Yes, But What Goes Unsaid

I had a full and excellent weekend, full of superlatives. I had sushi at Pacific East because Kimo’s was closed for the Indian’s game, watched A Murder of Crows by Mac Wellman at The Liminis and had a Pisco Sour and Bourbon Daisy at the VTR. A Murder of Crows [I’m probably going to go see it again to make sure] may very well be my new favorite play. I didn’t really have an old favorite play, but this one fit right up my alley. I got a sweet ‘biner clip with built-in flashlight at the VTR too.

On Saturday I grilled some kebabs from the WSM and made the most delicious pork chop I’ve ever had. Yes, a few weeks ago I said the same thing, but this chop was better. Heirloom tomatoes and roasted corn on the cob completed the meal. I also puttered around Market Square and the City Xpressionz [God I hate typing like I’m l33t] spray-paintathon.

Sunday I did my laundry and went to see Thee Silver Mt. Zion and BLKTYGR at the Grog Shop. Rafeeq & Co. put on the best show I’d seen from them and Thee Silver Mt. Zion made me think about the melding of politics and art. How all too often art is used in the service of politics instead of the other way ’round. Thee Silver does it the other way ’round and the music definitely benefits from it.

I should also mention that I made my first [and hopefully last] visit to Crocker Park over the weekend. That place is the flagship of American decadence and moral bankruptcy. An enclosed suburban “lifestyle center” [“mall” is too prole, apparently] designed to look urban, complete with residential lofts above the big boxes, speakers vomiting top-40 muzak from the ’80s hidden behind the careful landscaping and the whole place made my skin crawl. Seriously. Suburban faux-urban loft apartments above a rich-person-only mall where you can buy a parking space so you don’t have to walk as far to the stores. I didn’t see one non-white person the entire time I was there. WASP city. The place made my skin fucking crawl. More on Little Citadels.

13 thoughts on “Yes, But What Goes Unsaid

  1. While I agree that Crocker Park is, indeed, a fucked-up place to shop — is it better or worse than the tradional mall that would have been built there otherwise? Will you go back to Great Northern, or will you just stick to the psedudo-elitist boutiques in Ohio City?

    And you didn’t see any non-white people because you were in Westlake. I grew up there — there was one black person in my graduating class.

  2. Ok, well then I suppose the question becomes: What would you prefer? No Crocker Parks, ok… what instead? A non-insular and non-exclusive shopping environment? Wal-Mart comes to mind.

    And I think it’s more like: Why drive a half-hour downtown to shop when there’s all the stores I need five minutes away?

    And nearly every one of the “exclusive” stores in Crocker Park was once run by a “local entrepreneur,” and the tax dollars that are generated by them certainly benefit Westlake… most likely the school system.

    Just saying, is all.

  3. I think it is worse because it is pretending to be something it isn’t. At least the Ohio City places [I don’t really shop there either] are run by local entrepreneurs and shopping there benefits the local economy.

    A mall might be a shrine to consumerism and materialism but CP and LV are friggin’ cathedrals to it. They’re also so insular and exclusive, by design, that they probably do more to foster willful blindness than you’d expect. Why go downtown to shop where you might see a homeless man, or a black man or get a whiff of Lake Erie or a sewer when you can drive 5 feet to get the “urban” experience you want to that makes you comfortable…

    Basically this is just another facet of my theory that people will do anything they can to make everything that is not pleasing to them someone else’s problem.

  4. To reiterate, CP and LV are symbols of what I see as a troubling tendency: the canonization of personal comfort and entitlement to the exception of all else. It is selfish and irresponsible.

    CP doesn’t just appeal to consumers for convenience, its selling point is that it is designed to make the people who can afford to live/shop there feel better about themselves. It’s like a giant daycare.

    I’m not grousing about the money, I’m grousing about the environment that is created by places like that.

  5. I’m just saying we need to learn to accept and live within the consumerist paradigm we live in, instead of “grousing” about it and not providing any alternatives.

    And, as far as avoiding the unpleasant aspects of urban living, yeah — that’s fine by me. I see crack deals going down on my street every night, and hear gunshots at least once a week. I could also do without getting hit up for change every time I go to the gas station to buy a six pack, and I’d really enjoy being able to walk around my neighborhood alone at night. God forbid people want to avoid feeling safe and comfortable where they shop, let alone where they live.

    It often seems as if you are judging people for choosing to live in an area that is safe and comfortable, instead of in a wonderfully urban place like Tremont. Yet you complain about the crime in Tremont, which is what makes it so wonderfully urban…

    Perhaps I don’t make any sense.

  6. Ok, but let’s say you get what you want — people doing something about the crime, and then crime eliminated. Seems to me that would make Tremont an awfully more comfortable place for you to live and shop.

    Be careful how much “positive change” you ask for, you might just get it.

  7. I choose to live where I am and work for positive change from the inside. I have little patience for people who would rather just walk on by and leave problems for someone else to fix. I don’t complain about the crime, I complain about the people not doing anything about it.

  8. I would have loved to read your post, but I was too distracted by the idea of a weekend full of superlatives. What a fabulous little bit of writing that sentence is.

    I would fuck that one with Bea Arthur’s dick.

  9. I was at the SMZ show, as well–really enjoyed it. I can’t come up with another explanation as to why a shopping center would be designed the way CP was, other than to make people feel good about what they’re doing. Entering the place feels a bit like stepping on to Main St., USA in Disney World. To me, it comes across as a sleazy attempt to cover something up. I don’t think there’s anything more to cover up then the traditional, blatant consumerist appeal. But the gaudy, towering storefronts do more to make me feel I’m being duped than being comforted.

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