The Rant would like to know why all World Cup soccer teams appear to have left their day jobs as male models. The Rant had a man crush on the entire Iranian team. Ronaldo is simply an angelic being sent from another dimension to look beautiful and score goals while levitating. Seriously, Ronaldo is not human1.
We have been enjoying the World Cup here in Vegas, the permanent home of World Cup kitsch and excess. Vegas occurred when every impulse in America loaded up the car, drove like James Dean on a Saturday night, and collided with each other in the Nevada desert. The Rant has considered moving here but we would die of joy and wonderment and cirrhosis.
One morning we visited one of those strange Vegas bars that serves breakfast and martinis to watch Mexico stun Germany. The staff kept wandering by the bar to pretend they had water to fill or napkins to fold so they could check out the shocker. We all yelled and clapped and listened to a woman call her mother so she could shout over the speakerphone, “I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it.” Germany’s national coach, Joachim Low, looks like an aging lesbian ready to lecture you on the sacrifices she’s made so you can hold hands in public, missy. Joachim could take some fashion tips from England’s coach, Gareth Southgate, who looks like he enters a teleporter on Savile Row and strolls out on to the pitch.
The latest craze in Vegas is the pool club; tired of having to get naked on the dance floor? Then just show up that way! These clubs are often perched on the roof of a strip hotel, so you can hear the debauchery but not watch. Vegas exists for your amusement, but you have to pay brothers and sisters. Even the Buddhist monks passing out prayer beads on the strip want their cut. In a friendly, detached, Zen sort of way. Now cough up.
As an American, if you dislike Las Vegas, then you are guilty of fear and self-loathing2 Vegas takes every American preoccupation to its logical conclusion: capitalism, the objectification of the body, luxury as a fetish, the Puritanical revulsion toward sex that leads to an obsession with sex, the insistence that any endeavor become a form of entertainment, celebrity as de facto authority on any topic, every facet of existence as an all-you-can-consume buffet followed by remorse and vows of reform. You have to look at Vegas to understand America in a speed of light setting. And if you want America to become anything else, The Rant suggests you find a way to create a desire for your vision and then monetize it. Because Vegas is who we are, not what we pretend to be.3