend a ton of time in...that is unless I randomly decide to run off and get married in the middle of the night.