Vegas II: Reflections

One of the great things about Las Vegas is that it’s a people-watchers’ paradise.  Consider this a field report.

  • Vegas is decidedly heterosexual.  There weren’t many singles, and the male-female pairs strongly predominated.  We saw perhaps two lesbian couples (they were holding hands), and no two-male pairs that suggested anything other than hetero friendships.  The sexuality is almost exclusively oriented in hetero fashion — I never once saw an ad for a male strip club — and even the high-profile male revue shows will bar admittance to men.
  • Young Asian males overwhelmingly dress in trendy metrosexual fashion, even when they’re married.  
  • Buff men flaunt it.  So do toned women.  No one else seems to care.
  • There are many more tattooed men and women in Vegas than in West Michigan.
  • Many of the white tourists appeared to be from Eastern Europe, judging by the sounds of their language.  There didn’t appear to be many Hispanic tourists.
  • People who wear non-standard clothing styles usually pull off some funky combinations if they look and act confident.
  • Most gamblers don’t bother to check pay schedules — they’ll merrily sit playing 6/5 bonus poker with nary a thought about the house edge.
  • There didn’t appear to be many people who visited the casinos alone.
  • Never underestimate the brainlessness of a herd, especially when it’s comprised of youngsters.
  • The gaming professionals in Vegas know their jobs well.
  • You know how to tell a first-time visitor?  They’re the ones with cameras.  On second and subsequent trips to Sin City, the glitter fades.
  • Many people seem to lack a fundamental sense of space — they walk and orient themselves as if no other humans were around, thus presenting barriers to navigation that require fancy footwork to ameliorate.

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  1. Interesting reflections. Not having been to vegas in many years I would not have guessed that many of the things you mention are true. I think you missed your calling….you seem to be a closet sociologist!

  2. One thing I never understood is why people go to Las Vegas for “excitement.” If one merely looks around, there is plenty of excitement and danger.
    That bridge you drive across on the way to work? It might collapse!
    The people next door to you? They’re going to lose their house and crackheads will move in!
    The food you’re eating? Might be contaminated and give you the flesh-eating virus.
    Go to the zoo? Lions might have escaped!
    America is the most exciting country in the world, with nonstop thrills and danger. Yet, Americans crave that mediated experience that places like Las Vegas and Disneyland provide. They line up at that poker table and say “here, take my money”, just as long as they get the gambler’s rush. You want to feel a rush of adrenaline? Go to a bar in rural Kentucky, and while everyone is watching FoxNews, blurt out loudly: “Man, that Obama sure would make a great president!” Fun! Excitement! Adrenaline! Possum Stew!

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