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The Casino Mentality

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parx_HORIZONTAL_MAIN The surreal world of the state sponsored casino belies description. From the moment you enter the oceanic vastness of its’ parking lot, to the prison fence that keeps out pedestrians who may have wandered in and walked the mile long mini highway, to the oversized television screens outside the main entranceway you know that you are being warned of a place where time and space defy the laws of nature. The bright lights and sounds, both audible and visible from the local road, seem to beckon all those who notice her with the siren call of fabulous wealth and instantaneous riches. The mere thought of a place where a penny dropped into a chiming box can bestow upon the donator untold rewards is enough to stupefy all but the most cunning of tricksters.

images If you manage to find the opening into the formal parking mass and stow your car, you need to walk or rather wade your way to the front doors. Visible and immaculately decorated, welcoming you with open arms, enveloping you in an aura of excitement and possibilities. You enter and see the line of staff, eyeballing you with a smile (or is it a smirk), evaluating you for nuisance value, age sufficiency, and sobriety. If you pass their scrutiny, done with the expertise of a meat butcher, they greet you and permit you to pass. Once or twice you may get a verbal hello, or welcome but it isn’t necessary. You are too blinded by the sounds of the clinking, the smell of stale pumped in air, and the color scheme created to confuse the cerebellum. A mixture of maze, modernity, and mayhem are but mere feet away as you walk inside to get a feel for the layout of this come hither hell.

tmp6DAE.tmp_tcm46-555658 Passing around the bends you notice the gamblers are not the patrons you saw in the commercials, nor are they the beautiful people displayed in the advertisements. They are you; the poorest of you and your city, pouring their hard earned cash or government handout into a square box with pretty lights. Nary a smile is seen on their faces, rather calm (or anxious) and trancelike. Their eyes tell a different story from their arms and fingers, who appear to be running on autopilot. Almost imperceptibly, the focus and attention displayed by their sight sends a message of nervousness, of angst, of sorrow. These people, you realize, are throwing money they need for other things, into machines that lie to them. They have the look of a starving dog, caged for weeks with an empty bowl, without energy to fight, without a bark left, it is slave to its’ masters. These people are slaves to this leviathan, this beast of destruction and decay.

02bc20234f0598ab01632672b5f6 So you turn around, to get a bearing on where your exit is, should you need to escape before you too become one of the masses in this place, Borg-like. It then hits you that you are indeed, lost inside the monster! Was it a left, left, right, left? Was it a left, right, left, left, right? You know it was behind you and was always in that general direction, but when you look there, no sign can be seen showing the exit, clearly marked! The ceiling is glittery, the signs that show you where everything else is, blend into the walls and the decorum, so as to render them unnoticeable. The floor! Maybe the floor is understandable? Perchance to dream little one, the floor is a maze of quasi geometric shapes and squiggly lines, all running in a random direction. The walkways of the floors are not straight, but slightly curved and with multiple intersections at every ten meters. You’re stuck for now! You sign, resign yourself to a seat while you try to reorient yourself by looking at your phone, which has no bars nor access to the GPS system upon entering. The machine behind you beeps, makes a clinking noise and whistles at you.

So you look up at it in all its’ glory. You lift you hand up, coin at the ready, and take a pull of the lever…


Written by Josecito

March 8, 2011 at 2:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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