Ya hear that?! It’s the sound of the 50,000 cowboys, farmers, hillbillies, and rednecks who are in Vegas right now for the National Finals Rodeo. Lately it seems you can’t walk two fuckin’ feet without tripping over a big-haired, fat-assed rodeo queen in bedazzled alligator-skin Jesus boots. It’s insane!
Now, normally I looooove rodeo season. Like many of you, I am enamored of the whole big-sky, big-hat, big-haired, Wild-West-rootin’-tootin’-shootin’-broken-nosed-tobaccy-stained-Jesus-lovin’-whore-fuckin’-church-goin’-corn-holin’-Copenhagen-chawin’ circus. It’s America, distilled to its anti-gov’ment, anti-Obammycare, anti-science essence. God love’ em!
But this year, I find my patience sorely tested by these folk…mainly because I’m stuck taking souvenir photos at a country music shlocktacular which happens to be, quite oxymoronically, a high-end affair. Reg’lar folk cain’t afford tickets to this hayseed extravaganza, so all the really cool down & out, busted-up, Merle Haggard-type cowboys are all down on Fremont Street, swigging Coors Light and yodeling at the homeless. Meanwhile, I’m stuck kissing the Texas-sized asses of the worst kind of nouveau riche rednecks I’ve ever had the misfortune of talking to. You know the type!
Gravity-defying, artfully frosted hair…plush alpaca vests over manmade titties…those godawful Swarovski-encrusted cow-lady belts…and let’s not forget the tacky-ass ginormous bejeweled crosses on everything. These rednecks are loaded—and they want you to know allllll about it!
These bumpkins’ conspicuous consumerism brings to mind the only other Vegas demographic who even come close to matching the rednecks’ ostentatious display of wealth—the Thugs!! Hip-hop and country music have more in common than one would think, sartorially speaking. Both are desperate to prove their means by flashing their wealth at every opportunity, on every available inch of their persons and possessions. SAD!!!
You might kin buy bedazzled Louboutains….but you can’t buy taste, and that’s why the show where I’ve been toiling has been so packed—they just don’t know any better. Now, I have nothing personal against the headliner of this show, whom I’ve been referring to as Shennany Twang—in fact, she seems like a truly cool, down-to-Earth woman from humble beginnings, who also happens to be astonishingly beautiful (some scientists actually rated her as having the “perfect” face, in terms of proportions, etc.). But jeeeeeeeezum crow, is her show thick with shtick!
Maybe I have an exceptionally jaded eye, but the whole thing smacks of pandering to me. From what I’ve read, Shenanny didn’t even want to be a country singer when she started out—she wanted to sing rock ‘n’ roll, but a canny manager convinced her to switch horses, and it certainly paid off, as she’s had a fabulously successful career. And now that she’s been sucked into the Vegas fold, her corporate masters are using her as a tool to shamelessly pander to the rodeo folk. Whoever designed the show did so with Machiavellian precision, loading it up with horses and sequins and boot-scootin’, do-si-do-in’ cowboys—all the things rodeo people likes ta see. The sets look to be straight out of Disneyland’s Country Bear Jamboree—the only thing missing is a somber interlude about Jesus and/or some poor kid with cancer, a la Terry Fator’s show. It’s a riot!!!!!
The best part of all of it is, I can only imagine the politely disguised look of horror on the regular headliner’s face when she sees all this nuttiness going down on the stage they built for HER. You know, La Quebecoise?? She of the breathtakingly hubristic life-sized mannequin in the lobby?! She must be shitting her silken palazzo pants, watching all those boots scuffing her stage. And those horses!! It’s just a matter of time before one of them takes a massive shit right where Madame Titanique belts out her signature hit every night. Quel horreur!!!
All of this is why I’m a little rodeoed out right now. I plan to shake it off and go mingle with the down & out, busted-up crowd one of these nights…and then I’m sure I’ll feel better about it. After all, I have had some fabulous times during rodeo in Vegas. Those cowboys do like to party! I remember one time, when I had first moved to town, I was cruising down Las Vegas Blvd. in the ginormous pink 1986 Lincoln Town Car I used to drive, heading home after a shitty night at work. A limo pulled up beside me, and a bevy of cowboys erupted from the moon roof, urging me to come join them at the Stardust for the Ricky and the Redstreaks show! I ended up partying the night away with those drunken fools, having the time of my life. But that was then, this is now. The Stardust was imploded, and some dumb wigger is driving my Lincoln. SIGH!