Regarding the well-known Las Vegas promotional ads claiming that "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," the allusion to them in last night’s episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (see the item immediately below) vividly reminded me of how revolting I’ve always found that ad campaign to be.

Yes, revolting.

The claim, of course, is that running wild in a strange town has no consequences.

The subtext is that prostitution is legal in Nevada.

"What Happens in Vegas . . . " throw pillowHence, for married folk the implication is that you can be sure your spouse will not know about your indiscretions when you return from your business trip out there (because you run no risk of getting arrested for solicitation), so please book your meetings and conventions in Vegas. For single people, the point is that there will be lots of people out looking for a good time with no commitments: the young men will have the fallback option of using the legalized prostitution, and the young women know that the legal prostitution means that there will be plenty of young men there.

Of course, contracting a venereal disease would seem to be a very possible negative consequence of what often happens in Vegas, but perhaps they have unusually good and discreet health care for tourists.

Even so, the notion that one can run wild without any consequences to the state of one’s mind and soul is truly repulsive. Casting aside your morality for a few days may seem to be just a temporary matter of "blowing off a little steam," but that’s just a convenient excuse: human beings are not steam engines.

To think that one can indulge in extramarital affairs, long hours of gambling, or binge drinking and not expect to carry home some reinforcement of the urges that brought the person to Vegas in the first place is incredibly naive and truly stupid.

And note the words used in the ad: what happens in Vegas. These things simply "happen" in Vegas, you see. You’re not responsible for your choices; they simply happen. So of course there should be no consequences—it wouldn’t be fair for you to be punished for something that simply "happened" to you.

What a wretched message to send to people.