Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kilroy Café #21: "God Finally Smites Vegas"

Here is the latest Kilroy philosophy essay, released today. You can print it out on a single page via the pdf file, or you can read the full text below. Also see my other Kilroy Café newsletters.

Sin City had it coming
but He was busy and only got to it now.


Predictions from a thousand pulpits finally came true this week as Las Vegas reeled from a series of scourges of Biblical proportions.

In the latest calamity, an unprecedented 2-day snowstorm shut down nearly all access to the city by road and air, cutting off its vital supply of gamblers from other states.

The vision of a "White Christmas" on the Las Vegas Strip served as a bizarre symbol of the economic chill that has befallen the city in recent months. No region has been harder hit by the current recession than this oasis in the desert. Although some local leaders remain in denial, it is now increasingly clear that Las Vegas, like Coney Island, will never regain its former glory.

God Himself was not available for comment, but a source close to God revealed that the Supreme Being was quietly pleased with the turn of events in the entertainment Mecca.

"When people pray to God and ask for justice, they expect it to happen right away," said the source. "God doesn't work like that. He has to do things His own way on His own timetable."

The spectacular collapse of the Las Vegas economy is said to have vindicated God's new "low intervention" philosophy of moral enforcement.

By most accounts, God has kept a low profile in recent centuries, parting no seas and releasing no catastrophes that couldn't be explained by "science."

Snowstorm aside, the current collapse can be seen as the city's own doing, the result of the past hubris and narcissism of its residents.

As recently as a year ago, there was a broad local consensus that the exponential growth of the previous two decades would continue indefinitely. In 13 years, the metropolitan population doubled from 1 to 2 million, and locals believed that it would quickly double again. Current figures indicate most forms of growth are now negative.

Gambling was seen as a "clean" industry with no visible drawbacks. Few residents perceived it as a fragile and exploitative pseudo-economy buoyed up by the illusory wealth of inflated housing values nationwide. Vegas was built on easy credit and couldn't help but collapse when the credit dried up.

God's role remains largely invisible and seems to be limited to systems development rather than daily operations. The source explained that when a system is designed right, God can just sit back and watch things happen.

"He doesn't have to do a damn thing," said the source, who quickly apologized for his profanity.

"What goes around comes around," said the source.

—G .C.

©Glenn Campbell, PO Box 30303, Las Vegas, NV 89173. See my other philosophy newsletters at