The Western States Pact. The Midwestern Coalition. The Northeast Pact. America’s states are forming regional coalitions as they chart a return to life after a pandemic. These names have the cadence of the future; they acknowledge the reality of cities and sprawl rather than fictional borders. This could be the first step towards breaking America into something much more functional and interesting. From the personal to the local, boundaries at all scales are being redrawn.

This sense of history falling apart sent my thoughts to a neon graveyard in Las Vegas. You can study the history of Vegas through its neon lights, an American artform peppered with terms like “daytime neon” and “shed job.” Las Vegas’s neon museum is a labyrinth of candy-colored signs that spell out beautiful slang: Stardust and the Sands, the Tropicana and the Silver Slipper. I remember walking through corridors of jumbled neon and thinking this was the poetry of the nation: the grammar of dead casinos.

Kraftwerk – Neon Lights

From Man-Machine | Kling-Klang, 1978 | More
Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
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