Thursday, July 1, 2010

*Everyday Chatter

The grand Cemusa Phase 2 plan is going into action--all those shiny, miserable, criminal newsstands will become giant, flashing, car-crashing TVs. [EVG]

Alex goes back to Fanelli's. [FP]

It's summertime..."journey to the Heart of Blandness and its scorching, Burger King-scented emptiness." [Restless]

Looking back at Schott Brothers history. [BB]

Unpacking the Fluxus Collection at MOMA--and how urine becomes valuable. [NYO]

Some more signs with old phone exchanges. [ENY]

A peek into Angel's Barber Shop on Court St. [PMA]

8 comments:

John said...

I get why you are posting the YouTube clip as an example of our obsession with retail consumption. Though I think part of this guy's (clearly disproportionate) anger probably stems from the fact that it seems most of downtown Toronto, mall or otherwise, was being fenced-off for the summit meeting. And if you are not familiar with Toronto, Eaton Centre is actually a massive-and yes even pretty nice-shopping center right in the middle of Toronto's equivalent of Times Square. It also has massive public space (so I thought), a huge bookstore that isn't Borders or Barnes & Noble, and lots of cheap food, which are good things, right?

Actually, the most interesting thing about this video is where the cameraman points out that the whole space is owned by a private corporation-didn't know that-but I guess it is still a mall, even though it takes up a wide swath of land right in the heart of a major city.

Jeremiah Moss said...

do you think he's an anarchist, and this is part of the G20 protest? he is wearing some insignia on his t-shirt that is a combination peace symbol and Communist star, with the word "resist."

still, when he says "I want to shop," i take him seriously.

hard to tell what's really going on.

John said...

Good point. I hadn't even noticed the t-shirt. Of course, I think you can actually by these communist/anarchist t-shirts at the mall these days, which just adds another entire level post-modernism to this whole clip.

Jeremiah Moss said...

yes! the layers of un-meaning here are multiple.

it makes it much more interesting than just a clip of an irate man who wants to shop.

Goggla said...

Jeremiah - I thought of you this morning when the morning news reported the Hollister store has closed because of bedbugs. Mwahaha!

Anonymous said...

Nobody should be fooled by the illusion that shopping malls are public space. No matter how big they are, how much people go there just to hang out, how many benches and tables and fountains and indoor-grown trees they have, it's all owned by private corporations and as such people have no rights there that they would in genuinely public spaces. For example, the courts have upheld that freedom of speech does not apply in a shopping mall. If the owners don't agree with you, or simply don't want any "trouble", they have every right to throw you out and shut you up.

I get very sad thinking of the man who came up with the concept of the indoor shopping mall. Apparently he was an expat Austrian who had fled to the States in 1938 and after the war tried to recreate Viennese cafe and street culture in the inclement weather of the American midwest. What would he make of the monsters he has spawned.

JakeGould said...

As Jack (aka: Jake) who shared this video on Facebook, let me add my assessment: In colder climates malls are truly "public" gathering spaces despite the fact they are privately owned. You can't really mingle on a main street when it is below freezing. So in places like the midwest and in Canada, folks tend to forget it's private property.

My understanding is the mall was locked down—people left inside and outsiders blocked—after the Starbucks at this mall was attacked.

I won't go into the logic of this specific guy, but in my mind this guy is genuinely upset. He might have shown up for the G20 protestors, but genuinely wanted a break in the mall.

You see the dichotomy of modern life is that in some cases, there are few choices. So to this guy, the mall was a respite.

Still the "shopping" line is fascinating. I honestly want to see people all over the world recreate the events in this video in different languages including the kid at 0:45 who mocks the man in "modern dance" fashion.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Goggla, that's very sweet.