I have seen the Zombie flick a number of times. My favourite part is of course where the undead are getting totalled in the shopping mall and it is the film particularly that plays through my mind when visiting any shopping centre that bears more than a passing resemblance to that in the film. I have been following the progress of Linux on the ipod for some time and decided that it might be a good idea to check out prices of iPod videos at John Lewis. After discovering that they had a new store at the Trafford Centre and having passed it several times on my trips south, I felt confident of navigating my way single-handed, despite having the fall-back option of kid brother in case we ended up in a Rotherham contra-flow by mistake. I successfully did so and it was here that things started to come unstuck. We spent the next twenty minutes playing dodgems with other drivers in an attempt to secure an elusive space in the already over-full and bursting car park. Clearly this was some place to be on a Saturday! Our minds salivated at the wonders that surely lay inside – why else would anyone put themselves through this?
Sadly, if there was a fountain of youth or bottomless pit of Quesadillas, we did not find it. All we found was consumerism at its western worst. The food hall we entered first was dominated by a huge LED screen blaring adverts over nigh on 1000+ people, all chewing mindlessly on food as a cow chews cud in a field. We ascended quickly to the retail area, all very fresh and new. Making a beeline for JL’s we perused the technological section only to leave empty handed for a number of reasons too boring to put in here.
Convinced already this would be my last visit to the place, we strolled (or fought) the length of the mall, only to find a prayer room the size of a changing room at one end. It declared itself to be multi-faith and on inspection it contained two persons of the Islamic faith prostrating as is their wont. I was surprised – what would happen if a Jew were to attend at the same time for a quick browse of the Torah. Would this even happen? The room appeared to be unattended and at best guess was included in the plans purely for the purpose of permitting those people who could not visit a shopping centre at certain times to do so, safe in the knowledge they could do the necessaries at the appropriate time, ducking out of HMV to remind $god that despite their slavish devotion to items of a material nature, they hadn’t forgotten about him. Who really benefits here?