Sunday, July 22, 2012

Shopping Malls Were Our Starships, Dude.

believe it!
Sun Will Rise (LBD) by plurgid

I think it's safe to say that the Crystal Palace was essentially the original prototype upon which virtually every shopping mall in the world has been based.

Well I mean I think it's safe to say that. I'm not a student of architecture and I'm certainly not a historian. This is based entirely on a picture I remember seeing in my 8th grade world history text book.  hold on, let me google this ... aah yes, here it is:

1851, y'all. For realz.

My eighth grade self said something along the lines of "dayum, that has to be the world's first shopping mall!", and from that point on I just basically have assumed that my eighth grade self was right.

That is until the recent trend of upscale outdoor shopping malls. This trend is inexplicable, and frankly intolerable. ATTN: RETAIL DEVELOPMENT PEEPS: this is the deep south, not northern California; the heat of our summers will rob you of your will to live.

Take me for instance, a dad who wants to lose his kids for an hour or two in a safe, climate controlled retail environment, whilst reading a magazine and perhaps consuming an oversized pretzel or domestic light beer. Such a person as myself would undoubtedly prefer to engage in this activity not getting sunburned and losing half a pound of body mass entirely to crotch-sweat. But hey, that's just me.

Like the most interesting man in the world: I don't always go to the mall, but when I do, it has air conditioning.  As such, on this rainy Sunday afternoon, I loaded up the Canyonero and unleashed my teen girl squad upon the better of the two indoor shopping malls in town.

Malls ain't what they used to be, man. Malls used to have stores that sold things other than girls clothes or food. I mean both of those things are great, I s'pose but ... I distinctly remember there also being arcades and book stores, hobby shops, pet shops and electronics stores (not cell phone booths), when I was a kid. I mean damn! If you don't wanna buy a dress, a new crock pot, some sheets or a slice of pizza, you're pretty much out of luck these days. Used to be I could wander a mall for hours and always find something to spark the imagination.

These days it's just a wasteland. Commerce death row; a gilded hall of throwbacks patiently awaiting the inevitable fate of all retailers not named Wal-Mart or Amazon.  It's the unstoppable march of progress, and for the most part I don't have a huge problem with it. Come Christmastime, hell no ... I'm not going within a half mile of anything other than a grocery store.

We did lose something along the way though. When I was a kid, shopping malls were our starships, dude.

Music: some other thing I was working on that I chopped up and put into a sampler, did dj style cuts n' scratches on, then put some other things on it, processing data at about 58 miles per hour through the fluvium interocitor, yielding the retro-futuristic thing you hear here.

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