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A much-needed escape from our strange Vegas reality

In the movie The Truman Show, Christof (Ed Harris), the director, says, “We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented.” Which makes sense.

And it makes sense that I accept Vegas as my reality. Oh, intellectually, I know that Vegas is not a normal city, butonly intellectually. And sometimes that’s not enough …

Quick analogy: Feminist writer Susan Douglas says that reality TV warps viewers’ sense of what makes women valuable to society. Douglas points out that on many reality shows, women are almost exclusively judged on their sexiness. And when Douglas makes this point, she often hears the reply, “Yes, but we watch those reality shows with an ironic detachment. We know women are much more than sex objects.” And Douglas counters: If you watch enough reality TV, you can’t help but adopt its value system as your own.

Same thing with Vegas. Live here long enough and it changes you. Even if you think you have perspective on things.

I know that Vegas is not a normal city. I know that the rest of the world doesn’t party 24/7. That the rest of the world isn’t covered in LED screens. But until recently, I’d nearly forgotten what it’s like to actually experience quiet. Then, a few weeks ago, I visited Nassau with my parents.

Wow.

The absence of noise and lights forced me to examine my own life—something I haven’t done in a long while.

Examining your life is a good thing to do. Look at it like this: Life is like a ladder. And you spend each day climbing up a rung. But if you don’t ever pause to look down, you might wake up one morning and realize you’ve been climbing the wrong ladder the whole time.

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Rick Lax

Rick wrote the books Fool Me Once: Hustlers, Hookers, Headliners, and How Not to Get Screwed in Vegas and Lawyer ...

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