A semi-daily chronicle of my life as a musician, a family man, and a citizen of Oregon.

Mar 15, 2007


Having spent four days here, and on my fourth trip here, I feel qualified to provide my assessment of the city of Las Vegas, at least from the point of view of a business traveler and sometime fun-seeker.

Vegas Sucks.

Things I don't like about Vegas:

- No matter how spiritually developed you are as a person, one cannot spend any time in this city without feeling at least a moment of envy. There is such excess at every corner here, and the constant presentation is of such hedonism and lack of thought for consequence, it really is amazing. Las Vegas is the epitome of over-everything. I found myself thinking my second day here "It's not fair that I don't have my own limousine. I'm a good person. I make witty observations on my blog. I write good songs sometimes. Isn't that enough? What more do you want of me, oh lord?" Quickly after that I thought "Oh, yeah, that's right. I don't care about limousines. What the heck am I thinking?"

- The experience of Las Vegas is very similar to that of being picked up by your ankles and shaken by a grade-school bully trying to get all of the money out of your pockets. I have a long-standing aversion to gambling, but I set aside my prejudice last night to spend $5 on the slots. I had promised a friend at work I would spend a fiver and give her whatever winnings I got. It took me literally less than one minute to spend $5 on a nickel slot. Perhaps I should have spent 5 cents at twenty different slot machines.

I did get a free White Russian, which I drank as I stared at the slot machine and those around me. Although I did make a genuine attempt to keep an open mind I just couldn't determine what it was exactly about this activity that was fun. If you know me you may be reading this and thinking "well, Dave's just too logical to enjoy gambling". But even on an emotional level - why is this so fun for people? Cause the people I saw love it. I know that my sample set was skewed as I sat in front of a slot machine in a big Vegas casino, but there has to be something to the activity. The whole city is built on this premise.

- Las Vegas exhibits an incredible amount of waste. You would think that with one trillion, five billion, seven million, two hundred-sixty thousand hotels in Vegas (give or take) it would be a priority to give those staying in hotels some way to recycle. To be fair, it is possible that the hotels are recycling the materials once housekeeping collects it, but I doubt it. If you've been here you know what I'm talking about.

- People think the weather's nice, but they don't know what they're talking about. It's hot here all the time, or at least every time I've been here. And while it's hot in a way that makes it fun to hang out by the pool at your hotel (if you're lucky enough to be in a hotel that has a decent pool) it's also hot in the way that a Wal-Mart parking lot is hot during the summer. Hot plus suffocating. The city is all pavement & black top and the only trees are either palm trees or exacerbating the drought problem I mentioned earlier.

- People are constantly shouting - either due to excitement or assholery. I find this fact particularly disturbing. It makes me think, "You are obviously an extraordinarily lazy person. Why not show some initiative and walk over to the person that you're talking to. Is it necessary to speak to someone who is twenty yards away from you?"

- Finally, I don't like it when short Mexican women slap me in the chest with brochures for a brothel featuring pornographic imagery. I know, I know, this is a quirk of mine, but please understand that that's just how I am. I don't like that. Each time I've been to the strip this has happened. They slap you in the chest with it and then drop it, so you have no choice but to either catch the thing or let it drop and be a litterer. Not liking either of these options I'm equally likely to choose the former and the latter. Just depends on the day, but either way the experience is unpleasant.