File the following under: Things You Wish Would Appear Magically on Film:
The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing on Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war. The ground floor is full of gambling tables, like all the other casinos but the place is about four stories high, in the style of a circus tent, and all manner of strange County-Fair/Polish-Carnival madness is going on up in this space. Right above the gambling tables the Forty Flying Garazito Brothers are doing the high-wire trapeze act, along with four muzzled Wolverines and the Six Nymphet Sisters from San Diego.
So you’re down on the main floor playing blackjack, and the stakes getting high when suddenly you chance to look up, and there, right smack above your head is a half-naked fourteen-year-old girl being chased through the air by a snarling wolverine, which is suddenly locked in a death battle with two silver-painted Polacks who come swinging down from opposite balconies and meet in mid-air on the wolverine’s neck. Both Polacks seize the animal as they fall straight down toward the crap tables – but they bounce off the net, they separate and spring back toward the roof in three different directions, and just as they’re about to all again they are grabbed out of the air by three Korean kittens and trapezed off to one of the balconies.
Meanwhile, on all the upstairs balconies, the customers are being hustled by every conceivable kind of bizarre shock. Shoot the pasties off the nipples of a bull-dyke and win a cotton candy goat. Stand in front of this fantastic machine, my friend, and for just 99 cents your likeness will appear, two hundred feet tall, on a screen above downtown Las Vegas. Nintey-nine cents more for a voice message.
Jesus Christ. I could see myself lying in bed in the Mint Hotel, half-asleep and staring idly at the window, when suddenly a vicious Nazi drunkard appears two hundred feet tall in the midnight sky, screaming gibberish at the world: ‘Woodstock Uber Alles!‘
Who else but Hunter Thompson.
That seamless blend of imagery and the authorial message is something I envy in text. That ability to shfit scenes and perspectives without any discrete borders or shift in focus of the eye. There’s video, but text achieves the same effect without the specifics of real world color and settled composition, in some sweet spot of free association and directed imagination. But at the end of the day, it’s a flashy photograph that makes me feel in the world and wanting to touch everything.