Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Stalin Goes to the Mall
In The Man in the High Castle, Philip K Dick wrote about a world in which the Japanese and Germans had won World War II. The idea was that the United States was controlled by the former Axis powers. It remains familiar yet irrevocably changed. I got the same feeling entering the shopping mall down by the port. Yes, there were all the usual element that make up such places wherever you go yet the place was not quite the kind I left behind. Perhaps it was the absence of people or the strange, unforgivingly modernist architecture. Or it could have been the surveillance cameras everywhere.
It struck me that this is what a Stalinist shopping centre would have looked like if the USSR had embraced the doctrine of consumerism instead of imploding in the late 80's.