In the hinterlands far out in Nevada, rich citizens build a pair of eccentric mansions right next to each other. These private residences resemble city apartment blocks in their scale, shape, and modernist aesthetic. Yet a lone high-end car is usually all that can be seen on the miles-long public access road that links out to them (essentially just a private drive), crossing a sandy ridge which obscures them from eyeline. The buildings belong to a pair of relatives who still don’t often see each other, a father & son or perhaps an uncle and nephew, yet though the twin properties are huge the structures are built in a small corner practically touching, with the absurd addition of a tall wall between them blocking a direct view.
Zooming in on a map of islands in the Pacific, and it appears that one has been completely bought and taken over, now labelled “twitter.com”. I realize the islands are a bit further north than I though, and the the round bad in the middle of the grayscale topological map is the Hawaiian island of Molokai.
Participating in a reenactment of the Titanic sinking, I remember the 1997 movie and position myself near the middle. When the ship keels into the air, I hope to survive the split by minimizing the distance I drop. I do, but things have gone a bit differently and it’s the forward half that stays afloat. Long enough, as it happens, that its momentum carries it within swimming distance of the shore of a small private island (owned by the musician Sting, in fact). The ship effectively pulls aside it. I spot a few Mexican dudes hanging out playing cards, listening to ranchero music. It’s oddly domestic enough that even on our sinking vessel we passengers hesitate to jump in the water and interrupt their day.