FTLComm - Saskatoon - December 22, 1999

For a brief while Tuesday we shared in the classic and now traditional Christmas shopping rush. As can be seen in these two images the event might be classified well below what has been described as the "Season to be jolly." Joy and peace seem to be furthermost from the minds of the shoppers and certainly the organisers of the retail businesses.

Though I would have to stand in line to voice my negative feelings about the commercialism of Christmas I still think I should no hold back my opinion on what I perceive as a rather oppressive and almost offensive atmosphere. Aside from the hype and retail feeding frenzy fed by advertising
the most oppressive part of
this final week before Christmas is the noise, no I have to rephrase that, the din of shopping. My hearing is not what it should be and confusing sounds are more than an annoyance but I felt almost ill at times in some stores with the sound levels and much of that sound came not from commerce but from clattering music, the flow of people into extremely confining areas, this flow being deliberately managed to intensify the confusion.

In contrast to the wild west atmosphere yesterday notice the pleasant and almost delightful atmosphere in Prince Albert's downtown
mall about two weeks ago.
Or even the scene on the right on Monday in the Tisdale Mall with smiling clerk and customer alike. I have always left my Christmas shopping until the day or two before because I want that immediacy and want to be in that "Jolly" Christmas mood that let's me think about the issues of sharing at Christmas and the joy of the event, rather then the premeditation and plotting that goes into early shopping. However, my pictures here show that the last minute is not the time to
experience the Christmas spirit which seems to be absorbed in greed from he retail industry and exhaustion from the late shopper. There must be some way for us to find peace at Christmas. Some how we all need to make it simpler more direct and far less commercial. But for me this year, I will be doing my shopping tomorrow in the wilds of Regina.