4. Walmart and the Woods
by Culture and Anti Culture
Take away the normal life of everyday thoughts, feelings and desire – bringing only your sensitive attention – and enter into a sprawling, high-ceilinged, blindingly lit rectilinear warehouse, packed with shelves of innumerable aggressively-colored goods on offer, loud tinny music and intrusive announcements and bereft of any humane architectural impulse: the big box store – the WalMart, Wally World.
The most obvious undertone of feeling associated with even brief immersion in this manufactured pandemonium is profound ineffable fatigue – the draining away of one’s vitality. No physical or mental exertion induces this lifelessness, but rather a strangely palpable invasive miasma at enmity with the very life of the soul.
‘Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate’ – Abandon all hope, ye who enter.
This is what is fundamentally expressed through the aesthetic vocabulary of this form of mass merchandizing.
Very different aesthetic languages evoking very different tones of feeling exist:
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