Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tiny House sales job: making poverty cool.

The Cognoscenti have decided you shall live in a refrigerator box on wheels, and you shall be grateful for the opportunity. If you really do well, they will give you a shipping container. You filthy peasant.

Looks like Architectural Digest, don't it?
For San Franciscans, the rent refuge is here in Oakland, where the rates are increasing as well — so much so that young professionals are living in repurposed shipping containers while the homeless are lugging around coffinlike sleeping boxes on wheels.
These two improvised housing arrangements have emerged in an industrial pocket of Oakland where the median rent has gone up by 20 percent over the past year. One, in a warehouse, is called Containertopia, a community of young people who have set up a village of 160-square-foot shipping containers like ones used in the Port of Oakland. Each resident pays $600 a month to live in a container, which can be modified with things like insulation, glass doors, electrical outlets, solar panels and a self-contained shower and toilet.
Container "which can be modified" sounds pretty crappy. Could it be worse? Yes it could!

The artist, with one of his "tiny houses". Note the bucket. It's not for champagne.

Just outside the warehouse doors is another community, residing, too, in containers of a sort. Here, the homeless live in dwellings made by a local artist named Gregory Kloehn, set on wheels and made for the streets. Each is about eight feet long and tall enough for a person to sit up in.
"It doesn't fit our mind-set of what a home is," said Mr. Kloehn, 44, who began creating and giving away the portable homes, which are made of recycled material, in 2011.

Imagine yourself walking out the door of your lovely container, with it's "self contained" toilet that you have to empty by hand. Because no plumbing, my friends! So here you are, walking out the door of your container with a bucket of toilet leavings (don't spill it!!!) and you hump this fifty pound thing down the FIVE FLIGHTS of stairs to chuck it in the communal poo disposal (which you pay for, don't forget, because no plumbing!)

And on the curb, in front of the beautiful, multicolored container stack you call home, is some bum with a brightly painted hand cart. He's setting up camp on the sidewalk and emptying his own poo bucket into the gutter. Where it will stink for all eternity, because this is California and it never rains, therefore the poo will never be washed away.

Sounds like an awesome place to raise your kids, doesn't it?

It isn't recycled material. It's junk. You're living in a makeshift pile of junk that other people threw out.

It's not a tiny house. Its a shack, or possibly a hand-cart.

You're not a hipster. You're a bum.

It isn't an alternative lifestyle. It's SQUALOR, and it isn't good for you.

Oh, and by the way. Mr. Kloehn isn't an artist. He's a would-be aristo with no visible means of support. I'd be fascinated to find out where his money comes from.

The Phantom

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