Thursday, September 15, 2005

Dave Hickey on Status and Vegas

"This deficiency of haut bourgeois perks, I should note, also confuses visiting Easterners whom I have docented down the Strip. So attentive are they to signifiers of status and exclusivity that they become restless and frustrated. The long, lateral blend of Vegas iconography unrolls before them, and they are looking for the unmarked door through which the cognoscenti pass. They want the 'secret Vegas.' But Vegas is about stakes, not status-real action, not covert connections. The 'high-roller' rooms with satin walls are secure areas for high-stakes gambling, not hideouts for high-profile dilettantes. If Bruce Willis and Shannen Doherty just want to get their feet wet, they shoot dice with the rest of us. This seems to confuse my visitors, who don't, of course, believe in celebrity, but still, the idea of People with Names gambling in public offends their sense of order-and mitigates their aspirations as well, I suspect."

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