Monday, December 24, 2007

~ Chadstone: a writhing pit of crapulence

I happed to do some driving on the Monash freeway yesterday. Ahead of me, as I approached Warrigal Road, I saw a banking up of traffic and a couple of those big portable signs that scroll important messages.

I quickly ran through the possibilities in my mind. There’s some obstruction ahead. Should I get off the freeway at this exit like everyone else? I must act quickly…

Then the signs swam into focus. I saw the word ‘Chadstone’ and immediately understood. Chadstone: that lodestone of venality.

Both exits – inbound and outbound – were stalled with three lanes of traffic. Presumably the many other approaches to this monolith of consumption were similarly occluded. It is difficult to imagine what it might be like at the actual shopping centre – for there is, with absolutely no doubt, insufficient parking there for so many cars…

But who was in those cars? Why were they going there? They’ve had a year to purchase their Christmas gifts. Supplies they could get at their local supermarket. Were they all so disorganised that they had to pile upon each other in a last desperate giga-scrum to get what they think they need?

Or is it something else entirely? Is it something they may actually enjoy? A cherished custom? Something to which to take the family, to look forward to? Is there some innate drive that pulls them there, to congregate in celebration of gross consumption, to kneel before the belly-god in tacit agreement that the base desire for material objects is actually a good thing; that covetousness is no longer a sin?

Do they yowl together in primitive ecstasy, decerebrated by droning carols, rendered mindless by the devious enchantments of the Advertiser Arch-Mage? Does that tinsel tickle something in their groins? Do those baubles send a shiver down their spines? Do they fall together in a ravening cluster of glitzy bags and cellophane wrap, in a pseudo-sexual bog of want? Do they bow low to the iconography of chain stores, brand names and the latest, most mouth-wateringly desirable manufactured good?

Do they?

I’m sure that lobotomising hellhole is even thicker with worshipers today. Shops stay open till midnight on Christmas Eve, don’t they? I can only guess what sick-making mass-wedding of consumer to consumer item is being enacted there as I write.

But despite that, Happy Christmas to you



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Anonymous said...

pithy; and hilarious


lily was here said...

Merry Xmas Sam! Did Polly wake you up early? I have teenagers and they're still asleep :) I've been absent, in Melbourne actually, unexpectedly, wish Id bumped into you there, i got to the Sat gig at the last minute
Love Sue xxx
ps christmas chaos is to be avoided, even worse those after-xmas manic sales you see on telly! As a kid I lived across the road from Chadstone in a beautiful old brick mansion that my parents rented for a while, with loads of character, a beautiful garden and a goldfish pond in the backyard. We kids thought it was haunted - the house, not the pond :). I wonder if its still there? Probably not.

Sam Sejavka said...

Ta, kitty kat. That's just the sort of comment that hoists my sails.

And yes, LWH, Polly was up at the crack of. So many presents. Too many presents? Jenny and I agreed not to bother with gifts for each other this year, so it was all Polly Polly Polly... I wish I had a video camera to film those gleeful moments ...

You know, I'm a bit of a connaisseur of those mansions near Chadstone. Particularly the ones on the other side of Warrigal Rd. No idea how they got there. Maybe Oakleigh was once an outpost of the rich. I fantasise that since it's not that ritzy an area, the prices may not be that high, and ... well you get the picture. It'll never happen.

Again, Happy Christmas

Anonymous said...

HA ha great title Sam! You should spray paint it on the Chaddy building like those guys grafitti'd the Opera House...I hate all that crappola too!

Merry xmas to you too,enjoy whatever you get up to!
Love amanda

Sam Sejavka said...

I would prefer to see it accepted officially as a new name. On the street signs. In Melways. In ten foot glowing neon letters.

H.Glass said...

Of course you are absolutely correct - nobody reading here is going to defend Mammon.
The Kath n Kym joke cannot possibly exceed the reality of wretched excess.

The whole idea of having to fulfil the Recipient's Dreams with one's gift, sickens me.
3-year olds receiving gifts costing hundreds of dollars sickens me.
Kids whose rooms are not big enough to store all their plastic crap sickens me.
and all the food I ate sickened me too.

lily was here said...

Fellows St.Hughesdale, i remembered the address. I was 9yrs back then and about to receive my most prized Xmas presents ever, two Narnia books, from a beautiful Hungarian lady whom my sister is named after. Whats the most memorable gift you ever received Sam, tacky or not?

Sam Sejavka said...

LWH, you know the first thing that springs to mind is a bike, oh forty years ago, a purple dragster ... though I enjoyed reading the Narnia books nearly as much ...

Polly got way too many presents ... We were so worried about not having enough that we went too far the other way...