Lots of ugly suburban housing, but this style is the absolute worst. What is the feng shui here? What does it communicate? "Welcome, cars, to your luxurious new accommodations! (Meat sacks, please proceed to small side service entrance.)"
Welcome to our car box!
What these designs (and even many of the comments) reveal is that suburbs -- despite the protests of suburb enthusiasts -- are fundamentally anti-social. You leave in the car, you come back in the car, you live inside. A least front porches were an effort to pretend ...
... but they're being replaced with garages on the front because *that's how people live* in the suburbs. They don't sit on the front porch & mix w/ neighbors. They live inside, watching TV, getting scared & anxious about the big outside world, soothing themselves w/ more stuff.
I really think the physical & psychological isolation of suburbs is an underrated contributor to America's general meanness and political dysfunction. Suburbanites live in controlled environments isolated from any public. It's the bubbliest of bubbles.
For more on this subject, see my rant on lawns! volts.wtf/p/a-rant-about…
Really great video on how to make a suburb walkable & livable, via @dirtylib666.
One additional grumpy land-use note: I was trying to explain what a "stroad" is to a fellow Seattleite recently & I realized that part of the difficulty is ... the city contains virtually no counter-examples. Esp. north of the canal, pretty much EVERYTHING is a stroad.

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More from @drvolts

11 Jun
A core assumption of US political elites, especially journalists & pundits: For Dems, doing stuff is dangerous. The more they do, the more they risk; the less they do, the safer they are. It rarely gets stated outright, but it lurks behind almost every analysis.
You can see it all over the discussion of infrastructure. Dem "moderates," it is assumed (always assumed, never demonstrated) should push Biden to do less, because doing more = more risk & purple-state Dems have the smallest margins. But ...
... it's not hard to see the flaws in this logic. Blue-state Dems are probably safe regardless, whether Biden does a lot or not. But purple-state Dems need every single Dem vote in their states. They need Dems to be enthusiastic! You get that by doing more, not less.
Read 4 tweets
6 Jun
I get mocked for this -- fairly, given how on-the-nose it is for my demographic -- but Obama remains the only national politician I would genuinely want to hang out with, just to talk. nytimes.com/2021/06/01/opi…
I think what I like about Obama is precisely what fueled cons' hatred of him: there's a sense of remove, like there's a person in there, Barack, somewhat amusedly observing all the pomp & ridiculousness of politics around him. He can comment on it from an ironic distance.
Intellectually, it's a virtue (IMO). A person like that has convictions but never completely identifies his self with them -- holds them separate, as defeasible, contingent, & open to revision. Ideologues & fundamentalists recognize that, even if only subconsciously, as a threat.
Read 8 tweets
3 Jun
IMO we need to stop thinking these moves are either ridiculous fundraising gimmicks or genuine threats. The thing about reactionary insurgencies is that they can be -- & usually are -- both. They are ridiculous right up until the moment they're not, at which point it's too late.
The whole game for reactionaries is to push, push, push on the bounds of the acceptable, the legal, the decent. The first one that pushes beyond some previously firm barrier looks absurd, like a radical outlier, but it makes it easier for the next one. It's a ratchet effect.
All incentives on the right point in this direction now: push, push, push. The way to get attention & status is to say something even more outrageous, to propose something even more radical, to make insults & contempt toward libs even more florid. People respond to incentives.
Read 10 tweets
2 Jun
The history of white people in America is one of unremitting violence, brutality, & suppression -- and alongside it all, relentless delusion & self-mythology. washingtonpost.com/history/2021/0…
People ask sometimes why the US never had a reckoning with slavery & the Civil War the way, say, Germany had with nazism. The very simple answer is that reactionary whites aren't sorry & have not abandoned the goals & philosophy of the confederacy.
They fought a war to defend slavery. After they lost, they basically re-imposed slavery through racial terror. They fought voting rights, they fought desegregation, & they are still fighting to suppress minority votes. There's been no reckoning because they're *still at it*.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jun
I hope people understand by now that the significance & impact of Trump saying he's going to be reinstated have nothing to do with whether he actually has a mechanism to accomplish it.
It's all about refusing to accept the legitimacy of Democratic power, even after elections have been called. It won't be long until they're defying laws passed by Dems. washingtonpost.com/politics/trump…
This is how these things start on the right. One wingnut says it, gets called out, denies saying it, denies he meant what he meant ... & then another wingnut says it, & another, & before you know it, it's bog standard opinion in the RW bubble. cnn.com/2021/05/31/pol…
Read 5 tweets
30 May
I know it's practically cliche at this point to say that Rs are going to jump straight from climate denialism to climate fascism, but ... it's true.
Climate fascism=pull up all draw bridges. Vigorously exploit & hoard remaining fossil fuels. Make deals with fossil-fuel autocracies. Cut off immigration. Ramp up defense & military spending.

All purportedly in response to climate change. This will be the GOP response. Watch.
By the way, this is the fundamental reason conservatives will NEVER join in a good-faith fight against climate change. By its very structure, solving climate requires non-zero-sum cooperation, shared sacrifice, & long-term thinking. Cons oppose those things at a brainstem level.
Read 4 tweets

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