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I Shop Therefore I Am

To a great extent, our shopping habits are patterned on American society's habits, which shouldn't surprise anyone since we were probably both victims of Madison Avenue. The layout of our supermarkets are carbon copies and surely Henry Sy and John Gokongwei's shopping developments were inspired by the US landscape of strip malls, the ultimate in consumerism for the Filipina shopaholic no doubt. The incredible range of choices, the variety of the goods and the prices must convince us we've died and gone to heaven, especially during the sale days after Christmas. (I nearly bought a two-seater sofa bed once for no other reason than the price, considering I was a tourist. What brought me to my senses was that I didn't have a car to load it in!) --Bambi L. Harper for inq7.net [April 2003]

IF Descartes were Singaporean, it would be enough for him to shop to confirm that he exists. There is probably no country in the world that has more shops per person than this Southeast Asian city-state, a reality that has prompted one prominent Indian architect to liken Singapore to "one gigantic shopping bag." --Randy David inq7.net [April 2003]

Zombies, Malls, and the Consumerism Debate [...]

In George Romero's satirical film about consumerism, Dawn of the Dead (1978), an American shopping mall becomes the site of battles between the zombies who have overrun the country, four human "survivors" who exterminate the zombies and appropriate the mall for themselves, and a gang of marauding bikers which, in the movie's violent climax, seeks to take over the mall. These battles serve as a useful, if melodramatic metaphor for recent theoretical disputes over the nature and value of consumerism, disputes which remain of central importance among cultural critics of differing political persuasions. At the risk of crudely dichotomizing, these critics have tended to affiliate with one of two camps with respect to what might be called the "consumerism debate." --Stephen Harper, University of Glasgow, George Romero's Dawn of the Dead Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture (1900-present), Fall 2002, Volume 1, Issue 2 http://www.americanpopularculture.com/journal/articles/fall_2002/harper.htm [May 2004]

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