The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
The Morning Mendacity
Monday, June 27th, 2005
The Nossiter Net is cast  to snare some of  the riper rascalities of the day.  Comments?  editor@nossiter.net
Las Vegas is famous for fakery, but this page went in search of reality – and found it.  There is no better metaphor for modern America than modern Las Vegas.  Like the Queen’s magic mirror in Snow White, which tells the fading beauty she’s no longer the fairest of them all, Las Vegas accurately reflects the truth about the present state of the nation.

We are lead by the likes of Bush, Cheney, Frist, DeLay, and Rumsfeld, all of whom avoided serving in combat themselves, all of them willing, even anxious, to send their younger compatriots into battle. Who profess a philosophy that embraces life and reveres family, and prosecute with relish a war without end that kills and maims indiscriminately, shattering young families.  Who preach responsibility and rectitude, while their personal business dealings reek of corruption, and their stewardship of the economy remains ruinously extravagant and incompetent.

Who wear little American flags in their lapels to commemorate 9/11, while denying New York City the redevelopment billions promised to help it recover from the catastrophe.  Who claim to value education, while slashing education funding.  Whose show of sunny optimism about the future leads in practice to encouraging the poisoning of our present water, soil, and air. Whose fearless talk of national security is matched by a refusal to curb the dependence on Middle Eastern oil that contributes more than anything to our true insecurity.  Who insist they are spreading liberty and democracy to other nations, while tainting elections and suppressing individual liberties here at home.

Our leaders are exactly like the fake facades of New York, Paris, Venice, and Monte Carlo, the ersatz Lake Como, the artificial volcano, and the pretend pirate ships of the Las Vegas cityscape, amusement park touches that put a smiling face on the grimly serious business of fleecing the visitors within.

The three or four million people who fly in and out of Las Vegas every month come for the non-stop gambling, the rivers of booze, the twenty-four hour ladies of the night.   They unconcernedly bring the children to share the fun.  And why not?  Every inch of the place is under surveillance.  Anyone so irresponsible as to pour an eighteen year old a glass of wine, or play a slot machine with the family watching, is instantly surrounded by security men.  The illicit glass is confiscated, or you are escorted out of the casino, within moments.  Meanwhile, the sanctioned activities go on without missing a beat.

Phony, hypocritical, deceitful?  Sure, but then we expect vice and chicanery, if not Orwellian surveillance, in Las Vegas.  That’s the attraction.  We used to expect better of the rest of the country.

©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
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