I work in a shop. This darn music lark is sadly a long way away from being able to feed and shelter me just now, so I live each day in a warm and fuzzy retail hell. Last week we were informed of our Christmas opening hours, and those of the other shops around the high street. It was some pretty bleak information all round.
I’m afraid I don’t believe in Santa Claus, or immaculately conceived babies born in barns. But I very much enjoy Xmas day. Outwith the gifts, food and merriment it is just nice to have a day when everything stops, when the over-powering static of everyday life quietens down a little. The roads are empty, the shops are closed. I’m pretty sure it used to last more than one day though, I remember Boxing day was once a fairly non-existent day as well, and a few days around new year. And away from the festive season, I’m pretty sure I recall a time when most things were closed, or at least open fleetingly on Sundays. Granted, a lot of this is was due to peoples mad religious beliefs, but it is surely good to have a little time away. It was only a few years ago that I remember the shops opening at about 12 o’clock on Boxing day, then closing again at 5. Now it seems that everywhere is open at about 8am to launch their sales. One shop started it. Made some serious money, so everyone else wanted to get a bit of the action. Now its commonplace. But where will it end? Some bright spark decides to open his chain of over-priced shite-shops for a few hours on Christmas day, makes a killing, then a few years later it’s just another 9-5 day for everyone. A lot of cities have late night shopping once a week, so the school kids, students and office workers can pop in for a few evening purchases. I’m sure they make a fair bit of money. Perhaps some places will then stay open late for two or three nights a week, fuck it, why not all seven?
This will undoubtedly sound like the sentimental waffling of a confused young man. But I just get the fear that in a time not far from now we will be living in a world of twenty four hour super-malls, open three hundred and sixty-five days a year. Where nothing ever stops, or slows down, people will become zombies, deprived of time to feel human. Who knows, maybe global warming will step up a gear and the seasons will blur into one, then we will live in one long continuous day, decaying pink robots, never quiet sure what or where we are. That new Westfield mall in London scares me. Opened up in a prime are so that the only way to get to the 2012 Olympics is through a monster retail world. I cut out a picture from the newspaper the day after it opened. It was a picture of the thousands of people that crammed into the mall on the day it opened. Every single person looking unimaginably miserable. Weighed down with bright shopping bags.
I think it will soon be time to go feral. Form a society in the trees, living off of wild berries and insects, hunting obese children and shitting in a hole. Or perhaps not. Just a little more time to feel alive and experience humanity would be nice.