Mercy Baron

Mercy Baron is a Reader contributor. See staff page for published articles.

Papershuffler Feb. 12, 2014 @ 11:23 a.m.

It would seem appropriate to write some stern words to:

Becky Smith, to get her official response to this incident.

Westfield Corporate, about your disapproval of Becky Smith's and actions taken place on their premises, and your intention to boycott if the situation does not improve for paying customers.

Hot Topic (Corporate), the Carousel owner, the Camino Real Cinema Times theater, the Disney Store, Spencer's, GameStop, Comics N Stuff, the Hat Club, Fast Fix Jewelry & Watch Repair (all those pocketwatches) or any other business within the mall, about your circumstances that you will not be able to shop at their stores because of the way you are treated there, despite the fact they sell items of interest to these particular crowds they want to attract. It's one thing to for one lone person to no longer shop at a mall, but to actively propose that certain businesses may do better outside of the mall real estate may be the correct stance here. Businesses want to connect to their customers (and sell their goods!), and if Westfield impacts these businesses from making money, then they should find better places to be seen and visited. I don't think Westfield is doing any favors to their 'real customers' ; the storeowners.

In regards to irate customers , the more that complains to the right people, the more one might actually listen.

Something to think about when San Diego Comic Con takes over all the hotels in the area this summer again.


Wabbitsd Feb. 12, 2014 @ 12:58 p.m.

Oh, I see. the old "we can't tell you what will disturb us ahead of time, but we will know it when we see it and choose to apply a solution randomly..." I get it.


soundgirl48 Feb. 12, 2014 @ 3:49 p.m.

This is stupid. I use to be Security at Camino Real. The only time we used that rule was for Halloween! Even then we didn't kick people out! I didn't see any reason to ban them. Banishment was used for Shoplifters! If they did banish them and not just ask them to leave they are not allowed in any Westfield mall. This was so stupid. Glad I'm not there anymore!


tintinmilou Feb. 12, 2014 @ 3:55 p.m.

OK, we know what you Steam-Punkers were up to. Don't think we don't. You were hoping to transform that carrousel into a Steam-Punk time machine and take the whole thing back to 1895!
Admit it. The Westfield mall security agents saw right through your subterfuge and saved the merry-go-round for the kids. Go try your nefarious plots at some other, less astute mall.
Like South Coast Plaza.
We're on to you.


Lisa V Feb. 12, 2014 @ 5:31 p.m.

Another photo taken that day which quite breaks my heart. Yes, I find it heartbreaking that these two level-headed, peaceful gentlemen had to face the humiliation of being made to leave a public shopping area simply because of the suits they were wearing. This is Mr. James Keeline and Mr. George Lusk, pictured standing outside the Westfield mall in Carlsbad on Sunday 2/9/2014 about 1:15, just after they (and approx. 15 other "steampunk" hobbyists) were told they had to leave because of the way they were dressed, which as you can see, is exquisite! Photo taken by Mrs. Laura Lusk.


Drew Feb. 12, 2014 @ 7:39 p.m.

I have not the words to describe my disappointment in the manner in which this was handled. To think that mall staff would allow that public hooligan Justin Bieber before allowing such dapper folk as all of you. And to think that they would keep their mechanical amusements to themselves when the whole purpose is to bring joy to the public masses.

TL;DR: The top hat is the new hoodie. thetruthguy was there, and this is him in his car.


sdmtngirl Feb. 12, 2014 @ 9:18 p.m.

I'm part of Lady Mari's Costume Walkabout group where we are invited by various venues, such as the San Diego Symphony, to appear in our attire to compliment the events and the patrons enjoy our presence. I know many of the people that were a part of this particular event and can say with surety that when we are all garbed in our finest we are on our best behavior. We all have manners, are soft-spoken, say Ma'am and Sir, curtsey and bow, so I cannot imagine the group, or even individuals of the group being rude to the guards or the police officers who were called without reason. If any member had been rude to the police I'm sure they would have been escorted to the local lock-up so the lack of that is, in itself, an indicator of how the participants responded.

Shame on the management for avoiding any contact. It does not just go away because you do not make a statement. It should have been dealt with and, truth be told, an apology extended to the group members for the eviction from a public venue.


Platypussurprise Feb. 14, 2014 @ 2:47 p.m.

I know a good many cosplayers here in San Diego and elsewhere and would be absolutely shocked if the steampunk group had acted in any but the most polite of manner.

Having said that, a disguise need not cover the face. when you have a large mass of people in unusual attire it is very easy for a bad apple to use this as camouflage for bad behavior. Kind of like the story of the bank robber wearing the most outrageously bad tie. The police get great descriptions....of the tie, not the robber.

Bear in mind I have seen this tactic used by pickpockets and thieves while working security details around the world. The bandits dress like the tourists and blend into the flock as a wolf in sheep's clothing. They fade back into the crowd in the blink of an eye and are masters of misdirection.

Did mall security over react? Yes. Was their reaction completely unfounded? No. trouble was highly unlikely, but not a non-entity. I do agree that the wannabe gang-bangers are a much more likely source of trouble. However the nail that sticks up is the first to get hammered down if you take my meaning.

The group, and Mall management need to come to an accord before any outing of this magnitude. That is just good manners. IF mall management can ever find five minutes when they are not on a conference call or in a meeting.


Ambassadress Feb. 12, 2014 @ 12:37 p.m.

Since it was not posted on their website, on any entrance to the mall or anywhere on the premises that "costumes will not be tolerated" we didn't think it would be a problem.... You have to depend on security to ask you to leave before seeing their policy on how to dress while shopping!

Little did we know that sitting and having some lunch or wanting to ride a carousel while dressed in actual clothing, that some of the stores do sell, we would be asked to leave before we could go shopping and buy more "costumes" that we would never be able to wear while in the mall!


Invictus Feb. 15, 2014 @ 12:51 a.m.

The truth guy:

Thank you for speaking up on something you feel so strongly about. While you and I disagree on many portions, I have to address something you brought up which was, regrettably, factually inaccurate.

Here is the text of the CoC of Westfield Re: costumes:

"The Following are not permitted on Center Property:

...wearing apparel that disguises, obscures or conceals the face, including but not limited to costumes, hoods, or masks..."

While the grammatical structuring of this passage is somewhat ambiguous, an analysis of the sentence yields the meaning: that "costumes" are a reference to "apparel", so we replace it in the previous clause thus: "wearing costumes that disguise, obscure, or conceal the face" (is not allowed on center property).

I understand it may be difficult to glean the meaning from these codes of conduct-- that is, in point of fact, why they are written the way they are written-- however, a grammatical analysis of the specific code of which you speak, again indicates that no member of this group was in violation of the policy because NONE OF THEM WERE WEARING ANYTHING THAT CONCEALED THE FACE.

Regarding the code which states that patrons may not congregate in groups of 3 or more, as I addressed earlier, this is 1) a policy that no security guard mentioned at any time to the groups, so is considered, for the purposes of our discussion, irrelevant, and 2) if we must consider it relevant, consider it thus: it is a code not followed for everyone at the mall, because groups of 3 or more regularly shop there without harassment from security guards. Therefore, if the code was arbitrarily enforced against these steampunks, it was enforced discriminatorially, so the charge of discrimination still stands.

Re: engaging in expressive activity not sponsored by the center: I think we need to look at that whole clause to better understand what is meant by "expressive activity":

"Engaging in expressive activity not sponsored by the Center and/or an enterprise(s) engaged in business at the Center, without complying with the Center’s rules for such activity. This includes, without limitation, the solicitation of money or other contributions or donations, or distribution of commercial advertising or promotional material of any kind, or offering samples of items which are sold, available for sale or available in exchange for a donation or contribution."

So we can clearly see, if we take this code in context, that what is meant by "expressive activity" could be more accurately defined as "soliciting" or "political" activity, or asking for donations. Expressive activity is not contextually shown to mean "expressing the self" in a way "not approved" by mall management-- and I find such an assertion truly ridiculous! If malls could determine how their patrons could and could not express, what in the hell kind of world would we live in???

Ohwaitmaybeonewherepeople getkickedoutofmalls fordressingweird.


Invictus Feb. 15, 2014 @ 12:51 a.m.

Part 2/2:

Re: Photographing any individual on the center's property:

"Photographing or videotaping any individual or entity on the Center’s property without prior consent of the subject or Center management."

The grammar is again, pretty unambiguous here. It specifically states: "OR", in there. E.g., if the consent of the subject is obtained, e.g. the steampunkers said pictures were fine, then pictures were FINE.

Also, I wish to bring up a little legal gem that a friend of mine found: It's called discrimination in places of public accommodation. The basics of it are this: in places that provide services to the public, even privately owned places, service is not to be denied to anyone in a discriminatory fashion.

There is no "they were entitled and self-righteous and then got angry because they were told NO". This is an instance of arbitrary enforcement of laws against some people but not others on the basis of snap visual judgments about what some styles of difference mean. It is not supportive of the very climate malls purport to forward; it discriminates against individuality and it stubbornly insists in its own self-righteousness without compromise.

This was not a case of steampunks blaming security guards for doing their jobs, this is a case of steampunks facing discrimination because security guards WEREN'T doing their jobs. The guards guarded against the wrong damn people.


Invictus Feb. 15, 2014 @ 10:56 p.m.

The truth guy:

Again, I am sorry we seem to be having some trouble communicating. Unfortunately, I believe this is one of those instances where we will have to agree to disagree, as you seem to have already reached your conclusion, for some reason, that the steampunks were in the wrong, and you are therefore unwilling to hear anything I have to say. If this were not true, you would have seen that I have already addressed every one of your concerns/points you just brought up in the 2 part response I wrote to you, above. As such, it seems nothing I have to say is going to change your mind, or indeed is even getting read, and that's alright, because I know everyone has differing views and I have mine. Your view just so happens to include not hearing anyone else's points. All I can do is point to relevant evidence and hope you take the truth into account, as your namesake suggests.

A few more points I feel I should bring up before I decide to take myself back to my corner of the internet and give you your space:

I have done even more research, and found some other interesting tidbits, personal accounts, and information.

Accordingly, a quote: "the mall security personnel ignored/refused multiple requests to see the [conduct] policy and speak with the security manager on duty (Mike ?)".


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