The Future Looks Uninspired

Billy Bragg, who STOP SMILING interviewed for our UK Issue, once sang that since the Space Race ended, “I can’t help but feel we’re all just going nowhere” — in the current Atlantic Monthly, PJ O’Rourke joins Bragg’s lament for the coma to which our collective imagination seem to have succumbed in his polemic against Disney’s new version of Tomorrowland; meanwhile, from the people who brought us Phoenix — possibly the worst example of modern city planning in the country — comes Mesa, a sprawling city/suburb lumped onto the Arizona capital that, after decades of explosive growth, is more populous than Cleveland (yet only one story tall), and has just annexed another huge chunk of Arizona desert upon which it will attempt to build a bustling “city of the future,” we’re sure, to the delight of strip mall enthusiasts worldwide.