Cities and You

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The Atlantic recently ran an article entitled “Why Americans Love Chain Stores: A Psychological Perspective,” and not only does it break down our metropolitan American tendencies, but it explains them in terms of our psychological issues.

Our ideals about American independence give way to our obsession with chain stores. We are restless and like to move around but are also comforted by the consistency and familiarity that chain stores provide. This essay’s like therapy plus a lesson on contemporary American urban planning.

“We defend to the last the right to pursue our own desires, but when it comes time to exercise that right, it turns out most of us desire to pull out of the driveway, head toward the main suburban strip, and turn into Walmart, Target, Home Depot, etc.”

(via Arts & Letters Daily)


Sam Riley is an adult who works at McSweeney's. More from this author →