Vegas Seven

Greg Blake Miller

Miller helped lead Vegas Seven’s editorial team from 2010 to 2014, during which time the magazine received more than 95 state and regional honors, including Nevada's 2014 General Excellence Award. Named the state's Outstanding Journalist for 2011, Miller is interested in both Las Vegas’ grand myths and its quiet spaces. “Sometimes our city’s indefensible,” he says, “but in the end it’s unsinkable. There’s strength in our sense of difference here—that chip on the shoulder keeps us fighting.” Las Vegas is Miller’s hometown, but his career has taken him to Seattle, Los Angeles and Moscow, Russia, where he was a staff writer for the Moscow Times. He has also taught journalism, communication studies, literature and writing at the University of Oregon and UNLV. Miller holds a doctorate in international communication from the University of Oregon, and has spoken at national and international communication conferences, often focusing on the unexpected connections between nostalgia, media and social progress. He sees these connections both in his work on Russian cinema and in his closer-to-home writing on the history of UNLV basketball. A Rebel fan since childhood, he admits the one thing that can pull him away from a good Russian movie is an even better UNLV basketball game.

  • Breaking Stuff & Making Stuff

    The Chairs That Made This Country Great

    By Greg Blake Miller

    The chair-in-a-bag, however, was sleek and sporty. One could toss it effortlessly over the shoulder and carry it like a skinny athletic duffel. It was, in modern terms, a disruptive technology, and it did what disruptive technologies always do: It forced all of us—even those who initially found it unnecessary, crass or ideologically troubling—to adapt.

  • Breaking Stuff & Making Stuff

    Creative Deceleration

    By Greg Blake Miller

    It’s tempting to say that creativity is the capacity to see things for what they aren’t. Dispense with the present; onward to the future! But it’s difficult to see the hidden possibilities in things unless you can first see them for what they are. And that kind of vision isn’t just a gift; it’s a process—one that, strangely enough, rewards those who take it slow.

  • Breaking Stuff & Making Stuff

    My Antisocial Friend

    By Greg Blake Miller

    I keep hearing about people who are swearing off of social media. I hear about this on Facebook and Twitter. I hear it, repeatedly, from the same people.

  • The Week

    How One Summer Month Changed America

    By Greg Blake Miller

    History never sleeps, but it has the childlike tendency to pull up the sheets and hide, flashlight in one hand, pencil in the other, scribbling upon the surface of our lives. It is a humble god, trying to pass off its paragraphs as the simple unfolding of days and nights, punctuated by human passion and error.

  • Breaking Stuff & Making Stuff

    Talk to Me

    By Greg Blake Miller

    Yesterday, ostensibly because I had business to transact, I went to the bank. Do you like the sound of that? “Ostensibly!” “Business to transact!” Between the adverb and the passive clause, I have evaded any responsibility for, or even awareness of, my own actions.

  • The Week

    The Power of Low Expectations

    By Greg Blake Miller

    If we are to believe our Legislators’ postmortems on these harrowing months of “historic” lawmaking, the just-concluded session is the single greatest legislative accomplishment since the Constitutional Convention.

  • Breaking Stuff & Making Stuff

    Shared Spaces, Shared City

    By Greg Blake Miller

    Nearly every day, I walk out of my neighborhood, push a button to activate a flashing crosswalk light, and visit a cluster of public institutions, none of which is the DMV or the city jail.

  • Breaking Stuff & Making Stuff

    Lose Yourself!

    By Greg Blake Miller

    My old neighbor B. is headed for an island off the Washington coast. My architect friend E. is packing a sketchpad and heading for Utah. My new neighbors J. and S. will snap undersea pictures off Cancun. Even my teenage son has the bug: He has given me a choice of Shanghai or Marrakesh. Don’t ask.

  • Breaking Stuff & Making Stuff

    The Hazards of Failhope

    By Greg Blake Miller

    Stay with me now, young readers, as I introduce you to the Really Rottens. The Rottens flourished in the late 1970s, living by a traditional moral code: All’s fair in love and war—just without the love.

  • Breaking Stuff & Making Stuff

    The Tao of Getting There

    By Greg Blake Miller

    I like to drive. I have no prejudice against cars. If one of the many measures of friendship is pleasant hours spent together, and if you can set aside the whole creepy notion of a cherished friendship between a man and an inanimate object, I suppose you could say that some of my best friends are cars.

  • Latest Thought

    Las Vegas’ Rebel Moment, 25 Years Later

    By Greg Blake Miller

    On March 25, 1990, the defensive samurai Stacey Augmon, who had averaged 13 points a game for a UNLV basketball team that did not need him to score much, went on the offensive.

  • Breaking Stuff & Making Stuff

    The Land of Disappearing Things

    By Greg Blake Miller

    These places rise, they fall. For Las Vegans of a certain age, it’s still hard to believe that the Landmark is gone, even though it was hard to believe it was ever here.

  • Breaking Stuff & Making Stuff

    Of Arrows and Anxiety

    By Greg Blake Miller

    There is an armed man standing at the blackjack table. He has arrows in a quiver and a bow in his hand. At this very moment, there is a person on the premises with the following job title: “Director of Shooting.”

  • Sports

    The First Chapters of the Book of Tark

    By Greg Blake Miller

    Legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian died this morning at the age of 84. The following are reflections on what he meant to the Las Vegas community and the legacy he leaves.

  • Breaking Stuff & Making Stuff

    Earning My Wings

    By Greg Blake Miller

    I recently saw this headline: “Airlines Want You to Be Uncomfortable.” At least I think I saw such a headline. I’d cite the article, but now that news websites, chasing viral gold, rewrite headlines every five minutes, I’m no longer able to find the things I thought I once saw. This condition, in which one cannot find a thing and begins to doubt whether that thing ever existed, is popularly known as “madness.”