The headline of Amanda Mull’s latest piece for The Atlantic seems pretty obvious to anyone who has been to a mall. American Shoppers Are a Nightmare. But the content is a really interesting look at the history of retail and consumerism, and how it led to me nearly blacking out in rage when I drove two hours to a big box store only to find that the item I had reserved online was sold to another customer. “Even before the pandemic pushed things to further extremes, the primacy of consumer identity made customer-service interactions particularly conflagratory. Being corrected by a salesperson, forgotten by a bartender, or brushed off by a flight attendant isn’t just an annoyance—for many people, it is an existential threat to their self-understanding.”