Sunday, December 28, 2014


There is a dead mall in the city where I live.  I think dead malls are highly creepy and appropriate symbols of the decline of our culture: mausoleums of greed and consumerism left to decay in the midst of us.  My dad used to take me to this mall when I would visit him as a child, when it was still new and lively. We would get a mountain of nachos at Chelsea's Street Pub and he would buy me Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books at the B. Dalton Bookseller.  The mall does not have stores like that anymore, though.  There are still a few anchor stores hanging on like Sears and Burlington Coat Factory and the dollar movie place, but most of the big stores are fleeing to shopping centers scattered about town and there are very few of the little shops left, just long creepy low-rent halls of emptiness.

The saddest thing to me is that the Lipan Apache Tribal Office is now located there.  I hate to think of it being there in that creepy, decaying space, maybe with nowhere else to go.

The dead mall is not the only sign I see of the decline of a lovely city to a culture of greed.  The city keeps allowing development of new neighborhoods on the ritzy Southside but refuses to maintain the streets and waste water and storm water systems in the existing neighborhoods - a race to abandon real communities and build new fancy places for ever-climbing people to move into and then throw away as they chase whatever consumerist dreams they are chasing in a world that is not teaching its children that you cannot catch or buy fulfillment and meaning - you have to stop and stay and grow it up from roots.

Also, the beautiful little Mexican import store that used to exist on Everhart is now a TitleMax.  The little invitation/stationery/gift shop is now a pawn shop.  So, so, so many TitleMaxes, pawn shops and similar exploitation shops, ready to take advantage of those who cannot keep up anymore.

Can any of us really keep up anymore?  What are we trying to keep up with?  Where is it taking us?

No comments: