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Party people!


Ah, the raucous glor of New Year's Eve in Las Vegas as an uncertain new era begins

Where have you gone, Dick Clark — our nation turns its auld lang syne to you. After all, when the big ball dropped on January 1, how confident were we that it wasn’t a wrecking ball? Now more than ever we could use an ageless, groovy-haired, preternaturally cheery hepcat to smile us into a future we can dance to.

Sadly, Dick’s gone, but he would want you to party on, party people! And if everything has happened as usual (we’re writing this in December), hundreds of thousands of Americans just did exactly that on the Strip and Fremont Street. Good for them! At the rump end of 2016, who didn’t need the dopamine rush of righteous merrymaking? The restorative high spirits of a 3-2-1 countdown to midnight? The purgative release of public vomiting? And surely it felt good to reclaim a nonpolitical use of the word party. On January 1 we rang out a year that registered a sanity-rattling 9.5 on the WTF scale, and the aftershocks will keep rolling in for a while, whether it’s the long tail of this Russian hacking business, vexing domestic fissures or the White House raising the curtain on its four-year run of Tweetzapoppin’. No matter which side, team, crew, coven, social tribe, hunting party, book club or justice league you belong to, uncertainty’s thick in the air, anxiety too, so the mass shindig of New Year’s Eve will probably have to hold us over for a while.

Still, a raucous year-end blowout is a Vegas-style way to put your chips on the proposition that it remains possible to take a cup of kindness with one’s fellow revelers, whomever they are and however unlike you they might be: black, brown or white, red or blue, coastal or Midwestern, Raiders fans or normal humans, all of us united behind the wisdom of philosopher Ron White (coming February 10-11 to The Mirage), who says, “If life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” In that spirit, welcome to fabulous Las Vegas, 2017!

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After that, who knows? Maybe a nation united in search of a proper hangover cure will find a few other things to agree on, too.