Presidents and presidential assassins are like Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Even though one city is all about sin and the other is all about salvation, they are identical, one-dimensional company towns built up by the sheer will of true believers.
Many a man who goes to Las Vegas to get away from it all soon finds that Las Vegas gets it all away from him.
There is always a sneer in Las Vegas. The mountains around it sneer. The desert sneers. And arrogant in the middle of its wide valley, dominating those diligent sprawling suburbs, the downtown city sneers like anything.
For a loser, Vegas is the meanest town on earth.
I mean, what do you do in Las Vegas? You gamble - and you go to strip clubs.
For me, Vegas is a vacation from being overinhibited, in the highly overinhabited yet uninhabitable city of complete uninhibition.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but the 400-pound woman perched in front of a slot machine, oozing bum-flesh off her stool as she balanced a cocktail and cigarette in one hand and robotically tugged the slot arm with the other... that's still with me.
Las Vegas is a resort whose two chief sorces of income are seven and eleven.
I'd rather be in Las Vegas 104 degrees than New York 90 degrees, you know why? Legalized prostitution. In any weather that takes the edge off.
Contemporary Las Vegas is astonishing. At night, it is a brilliant cluster of jewels of all shapes, sizes, and colors, glowing in the middle of a vast, black velvet canopy. By day, it is also an amazing sight, almost like a mirage. There is nothing but desert and rugged mountains all around, and then--in the middle of it all--one of the largest and fastest growing cities in the United States ... truly an enigma.
Las Vegas is perhaps the most color-blind, class-free place in America. As long as your cash or credit line holds out, no one gives a damn about your race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, address, family lineage, voter registration or even your criminal arrest record. Money is the great leveler.
Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. Make the bastard chase you. He will follow.
With everything it has to offer, Las Vegas is an obvious destination for tourists, as proven by the over 40 million visitors the city welcomes per year.
There's just no quiet in Vegas.
The guys have a lot of good cars built up. We're going to do some more testing before we go back to Las Vegas and try to win at Vegas again. We need to get off to a quick start.
No presidential candidate should visit Las Vegas without condemning organized gambling.
The night before I left Las Vegas I walked out in the desert to look at the moon. There was a jeweled city on the horizon, spires rising in the night, but the jewels were diadems of electric and the spires were the neon of signs ten stories high.
Las Vegas: all the amenities of modern society in a habitat unfit to grow a tomato.
Las Vegas is sort of like how God would do it if he had money.
It's hard to imagine a bigger desert oasis than Las Vegas.
In Vegas, I got into a long argument with the man at the roulette wheel over what I considered to be an odd number.
In the fledgling days of the town, the notorious Block 16 was set aside for card games and prostitution. Sin and commerce have marched hand-in-hand ever since, but this alliance made Las Vegas no more atypical than any other American city of the time. The difference is that Las Vegas extolled with pride what other places sought to hide. To the commonplace culture of heavily populated cities and industrial towns that made up the urban fabric of the country, Las Vegas alone stood as the behavioral "Other," a land where the "victimless" crimes of sex, drink, and gambling were not only condoned, but celebrated.
In Las Vegas, everything takes place as if the absence of any sense of belonging to the environment entailed a hypertrophied sensitivity to details. There is no possibility of visual escape into perceptual horizons of indeterminateness (left-right, forward-back, near-far), but, instead, only the pregnancy of enlarged, exaggerated and highlighted forms. Behind each lit-up sign no space is hollowed out, no incipient world. Everything is there, everything is flat. As thick as the giant advertising billboards that ubiquitously package it, loading it with nave and comic symbols, crude, schematic messages, Las Vegas is a city of literal superficiality.
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