It’s not that I don’t want people to have homes; it’s just that they all look alike; right down to the colors they are painted. They make me harken back to a song called “Little Boxes” that my mother used to sing. A woman named Malvina Reynolds wrote it in 1962 for her friend Pete Seeger and when in 1963 he released his cover version, “Little Boxes” became a hit.
The song was written as a “political satire about the development of suburbia and associated conformist middle-class attitudes. It mocks suburban tract housing as ‘little boxes’ of different colors ‘all made out of ticky-tacky’, and which ‘all look just the same.’” “Ticky-tacky" was “a reference to the shoddy material supposedly used in the construction of the houses.” I’m not saying the ones we pass were built of shoddy material, it’s just that they’re boring to look at and don’t have yards where children can play.
An interesting bit of trivia. In addition to being an adjective for 'poor quality,' shoddy is also a noun for "an inferior quality yarn or fabric made from the shredded fiber of waste woolen cloth or clippings. Mattresses used to be filled with shoddy.
If these comments were about writing they would” warn about conformity, (I’m reminded of the Evanovich series) scoff at piety, ( The ‘Father Tim’ books were huge hits when they came out), or embrace “sameness,” (every cozy ever written.)
Which would you choose?