We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When New York began to build its public-housing system, by far the nation’s largest, it made two ill-fated decisions: not only would the city demolish existing working-class neighborhoods; it would also put into practice a modernist vision of towers-in-the-park architecture. NYCHA residents live in an environment conceived by the city’s political and intellectual leadership, promoted in a famous 1934 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art and deeply influenced by the French architect Le Corbusier. “The plan must rule,” Corbusier decreed, and in his designs, it did. “There ought not to be such things as streets,” he wrote. “We have to create something that will replace them.” That something was the superblock...
Le Corbusier, like Buckminster Fuller, tried very hard to promote himself as a visionary. He famously said that "Homes are machines for living." The idea that we all live in a machine was popularized even more with the Beatles' song "Yellow Submarine". The reason that so many people are infatuated with the machine analogy, is that in a machine everything is perfectly predictable. A Soviet communist once said "Communism didn't fail, we just didn't have enough computers."
There's something which I forgot to mention. A machine is a collection of perfectly interlocking gears; there can't be a gap.
There is a clothing store called "The Gap." That gap is the people who have not yet embraced communism. Those people will have to be eliminated; or they will stop the machine from working properly.
The old 'change the environment will change the residents' planners were in love with their designs and not the people to be served. They assumed that all people had middle class values just waiting to be released in a middle class environment.
Yes, Houses are machines to live in. But one must understand how to operate the complicated machine. It is the operator, not the machine, that determines if the machine functions properly or even functions at all. A machine does not care if it functions or not.
The old joke applies about How many psychiatrists doe it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the light bulb must want to change.
My father worked in construction for half of his life. He told me about a major housing project they built in Boston in the late 50's. He said that it was completed in phases and they moved in the welfare families into completed units while work went on with the new units. About 3 years of building. They had a lot of problems with the completed units. The tenants would rip the copper flashing off the roof to sell for money to buy drugs and the rain and snow would seep down into the walls and destroy the walls in the units. The elevators would break down because unattended kids would ride them up and down all day for fun pushing buttons all the way up and down until they broke. One unit burned down because a family recently from Puerto Rico tried to roast a whole pig in the cast iron bath tub and the building caught fire. When the season changed and it got dark before 4:30 pm the workers would quit early because the male tenants would rob them at gunpoint after dark. My father moved on to other jobs but this new expensive beautifully bricked and finished "projects" had to be condemned within 5 years of completion. The tenants and the newspapers made it appear that it was because of shoddy workmanship but of course the truth was that the welfare recipients didn't care for or about their own housing and trashed it.