[dreams of american freedom]

Topic: United States

I’m watching American Experience: Las Vegas, a PBS documentary about the city in the desert (sponsored in part by Las Vegas), and it keeps making the point that Vegas was a place where people came to be free, to be liberated from the constraints of 1950s America, to get away with what was a sin back home.

This got me wondering, because I always thought of San Francisco as the place where people went to be free and live in what was elsewhere considered sin. But the difference, I think, is that San Francisco is where people went when they wanted to live a new lifestyle — the freaks settled the place — whereas Vegas was the place where you visited an exotic lifestyle, while the people who settled there were mobsters and stars eager to make money off the weekend sins of others. In other words, you moved to San Francisco to fuck, but you moved to Vegas to fuck people over.