Stacy at I Am A Fish has posted some cool stuff about Las Vegas lately. This reminds me, when I mention Las Vegas, about 50% of the time someone will reply with a comment like, "Oh, but Las Vegas is so fake."
Well, this may be shocking, but all art is fake. Michelangelo's David is fake -- that is not a naturally occurring rock formation. Through completely artificial means, it was modified to resemble something (a man) that it clearly is not. Ah, the deception, ah, the lack of authenticity!
But it gets worse. Evidently, many people will pay money to travel thousands of miles to look at this fake, artificial man, even though the same people would not be willing to go to the same trouble or expense to look at an actual man. It's as if these people actually prefer the fake to the real!
But the worship of fakery does not end there. For example, a painting of sunflowers by Van Gogh sold for $49 million. But who would pay that much for fake, 2-dimensional sunflowers, when you can buy a nice arrangement of the real thing for $34.95? And I think that even includes delivery!
Say what you want about the abstract expressionists, but their paint wasn't pretending to be a horse or a bowl of fruit or a hooker.
So yes, Las Vegas is fake, totally fake, just like some of the most valuable things in the world. And in a delightful twist, one of the casinos actually contains a fine art museum. Some visitors must think that the casino is fake but the museum is real. Is there really such a difference between paint arranged to resemble a Russian Tsar and a building interior arranged to resemble St. Mark's Square?