Drawing The Line

Every day from 8am to 3pm a special bus goes down the Las Vegas Strip. For $90 to $150 for a 45 minutes treatment this Hangover Heaven, with a certified anesthesiologist on board will administer a mix of vitamins, amino acids and prescription drugs to help minimize or dissipate the effects of a long night’s partying including, of course, a hangover. In Las Vegas one can also have one’s dog massaged—for $150—and for $8.50 something some may or may not appreciate, a frozen dessert called Lobster Me which, as the name tells us, contains vanilla ice cream with chunks of Maine lobster. The blurb advertising it promises, as do so many things in Vegas, to be decadent. With the possible exception of the Hangover Heaven—and it’s only a matter of time—there’s nothing in Las Vegas that many cities don’t already have. Las Vegas, however, is a place concentrating the stimulation of our senses, everything there is aimed at making us feel good one way or another, so it’s easy to use it to raise a basic question. Is such a focus merely pleasure or is it excess? Is it warranted or superfluous? And if there is something too extreme in all these ways to experience gratification, where can we draw the line?