Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 102: the welcoming arms of excess

Liberace was everybody's friend, image from the Liberace museum website

Two days until we land in NV. I look to Liberace.

"One of the most popular attractions in town, the Liberace Museum houses the entertainer's famously sequined costumes, his jewel-encrusted pianos and candelabras, custom-built cars, and other mementos from a career that opens a unique window into the hypermasculinity of the Cold-War American West. Indeed, Liberace, Las Vegas, and the NTS were coincident from the beginning. The NTS opened in 1951, and by the mid-1950s the two biggest shows in Nevada were nuclear explosions and Liberace, who earned $50,000 a week at the new Riviera casino, performing his signature pastiche of high and low musical genres in a black tuxedo studded with 1,328,000 sequins. A favorite pastime of the era was to take a cocktail up to the top of a casino in the morning, to search the northern horizon for a flash of light or a mushroom cloud and toast America's superpower ascendancy."
- Desert Modernisms, Joseph Masco

1 comment:

The Vespers said...

Ah! Finally! My Halloween costume idea has presented itself.