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“The area is getting suburban. True, there are still a few uninhabited canyons, but George can’t rejoice in them; he is oppressed by awareness of the city below. On both sides of the hills, to the north and to the south, it has spawned and spread itself over the entire plain. It has eaten up the wide pastures and ranchlands and the last stretches of orange grove; it has sucked out the surrounding lakes and sapped the forests of the high mountains. Soon it will be drinking converted sea water. And yet it will die. No need for rockets to wreck it, or another ice age to freeze it, or a huge earthquake to crack it off and dump it in the Pacific. It will die of overextension. It will die because its taproots have dried up – the brashness and greed which have been its only strength. And the desert, which is the natural condition of this country, will return.

Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city. But this city is not great, was never great, and has nearly no distance to fall.”

– Christopher Isherwood, A Single Man


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