For me, this is a well-worn observation about the Neon City. I was trying to convince someone that this place was unlike any other, so I spent a lot of time selling Vegas.
Warning: Las Vegas is very much like that town from the movie In the Mouth of Madness. No matter how much you peddle out of the town, you kind of find yourself at the start again. It is a potent combination: the cheap cost of living coupled with the proximity to everything cool that reels you back in. I have tried to leave many times, and here I am again. Beware what you sign up for when you move here.
This is the city of the magician and the fool. Tarot archetypes at play created by people so skilled in Jungian collective consciousness, it’s quite brilliant. Everything is designed in shadow, obscuring and misdirecting your attention to exactly where the magician wants it. Here more than anywhere in the world is where you learn if you are the mark or not; and very likely you are. The Fool and his money part ways every day here. It's not just on red. It's girls, cars, illusions, shows, exquisite dining, curated retail, illicit entertainment, and now the very legal cannabis we purvey. All of it magic and the current is electric. It is not white magic, and there is entirely no confusion when it comes to that fact.
If you fancy yourself a magician, you will find no better university than this. Her magic is tricky, and often she will make you a hermit before she ever makes you an emperor. You will end up giving her the whole world before seeing one pentacle come your way. She will likely never fill your cup in the way you were expecting. Trickster magic has always lived in the desert. Beware of coyotes and ravens for their songs light the night more than any cathode could.
This is also the city of dreamers. I gave an Ignite talk on this once. We are Josephs in the wilderness: sometimes we have a fabulous coat of many colors, and other times we are awaiting certain death for touching Potiphar's wife. Here is where we do not care if you are down and out because one lucky roll of the dice can put you on top again. We will pretend we never saw you pissing in the bushes amid the vagrants who traverse the Strip. Once you have a bankroll of that God-given green, we will treat you like the king of Egypt. Escorting you to the life well lived while we bow for tips and trinkets. You, Sir, yes, you: the one with the cash. You are always welcomed to sit at the bar with no name and talk to your fellow sharks.
Vegas is the body electric more than Walden Pond ever was. She knows the answers to Whitman's questions. For here corrupt is just another misdirection. The audience consented to this dance of misdirection So, conceal my lovely tourists, and defile the living for the soul is insubstantial in places such as this.