The Peerless Princess of the Plains
I guess I should be writing insightful political commentary about Tuesday's election, but it's pretty much all beeen said. It's interesting to be off the beaten path this week. I took a walk through a shopping mall last night, grabbed a burger in the food court and just listened for awhile, wondering if the inanity of political discourse was replacing the inanity of everyday life. I actually heard people talking about the presidential election -- but it's a far-off thing in Kansas, more like a TV show than a participatory event. Local races hit a little closer to home.
A note on Wichita: Since I moved away in the fall of 2001 I've been returning every six months, a phenomenon not unlike time-lapse photography, where you can watch a flower grow on film because the photo gets taken every day or so. It's like every time I come back there's a new big-box retailer where there used to be an open field. Used to be that development used to stop on Rock Road, about eight miles east of downtown. Now I'm staying in a hotel a mile east of that, and retail's solid a full mile further, finally merging with Andover, which now looks like a true suburb. West side is leapfrogging as well.
I always wonder who's using all these shops, since population isn't growing that much and unemployment's up. But Wichita keeps sprawling onto the plain, with no geographic boundaries for literally hundreds of miles. Expanding faster than an American waistline, I guess.