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April 03, 2014

"On the Mall"

James Lileks has some fun with one of the many dopey preoccupations of Liberals. 

There are those who want malls to be over, though. After all, they’re one of the horrid forces that remade America. Suburbs, cars, and the mall: the unholy trinity of American life that ruined the natural order of things. People are supposed to live packed in boxes, ride public transportation so you can marinate in the radiating funk of Mr. Natural next to you, shop in small stores, and schlep it all back to your flat after waiting 20 minutes in the rain for the bus.

Suburbs, on the other hand, are nothing but endless expanses of ticky-tacky boxes planted on a former potato field, a place of suffocating conformity. Cars make polar bears drown and encourage individuality. (Somehow the horrible individuality the cars produce does not offset the conformity imposed by the suburbs.) Malls are the worst, because they are temples to consumerism and make everyone go into debt against their will. Oh, you may go to the mall for a pair of jeans, but everyone else is going there to fulfill the programming beamed into their brains by mass culture.

So it’s great when suburbs die! Except they’re not dying.


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The biggest boost to suburbs was the government housing policies of the 60s and 70s.

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