What’s one more casino?

First off, I just want to throw a shout out to all those who work outside in July. If you’re mowing lawns, hammering wallboard, or fixing tires on RVs when it’s 104, may Pepsiphone, the ancient goddess of soda, bless you with a bottomless ice chest.

Out here in Spanish Springs, there are many who are popping some angst bubbles over the prospect of King Harvey building Tamarack North (actually the name is Tierra del Pendejo, something like that). That angst has led to a smattering of anti-casino NIMBY mailings, where some decent, Harvey-fearin’ folks are trying to whip up enough anti-Tierra sentiment to get the whole thing tossed by various Sparks agencies.

Hey, that’s all well and swell. One of the arguments being put forth against Tierra is that it would open the casino floodgates, so to speak, and I can certainly understand how it would be super horrible for Pyramid Highway to become some sort of Casino Row. I guess. I suppose. But then again … yawn.

I’m having a tough time revving up any emotion at all on the issue, pro or con. I mean, I accept the whole Nevada thing, meaning the cards-dice-booze-oriented business plan that has driven this state since the ’30s. I don’t fear gambling, I don’t see it as inherently evil, and I don’t see one casino as insta-doom for the area. Like so many of us, I’ve grown to be utterly neutral on the subject.

Casinos now have about as much impact on my life as any of my 15 refrigerator magnets. And, while it’s true that it’s literally been years since I last played even five bucks at a blackjack table, I also figure that if my neighbors out here in S.S. wanna play some video poker, and maybe do so in snazzier surroundings than those offered by the local gas station/ supermarket, well, OK. No problem. And, why exactly does one casino mean there will be five? Why can’t the gate be closed after one?

I’m also wrestling with the concept of Spanish Springs being somehow tainted by a casino complex. I mean, jeez, in the next two years, we’re gonna get a Home Depot (“Thank God you’re too cheap to call a pro.”), Costco (“If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.”) and Wal-Mart (“Resistance is futile.”). Faced with this megalithic onslaught of Giant Rectangles, it seems difficult to make the argument that the aesthetic purity of S.S. has been so preserved and cared for that Harvey’s new poker palace might somehow taint our bustling little sump. In fact, in light of this tsunami of ultra-corporate enormousness, it seems likely that Tierra Del Slot will prove to be the most architecturally stimulating development of them all. Now, if someone wants to fire up a petition drive to get Trader Joe’s to build Northern Nevada store number two out here …