Las Vegas Now

Page added 1999
Last updated: Fall 2005

Originally posted by (Red chair) on alt.journalism.gonzo, June 1995. Yup, this is a quite few years old, but Frommer's, Fodor's and The Insider's Guide to Las Vegas are good travel books to bring you up to speed :-) Two new websites were released in spring 2003 to promote Vegas as well - Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and Only Vegas. Be sure to visit those last two sites - they were produced by the peeps at my old company :-) Chances are if you signed up for a newsletter from either site between 2002 and 2004, it was me that made the email :-)

While researching some images at my new job, I came upon these this great site - The Las Vegas Neon Gallery. Some great pix of old Vegas there. Many of these signs also went on a touring exhibit in 2005. --Christine O

>From: (Red chair)
>Newsgroups: alt.vacation.las-vegas,alt.journalism.gonzo
>Subject: Re: Las Vegas
>Followup-To: alt.vacation.las-vegas,alt.journalism.gonzo
>Date: 22 Jun 1995 23:56:17

Joel K. Furr ( wrote:
: How far's the dam from Las Vegas proper?

Approx. 30 minute drive. Floor it.

: Anyone know if the giant 200-foot high screen at the Circus-Circus that
: you can appear on and shout at people from is still there? It was there
: in 1971 when Hunter S. Thompson visited the place, but hey, that was 24
: years ago.

Vegas has indeed changed quite a bit since HST's visit in 1971. Swinging
cocktail-and-cig Vegas has given way to corporate family-oriented Vegas.

You can still go to the Circus Circus, but the Leopard Lounge is long
gone. You CAN sit at the Horse-A-Round bar and sip Wild Turkey for cheap,
although there aren't any "small gold formica tables" anymore. The Mint
Gun Club is gone. Most of the casinos have gone through numerous
facelifts and additions: the Landmark is shut down, the Thunderbird is
different ... Hacienda and Desert Inn are still there. It is certainly
pleasant to get drunk in the lounge at Caesar's Palace and you can do that
any time of the morning you'd like. The Mint hotel was swallowed up by
Binion's Horseshoe in the mid-80's. No place resembling Wild Bill's Cafe
is on the outskirts of town, nor is there a VIP auto rental place on
Paradise Blvd. There's no place called The Big Flip near downtown
anymore. The Dunes is blown up real good and the Silver Slipper is gone.
There's no Texaco near the Flamingo where you should hyperinflate your
tires. There's no North Star Coffee Lounge in North Las Vegas, nor is
there a Terry's Taco Stand on Paradise. The Flamingo has been added on to
and the old rooms were destroyed so there's no point trying to find the
original "Room 1483." There is still plenty of the dark & interesting
side of the American Dream, though.

Have fun.

FLLV Book Review

Page added 1998
Last updated: Spring 2003

by Eli Mizrahi

"A savage journey into the heart of the American dream." Is this what we all go through? A trip of untold hardships and emotions running wild, all to achieve our final destination, to reach the impossible dream. Perhaps Hunter S. Thompson is right that every journey to our dream is a savage, unrelenting one. We all face our own hardships, it's how we overcome them that matters. "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man." Do you really get rid of the pain, the emotion, or does it just become numb, an unfilled void. A beast feels as much as man, and perhaps understands more, as the simple bystander he sees everything, all points of view. Perhaps a man with no bias, with a greater understanding of the world, a beast, is the man and man the beast. Is what we see all there is or can one man change it when he releases the beast in him? When the beast is let go as a whole generation it becomes the energy that everyone feeds off of, to the point of changing the world wherever it goes. Only then does there come that time when a whole generations energy changes the world in ways we don't appreciate, until it's gone and we can't feel it anymore. Every slacker, every worker, every person gives in to a cause that's greater than life. That was the beauty of the 60's a whole generation's energy, coming together and lifting us up to the next level. Those people changed the world, for the better, or the worse, yet they did as a whole, and perhaps that is what we are missing; that same connection that brought everyone together for the last hurrah. Like riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave until it finally breaks and rolls back?

Can anyone find there soul? Does it matter? It might, it might not, but does it hurt to find it? Drugs of every kind take over the life of Hunter S. Thompson, in his writing and his daily life. Through all of the gibberish though a simple lesson can be found. Find yourself in life. Whatever it is breakthrough and open it up. Maybe that is what can be found among the gibberish he states, an idea. A fact, perhaps is the idea that everyone has there own identity and within in that there own dark secret. We all hide something from the world, what it is I couldn't tell you as much as the next man. Perhaps as, he says we hide the truth from ourselves. We trap ourselves, lie to ourselves about one thing we can't accept in life. If we were truly honest, would we feel more complete? Facts that only an indiviual can answer himself.

Chaotic, unorganized and lost at times, the writing of Thompson is something we should all take note of. His way of saying his thoughts unorganized, and put in the original context, gives us a greater understanding of his point, his thoughts. His writing is classic and unmatched, no one it seems can reach his level of skill. His writing in journalism is matched by no one. Creator of gonzo journalism, he shows all of his skill here. Painting a beautiful and morbid picture of his attorney and his drug riddled trip into the heart of the American dream. He delicately puts together the pieces of his trip into and out of the insanity and grip of drugs. His American dream, which he comes to find in Las Vegas, on a journalism outfit about the Mint 400, was never found. How many people find that dream though? His attorney and he, both with a head full of drugs slowly begin to realize the madness of what they have come to find. The American dream is only what we make of it.

Through Circus-Circus and all of Vegas, they discover that no matter where you go madness is around every corner, not in life but in there mind itself. Slowly they begin to realize the power of the mind. Perhaps to late, locked in the theores of phsycological drugs, with futility, they try to escape, only to fall into again. The mind is more powerful than the body is the final conclusion.