Friday, March 27, 2009

The Best of the Worst of America

As a child I was fascinated by colors, lights, toys and the like. I think most kids were probably the same. So it only seems right that as an adult, being still fascinated by colors, lights, toys and the like, I should have a soft spot in my heart for the anything that reminds me of childhood. This is true, and untrue at the same time. Kitsch has become something short of an obsession for me; an undying love of all things in bad taste and ridiculous existence. This leads me to my thoughts on Disneyland and Las Vegas.

There are few places in this country, let alone the world, which can cater to the imagination and fantasies like Disneyland and Vegas. Though there is a broad distance between the median age for tourists in Disneyland and those in Vegas, the concept is still the same. The world's largest playground. In essence, Vegas is the adult version of Disneyland, with rides, sweets, costumed characters and anything the mind can wish.

Admitting all bias, I adore both places, but not for their gambling opportunities, or roller coasters or anything. Disneyland makes we want to cry, and Vegas usually makes me want to vomit. However, I appreciate them as pieces of American culture, something that only the United States could ever really invent, and something that reminds the world that there is in fact a common culture in this country. So many nations have characteristics that immediately come to mind when describing a member of that country. I won't name them, but you can think of a few I'm sure.

But when given American, often ideas come the way of "melting pot", or "a mixture of cultures". While this is, of course, very true, over the centuries, this country has managed to find its own home in the world, with a strange culture all its own. Kitsch was not invented here by any means, but the culture of utter ridiculousness has been perfected by places such as Vegas and Disneyland. America has managed to turn luxury, kitsch and ostentatious "It's all about me!" culture into a guilty pleasure that lies as a backbone for the more well-known all powerful United States of America.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Las Vegas is cool but nothing beats Disneyland :D