There are people who believe that downtown's Fremont Street Experience is no place for children. To them, I say "Mind your own business!". It's perfectly fine, and actually an excellent family activity...if your goal is to be a selfish, irresponsible, and nauseating example of parenthood. Truth be told, there's absolutely no reason to expose your children to the tawdriness and excess of Fremont Street. Yet it's as common as mustard on a hot dog.
Before you get your panties in an uproar over the fact that you can see the faces of the children, keep in mind that their caregivers snapped these pictures and uploaded them publicly to Facebook. If moms and dads don't care about concealing their kids' identities, it's certainly not my job to do so. The damage has already been done. So if you don't like seeing their faces here, my point has already been made. But I'm not done with my rant. Hell, I haven't even gotten started.
Master of Horror Stephen King knows how to tap into our deepest fears and taboo thoughts. That's why an original miniseries based on his 1978 novel THE STAND chose Fremont Street as the setting for a final showdown between good vs. evil. THE STAND depicts a world in which a deadly virus has wiped out most of mankind. The minions of Satan gather in Las Vegas, and in the film, the Devil himself moves into the top floor of the Plaza Hotel on Fremont Street. That's some rather obvious symbolism, don't you think?
The pandemic may be over, yet the Beast still lives and breathes on Fremont Street. They don't call it "Sin City" for nuthin', you guys. There are hookers, panhandlers, bare asses and breasts, foul language, drunks, pickpockets, stabbings, brawls, and drug use, right out there in the open. That's not a judgment...just a statement of fact.
Despite efforts to reign in illegal activity and the presence of law enforcement all around, much of this is shrugged off in the name of tourism. Debauchery is the cornerstone of the city's trade. We welcome it, encourage it, and even boast about it. But we never say "bring the kids." That concept is as outdated as "Everything in Vegas is cheap". The attempt to make Vegas a family destination failed over twenty years ago. So why does the reputation still linger?
The answer to that question is super-easy....some parents just plain suck. They're lazy, irresponsible, and think more about having a good time than setting a proper example for their offspring. They want to have their booze and drink it, too. From a bad parent's perspective, there's no reason to miss an opportunity to misbehave just because the crotch fruit hasn't reached legal age.
So what do the Johnsons do when it's time to scratch that itch? Well, they just throw some clothes into Billy and Missy's backpacks, yank them out of school for a few days, and head to Sin City for a little frivolity! Anyone who passes judgment can go screw themselves, okay? Mommy and Daddy deserve some fun, and those rugrats aren't gonna get in the way.
So now that we've established that 'kids on Fremont Street' is a dangerous, disgusting, and immoral situation, let's pick apart the defenses that are frequently used by the "Awful Parents Squad".
1. There are no rules or regulations preventing children from coming to Fremont Street. - True, but if you need a guidebook to be a decent parent, then you aren't fit to raise children.
2. The SlotZilla Zipline doesn't have a posted age limit - Also true, but your kids can ride the FlyLinq Zipline or VooDoo Zipline at Rio Las Vegas without wading through nearly-naked buskers and drunken revelers.
3. My parents took me to Fremont Street when I was a kid and I turned out alright. - No, you didn't.
4. Nobody can tell me how to raise my kids. - Oh, really? Then why does every community have a Child Welfare System to protect the little ones from neglect and abuse at the hands of their parents?
Two demon clowns, a killer doll, and Fred Krueger the child rapist. Smile, kids!
In recent years we've become accustomed to the phrase "If you see something....say something". I think that applies here as well. When you encounter nasty scenarios involving children as depicted in these photographs, why not approach the parents and give them a piece of your mind? I certainly do when the opportunity arises.
Maybe it'll do some good for these kids to witness the confrontation. They may find comfort in knowing that somebody....even a stranger...gives a crap about their welfare.
Disclaimer - This editorial is based on the views of one contributor and does not necessarily reflect the views of the entire Vegas411 team.