Thursday, Feb 4, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
by Geoff Olson
Common Ground (October 2009)

” When I was a kid in the sixties, my mother used to bundle my sisters and me into the Corvair and head from Trenton to the nearby shopping centre in Belleville, Ontario. During one such excursion, in preparation for my oldest sister’s birthday, she loaded the groceries into the car, but forgot one item on the roof. It wasn’t until we were well on the highway, when a box tied with string flew in through an open back window, into my oldest sister’s lap. Yelling with excitement, we untied the box and were amazed to discover a cake with “Happy Birthday Janice” written on it. I always found department store shopping fun as a kid, even without big box stores or megamalls. All my family had was the nearby “Rite-way” and the very occasional flying cake.

My childlike delight in shopping didn’t last. Instead of developing sensitivity to peanuts or bee stings, I became allergic to malls. By my twenties, I avoided them as much as possible. This went deeper than a knee-jerk anti-consumerism of a young Chomsky convert. I had a visceral distaste for the places, which increased over time. To this day, every time I enter a mall, I feel my chain being yanked every which way. It’s always a chore, even the times when I can remember where I parked the car.”

Latest in Business & Economics

What the Great Recession Wrought: The State of the U.S. in 3 Years of Polls
— Ronald Brownstein (The Atlantic, 7 January 2012)
The Clerk, RIP
— Scott Timberg (Salon, 18 December 2011)
In an iTunes Age, Do We Need the Record Store?
— Marc Hogan (Salon, 20 November 2011)
The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers
— Foreign Policy (Foreign Policy, December 2011)
Man of a Hundred Thousand Books
— George Fetherling (Geist, 2011)
Daniel Ek’s Spotify: Music’s Last Best Hope
— Brendan Greeley (Bloomberg Businessweek, 13 July 2011)
Ticketmaster: Rocking the Most Hated Brand in America
— Chuck Salter (Fast Company, 21 June 2011)
Going, Going, Gone: Who Killed the Internet Auction?
— James Surowiecki (Wired, 17 May 2011)
How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory
— Tom Dickinson (Rolling Stone, 25 May 2011)
How Sequels Are Killing the Movie Business
— Roger Ebert (The Daily Beast, 15 May 2011)

Latest in Consumerism

The Duchess of Cambridge and the Rise of the Sloane Ranger
— Harry Mount (The Telegraph, 9 January 2012)
The UK Riots: The Psychology of Looting
— Zoe Williams (The Guardian, 9 August 2011)
Super Bowl Ads Mine Decades of Americana
— Stuart Elliott (The New York Times, 6 February 2011)
Hipster: From Cultural Icon to Caricature
— Olivia Solon (Wired, 25 August 2010)
Avoidance of Advertising in Social Networking Sites: The Teenage Perspective
— Louise Kelly, Gayle Kerr, and Judy Drennan (Journal of Interactive Advertising, Spring 2010)
Why Is David Lynch Pimping This Handbag?
— Sasha Watson (Slate, 5 August 2010)
Plus-Size Wars
— Ginia Bellafante (The New York Times Magazine, 28 July 2010)
Sonic Branding: An Earworm to Your Pocket
— BBC News (BBC News, 21 June 2010)
Walter Benjamin & Travel as Collecting
— H. Fitzgerald (The New Inquiry, 24 June 2010)
Hipsters on Food Stamps
— Jennifer Bleyer (Salon, 15 March 2010)

//Mixed media

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

READ the article