Friday, July 23, 2010

VEGAS 2. Just hauled my ass across the baking highways -- actually a very nice cab driver dragged it; more on that in a minute -- and caught a little of Van Jones. He's pretty damn eloquent, and he believes in that hope stuff that's supposed to be, like, over. I am mostly impervious to this sort of thing, but in addition to being optimistic Jones is smart -- a rare combination! -- and breaks things down well. He said something in the interview segment about the Shirley Sherrod bullshit that jumped out at me; he compared it to his own situation, when he had to split the Obama Administration last year because of some untoward remarks. (He said he didn't want to be a "banana peel" for the President while he was trying to move health care.) He likened media assaults like hers and his to poison viruses and said "we don't have the antibodies yet" to process them: But he expects they will develop (though "in the short term it will be tougher, because there are financial incentives to be more shrill, to be more senational").:
If in fact five percent of the public have an experience like mine, lost their job because of something on Facebook or whatever... then it will stop, because enough people will have seen it and enough people will have had it happen to them or to a friend, that there will be a completely different level of wisdom that emerges in the culture and society... [If] you have confidence in your country, you have confidence that we will adapt as a culture to these changes in our technology.
He sort of makes it hard to be grumpy, but somehow I'm managing. It seemed to take forever to get out of Downtown (and cash money -- I've spent more on cabs than on gambling, or anything else). Also my room at the Rio isn't ready and I could already use a shower -- ask the lovely people I've attempted to engage in conversation! But my driver, a friendly old guy, diverted me with stories of his own life. He wanted to get out of Vegas, but family issues prevented it. He wasn't complaining, though; his mantra was, "I'm the same as anybody else." I took this for a tic at first, but the wisdom of it unfolded for me. I find I'm most unhappy when I walk through this world like a deposed prince looking for his lost kingdom. Maybe it's not just me, either. Maybe that's what the whole Vegas thing is about -- trying to get the universe to acknowledge that we are so Queen of the Slots or Lord of the Buffet or some damn thing -- and maybe that's why I'm not into it.

Oops, gotta get the gift bag before they run out!

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