The latest PR stunt by self-righteous terrorists is annoying. The threat by al-Shabaab to attack the Mall of America and the piling on by other groups suggesting that there could be attacks at other American malls makes me feel like I need to go shopping.
Understand, I severely dislike going to Stonestown Mall and other local similarly crazed venues. I feel dirty wandering into the crammed-together stores that hawk mediocre-quality goods slicked up to mimic the high-end luxury items I am supposed to want.
It’s really not that I don’t like clothes, electronic toys, and designer chocolates. Rather it’s the mall atmosphere. The feeling is of a blend the worst qualities of hustlers on Market Street, carnival barkers, and QVC shopping. Frenetic, calculated, and fake. All accompanied by the smell of popcorn (at best) or generic greasy food (more common).
For the past decade or so I have gone to the mall once a year, about three weeks before Christmas, during a school day before the kids are out. I’ve tuned in to what is retaillingly hot and bought my See’s candy gifts. I’ve selected the family’s annual allotment of shirts and ties, and picked up an impulse buy or two.
I’ve spent my required time in the mall, done my capitalistic duty, and, truth be told, enjoyed the visit to the strange land of shopping. I can handle Stonestown as an annual obligation (or, more often if required by a refugee who has discovered the need for an item available only in the local mall Macy’s).
Now I’m being told that I should stay away from the malls because of fear. And, I know the violence unleashed by al-Shabaab, ISIS, al Qaeda, and the other Self Righteous is real. And, possibly can happen here in the United States.
But, strangely, the threats make me want to visit Stonestown tomorrow. Maybe have an overpriced and underflavored morsel in the food court.
There’s nothing that makes me feel more like shopping than having some pseudo jihadist telling me I shouldn’t. Anyone want to join me?