Confession Is Good For The Soul
Saturday, October 8, 2005 at 11:23PM
The Artist Presently Known As Ed in consuming culture, lowest common denominator, repentance, work

Forgive me lord for I have sinned.

I went to Viejas today.

Yup, Viejas casino, the charming den of sin that vacuums money from pensioners' pockets and puts credit cards to the endurance test at the 60 outlet shops. Kelli seems to have bid at an auction for some chow from the buffet there and was begging to go. She had it all figured out—I needed some shoes to help me get through work days, and she needed some girl wear. And we could get food at the buffet, and we could watch the nighttime show they have out there. Well, at least she was thinking of economical gas usage—one trip, many wonders.

I always think of the insides of casinos as "hell on earth." I don't get to Vegas too often, but that is my first contact with casinos. I never gamble as a rule, so its all just a total assault on my senses and sensibilities. My "distance" from gambling gives me my usual vantage point to ridicule the poor sods who engage in such a ridiculous use of their incomes, pensions, or stolen lunch money. I don't use drugs and I don't gamble, so I have some words for both addictions/pastimes.

I had to buy some shoes so I could bear my work days. I usually don't get the more elaborate running or cross training types of shoes since I always find them gimmicky looking and they always look like shit in no time if actually worn for work. But the eight hour days on concrete floors, moving gear, standing, squatting, and all sorts of other activity have been hell for my feet, ankles, and knees. After two months of that, something has to change. So I hit up one of the shoe stores and after an hour, decided on three pairs! I've been on a kick to buy things in excess right now. Part of it is just taking advantage of finally having a job of any consequence—the first of its sort ever, but the most steady and decent paying since I don't know when, but it was before 9/11/01 anyway. The rest of my reasoning is that my future vision includes a lot of financial hardship and I may as well buffer myself a bit for a few cycles of normal purchases. I've made some redundant clothing purchases too, along those lines. My only worry is getting skinny again when food costs go up, and when I have to bike more! I'll be stuck with fat person clothes! I've got lots of shoes now. Hopefully that will take me a few years down the road. I got my old grunge-era Docs, some newer Docs that don't fit too well, some other Doc-style clones, and a bunch of other types. Shit, I'm almost holding my own with Imelda Marcos!

So, $130 later, Kelli and I started on our way to the show. I felt like the spirit of James Kunstler was hovering over my discount shopping-at-the-edge-of-the-county excursion. I was carrying my three pairs of shoes, and Kelli had her girl wear, and we had just gorged ourselves on a free buffet dinner (great meatloaf—I've fallen in love with meatloaf and mashed taters just as I find that I should really be on a vegetarian diet, given my beliefs-in-formation). I felt so American.

The show was pretty neat. I don't usually go to high production shows after years of working on shows and being generally bored with things in that field. But this was a pretty splendid show made up of lights, lasers, fog machines, and a lot of water, not to mention fire, fireworks, and projection, sometimes even projecting onto "sheets" of water. Every now and then I do actually have to marvel at shows, but usually it's not much to get me excited. The show was an Indian themed show, about how the tribe's storyteller had to defend their water supply by doing battle with a local thug-god that would deny the flow. Overall, it was about how they have to defend their resources to ensure a thriving life in the future. The irony is that every last person who got there had to drive from somewhere sort of far away, with Kelli and I driving about 25 miles or so. The rest of them came from all areas I'm sure, and there were more than a few SUVs in the lot—the usual sign of a person who just doesn't get it. Oh, there were lots of overfed people there, big families, old people blowing out social security checks and pensions—lots of people who just can't see the forest for the trees. They watch a show about conservation of resources while participating in the orgy of total obliviousness to what is coming down the pike.

And there I was, among them. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?

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