Sunday, 20 May 2007

Shop Till The World Drops

Yesterday I headed over to Chatswood to buy a heater (it's starting to get cold here in Sydney town). Normally I steer well clear of Chatswood and head to my local stores instead as I prefer the community feel over the mass-market Westfield mega-malls. Unfortunately there's a lack of electronics stores at my community shops so I had no choice but to venture into the world of mass-consumerism.

The first thing to strike me as I drove into Chatswood (which is also the name of the surrounding suburb) was the sheer amount of traffic flowing in and out of the car-parks. Now, I can't rant too much on this as I myself was guilty of driving solo, but in my defence, Chatswood was my starting destination on an afternoon out. It occurred to me that a mega-corporation such as Westfield contributes indirectly to global warming in encouraging its target market to drive cars by providing huge amounts of car-parking at its centres. The Westfield carpark at Chatswood is a 5 storey monster spanning 2 city blocks, and then there's additional roof-top and basement parking in the centre itself. In a time when we are all being encouraged to re-think our energy consuming behaviours, it would be nice to see Westfield take on some social responsibility and take action to provide alternative transport options to its customers. For example, it would be easy enough for Westfield to provide a rebate to customers who catch public transport to their malls at a set purchase rate (eg, spend $20 or more and have the cost of your bus-ticket reimbursed).

So I ventured in and started looking for a heater. As with every other time I've had the misfortune of going to Chatswood, the place was packed. I go shopping when I need something, not when I've got nothing better to do, so I really don't understand the mindset of people who claim shopping to be a hobby or past-time. Are their lives that empty that the only way they can find pleasure is to spend an afternoon wandering around stores, purchasing crap in hope of finding happiness and fulfilment in materialistic objects? You can spot the hobby-shoppers easily - they are the ones who dawdle along at snail's pace, stopping in the middle of the walkway to peruse the sale racks. Get in, get what you need and get out is my shopping mantra. It is of little wonder that the world has gotten as fucked up as it currently is when people prefer spending their time succumbing to mass-marketing rather than taking an interest in real-life.

Sadly to say, my shopping venture was all in vein as the heater I wanted to purchase was out of stock. I made my way out through the throngs of consumers, drove down 3 levels to exit the car-park, spent 20 minutes in bumper to bumper traffic and finally headed out to a more fulfilling afternoon with friends who weren't trying to sell me anything.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Oblivion" Terrorvision
"Spirit Catcher" The Mod Wheel
"Scorpion" Spira
"THX" Paddee
"Computer Talk" Primordial Soup
"Ball Park" Joey Beltram
"To Be Or Not To Be" Rythim is Rythim
"We're Not Gonna Make It" The Presidents of the United States of America
"You Shook Me All Night Long" AC/DC
"Not For You" Pearl Jam
"Bug Powder Dust" Bomb The Bass

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