White Flint Mall. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

This is an extract from Guy Rundle's new book Practice: Journalism, essays and criticism, and was originally published in Crikey. Practice is available now from Black Inc.

You can see it through the intervening car yards, from nearly a mile away, rising above the swell of the freeway, the landscaped verges and the strip malls on the other side. White-crested, the higher parapets of it appear first, then the huge four-storey boxy buildings that make up its mass, and finally the vast carpark that surrounds it, an expanse of grey asphalt. At the car park entrance, a huge circular sign -- "White Flint Mall" -- and below it, a series of seven empty frames in a three-by-three grid, only two filled with logos: Lord and Taylor, and PF Chang’s Chinese.