Monday, 6 February 2012

Ahhh ... the 50's!

When I was young my family lived in a small 2 bedroom grey plasterboard house.

In the mid-eighties, the Road and Traffic Authority decided to widen the road, which meant demolition of our little box, along with everyone else on our side of the street. They did a lovely display in the local library in a vague attempt to build good will. In their professional poster presentation, meant to enthuse modernisation, they pointed out there were areas that were "run down".

And there was the photo of our house.

Our little boxy, corrugated iron roofed, elephant grey, dusty gyprocky house. And then it was gone and my parents had to build something new.

That was 1986 and according to Monsanto in 1957, this is the house we were supposed to be building by that time.

Monsanto's "House of the Future"  (source:
A big white cross shaped house made completely out of plastic!!

Sounds like Shane Warne - he's made out of plastic isn't he?

Plastic walls, floors, plates, showers, benchtops, curtains, lights .... I wonder if it was fireproofed?

Now you must go quickly to Progress City USA and read the excellent story:  Squatting in Monsanto's House of the Future.  And make sure you watch that first video. The rest of this post will make a lot more sense if you do. Go Now!

Progress City USA researches for the most interesting material from the past, present and future of the world of Disney and writes intelligent, engaging, and original pieces.

Are you back??

Now the reason why I referenced this post and video is because it's a cultural time capsule. For years we've all watched old TV shows and advertisements where the happy housewife does the cleaning in her pearls. Economic circumstances and trail blazing women shifted women's futures from the kitchen into the workplace. Whilst it explicitly depicts a fantasy world for housewives there are also hints at a philosophical subtext.

What I find fascinating is the first few minutes where the video gives an impressive declaration that this is the way Americans are to live - they must live! Yes I was expecting coiffed women with their gloves on their visit to Disneyland. What I wasn't expecting was the subtext about the necessity to control the "revolution". That order must be brought where there is chaos. MIT experts are required to bring "form and direction". Heaven forbid that we should have spontaneity.

The video provides everything in one snapshot of that bolted down, tied up, controlled public face of America that today seems laughable or misguided.

I could drag this out ... but I have to go dress. And from now you are to call me m'lady.

Go to Progess City USA and read their blog - GO!

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