One of my favorite places to go in the 90s, in the first years it opened, was the Mall of America. It had every imaginable electronics store: multiple Radio Shacks, two Funcolands, two Electronics Boutiques, an EBX, and this weird store on the main floor right by Camp Snoopy called "Game Stop". They had a food court with all of the best places: Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonald's, and so forth. And the food court overlooked the aforementioned Camp Snoopy's rollercoaster, creating a super cool, echoey, open-air ambience.
Today though, I would not feel safe taking my kids there. These kinds of incidents-- black people quite literally going around shooting at each other, mugging other patrons, and so forth-- happen there all of the time. This would have been unheard of in the early 90s, when I frequented the mall. It reminds me of what happened to Brookdale Mall, another place I used to frequent: a huge wave of black people moved from North Murderapolis to Brooklyn Center, and within fifteen years the mall was almost totally vacant. Then they plowed down the mall and put a Walmart on that spot, and now the Walmart has been closed due to crime also.
Here is another mall, this one in Baltimore, which has seen the same fate. To be clear, ravaging bands of violent people are not the only reason malls have been closing over the past twenty years-- but in the past five years, it has I'm sure been the top reason. Here is the mayor of Brooklyn Center: count the number of times her about page says "oppressed" or "oppression". What a clown: total ideologue. She's never had a real job it appears: finished college in 2010 and went straight into the government. People deserve the government they vote for, and now they no longer have a Target or a Walmart.
The other problem with the Mall of America is that they turned it from a "fun for blue collar middle class families"-- you know, normal people who aren't sick in the head-- into a "pretentious coffee shop" kind of atmosphere for guilty white Wayzata liberals with empty lives. There are no more electronics stores, the awesome fast food court is long gone. I think this is because there no longer is a blue collar middle class in major metropolitan areas, so the mall had to target a different demographic. But in part due to the Blight Rail, it attracted an unintended demographic instead.
Another long-standing personal tradition I've abandoned is the Minnesota State Fair. I predicted there would be a shooting there last year, and there was. I predict there will be at least one this year too, probably multiple. As a replacement, my family really enjoys our local county fair: the food is just as good, it's a wholesome white Christian atmosphere like I remember the State Fair being when I was a kid, there is no crime or litter, and they have fun rides for the kids to boot.
Middle-Aged Game Players
I found this to be an interesting article. It's not often I see Gen X'ers addressed in any way regarding video games. Although the article's author focused more on mechanical issues-- "too many buttons", "too complicated to play", etc.-- I bet the aesthetics and constant Woke messaging is a major issue for my fellow generational cohorts. In fact, I know it is among other Gen X'ers with whom I regularly speak about video games. It's that "Invasion of the Hobby Snatchers" post I wrote back in 2019, mixed with a bit of Yuri Bezmenov.
For a long time I wrote about and espoused Libertarian principles, specifically Anarcho-Capitalism. But as time has elapsed and I have observed the world around me, I've come to realize that certain approaches yield generally positive outcomes in some situations, yet are disastrous in others. Where I live now, what is in effect Anarch-Capitalism spontaneously emerged, because no one commits any crimes-- so there are basically no police, and other than property taxes the State plays an essentially invisible role in people's lives. But if one were to eradicate the State in Murderapolis, it would be complete chaos because heathens would run amok.
In point of fact and somewhat ironically, this is what the Demoncrats are attempting by eliminating cash bail, de-criminalizing theft, or refusing to prosecute people for even violent crimes: the cities has become absolutely chaotic. Anarcho-Capitalism doesn't work when a critical mass of the population are violent, uneducated, illiterate hedonists.
There is also a thing my brother said to me a few years ago: "The State isn't a thing to be eliminated or minimized: it's a thing to be wielded." One thing I've learned over the past couple of years is that vicious sociopaths absolutely will take over the State apparatus, and destroy its ideological opposition with it, as they have done and are presently doing. They follow Herbert Marcuse's idea of "intolerant tolerance"-- meaning, toleration for Left-wing ideas and no toleration for Right-wing notions. Libertarians, by contrast, are tolerant of all ideas, up until someone points a gun at their head-- by which point it's too late. They yielded power, and the other side laughingly and gladly obliged them by taking all of the power!
Libertarianism is often a completely self-defeating ideology. As are its corollary ideas, like pluralism and democracy.
This suggests to me that my brother was correct: "our side" should take control of the State apparatus, and outlaw-- with severe penalties-- philosophies counter to our will. It could be similar to what Hitler did once he consolidated power: put all of the pornography and Communist literature into huge bonfires, and start an exchange program to get as many Jews out of the country as possible. Someone like a George Soros would be persona non grata, and anyone found accepting money from people of his ilk would be dealt with severely. We should outlaw behaviors contrary to Christian morality.
In other words, I think today I would describe myself as something of a Fascist. Or perhaps, a Christian Theocrat. In another time or place, I would undoubtedly advocate for some alternative approach. Pendulums swing, different situations call for different measures. But right now, we have a lot of house cleaning to do.
More GR86 Impressions
The wife has had some chances to cruise around in the GR86 over the past couple of days. She doesn't read this blog ordinarily, and so didn't see this post. I also did not share my opinions with her verbally, so as to not influence her impressions. Her take on the car, uncolored by neither punditry nor myself, was something like as follows:
She had no clue what the engine was doing at any given time: the throttle is mushy and indirect, and there is virtually no exhaust note-- so it is like flying in an airliner-- the windows communicate that you are moving, but there is very little feedback beyond that; The clutch is vague, but has such a generous "catch" window that she wondered if it was even possible to kill the car; The steering is not as pleasantly heavy as the outgoing 350z's, but also didn't feel twitchy on the highway like her WRX's; visibility out of the car is miles better than was the case with the aforementioned 350z; the car feels surprisingly quick, more powerful than she was expecting.
On the balance she gave it a "C": "The car itself is fine and even good by modern-car standards I guess-- but cars have really gone backwards over the past several years: they feel less visceral and more indirect, like computers with wheels."