vegas probably shouldn't exist from an ecological standpoint.
it's unjustifiable. i also love las
vegas and will defend it as long as it manages to exist against all logical and environmental
odds. it's filthy and full of equal measures pleasure and pain; it is a place of few lies. it
feels desperately human. it chafes against countrywide expectations of wholesomness and propriety.
capitalism is alive and well here, but it shows its fangs. no one comes to vegas expecting to not
get swindled. no one comes to vegas thinking they will be anything but an exploited consumer. in
return, they get genuine spectacle. in many US cities, wealth has taken on a strange patina of
denial. the elite of various industries compete to see who can appear the most rustic or drink
from the most ball jars. restaurants no average person can responsily afford bedeck themselves in
reclaimed materials. 21st century american wealth is obsessed with denial, guilt, and poverty
aesthetics. vegas doesn't give a fuck. vegas is about spectacle and your money travels as long as
you don't sink too much into slots. you get bang for your buck and you will be delivered
from your mundane (sub)suburban existence to something that feels big and thrilling. even just
walking around you get to take in sights like the Paris or Bellagio. Worldly travelers will turn
their nose up and deride what is, objectively, a cheap facsimilie. but a well executed facsimilie
is beautiful and anyone who makes it to vegas can gaze upon the baroque shapes and texture of
antique paris without spending a dime. opposition to las vegas on a cultural level is pure
classism. capitalism is a broken system that encourages exploitation and suffering for the benefit
of an undeserving minority, but within that context there are degrees of punishment for the poor.
las vegas minimizes the punishment and encourages pure hedonism for whomever can make it there.
pure hedonism is a pure expression of humanity, second in virtue only to selfish altruism. self-flagelleting
altruism is pointless, but self enriching altruism ensures a species that balances self-care with
other-care. are we eusocial yet?