Vegas: the Beast & 7 Deadlies
I admit that the tourist spectacle of Las Vegas, the very shamelessness of its gilt-edged tawdriness, stirs a certain repulsive fascination for me.
But that aside, my sense of the city is that it combines a manifestation of the Beast of the Apocalypse with a showcase for the Seven Deadly Sins.
The photo below shows Lust, but even greater is greed (primarily on the part of the hordes clustered around the gambling, including me mthe other night for $2 worth)
Then there are legendary buffets that cater to gluttony (I went for a very Chocolate French pastry by the Eiffel Tower.)
Pride, in the form of hubris, pervades everything. It shows above all in the confidence this endlessly lavish, spectacle of pointless, metastasizing consumption can be plopped down & maintained in the middle of a desert.
This hotel has it right: it’s a mirage. And the Mexican section of “The World’s Largest Gift Shop” jauntily shoves at customers the underlying reality of it all: memento mori! Eat drink & be merry, suckers, because tomorrow. . .
. . . Oh, but there is no tomorrow in Vegas.
Only one of the Seven Deadlies eluded my prying gaze here: sloth, acedia. Every where I turned, people were working hard, from the pimps on the corners, to scurrying hotel clerks, the dealers at the craps tables,–even most of the revelers crowding the Saturday night street appeared diligent to the point of obsession in their-pleasure seeking; I certainly was.
But what about the culminating deadly sin of Anger/Wrath? Seemingly it doesn’t fit the city’s painstakingly maintained image of naughty fun.
But fear not: it’s right offstage, just up U.S. 95 at what is reputed to be the biggest U.S. Killer drone facility, Creech Air Force Base. (There was a round of little-noted anti-drone protests there early this month, and a “Sacred Peace Walk” from Vegas to Creech is underway this week.)
Think these two places aren’t connected?
That’s exactly what they want you to believe.
You can bet on it.