Daytalking (from Completely in the Dark), Nightwalking (courtesy ShinyRobot), and Stargazing (again, CITD).

America’s Got Isolation!

Michael Maupin
4 min readJun 30, 2018


Rick: Suppose you run your business and let me run mine.
Ferrari: Suppose we ask Sam. Maybe he’d like to make a change.
Rick: Suppose we do.
Ferrari: Rick, when will you realize that in this world today isolationism is no longer a practical policy?

—from Casablanca (1942)

I’m furious.

Maybe you’re angry, too. At least, by the end of this post I hope you will be at least a little worked up, or maybe energized. I don’t know.

It’s the best kind of ire: the “Okay, fuck-this-shit I’ve had it with weak arguments and business-as-usual bullshit!”

Whew. I feel better having screamed. You?

Here’s the gist of it: Wassup, America? You feelin’ sad and lonely, homies? You say you try to reach out to others, fire off a text, send an email, post to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram — heck, you even tried to call and of course it went directly to voicemail. Everything comes back with the hollow, echoey sound of crickets (or distant snoring).

How dare they!

Welcome to the Walled City on a Landfill: America 2018.

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash.

Siloed, barb-wired, moat currently filled with crocodiles and massive human-devouring snakes, Midwestern minefields chockful of deadly explosives, hate mail, and envelopes stuffed with anthrax and bile, letters to the editor that end up in a digital waste can, Hello Kitty blankets stuffed in windows as makeshift curtains, roaring pickup trucks and road-clanking tailpipes ready to snap off heading up the on-ramp, people sleeping on trains, in back alleys, at bus stops, hunched over in hoodies and ripped parkas.

Oh, Land that I love.

In 1988, filmmaker Steve De Jarnatt finished his ambitious movie, the promise of which had been floating around Hollywood for nearly a decade.

It was called Miracle Mile. It was about the end of the world.

The real Miracle Mile, circa 1950. By Ellis-Sawyer, via Wikimedia Commons.



Michael Maupin

Writer, editor, and media maker. Blogs at Completely in the Dark ( and lives in Minneapolis, MN. I notice things.