Saturday, December 18, 2004

The Money and The Power

Do you love Vegas? Does the sound of slot machines jingling make you moist? Have you ever tried to find a sound clip of this noise because it elicits such feelings of euphoria inside of you? Does the smell inside Mandalay Bay make you completely saturated? Do you feel most comfortable in 100 degree, dry, desert heat? Besides the lobby of Mandalay Bay, have you ever smelled anything finer than stripper perfume? Do you ever fantasize about stacks of chips so high that you can't even see over them? Have you ever placed $1000 or more on the outside at the roulette table? Do you enjoy stretching your money clip wide and seeing it filled with nothing but hunnies? Do you enjoy financing fat steak dinners accompanied by only the finest wines by hitting hard sixes? Is your idea of relaxing a hot volcanic rock massage comped by a pit boss who you've made your bitch?

If you've answered yes to any of these questions, you are definitely not a female, but on the off chance you are, I would like to share the rest of my life with you. You also may want to check out this book I just finished reading called, "The Money and the Power". It's an amazing look at the rise of the United States during the 20th century and the role Las Vegas plays in virtually every major political event, election, and business deal of the past 100 years. Coincidentally, as Las Vegas had an effect on the country's rise, so rose the role of the Syndicate in the political dealings of the United States. It was surprising to learn how closely associated the Kennedy family and Presidents Nixon and Reagan were with the central figures in organized crime. Contrasting my prior naivety, some disturbingly similar election scnearios as those that played out in 2000 and 2004, occurred in the major elections of the last half of the century, all made possible by shady Las Vegas deals and campaign funding via casino money laundering. As it is a non-fictional historical look at Vegas, it's not as sexy as a "Bringing Down the House" per say, and can be a little dry, but from an American history standpoint, it is an important resource. And what's better than a book with the mob and casinos as main characters?

On another note, I just inhaled a fat steak dinner. I don't know what I'm going to do when I move out.


Blogger gogo_jojo said...

I love, love, LOVE Las Vegas and all things gambling. Back in the good old days (when AOL stock wouldn't stop rising and all that) I used to work for a magazine about gambling and traveling. Taking trips to Vegas with the ultimate RFB comp used to be my job.

I guess all good things must come to an end... because the magazine shut down and now I work for a much less impressive publication. MUCH less impressive.

I can't comment on 'stripper perfume' but I can tell you about one Vegas strip club that offers something for us ladies... (well, for ladies who are into male strippers.) Yes, the fabulous Olympic Garden. I like the lobby of Mandalay Bay enough, but the spa makes my knees weaker than almost any other place on the Strip, and my favorite chips are the awesome rectangular $10,000 chips at The London Club. They're almost too cool looking to redeem for cash. (Almost. Come on, $10,000 is a heck of a lot of cash.) And nothing is as hot as when the handsome stranger next to you places his dice in your hand and gives over his turn so that you can roll them down the craps table.

On a slightly related topic... I haven't read "The Money and the Power," but I will add it to my list of books to read sooner than later. If you're looking for recommendations, I would like to suggest: "The Man with the $100,000 Breasts And Other Gambling Stories" by Michael Konik, and "Positively Fifth Street" by James McManus. Neither book has a particularly historical slant, but both were great looks into the wonderful world of gambling.

12:14 AM  

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