September 18, 2005

Getting out of town for a minute.

So, Richard's in Spain and my Madison blogger friends are in Manhattan, but I did leave Madison yesterday long enough to drive to a shopping mall outside of Milwaukee. I felt like driving and shopping, but then I didn't feel like shopping that much, so it was mostly driving — a chance to reflect and listen to a lot of music.

What's the difference between shopping outside of Milwaukee and shopping in Madison? The most striking difference was that at Borders Bookstore they were playing a recording of "God Bless the USA" and had a group of four persons doing a sign language interpretation of the song. An overflow audience was intently learning the signs and, like a sing-along at a concert, doing a sign-along.

I've never seen anything like that at a Madison Borders.

11 comments:

XWL said...

"I've never seen anything like that at a Madison Borders."

and you never will.

(sometimes even the bleeding obvious still needs to be said)

...the Internationale, on the other hand...

mzn said...

Well I've never seen that at a Milwaukee Borders.

Madison has its share of Chrsitians proselytizing on Library Mall amidst all the lefties, not to mention two churches right on campus. God would seem to bless Madison too.

Mark the Pundit said...

I'm sorry, but how exactly is playing "God Bless the U.S.A." an example of Christian proselytizing?

When I lived near Fort Walton Beach, there was a club whose primary customers were the Air Force servicemen (and women) at Eglin AFB. Right before closing they would play "God Bless the U.S.A." and everyone in the bar would join in and sing along. Of course I sang along, but until mzn told me I never knew that Christian ideology was being seared into my head.

Ann Althouse said...

Yes, it strikes me as just a very sincere patriotic song. Hearing the words, I always start thinking it's too simple and cornball and then about one second later, it makes me cry. It's a eerily powerful patriotic song, and despite the invocation of God, has little to do with religion. The words "God bless" could be replaced by "I love" and it would be nearly the same song.

PatCA said...

I was just in Wauwatosa for a reunion and found it a refreshing change from the exhausting political intensity of CA. (Shopped at Mayfair Mall). Mass culture being what it is, I could live a friendly midwesterner existence and not give up Starbucks and Talbott's...started searching for property near one of the many nearby lakes.

Ann Althouse said...

PatCA: Yes, that's where I went. Mayfair Mall. It was very crowded. Hard to park too. Not really a nice enough shopping experience. I should have gone to Chicago, but it's twice as long a drive with lots of toll booths blocking the way.

ziemer said...

you should move here, ann.

it's not that long a commute.

Ann Althouse said...

If only there was a train from the middle of Chicago to the middle of Madison!

But maybe I will some day!

PatCA said...

Yeah, the parking lot was all torn up--lots of growth there. People actually commute from lakes one hour away to Milwaukee every day for work! Everyone was talking about growth, the huge real estate hikes. Be careful what you wish for, I said...

Mark Kaplan said...

I think you'd better drive to the Twin Cities and spend a day at the Mall of America.

chuck b. said...

I hated the shopping mall experience until I found the perfect mall for me...kinda low-slung and run down.

Really nicely laid out stores with exquisitely merchandised displays turn me off. The aggressive seduction makes me feel subject to a hostile cross. Sir, do you or do you not believe money can buy happiness? Erm, I do not believe money can buy happiness. They you are unworthy slime!

Anyhoo, my mall has all the nice stores with the nice stuff (which is important because cheap ugly stuff is depressing too), but everything's a little disarrayed, the clerks are kinda young and underdressed. It's feels more relaxed and informal. Plus they've got turtles in the fountain, and I wuv turtles. I go at lunch during the week when it's semi-deserted too. I like to shop w/out the hustle and bustle of crowds of strangers.