Let's Go To The Oasis
Let's Go To The
If you are interested in knowing where our culture will be headed in the new millenium, one vision can be found in Las Vegas. It may not be a preferred vision, but it is too real to ignore. Las Vegas is the fastest growing, large city in America. It has sunbelt climate, low taxes, low unemployment and it is a step saving, labor saving, at your service, drink at your elbow spectator’s dream. A glimpse of the future or an anomaly among cities? You decide.
A few of its
-The ATM cash machines start at a $100 minimum. If you don’t want at least a hundred dollars, they are not interested. In my hometown it is the opposite. They want you to take out $20 and $50 each time. I guess so you will make more trips to the ATM machine. Not so in the city of the future. They want you to walk away wealthy so you can spend it more quickly.
- It is a 24 hours a day town and a shopper’s paradise. The finest stores in the world all have outlets in Las Vegas. And the pharmacies, restaurants, stores and bars never close. What is particularly customer minded is a jewelry store that never closes. You never know when you will wake up in the middle of the night and get a gemstone attack. They take the promise of anything, anywhere, anytime very seriously.
- The weather is perfect and under control. You go to a restaurant and you get a choice of indoor or outdoor dining. Outdoor please. You sit on the terrace, watch the shoppers stroll by and then you notice that you are still inside. The whole shopping center is domed and the ceiling is painted like the sky. The lights dim as the day ends and a starlit night is always on schedule. Perfect. No rain, no wind, no bugs, no heat. Outdoor dining with indoor amenities. Most of the city exists indoors and under thermostat control.
- You can visit the wonders of the world and get there by walking. Want to go to New York, Venice, London, walk through a botanical garden or see the largest Picasso art collection outside of Paris? Just look in your hotel. The major cities of the world and their attractions have either been replicated or are under construction. All clean, orderly, safe and courteous. Virtual globalization.
Reality, What a
What is interesting about the city is that it is simply a more complete example of what is happening to our culture on a wider scale—perhaps the first ultramodern city. And if you watch for awhile, you begin to realize that the essential feature of the city is that every square inch has been commercialized. Every square inch is planned for its market value. Land has no value for its own sake, it only has value as selling space.
The quality of life becomes measured by the quality of entertainment and purchasing power. Life becomes a spectator sport and a complete shopping experience. Extreme perhaps in this desert city, but not so far from the way we spend our time watching TV, surfing the internet, walking the mall or waiting for the new sports stadium to be built.
Where Do You Want to Go
There is a cost to this attraction, however. If you are not careful, the soul can become anesthetized, and the heart becomes a pump, waiting to be bypassed. Your pocketbook becomes your purpose and the number one fashion accessory. The quality of life is defined by the quality of service or product. And this shift in values is not achieved by force but by seduction. After a while we realize that it is not just the land, but us, that has become commercialized and it is not a question of whether we are for sale, but only a negotiation over price.
Please Step Back While the Elevator