Sunday, August 16, 2020

Not The World I Want....

So, I took my car in for a recall this past week.   No big deal, it was a software update for the transmission.  Took about an hour.  To kill some time I walked down the street to Home Depot and the Sierra Vista Mall. 

I assumed that the mall would be deserted, due to the pandemic.  The Sears and Dillard's anchor stores have gone out of business and only a Best Buy and the Cinemas are keeping it open.  A sign on the window indicated that the hours of operation were 11am to 5pm on weekdays.  It was around 9:30am when I arrived.

I brought my camera along to take some pictures of what I assumed would be a stark and empty post pandemic landscape.  The mall had not opened yet, so there was no one around, or so I assumed.  As I meandered around the mall heading toward Home Depot I was approached by two gentlemen who asked what I was doing. 

The heavy set gentlemen was apparently the property manager of the mall, his companion was an armed and uniformed security officer. They questioned what I was doing, and then told me that taking pictures of the buildings was not allowed.  I was a bit stunned.  I apologized for 'breaking their rules' and headed off the property, although there were no signs or warnings indicating that what I was doing was improper or illegal. 

 

As I walked out of the parking lot, I started to chuckle at the whole experience.  From my work experience in social work and insurance, I understood their logic.  I could have been an attorney taking pictures of a slip and fall claim location, or a city employee documenting zoning code violations.  With that mindset you would want to minimize your risk.  However....this is a public space.  A space that would be open to the public within the hour. 

What they were not considering, was that I could put a GoPro camera in my hat and take all the pictures I wanted, or I could wait until they opened in an hour and walk into the (deserted) food court and snap-away.  Never mind the fact that I might have been a paying customer waiting to attend the cinema, who was chased off by badass security dude and his henchmen.   

This is the world I find myself in.  One where distrust and control are paramount and interactions are always suspect.  I don't know if their limited mindset could have fathomed my walking across the street and using a telephoto lens, or god forbid I had a drone in my car that could fly over the buildings.  Fear rules now-a-days and everyone is suspicious of everyone else.  Hardly the society that my parents envisioned or the one in which I want to live. 

 

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