Ok, so I really am a splitter. I just returned from an Arizona / Vegas adventure and realize that I have two very different sides. We travelled south to see the SCI Convention (Safari Club International), an event about as right wing as you can safely go. Put it this way; the club advertises for the NRA. Never thought I would enjoy walking around a convention hall filled with taxidermy specials, guns, ammo, and hunting trips. But I did. I enjoyed seeing people from all over the world – from Kazakhstan, Argentina, Austria, Namibia, South Africa, New Zealand, Uzbekistan, Russia, Canada, USA, Mexico, and more. Everyone of the 22 000 convention attendees had a story to tell, and a reason to attend. Standing in line for the banquet we met people from many parts of USA. One couple from Utah wore shirts advertising a special foundation. When I asked what it was, they explained that three years ago they lost their oldest son in Afghanistan. To honour him, they set up a foundation that helps disabled veterans and others go hunting. They also support the main center in USA where all overseas casualties are taken and “processed”. Apparently many families travel to the center to “meet” their soldier. They support a family support center at that location. I guess most of us in Canada are very lucky that we don’t have to experience this type of tragedy.
Then we did Vegas. I enjoyed it for awhile, but by the time I left, my left, socialist side was seeping through. I was soon astonished at the waste and blatant over-indulgence in that city. I am sure that most of Vegas is like any other city; every-day people simply trying to live their best life. But the overall impression of the commercialized Vegas is somewhat trashy. It pretends to be a glamorous highlight of American life, but is really a tawdry tribute to excessive commercialization. Ok, that is obviously my left side speaking. I am obviously living a dual life. Half of me enjoys the fun, the other half is disgusted by it. I guess the trick to surviving Vegas is not to think too much!