There’s a local shopping mall that I frequent, not because I particularly like the place. It just happens to be convenient. A few months ago there was a minor fire there. Nothing to see really; just some smoke damage around some air conditioning vents.
Shortly after the fire some banners appeared that said they were taking the opportunity to revamp the place, even though it was only about ten years old. I expected it to be spruced up but instead they managed to spruce it down. The decor was bright white clinical. Now it can best be described as retro 70’s brown wallpaper dingy lighting nightmare.
People hate it. There have been letters to the editor about it. It’s not a public building; the patrons have no real say about how it should look, but it’s so bad that it seems almost criminal. At the same time as the revamp, shops that had been there for years were closing down one after the other. It turns out that there are new absent overseas owners who are pushing up the rents and pushing the existing tenants out.
There could be a screenplay in all of this. Well, not really, but it is uncanny how much the scenario reminded me of a season of Deadwood. Shitty but strangely comfortable camp is turned upside down when unscrupulous new baron-type arrives on the scene. Tensions rise as rag-tag locals unite to assert their claim. I watch with interest…