Mall Culture: Social Killer in the Lurk?

Summary of “Mall Culture” written by Steven Shepherd
Desire adds fuel to living mechanism of human beings. And in a way, the caterers of desire thrive on it; make their marks according to the magnitude of a certain desire. In other words, desire of the mass is the key to both survival and development of the traders who supply means and modes of those desires; In modern times, the desires are being ramified by consumerism apparently for the sake of a healthy economy but definitely at the expense of the common concept of satiating desires through activities. The cutting edge technologies are vying for attention and thus the craving for them is being created through various forms of media, which has a symbiotic relationship with the traders. Thus, both in tandem are wooing the prospective customers about one product or the other, creating a ‘must have’ attitude for them.

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There is a difference between Doer and spectator. A doer generates his driving force from within, while a spectator has to gather that from others’ works. Now the ‘spectator’ trait has been fuelled by the consumerism and thus created a breed of customers who are bent on outside sources to satiate their desire, ignoring the basics like engaging in activities that can satiate their desire in true sense. Modern day consumerism by now has proved its penetrating power into the minds of people from all rank and file who are in fact, ‘trapped’ in the game of getting momentary happiness through gadgets off and on.

As a result, self-generating entertainment or engagements are lagging behind the aggressive marketing policy. This brings in another crisis in the social fiber, which tends to weigh the worth of a person by his/her material possession instead of her/his personal qualities. This indeed would stand between the legacy of ethical life and the young minds. Thus, mall-culture or the aggressive marketing policy that makes the human mind idle and away from activities that can bring in true happiness, cannot be good for the young minds, who deserve to achieve a mind full of mental wealth tucked in a healthy body.

Views on “Mall Culture”
The essay, “Mall Culture”  is thoroughly topical, if one considers its content against the backdrop of the current social environment, which is gradually pushing the younger generation to the consumerism much earlier and thus creating a newer generation who are soon going to be bereft of the social and cultural values and ultimately grow up as rudderless boats in the seas of society.

Indeed, there is a complex equation of maintaining the economy and developing the society in terms of science and technology – admits this essay, but it also points to the fact that consumerism should be driven by a clear conscience that it should not violate the ethical principles that serve as the pillars of society – where a member’s healthy and knowledgeable mind would be aided by a healthy body, and with which s/he would work in tandem with other members for the sustenance and development of the society . This essay has rightfully identified that the present mall-culture has been provoking the innocent minds to become trespassers to a world of wanton desires meant to be fulfilled by wanton material items!

The dynamics of this aggressive marketing has some hidden, yet reflective messages  in it – like ‘Money is Power’ or ‘Anything is possible if one has money’.  “Mall Culture” has taken the task to point out that by citing the examples.

This essay embarks rightly on the modern  trait of stamping materialism as the key to satiate human want and opines that this trait has created an ironic situation, where one is groomed by the opinion makers as to rely on the gizmos to find happiness and prosperity, and yet is deprived of it by the incessant march of newer gizmos. This cobweb of propaganda for material is netting thousand of innocent mind each day and thus is on its way to create a newer society where one would be worth of one’s wallets, but none would be prepared to run a balanced life that is a must to attain harmony and peace. Thus, this reviewer also echoes the ethos of this essay – If this trait of consumerism goes on, the society will go bankrupt in terms of mental wealth.

ends.