2017 miles from Ohio to Vegas. We cut across Indiana and Illinois and sped through a sea of dead grass and November browns. The billboards we passed felt like chapters from one big story: automatic weapon rentals, bulk ammo, Jesus Christ, and lawyers. Wrongful death? Call Ken! Mid-season leagues are now forming at the laser-tag facility on the south side of Indianapolis. An exit sign for the Ronald Reagan Ameriplex Parkway.  

We hit St. Louis too late to visit Cementland, an unfinished amusement park at an abandoned cement factory. Its creator, Bob Cassilly, died while working on the site. They initially thought he was killed in a bulldozer accident; a medical examiner later concluded he had been beaten to death. America is filled with strange dreams and violent endings.

Dinner at Cracker Barrel, where C. and I discussed whether coherent new styles in art and music are possible now that our screens have erased the technological, geographic, and temporal constraints that yielded everything from Dada to Detroit techno. The cold/new/minimal wave tracks from the early 80s that are soundtracking our journey still sound more future-forward than most music today. Perhaps movements are a relic of the 20th century. Maybe I’m just getting old. But I enjoyed discussing Tristan Tzara, Simon Reynolds, Basic Channel, and vaporwave while eating Grandpa’s Country Fried Breakfast.

Tonight we’re staying at a Holiday Inn Express on Mid-American Industrial Road fifty miles east of Kansas City. It’s nice. There’s an Arby’s across the street. 1456 miles to Vegas.