I went beyond the clearing of his hut and looked toward the southwest. It was very cold and the moon was high, the stars in lush clusters across the blue dome of the sky. West and south and east spread a desolation of brush, somber Joshua trees and stumpy hills…” “I remembered road maps of the district. There were no roads, no towns, no human life between here and the other side of the desert, nothing but a wasteland for a hundred miles. I got up and walked on. I was numb with cold, and yet the sweat poured from me. The graying east brightened, metamorphosed to pink, then red, and then the giant ball of fire rose out of the blackened hills. Across the desolation lay a supreme indifference, the casualness of night and another day, and yet the secret intimacy of those hills, their silent consoling wonder, made death a thing of no great importance. You could die, but the desert would hide the secret of your death, it would remain after you, to cover your memory with ageless wind and heat and cold. – John Fante, Ask the Dust, 1939
‘Easy Rider’ is a Southern term for a whore’s old man, not a pimp, but the dude who lives with a chick. Because he’s got the easy ride. Well that’s what happened to America, man. Liberty’s become a whore, and we’re all taking an easy ride. – Peter Fonda, from an interview with Rolling Stone, 6 September 1969
…The American city seems to have stepped right out of the movies. To grasp its secret, you should not, then, begin with the city and move inwards to the screen; you should begin with the screen and move outwards to the city… – Jean Baudrillard, America, 1986
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