GOVERNOR: Guys, the state is getting soft. I can feel softness out there. It’s getting to be one big suburb and industrial park and mall. Too much development. People are getting complacent. They’re forgetting the way this state was historically hewn out of the wilderness. There’s no more hewing.

MR. OBSTAT: You’ve got a point there, Chief.

GOVERNOR: We need a wasteland.

MR. LUNGBERG and MR. OBSTAT: A wasteland?

GOVERNOR: Gentlemen, we need a desert.

MR. LUNGBERG and MR. OBSTAT: A desert?

GOVERNOR: Gentlemen, a desert. A point of savage reference for the good people of Ohio. A place to fear and love. A blasted region. Something to remind us of what we hewed out of. A place without malls. An Other for Ohio’s Self. Cacti and scorpions and the sun beating down. Desolation. A place for people to wander alone. To reflect. Away from everything. Gentlemen, a desert.

MR. OBSTAT: Just a super idea, Chief.

GOVERNOR: Thanks, Neil. Gentlemen may I present Mr. Ed Roy Yancey, of Industrial Desert Design, Dallas. They did Kuwait.

David Foster Wallace, The Broom of the System, 1987

Added to diary 27 June 2018