Vegas Rex looks her up and down, and then asks the attractive hostess assigned to give us a tour of Minus 5, “Will the cold make my penis shrink?” He mumbles like Johnny Depp playing Hunter S. Thompson. It dulls the offensiveness but not the obsessions. He thinks that issue through with the hostess before entering Minus 5: What impact will the cold have on his penis? The cold also will have an impact on the tools of Rex’s trade: multiple cameras and a laptop. He has to leave them behind.
Vegas Rex is best-known for the politically incorrect blog he writes at VegasRex.com. Rex is at Minus 5 because he has a new job that is sort of like journalism. In addition to his widely read blog, last month Rex began writing a second blog for CasinoGuide.com. It’s an experiment in commerce for Rex, whose own blog has always been done for fun. Rex is vague on how he earns money and refers to himself as retired (though from what isn’t clear), and he is sketchy about his past, which he fully admits is sketchy in ways he has no interest in elaborating on. He came to Vegas to keep a low profile, but the viral popularity of his blog screwed that plan up. So, with CasinoGuide.com he is hoping to create a blog aimed more at tourists with the same level of popularity that gets his own blog somewhere near 10,000 regular readers. (Unique visitors can surpass 100,000 for some of his items.)
The new blog, Rex says, will use slightly less obscenity. But all of the same words will be making appearances. In short, he has enough freedom and autonomy that he thinks he can keep his integrity as a blogger who refuses to admit to much integrity at all.
VegasRex.com morphed from Rex’s Poker Forum, poker being a hobby he says he makes money at, into a blog centered on Rex’s seeming enthusiasm for Vegas in exactly the way that Sin City markets the town: Rex wants to talk about sex while throwing his arms around a hot hostess at a club, and he wants to be what some would call a degenerate gambler. Rex can call Vegas on an existential bluff and, sometimes, as at the Venetian, the result can be a cocktail waitress attacking him. That encounter is memorialized at his original blog, complete with photos.
While Rex can be sexist in an old-fashioned way, writing about how women can’t drive, he is normally just shamelessly horny. Masturbation is a favored topic on his blog. In short, Vegas Rex tells people all about what he loves, and in loving detail can explicate what he hates. The things he hates include Henderson and, to a lesser extent, Steve Wynn.
But under the jokes Rex provides lots of information and perspective. He captures the construction on the Strip on a nearly daily basis and probably is the most detailed observer the Las Vegas Monorail has ever carried.
Sometimes what Rex is writing has nothing to do with Vegas at all, such as his recent presidential endorsement, which reads, in tiny part:
“The black guy is corrupt.
“The old guy is corrupt.
“The black guy’s running mate is ‘experienced’ at being corrupt.
“The old guy’s running mate is some chick who probably won’t blow me ...”
Accepting the offer to blog for CasinoGuide.com was Rex’s response to regularly getting lucrative offers from resorts and tourism companies to partner with his blog. He has learned they all come only with only one request: compromise the content. So, VegasRex.com remains unchanged. But now he must start over to again build a large audience at CasinoGuide.com, and he admits he’s currently winging it.
Rex’s popularity also means he routinely turns down requests for interviews from media who have discovered his site. He also has no respect for the media. The Las Vegas Review-Journal last Sunday called Vegas Rex “Sin City from a punk’s eye view.” Rex is actually 40, leans more toward metal and is married and has kids. But he never got back to the R-J for the story. He thinks a reporter called.
Rex doesn’t answer his cell phone. He hates talking on the phone. It still rings constantly. Rex doesn’t even bother with his e-mail: “All the e-mail from the site goes to someone else who kind of screens it.” In fact, Rex does not even read VegasRex.com, because, well, he isn’t much of a fan of himself:
“I never read my own stuff, ever. So, when I write a long post, it is very stream-of-consciousness; someone else cleans up after me. I have never read my own blog. I have never gone back and read one of the articles. If I did, I would immediately hit delete. It is self-indulgent shit.”
The next day on his CasinoGuide.com blog, Rex reports on his visit to Minus 5. “The ice was incidental to me, though. What I enjoyed most were the females running around inside the place. One hostess took off her jacket, only to reveal two of the most perfect glands you are likely to find in this city … and judging by the size of her top … she wasn’t shy about letting the rest of us admire them. In all seriousness, I would have gotten a raging boner in this place were it not so cold. I was thinking about trying to talk my way into an igloo three-way, but quickly realized that my testicles were planted firmly just underneath my lungs.” A one-track mind, maybe, yet perfect for a one-trick city.