White noise is a random signal (or process) with a flat power spectral density. In other words, the signal's power spectral density has equal power in any band, at any center frequency, having a given bandwidth. White noise is considered analogous to white light which contains all frequencies.

Who am I?

Neo-hippie cinephile. Follower of the great Jim Morrison who once said "If the doors of perception are cleansed, everything would appear to man as it truly is, infinite."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


One of the two protagonists of this story, ArSENik has spent the last seven years of his life in the US, three of which have been spent on the inimitable West Coast of the US. And yet, he is part of the 5% of the population that belongs to this dynamic that hasn't visited Vegas. Before you start 'tsking', hold on, because that's not all. He also has the rare distinction of belonging to the 0.32% of the population worldwide whose parents have visited Vegas but they have not. Hence, the pressure of visiting Vegas, built up over years of sitting around the coffee table in the living room back home over oedipal photographs in front of the pyramids of Egypt at the Luxor or the Champs-Elysees at Paris, is immense, to say the least.

Chapter 1: "F!@k it! Let's Go"

Establishing shot of the parking garage of ArSENik's apartment complex. The camera jibs down to a shot of a navy blue Nissan Murano from the rear, with two figures, silhouetted by the car light, occupying the front seats.

ArSENik: Hurry up! I want good seats.
Sambaman: Yeah, yeah. Relax. Didn't 'The Hangover' come out last week? I am sure the theatre will be half empty.
ArSENik: Well, um yeah, but I don't wanna take a risk. It looks funny and (attempt at superficial emotional blackmail) you know it takes place in Vegas, and (with a tear trickling down) I am a Vegas Virgin!
Sambaman: You are what?!
ArSENik (breaking down completely): There! I said it. I haven't told anyone else.
Sambaman (with a distant look in his eyes): We have to change that. You know, (pause for dramatic effect) we could just go there.
ArSENik: It's Vegas MAN. It's not your uncle's house down the street where you go to sneakily stalk your hot cousin.
Sambaman: She's my third cousin! And you promised you would never bring that up ... ever.
ArSENik: OK, but it's Sunday night. I have a shoot on Tuesday.
Sambaman: C'mon. DBG (Don't Be Gay).

After a few futile moments of debilitating, ArSENik sighs heavily.

ArSENik: F!@k it! Let's Go.

What ArSENik didn't know was that Sambaman had no intention of driving, and also that he had forgotten his camera while packing hurriedly. Montage sequence of the two booking a room at the Mirage, rushing to the airport, buying tickets and catching the flight occurs.

Chapter 2: The Promised Land

ArSENik has a window seat in the exit row and is thus excited about the impending bird's eye view of the Land of Sin. Unfortunately for him, he is on the wrong side of the plane and doesn't get a glimpse of the tallest odes to Capitalism since time immemorial. Nevertheless, the sparkling yellow lights still hit his sensitive eyes, as if enticing him to a money pit. The airport is clean, just like your average Midwest airport, except that it is frequently punctuated by 25 cent and 1 dollar slot machines, with middle aged tourists in loose pants gambling away, with hope that would have impressed even the emancipating Lincoln.

The duo have been promised a 2009 Dodge Charger, but the keys to the only available one cannot be found anywhere in the premises. And so, they set off hand in hand like a couple in Massachusetts, in a family van, out to loot the Promised Land. The strip assaults their senses with its thousand giant structures and lights and whitish pink wedding chapels, as the cynical ArSENik scoffs at the trigger-happy tourists clicking away in front of the 'Welcome to Las Vegas' sign. And then, tucked away from all the brightness and the grandeur, they see a sliver of reality - pregnant hookers patrolling construction sites and their pimps chitchatting with unkempt drug dealers.

The Mirage cannot offer them the promised non-smoking room with a view, and thus, now they have the luxury of spending $50 on the minibar, which throws up an assortment of expensive day to day edibles. They go down to the hotel casino and gamble, but just a little bit, like shy lovers flirting on a first date. They try to hunt down the waitresses serving the free drinks, but upon being asked the order, are mesmerized by her raw Russian beauty and can only order White Russians, on repeated occasions. ArSENik, as usual, looses money on Blackjack, the slots and Roulette, but Sambaman, taking his advice on Roulette, makes quite a bit, preventing ArSENik from projecting, and thus lifting ArSENik's spirits. They finally go to bed as the sun is waking up lazily, engulfing their room with its first rays, like an epidemic taking over a city. Thank God hotel rooms have thick curtains.

Sambaman LOVES to sleep, even if he is in a different city that his fellow travelers want to explore, and thus, the duo get out of their hotel rooms as late as two in the afternoon. At lunch, ArSENik is impressed by Vegas' sensitivity to natural meat and also how much cheaper fast food is, compared to California. To show his gratitude, he buys a lovely pair of Nike tennis shoes - a crisscross of different shades of blue, since his current pair has been destroyed from years to exposure to washer/dryer. Shopping with the picky and nowadays, miserly ArSENik is a pain for any mortal. Sambaman manages to survive somehow.

Sambaman and ArSENik are huge Beatles fans, and are thrilled to be living in a hotel that has a lounge called Revolution. They obviously go watch Cirque de Soleil's Love - a psychedelic roller coaster of emotions with eastern music, specifically, Indian music, fused with some of the Beatles' hits . ArSENik is thrilled and wished he had mushrooms to make the event even more spectacular as angles literally transcend from the heavens and young ambitious men leap from one trampoline to the other. Nevertheless, he still sheds tears at its whole awesomeness.

Dinner is at a posh Italian restaurant, where the female maitre d' pushes your chair as you sit down, making ArSENik uncomfortable and men in suits and rimless glasses rub their palms against one another and laugh socially, displaying sets of sparkling teeth, sipping sparkling fluids in front of an unnecessary crackling fire. The octopus appetizer tastes like overcooked kababs to ArSENik but he loves the spinach salmon of the main course.

Sambaman then assures ArSENik that in order to obtain the complete Vegas experience, they need to visit a club. Naive and wet behind the ears, ArSENik nods excitedly with big sparkling brown eyes, much like a puppy, about to be adopted from a homeless shelter. They visit Jet, and almost loose each other in the ensuing noise pollution. Sambaman is sad because he can't get wasted and dance himself silly on the poles, because of their flight the next morning. ArSENik is just sad. He has a pre-mid life crisis on seeing the young nubile things gyrating hypnotically, glowing in the dark, dancing their troubles away, living in the moment, as he sips his incredibly overpriced Corona with lime.

The next morning is anticlimactically routine as they return their family van and try their luck oe last time at the slot machines at the airport. However, there is no reversal of fortunes for ArSENik and they board their flight in silence and sleep on the way back, dreaming of winning fortunes, that would help them produce their future films. On landing, they return to the flatness of LA, one now a Vegas Veteran, the other not a Vegas Virgin anymore.


Anonymous said...

Haha, at last! So have you taken to writing everything like a movie script?

ArSENik said...

At last? Not everything, but I thought Chapter 1 played better that way.

Anonymous said...

Abbe, as in, at last you made it to Vegas. Haven't you been meaning to go there forever? And i haven't even made it to amrika yet! how shameful not to have made it to THE shameful land.

ArSENik said...

Ah that way. This sounds like AM.

Anonymous said...

well done...this was a test and you've passed ;)

What's In A Name ? said...

Terry Gilliam's film got me mad with rage!!! What about all the running around in Godzilla costume by Depp and Del Toro???

ArSENik said...

@Ann: What is my reward?

@WIAN: Hahaha. I love that film and even own it. I think the buffoonery was a result of the psychedelic drugs they were taking to overcome the depression of the attack of over-capitalization and American greed (which is embodied in Vegas) on their senses.

Anonymous said...

Decided to read this blog today. It felt right. Let's make it an awesome "Part 2". hahahahhaha


ArSENik said...

I read it too, simply to remind me of the details - like what was the appetizer at the Italian restaurant and all. I hope we have better luck this time. Now all I have to do is show you the film on the flight. Viva Las Vegas!