Time to charge up your consumption
Late Novembers in Denver don’t come any better than this. The temperature is normally in the 40s to 60s, and with a clear sunny day unhampered by clouds it’s perfect weather for everything active. Walking, blading, or biking you feel great and don’t sweat like in the summer. The sun sets early, so be sure to get inside by 5pm to start up the soup and crack open the Kerrrrs.
We rode down the Cherry Creek Bike path to the Kennedy Golf Course and back. It’s been a while since I’ve done the route all the way to the Cherry Creek dam. My daily bike commute to work takes me down the side streets of southeast Denver, so being able to bike non-stop without any stops for 10-15 miles is a real treat. As with all of Denver’s multi use trails this one was in excellent condition. A perfect ride along creeks and urban open spaces with plenty of views of the snow capped rockies.
Returning home we locked up the bikes at the Cherry Creek Mall to check out the Sony Wii and see what’s on the PacSun half off rack. And of course get a glimpse of how the other half spends their Sundays. I’m never surprised at the hordes of people who choose to “recreational shop”, meaning just shopping for the hell of it, not with any specific product or purpose in mind. If people make money they deserve to spend it. But what continues to shock me about the mall, Wal-Marts, and the retail buying experience in general is the amount of sheer garbage that’s available for sale.
It seems the vast percentage of products are cheaply produced shit, sold for a ridiculously high price. High quality clothing, electronics, and jewelry do exist, but in most retail environments it simply isn’t there. You need to visit a specialty store to find quality crafted items. Yes people love buying this garbage. It’s analogous to eating out seven days a week at McDonald’s, or saving some money and having one nice meal at Ruth’s Chris. (I prefer the latter).
It might be Norman Rockwellish to think of a grandfather hand carving a puzzle or game for his grandson 40 years ago, but I have that mental image when I see the amount of complete crap that’s available for purchase. Are you actually going to USE this “Shape Up” whatever the hell this piece of shit pictured here? Why buy something for someone if you KNOW it will get five months of use, spend four years in the garage, and then be sold at a yard sale.
The best stores, meaning the most expensive and highest priced, tend to have the simplest design and layout. Stores like Deisel, the Apple Store, or Express tend to be refreshingly clean and minimalistic. Retailers such as the Discovery Store, Claires (the piercing place), and Brookstone are so overstocked and visually cluttered it gives you a migraine just looking at the place.
And in every mall is the stuffing of kiosks throughout the main floor, making a stroll through a mall an ordeal akin to exiting a U2 concert after the last encore. For the last several years Adbusters, the lefty anti-capitalism magazine out of Vancouver has promoted “Buy Nothing Day” each year during the day after Thanksgiving. (In the U.S. this is know as the “busiest shopping day of the year”, and folks fell they are obligated to comply. The cause is worthy, and although I’ve only supported it by proxy, (I wouldn’t ruin my Thanksgiving weekend sleeping outside an automatic Target door if paid to), the message of materialism and overconsumption is worth examining. Thus continues my philosophy that simple, uncluttered living is best for the mind and pocketbook. And of resisting the temptation to recreationally purchase “stuff” just for the hell it. It’s too bad our entire economy depends on the sacrifice of each American maintaining a credit card debt above their means.
Crocs for kids? Shoot me now…