The idea for this month’s feature, “Amazing Arizona,” came out of this random effulgence of enthusiasm — at once singular and choral — from Desert Companion writers at one of our coffee-splashed, bagel-fueled story pitch roundtables.
Las Vegas is a nexus of sensory extremes. In the middle of a broiling desert, we’ve got a string of air-conditioned Strip casinos boasting some of the world’s finest food, splashiest production shows, and, of course, row upon row of clamorous, glittering games of chance.
I do wonder whether this era of immersive digitalia is creating a generational wave of drooly and glaze-eyed slothchildren. I’m happy to see my dystopian pessimism challenged by this month’s feature, “More Than Child’s Play,” by Matt Jacob.
I often compare Vegas to a Russian nesting doll, but one with neon and video poker instead of those lidless, accusing eyes. You get past the touristy shell, the strip mall shell, the sleepy isolationist suburban shell...
My strongest memory of 1989 is from my Las Vegas High School graduation ceremony. There’s actually a photo of the very moment: A mortarboard-topped me accepting my diploma from some Important Education Personage with a standard grip ’n’ grin.
At one of our scrummy editorial meetings leading up to this issue, someone asked whether an upbeat Vegas Golden Knights season preview feature might be considered jarring, dissonant, or even tone-deaf appearing in the same month that marks the anniversary of the October 1 shooting.
I feel like this summer was extra rite-of-passagier than others on recent historical record, and I therefore deserve to hurl myself extra hard into this fall’s reprieve of cooler temperatures and, more importantly, cultural events.
Usually in this space, I do the opening-flourish shuffle to introduce the issue’s feature package with a bunch of hypertrophic, overheated prose. I was going to do that this month, too, but then I realized that I’d only be telling part of the story.
I spent a heroically lazy Christmas week on the couch, possibly in the same clothes for several days in a row but that’s not a confession, alternately reading and napping in a state of what I told myself was a silently transformative chrysaloid stasis.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Brandolini’s Law. It states that the amount of energy needed to refute BS is an order of magnitude larger than that needed to produce it. I propose a corollary: The amount of theatrical bluster and outrage behind an opinion is inversely proportional to how informed that opinion is.
If there’s one thing I can’t stand about tragedy and death — aside from, of course, its own tragical deathitude — it’s that spirit-sapping side effect of making life’s everyday pleasures feel shallow and dumb.
January 4, 2010, was my first day at Desert Companion. Christopher Smith and I, comprising the magazine’s entire editorial staff, took up our cubicles in a nondescript backroom that was formerly Nevada Public Radio’s music library.