i don't know why i remember this song from eighth grade. it's weird i know. my eighth grade english teacher, mrs. allard, was a little eccentric (isn't that a prereq for being an english teacher :). but we got to read some really good books. she must have taught us this song by Malvina Reynolds sometime:
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky,
Little boxes, little boxes,Little boxes, all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky-tack
And they all look just the same.
since then, i find myself singing this song in my head, sometimes out loud. my kids and wife know it by heart. the song's about houses in suburbia, and more about the values that suburbia represents.
recently, i read a book called technopoly by neil postman. one of postman's main themes is that any new technology brings about a culture change...and western culture is far too naive about how it accepts new technologies without thinking through it's implications.
for example, the monks of medieval times invented a clock (can you imagine a world without a clock?!), to tell them when to stop and pray. the clock, though, later turned out to be the foundation of production (we can now measure the amount of work done / hour) and industrialism.
this is what i'm wondering lately: has anyone questioned the implications of the "technology" of a house?
...of each house containing all that is needed in itself for a "good life?"
...of each house being a little haven for a nuclear family, and only a nuclear family?
...of each room being a little haven for each member of that family?
...of the luxury of having enough rooms for kids to sleep in different rooms, when one family used to all sleep together?
i know that there's a move from the suburbs back into the city. the suburbs are looked down on by those city folks. but really, is it any different? so you have a flat or a house that's right next to another house for a box. i have a whole house on a little land for a box. a box is a box, right?
i'm starting to feel that our version of boxes in america is stopping the fulfillment of our deep longing for authentic relationships. i know that others are feeling the same way. is anyone doing anything that is out-of-the-box? :)