Adults in "Let's pretend" land

FTLComm - Las Vegas, Nevada - Thursday, April 28, 2005
So much of what impression a place makes on a person is determined by their predisposition, the individual's attitudes, where they are from and their ethnic and cultural upbringing. Having watched movies and television for much of my life I had already formed an attitude about this place notoriously referred to for most of the last century as "sin city."

But actually being there experiencing the environment if only for a few days is much different than movies and television. First off, I did not see a single naked lady. Now we were there for the National Association of Broadcasters convention so we only had the evenings to look around and that limited us to only a few of the amazing variety of hotels and tourist attractions. As you look over the selection of images below you will realise we really did little more than touch the surface.

But, despite these limitations I think it only fair to give you some of my impressions, these are not facts but observations from my point of view as a sixty-year-old Protestant Canadian.

The place stinks. I am not talking about its nature or why it exists I am talking about the air, it stinks. I discussed this with a well traveled fellow Tisdale citizen today and he told me that Vegas is really one of the better American Western cities for pollution and that Phoenix really stinks. But for me the air outside, the air in the casinos, the convention centre and the haze toward the surrounding mountains makes one wonder about the people of the United States and their president's determination to avoid the Kyoto accord. They are in serious trouble and breathing air that smells of petroleum distillate day in and day out has got to shorten a person's life then add to that the idea that this is a place were medical care depends on private medical plans and one in every ten citizens has not coverage what ever.

The editor and animator that I accompanied on this journey had visited the place more than once before and though I noticed this next thing it was they who pointed out that this was something new. Las Vegas is a place of the exploited. Waiters, custodians, those who serve were Hispanic, Afro-American, Chinese or newly immigrated Russian. This made us uncomfortable because it was so blatant and obvious. So much for the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The third observation and one that was like being struck by a fast moving taxi was the lack of manners and civility among the people who like ourselves were visiting this tourist place. American's manners are so lacking that it is really inappropriate to consider them part of a civilised society.

The crass economic conditions of the place of course are overwhelming and say far more about my view of the world than of what I observed. The exploitation of people, women as objects, legal prostitution with advertising everywhere you look at the realisation that people are bought and sold in this place was not something that seems to match the rhetoric of a people who voted for a government that advocates family values, the sanctity of marriage, honesty and Christian morals. The politics of the American voter and the reality of Nevada seem to be impossibly unreconcilable or else they are just plan and simple liars, I lean pretty much toward the liar theory.

The magnificent construction of tourist attractions is interesting but hardly worth the danger of making a trip just to view these things that are crafted but lack anything that might be described as originality. Art is replaced by skilled crafts and reproduction and originality of any form is not part of the scene.






Tiled roof tops of a residential area

The modest accommodation we chose

$3 a trip $5 a day monorail

MGM Grand

from 15th floor inside the Luxor

the strip at night

a bar inside Paris

The Paris lobby

a street scene in the Paris

a place of worship in Paris

at night behind the Luxor

at night behind the Luxor

The top of the Luxor

interior of Caesar's Palace

interior of Caesar's Palace

interior of Caesar's Palace

a shop in Caesar's Palace

at knight the top of Excalabar

Flamingo swimming pool

main entrance to Excalabar

Paris at night

Napoleon's bar in Paris

The front of Harrah's

A fashion show in the fashion mall

A fashion show in the fashion mall

Wynn's a new hotel under construction

Arch de triumph in front of Paris

a tourist in need of a tripod

in front of Paris

in front of Paris

definitely a big guitar

New York during the day

slop machines in the Las Vegas airport

view of Las Vegas on departure

Timothy W. Shire


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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
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306 873 2004