The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #68954   Message #1955958
Posted By: ClaireBear
02-Feb-07 - 04:19 PM
Thread Name: Help: Little Boxes (Malvina Reynolds) ticky-tacky?
Subject: RE: Ticky-tacky
I was hoping you'd understand her POV better, having seen what she was writing about, but I wanted to let you get there by yourself. I'm glad you did!

These houses are truly awe-inspiring in their uniformity. There are many other quite pleasant post-war tract homes, duplexes and apartments (in a couple of which I have lived) nearby that, though similarly mass-produced, did not have the mind-numbing sameness to invite the criticism these did. As far as I know, Reynolds didn't write about those.

Incidentally, I think that this development was not actually meant to be affordable housing as much as an icon of the new prosperity. The words of the song reflect this. The fact that the adults "all drink their martinis dry" while "the children go to summer camp and then to the university" does not sound anything like the Bay Area working-class culture of the 1950s/early '60s. (I was here then, so I know!)

By the way, this neighborhood has looked just the same ever since I first passed it in 1958.