I managed briefly to be in a couple of malls in the last day or two. I am amazed at how these monuments to attachment really have focused the whole bad vibe stuff about this holiday season. In particular, (remember in our family we wrap presents we essentially get ourselves) I had noticed that I might as well get a shirt or two that I needed to wrap up (my wife had done similarly with a variety of clothes). But what I found is that somewhere along the way I seem to have developed an aesthetic that subverts the very notion of fashion itself. I would like to wear clothes that are pretty much interchangeable, and don't go out of style. Clothes I can wear to a Zendo if I want to/if nothing else is clean. And (ha!) are well made enough to last years. Somewhere I got all Shaker I guess, with preferences of dark muted colors. Well, I wasn't very successful. It really doesn't matter though. Neither do those awards and who's miffed about whatever regarding that. Gondolas - that's what matters! You'll see...
But anyway, yes, folks, it's that time of year again. People in America have headed to malls to buy schlocky cheaply made junk assembled by oppressed people in far away places, without much thought except to check the box. In a nearby mall, the "Christian Supply" (in case you run out of Christians) features the following (click all pictures to enlarge):
Note the bit of scripture below the "Merry Christmas" which must be OK, since it was the same bit used in the Charlie Brown Christmas show.
Next store is a tattoo parlor, a righteous attempt by the Wakefield whoever they are landowners to generate cash flow wherever they can:
Schlock, schlock everywhere...
Seriously, this is starting to remind me of the sidewalks in some parts of Beijing, or maybe the whole world is becoming a flea market; I wonder how many rubber pads for mice and coasters this guy is actually selling. Probably more than I'd imagine:
Ah, if only Divine had lived to see the day; I'm not sure about whether this is an audacious manifestation of humanity's quest for liberty and freedom, but if there's anything that better encapsulates the sense of desperation pervading the United States today, it is well represented at our local mall.
Do people need this stuff?
But at this stage of the game, "prices" don't really matter; they're just numbers.
And so, on this Christmas Eve, maybe you just want to go away from it all...