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Friday Afternoon Confessional: Visiting the Suburbs

I confess that yesterday afternoon I decided to see Inception, and Evanston had the closest theater with decent sound, etc. (which a friend had said I should make a priority). The theater itself was nestled on a street that served as a kind of corporate oasis, featuring a Border’s and also a Sprint store, where I finally upgraded my phone after months of unreliability from my old one.

I confess that while this street wasn’t really “the suburbs” in the usual sense — there was no vast ocean of parking lot in front of the stores — but the very corporateness got at something that’s appealling about the suburb model: everything’s easy. You know exactly what’s available in each store, you don’t have to worry about offending a small business owner by not buying anything, etc. If the big-boxification of America means that no place is particular any longer, the other side of the equation is that everyplace feels vaguely like home, everyplace is a place where you have your bearings and know what you’re doing.

I confess that I upgraded to a Blackberry Curve. At this point, getting a smartphone seemed inevitable. I confess because it nonetheless seems indulgent.

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July 23, 2010 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional

8 Comments

  1. I confess that last night, at a bar, I told an anecdote which afterward seemed more racist and sexist than funny.

    I confess that I did not know there was anything wrong with “afterwards” until Firefox spellcheck told me above. It also wants to beef on “spellcheck.”

    Comment by k-sky | July 23, 2010

  2. I don’t think one can beat the irony of a spellcheck not knowing the word “spellcheck,” but there was a time when the Blogger spellcheck didn’t know “blog” or any cognate forms.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | July 23, 2010

  3. I confess that I enjoyed the discussion of the ethics of public shitting from last week.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | July 23, 2010

  4. I confess I missed being single.

    Comment by ebolden | July 23, 2010

  5. I confess that the fact that Inception has just come out here also makes me think that the anglophone world has been big-boxified in that the Brits and Americans speak a more common language, all know who Jay Leno is and so on. In the 70s, despite the considerable quantity of US TV, my American cousins always had vocabulary I just couldn’t understand (and I had no idea who someone like Johnny Carson was). At least baseball and American football still divide us.

    I confess I had my very first encounter with a grubby looking boxed iPAD in a dingy second-hand shop, which caused a huge amount of cognitive dissonance. It felt a bit ‘time travel’ -esque.

    Comment by Gabe | July 23, 2010

  6. I confess that I rarely worry about offending business owners by not purchasing anything.

    Comment by ben | July 23, 2010

  7. I confess that I just walked about a 1/2 mile to a FedEx dropoff box and said to myself three times while I was walking, “Holy shit, it’s hot.”

    I checked weather.com when I got back to see whether it’s much hotter than it has been and the heat index is 110 degrees. That caused a fourth “Holy shit, it’s hot.”

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | July 23, 2010

  8. I confess that after living in Berkeley for six years, visiting these corporate oases feels a lot like “coming home” in the sense that you suggest.

    Comment by Hill | July 23, 2010


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