The consumer culture rears its ugly head, forcing a look at the most despicable and yet most necessary of evils that exists.
So...suffocated. Intoxicated, driven, even, by the energy of the crowd, the throng of the masses.
And yet...what are they doing here?
What are all these people doing here?
I lean over the rail, looking at the throng of masses making their way to...well, wherever it is that they're going to.
And I wonder what the world has come to.
The shopping mall has become the quintessential spot of gathering for many people. In Malaysia, at least, a major part of that reason is because of the availability of cinemas...which is coupled with the lack of stand alone megaplexes. Nowadays, multiplexes are only built in multistorey malls.
It's an ingenious trick, really, one that really pulls in the crowd on Wednesdays (cheap movie day) and the weekends (no work days). A part of that crowd includes me, but a big part of me...wants to be anywhere but here.
"How do you get about in KL if you don't have a car?” asked the interviewee of a video that I edited recently. “And where do you go if you do have one? Just...shopping malls. One suffocating mall to another.”
The thing is, the entire existence of some people has become so ingrained with that of the shopping mall. The mall has given rise (and rise) to the needs of people, needs that didn't exist in the first place. How many clothes shop do we need? How many shoes shops does one has to traverse to find a good pair of shoes? For that matter, how many malls do we need? If you live in the Damansara area, you have three malls within spitting distance alone (though you have to spit a fair amount).
It is an illness that threatens to engulf us, that will one day, one way or another, will prompt us to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “When does it stop? When does this all end? When is it enough? Where is the white line that I should have watched out for long ago?”
That line was gone long ago.
And as I look at the people moving their way through, I can't help but feel that the chances of us building new lines, new boundaries within which to maintain our humanity, and stand alone from shopping malls, diminish. In more recent times, even offices and service apartments have been included as part of the shopping mall package. Your life, therefore, is all in one little space, cramped with the lives of many other people.