Hi there. I’m here, but not for long — hitting the road for the Buckeye State in a few. But I found a couple things in my perambulations over the last few days I thought you might want to read and discuss, while I check in from an undisclosed location from time to time.
First, our pen pal Hank Stuever files from “the beginning of the end of Mallworld as we know it,” a Black Friday essay on the long slow eclipse of shopping:
Certain Circuit City locations are marked for death here and there, and certain Ann Taylor Lofts are not responding to the corporate chemo, and the vacant Hecht’s box is still a forlorn husk at Westfield Wheaton Shopping Centre, its parking lot filled with empty school buses. Across the land, it’s heebie-jeebie vibes in the homogenous habitat. Bennigan’s, Sharper Image, Bombay Co., Linens ‘N Things, RIP. It’s a series of harbingers. It’s the end of things ‘N things.
Are you reading Roger Ebert’s blog? If not, you should. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve generally only followed links there when he’s talking about movies, but the guy has a wide-ranging and restless intellect, and writes about everything. But this piece, about having a Phantom of the Opera face (and some great memories of Gene Siskel), is superior. He is such a generous writer. I simply lurve him.
Oh, my goodness — the best rickroll EVAHR. You gotta love celebrities who can laugh at themselves. Although, honestly, isn’t it a bit of a stretch to call Rick Astley a celebrity? By the way, I always sort of liked that song. I always associate Rick Astley and Billy Ocean (“Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car”) with aerobics classes in the ’80s. It must be linked with endorphins in my lizard brain.
Off to Columbus.