Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Vegas Aesthetic and "Elvis Shrugged"

I think the Vegas vibe — like Frank Sinatra — holds greater and greater appeal as one ages because it is an aesthetic that does not demand youth and energy and athleticism, only the ability to slouch, look bleary-eyed, hold your liquor with expertise born of experience, and have enough money in the bank to look calm when the bills come due.

Just as it takes some real-life experience before the blues starts seeming more important than pop, it takes some lower back pain and some regrets before you can nod appreciatively at a line as resigned and pasha-like as “It’s Frank’s world, we just live in it.”

I do regret, though, that while in Vegas, I will have missed a speech for Institute for Humane Studies alums here in New York City by anarchist law professor Randy Barnett on “Libertarian Anarchism in a Statist World.”  But even though I’ll miss his kooky rap, I’ll be livin’ it, baby — and, hey, here, go buy yourself somethin’ classy.

In related news, I was pleased years ago to meet the writer of the comic book Elvis Shrugged, in which Sinatra was depicted as one of the lead characters in a celeb-filled parody of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.  I still smile when I recall Frank saying to a libertarian version of Sinead O’Connor: “Spin me a yarn, baby.”  In the end, all the freedom-loving characters escape to Elvis’s secret enclave, Blue Hawaii.

1 comment:

Patrick McCray said...

I don’t recall us meeting, but I’m not saying we didn’t! Please drop me a line at


Patrick McCray,