suitboyskin called me while I was there, and I ended up expressing my amazement to him about how the mall has replaced the village commons in the suburbs. It is truly disturbing to witness what is the pinnacle of a consumer culture, where it is almost inconcievable that somebody would want to go somewhere else.
I understand that growing up in New York where Manhattan was only a train ride away has spoiled me. It's not like I have ever lacked for activities. The socially bankrupt nature of a trip to the mall shocked me.
What is most interesting about hitting a mall, however, is that it proves the Creationists completely wrong.
A basic observation of human movement through the mall may yield some interesting pack-animal patterns. For example, I was most amused to see that people have a tendency to move in waves; several family/friend groups at a time will move as a mass, even if they are not related to one another. The tweens were interesting as well: if the girls are dressed they are accompanied by their parents, if they are barely dressed they're with their friends. The boys have silly uniforms consisting of identical hooded sweatshirts with different sports teams emblazoned upon their chests. The teens are downright pathetic. They display a momentum without destination, pure Brownian movement.
When groups or individuals meet, they overdo their enthusiasm for one another which has the interesting effect of laying bare how routine the meeting is.
My apologies to all suburbanites who read this and wonder why I'm so fascinated by this. It really is a novelty to me.