Today, long after the appropriation of the land came to an end, there is a particular magic to the highways, the magic of departure, like one of these mirages which shimmer above the road surface in the summer. What has been lost is the notion that one’s own existence has to be wrested from a plot of land and is, as such, the result of years of hard work. The giant billboards alongside the road announce the great (not just American) short circuit. They scream at the non-searcher: The gates of paradise lie just beyond the next exit. Redemption is available for every traveller who has money. Shopping malls, motels, restaurants, banks beckon and nobody has to revert back to being a settler in the suburban spaces hostile to man.