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Monday, May 14, 2012

Why Are We Still Here

A couple of stories I read during my lunch make me weep for our society.

The first one was Teens in Dallas Mall under age of 17 must be accompanied by parent after 6pm.

I understand I am in the cranky old man demographic now and this would be of great benefit to me when I go to the mall. In fact, I’ve seen firsthand how bad it can be in the evening when I’ve gone to the mall and it’s just a sea of underage humanity, taking up all of the tables in the food court or spanning the entire hallway with their baggy pants, slow gait attitude.

However, how bad is it as a society when we have to start policing the food court and begin asking kids for their ID to see if they should be there? Isn’t that a bit much? Malls aren’t what they used to be. They aren’t the shining beacon of escapism that Tiffany sang in or Robin Sparkles sang about with mucho gusto. They aren’t even as great as what Kevin Smith waxed nostalgic about in Mallrats.

The Internet has pretty much made regular brick and mortar stores inside the mall a thing of the past. Regular department stores in shopping centers, like Walmart or Target still have an impact because they have dedicated entrances and locations that aren’t hard to get to like the Hot Topic on the first level of the mall which ends up on the opposite side of the Earth from where you parked in negative gajillion Kelvin. Besides, teens usually don’t hang out in Walmart or Target for fun.

Malls need business. They need customers. Most kids don’t have a great opportunity to do any shopping until after 4pm due to school. So, why would cut them off from being able to have access to the stores two hours later?

I know. I know. Most kids aren’t at the mall to spend money. They’re there to waste time. So, has the mall in question done the research to see what moneys are being spent by kids under the age of 17 during the hours of 6:00PM and 9:00PM? Or, are they simply identifying a nuisance and eliminating it based on customer complaints.

Again, I understand why the mall is doing it. I understand how frustrating it is to be in the mall when this is occurring. I also understand that this is America and I shouldn’t have to show my papers when I’m in the mall for legitimate reasons.

How so? OK, most malls that have Internal movie theater chains use the interiors of the mall to gain access as well as external entrances. So, I’m a 16 year old and my friend and I go to a 4pm showing of the Hunger Games which ends close to 8pm. We’re hungry… LOL. Something about the movie’s title makes me hungry for food. So, we leave the movie and head to the food court. We get stopped by Paul Blart who asks to see our ID. Because we are under 17 or under, we are told to skedaddle and go back to the clubhouse. Mall loses food revenue and future business from us and all our friends as we Tweet, post on Facebook, and text everyone about what happened. Was that the best way to handle things?

Example two. I’m 18 and don’t have a driver’s license because I took out a bus full of nuns after running over the driving instructor’s foot. My mom drops me off at the mall and I do my shopping in the book store to grab a copy of Driving for Dummies. Paul Blart stops me because I look to be under 17. I say I’m 18 and he asks me for my ID. I don’t have one and immediately have a flashback seeing habits flying hither and fro. I can’t prove I’m 18, so Blart kicks me out. Great job mall, tomorrow, I’m returning the book and never coming back.
The other story that had me scratching my nugget was a NJ town that has started handing out fines to people texting while jaywalking.

REALLY? Ticketing pedestrians for texting while walking? Are we that stupid of a society that we need to be policed to this extent? Is Darwin facepalming in his grave over how technologically savvy yet logically inept we’ve become? Well…it is New Jersey.

Come on, people. I’m not siding with the pedestrians. Yet, I am not siding with law enforcement officials. This is a completely ridiculous attempt at getting money. How do you enforce it? What if I’m trying to dial someone or play Angry Birds? What if I wasn’t texting at all? Once again, invasion of privacy to reveal my phone log history.

And… they want to try to enforce it in other places, like New York City. Can you imagine how many people would be found guilty? There are probably hundreds of thousands of people walking the streets of NYC texting or using their phones for legitimate business purposes.  Are you going to ticket them all?  Does NYC have enough police force to handle the load? 

It's time people start being responsible for their own actions.  Otherwise, why let them have a mobile device or leave the house?  It's obvious some people cannot handle technology or simple actions like walking and chewing gum at the same time.  Why should people who are perfectly capable of doing certain things without incident be punished because some idiots can't make it from point A to point B without being nailed by a car?

Just imagine, a 16 year old gets kicked out of the mall and then gets hit by a car while trying to shop online with their cell phone because they weren't allowed in the mall after 6PM.   


Why are we still here?  How have we not inadvertently blown ourselves up or died out from stupidity?  Is technology our giant meteor?  The one that crashes into the planet and extinguishes all life could be the size of a Blackberry.   Smarten up people, before I have to go back to my flip phone that only plays Snakes and can take pictures.

1 comment:

Janelle said...

I know how much of a pain teenagers can be, but I'm also not far enough removed from my own teenage years that I don't remember what a pain in my ass it was to be a mature, responsible 16-year-old yet still treated like a child in most public places.

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