Thursday, June 02, 2011

In the eyes of the beholder

I’ve been told that carpeting patterns in casinos are meant to be disorienting. Not only do the elaborately hideous murals lining the floors of Las Vegas make it harder to notice the stains of drinks tipped past, they guide the attention of casino guests away from any kind of aesthetic ruminations and straight to the clarity of the coin. It’s a fitting dynamic for the city of sin. One hand of Las Vegas shakes down your senses with an absurdly glorious mashup of amusement park sensibilities and unabashed sleaze. The other shakes down your wallet with the great lie of fortune. Somewhere between the motions, the American soul hitches a ride and hopes for a soft landing.

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