It's an Ugly Mirror
This is a fantastic article that spotlights how, love them or hate them, malls are devastatingly accurate reflections of American culture. And while tech and urban design trends have changed retail enormously in the last few years, our culture has remained the same in many key ways. So while it's trendy to hate on malls, think twice before you do it.
Malls are where the ideas and stories of American culture are made real. We just happen not to like the consumerist reflection we see.