In an effort to spend more time with each other, my wife Jhoan and I made arrangements to eat in a locale on the way to her photo class at the college. The place in the path of her drive happened to be Devonshire Mall, which is the main thoroughfare for people who don’t know what a locally-owned business is, or who could care less about the community aesthetic. What i mean to say is, this is the place everyone shops in Windsor. The little guy has been destroyed by the advent of malls, and this one in particular has been a behemoth earner, and a major draw AWAY from city centres, and downtown, and enclaves of community-owned businesses.
There’s a Zellers, and a food court, and an Old Navy, and a Globo (shoes), a huge movie theatre, Sears, The Bay, Chapters (books), Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, several banks, and countless stores with names like, “Forever 21”, “Not Yet 21”, “Still Young”, “Tweeners”, and “Spray Tan-O-Rama”. If you need to do Christmas shopping, you go here. If you need a haircut or extensions with highlights, you go here. If you need an engraved cigar tube, you go here. It’s the one-stop shopping choice.
I hate it.
I loathe the place. Not particularly because of my politics, but because if its draw AWAY from local (small) business owners. The pretend-antiseptic feel of the mall is painful. The flash. The sensational visual assault. It’s everything I don’t like about celebrity magazine covers etc. The space tells lies with pictures and design that is unauthentic, and therefore banal and overtly self-serving. Yeah, I get that they are TRYING TO MAKE MONEY, and to do so, they splash walls and windows with pictures of people who are SO much better because they have the exact same American Eagle shirt as everyone else at their school/job/club. I get that this works. I get that this is a warm fuzzy feeling-maker for people who buy into this junk.
I simply do not buy into it, and thus, I spend almost every minute trying to turn off my senses whenever I find myself in a mall, picking something up that is unavailable at a locally-owned shop. I don’t want to judge. I don’t want to thumb my nose. But I do. And I don’t like that version of myself when I’m in the mall. Maybe that’s why I avoid it so religiously!
I started this blog post as an excuse to show some new video that I took with my new Flip Video camera. It’s mall footage. I did not expect to roll into a social commentary, with my high-falootin’ opinions on herd mentality. There’s just this overwhelming disdain for all things mall.
The vids I shot were strange or disturbing realities I observed during my four minutes outside of Devonshire Mall.