samedi 18 octobre 2008

Ce qui se passe à Vegas reste à Vegas: Paris, Las Vegas and The Karaoke of Love

October 17: Las Vegas, Nevada. Now an evening among the swarming pre-Enlightenment aristocracy made of new-money, new millennium plebeians, in this city that is nothing and everything, a glittering nowhere that draws billions of pilgrims from everywhere: it's knowing God is pre-rational pure Chance: animated by accents from Japan to Jersey, Jerusalem to Java, here, in a manifold mecca to the religion of the con and the conquest, the fake silver coin and the genuine poker chip: beyond history, it rolls on without a clock or calendar, like an ever spinning re-cycle of Hegelian history, enough to make even Giambattitsa Vico dizzy: from The Defending the Cavemen comedy show to the ancient Egyptian Luxor Hotel to the (Samuel Taylor Coleridgean) "Xanadu Showcase" ("devoted to imagination and invention") to the Wild Wild West Casino, a city of light bulbs and boas, theme-parks and peep shows, Jehovah Witnesses and snake swallowers, taxi queues and pole dancing sideshows: this is the site of America's open secret, its ultra-private infamous transgression, the pitch black space more brightly lit than an Australian summer beach: Las Vegas, the high price postmodern American prostitute in the frugal feather bed of the American preacher, an infernal rhinestone glittering on a desert's brimstone.

I spent a few Euros at the roulette wheel in the Paris Casino, and true to its Gallic authenticity, this "Parisian" casino's roulette wheel broke with the bastardized double-zero American version of our little wheel. I then settled at the bar for a few "Manhattans" with Pierre Grandier, a croupier, originally from Reims, who'd re-settled with his American wife in San Diego, ostensibly to open a bistro, only to find himself distressed by San Diego's conservative grip, recently divorced, penniless (as Pierre told me, "Le rêve américain est le cauchemar du crédit"). I then left morose Monsieur Grandier and, before boarding my Eastbound flight (to return to the campaign to follow Sarah Palin's entourage after her appearance on Saturday Night Live), I visited with one of the "church leaders" at the many wedding chapels here in Vegas. Here follows my surprisingly Socratic exchange with one 'Reverend Ricky' of the Shotgun Chapel for Latter-day Sinners. (Pardon, as usual the unedited English in this transcript):

Guy: why is it Las Vegas city and weddings became so afffinitied?

Reverend Ricky: well, what happens here in Vegas is inhibitions are lost and love is turned loose. And found. Love, I tell you, is a karaoke of the soul.

Guy: Karaoke? Love is mere imitation?

Rev Ricky: When we use words, are we not imitating other words?

Guy: True.

Reverend Ricky: Then who's to say our emotions, even love, are not just beautiful imitations?

Guy: Do the marriages which you ordain, last?

Reverend Ricky: We don't keep no records Guy. not my concern in the least. Most toxic words ever invented were "happily ever after." If a couple finds a moment of bliss by tying the knot on impulse, even if they lose the magic the moment they hit the highway and leave this desert of mirages, does that mean their nuptials were in vain?Guy: Certainly not.

Reverend Ricky: As a free thinking Italian, surely you--

Guy: I am French, not Italian.

Rev Ricky: Well then even more so then. Why so serious, Guy? Why is it weddings have to be so solemn? Why not have, as we do, a choir of singing Elvises instead of angels. Or our Elvises are angels. We here at the Shotgun Chapel feel very Zen about what we do. The moment is everything. Life is one shimmering illusion after another shimmering illusion. So we honor the surface and leave it to the philosophers like yourself to ponder the depths. A wedding is about glitter--not lead. And who cares if not all that glitters is gold?

Aucun commentaire: