Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I've spent about 1/3rd of my life in American suburbs and that photo makes ME cringe. Here in the US there is at least a minimum effort to differentiate the houses, and in many neighborhoods the houses are all distinct. Marketers understand the desire for individuality in the US, so while everyone may be consuming the exact same thing, at least everyone has a slightly different color of paint on the outsides of their houses. If you combine American concepts of automation and mechanization (the ability to throw up an entire neighborhood in short order in this case) with European bureaucracies (I think that complex is government built?), the above photo is a predictable result.

I see them as hell on earth, but apparently the people living there are happy with them.

Ripping on the suburbs is a form of elitism (of which I am also guilty). When looking back to the origin of the suburbs I absolutely cannot blame people for their enthusiasm. Could you honestly tell someone living in cramped, noisy, crime ridden cities like NYC in the early 20th century that they can't have that affordable house in the suburbs due to its poor aesthetics, unsustainable nature, and lack of neighborhood community? If you are for a more egalitarian society, doesn't that have to extend to material concerns as well?

There is no shortage of counterpoints to be made, of course, that can and do fill many books. Once the automation, energy, and materials were available for a mass market, though, they were absolutely going to be used for that purpose. Whether or not it could have been done in a different manner more suitable to human happiness is the only question I am interested in now.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Feb 24th, 2007 at 03:39:30 PM EST
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