it’s Christmas again…and that means a visit to (dramatic chord)… The Mall.
It’s the same every year. The endless shuffle of zombiefied shoppers, drifting around shiny glass-and-glitz caverns, a mass of humanity with glazed eyes and shopping bags, punctuated by toddlers who lurch aimlessly out from the crowd, shrieking and hyperventilating. There are teenage boys who smell like they’ve just showered with a cocktail of propionic acid and brevibacteria, girls who giggle and text somebody three feet away, just because they can, all endlessly circling like – well, endlessly circling things who like circling endlessly.
And then, in the midst of this glittering temple to the worst excesses of shallow consumerism and the transient disposability of post-industrial A-gen society…Father Christmas. He’s moved here from the North Pole apparently.
There’s something about these places that turns the brain to mush and reduces people to zombiefied numbness. I am not allowed to punk them – you know, do the zombie walk behind these shoppers and murmur ‘braaaaaiins’. Well, I can, but She Who Must Be Obeyed has to walk on the other side of the mall atrium for a while afterwards.
It’s done deliberately. People buy more if their mind’s switched off. And I have to feel sorry for the poor folks that have to work in these places. Malls are the twenty-first century equivalent of the workhouse when it comes to conditions.
Every mall I’ve been to from North Sydney to Lower Hutt to Bangkok has been exactly the same. The Australia and New Zealand ones even look the same. Is this the unity in diversity beloved of anthropologists?
I’ve got readers of this blog from Melbourne to Florida, from the Netherlands to Cape Town, from Houston to New York to France to Moscow to Dunedin. Am I right that it’s the same everywhere? The look. The raw horror of it all. The commercialism? The mindless advertising. The glitz. The ….the…
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2012