The Greater Fool Theory Of Housing
I must open by assuring everyone that I'm not denigrating other people because I don't like their houses. When I hear buzzwords like sprawl and McMansion and hyperconsumption and unsustainability and so forth, they are universally used as pretexts to allow the author to hate his fellow citizens without seeming snobby. No one needs what I don't want is the slogan of the age. And all the schemes are about rationing now. Martinets will decide if you need something or not. I hate it.
I don't want you to live in a snouthouse, though, but not because I don't like you; it's because I think you're swell and I want you to be happy. Your house might be making you miserable, and you don't know why. I know why.
I was asked in a formal setting why I make furniture. I have many stock answers for that, but I hesitated for a moment this last time, because it occurred to me that I was fighting a rearguard action against a determined foe, one that was beating me. The American house is being ruined, and I'm fighting a guerrilla war by trying to help people return a little soul to their homes by filling them with furniture that's got some. Half-million dollar mistakes have no reset button. You've got to deal with them.
Here's a house for sale in the town I grew up in:
Everyone looks around and sees houses like this. They pass unremarked now. After a while, if it doesn't look like this, people are going to think a house looks strange. And it's wrong, wrong, wrong. The situations where a house nailed on the ass end of a garage are appropriate are so few there's no use talking about them. Never do this.
There's Postmodern evil afoot here. Everything is boiled down to a pastiche, and you put all these disconnected totems into a blender and put the mixed up parts on a concrete rectangle. It's making us all crazy in a very subtle but profound way.
There has been a concerted effort to dismantle all standards of right and wrong and beauty and truth. If ever truthiness was put into sticks and bricks, this house is it. When you rebel against standard things, sooner or later you run out of ways to be original, and all that is left is to do the exact opposite of good. It's the only permutation of new that's left to you after a while. The American house is becoming that perfect distillation of bad ideas. Everything exactly at cross-purposes with its stated purpose.
People are rational and no rational person will ever feel any close connection with this structure. They will be proud of their house because it conforms to the general description of what a house should look like. There's a reason why everyone wears skinny glasses in one decade and skinny ties in another, all doing it at the same time as if on command. People will look the same kind of weird if they think that looking weird makes them look normal.
"The Greater Fool Theory" means you purchase equities or commodities not based on any intrinsic value they hold, but simply based on the assumption that you can find a "greater fool" to purchase it from you later at a profit. When people refer to Wall Street as a big casino, they're right only because they behave like a racetrack tout there; there's no reason why it should be that way. People should invest to own a portion of a company whose activities generate more than publicity and venture capital and the hope of a greater fool.
I read that the minute people are under water on their mortgage, many mail the keys to the bank and leave, because they "invested" in their house in the same Greater Fool way. It's just a big plastery box nailed on the back of a garage, after all. When escape from the house via automobile is the central theme of the structure, I figure the lienholders surprised by default should have gotten an Omega Man vibe from the occupants, not a Harry Bailey worldview, and planned accordingly.
Here's the "bonus room" you get for making your house into an outbuilding for your car:
I was going to make a joke and compare this room with the room Hitler was confined to in Landsberg Prison, where he wrote Mein Kampf, but I realized halfway through that I've seen pictures of Hitler's room in prison and it's a lot more pleasant than this one.
Stop building this house.