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Goodbye, Las Vegas   15 comments

LasVegas-pano_

Las Vegas

Goodbye, Las Vegas
By Tim Shey

“Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.”

“He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying”

“Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London
Unreal”

—T.S. Eliot
“The Waste Land”

_____

Desert jackals
Run to their destruction
Hollow eyes see nothing
Behind shades of glass
Painted Jezebel faces
Unrecognized by man
Mourning becomes electric
As piercing city lights
Rape the virgin night

This place never sleeps
And never awakes from death
Black Jack table bait
Roll-the-dice breath
Throw your money down
This is casino heaven
Idolatry never felt so good

This harlot language doesn’t speak
Straw fires always burn fast
I see the Prophet Jeremiah weeping
Over a people brought down to bankruptcy
By a Queen, a King and three Aces

A hitchhiker wanders hardened streets
With his burden on his back
This is the heart of darkness
Lifeless buildings built with foolish gold

I see Sodom burning
And bodies turned to ash
They were very fluent
In arrogance, pride, adultery
And enviro-paganspeak

You have sold your soul to Satan
Do you remember Noah’s Flood?
The City of David was sacked by Romans
And America by Marxist-Darwin thugs

The Stranger leaves the graveyard
And the stench of Vegas Past
And hitches a ride to Barstow
Across the relentless Mohave
On Interstate Fifteen

Apocalypse Now
Las Vegas Earthquake
This is Sodom! This is Sodom!
The Death of Voltaire
‘London’ by William Blake
California:  The Great American Wasteland
The Nakedness of Noah
apocalypse santa rosa
A Sign in Paris

Apocalypse Now—Smithsonian Magazine   Leave a comment

Dreams from the LORD 2007-2010
6 October 2010

Smithsonian magazine
October 2010 issue

“Winner Take All” by J.R. Moehringer
The Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist rolls the dice on life in Sin City

Here are some quotes from Moehringer’s article:

“And it’s not just about books. Vegas discourages everything prized by book people, like silence and reason and linear thinking. Vegas is about noise, impulse, chaos. You like books? Go back to Boston.”

“Just after I moved in, Caligula, rang my bell. He invited me over for an afternoon ‘cookout.’ I didn’t yet know he was Caligula. Wanting to be neighborly, I went.

“I met several statuesque young women in his backyard, in his kitchen. I thought it strange that they were so out-going. I thought it odd that they were named after cities—Paris, Dallas, Rio. But I didn’t dwell on it. Then I wandered into a room where the floor was covered with mattresses. An ultraviolet light made everyone look super tanned or vaguely satanic. Suddenly I got it. I told Caligula that I just remembered somewhere I needed to be. I shook my head at his offer of a grilled hot dog, thanked him for a lovely time and sprinted home to my books and earplugs.

“As a kid I was a gypsy, as a young man I was a journalist, so I’ve lived everywhere. I’ve unpacked my bags in New York, New Haven, Boston, Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle, Tucson. Each of my adopted cities has reminded me of some previous city—except Vegas, because Vegas isn’t a real city. It’s a Sodom and Gomorrah theme park surrounded by hideous exurban sprawl and wasteland so barren it makes the moon look like an English rose garden.’

“ . . . transience is in the DNA of Vegas. Transient pleasures, transient money, thus transient people.”

“More than 36 million people go through Vegas each year.”

“Though people enjoy coming to Vegas, what they really love is leaving. Every other passenger wanting to board a flight out of Vegas wears that same tell-tale look of fatigue, remorse, heatstroke and get-me-out-of-here-ness. I spent two months reading Dante in college, but I didn’t really understand Purgatory until I spent five minutes at McCarron International Airport.”

“Years from now my clearest memories of Sin City might be the ceaseless stream of commercials for payday loans, personal injury lawyers, bail bondsmen, chat lines and strip clubs. . . From TV, I concluded that a third of Vegas is in debt, a third in jail and a third in the market for anonymous hookups.”

“I have a front-row seat at the apocalypse.”

Las Vegas: An American Paradox
Las Vegas Earthquake
This is Sodom! This is Sodom!
apocalypse santa rosa