Imagine A World Without Westfield
Imagine there’s no Westfield,
I wonder if you can.
No aspirationalist greed or fast food hunger,
A brotherhood of man.
You may say Pearl’s a dreamer but I’m not the only one…
Mobile phones, the Internet, pornography, globalisation, lactose and gluten have all been blamed for the downfall of modern society. But for Pearl there is one ‘institution’ responsible – one overwhelmingly powerful force that has become the absolute scourge of modern society – the Westfield Shopping Centre.
Temple to the vacuous, recreational venue of the bored, this hallowed place of consumerism has had an enormous impact on society over the past twenty years, changing and restricting the way we shop, deciding what and where we eat, how we exercise and what we do on the weekends.
Westfield has even impacted on the simple task of buying a stamp and catching a bus or train, and for whose benefit? Westfield shareholders, of course.
Bondi Junction Westfield has become such an omnipresent force in the lives of Eastern Suburbs residents that it has become an extremely powerful entity in its own right. No decision can be made on local urban development, traffic flow and parking without deference to the mighty power of Westfield. Bondi Junction is Westfield!
Society’s dependence on Westfield recently hit home when Blair and I spent the day walking through the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden. Surprisingly, we had the garden virtually to ourselves but, not surprisingly, the roads around Westfield Bondi Junction were blocked with shoppers desperate to spend a beautiful winter’s day under the glare of fluorescent lights.
And recently I saw an advertisement for a Central Coast wilderness, eco-retreat touting its accommodation as being “10kms from Westfield” – scary!
It’s this reliance on Westfield that got me thinking – imagine if there was no Westfield?
For starters, infectious diseases would be eliminated in one fell swoop – without Westfield where would bored mothers take their snotty, flu infected kiddies during winter? Yummy Mummies would be forced to quarantine their germ spreaders at home and the world would be safe from the spread of swine flu.
We’d eliminate obesity and lower the cost of Australia’s health bill as Westfield could no longer prey on fatties with their food courts peddling nothing but junk food, conveniently located next to the nearest car park elevator and just outside the usual supermarket chains and cinemas.
Imagine no traffic chaos in Bondi Junction? Imagine not getting stuck behind a line of 4WDs blocking the roundabout at Adelaide Street, desperate to get into the car park (why hasn’t Westfield been bought to account by Waverley Council for the regular traffic chaos they cause?).
And, of course, we’d eliminate 4WDs because where else would the Social X-Rays and Yummy Mummies of the east go to socialise, exercise and shop? Instead, 4WDs would be littering the verges of Woollahra (where they belong!) and YMs would be stuck at home in their Vaucluse Velour snorting anti-depressants.
Without Westfield there would be no pretentious bankers and stockbrokers hedging their bets in order to keep their wives and kiddies in the ‘Westfield lifestyle’ they are accustomed to. Green spaces would be full of families eating home-prepared picnics instead of going to Westfield for entertainment. We’d have diversity in clothing instead of the same mundane Witchery, Country Road, Portmans, etc. Without Westfield we would eliminate the maladies of the modern world.
You may say I’m a dreamer,
But I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us,
And the world will live free of Westfield.