The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #68954   Message #3550803
Posted By: GUEST,Grishka
19-Aug-13 - 03:41 PM
Thread Name: Help: Little Boxes (Malvina Reynolds) ticky-tacky?
Subject: RE: Help: Little Boxes (Malvina Reynolds) ticky-tacky?
Joe, in the video you linked to, the houses do not look as if they were made of cheap or inferior material at all, and individually designed by good architects. "All the same" only applies to the overall spirit.

The song is obviously about a different type of settlement, and probably about a time when real estate was much cheaper than now, as opposed to good building material. Golf clubs and dry martinis were not too expensive either. Thus the song does not seem to mock at the truly affluent, but those who are making their way up, by conformism, networking, make-believe of wealth and competence, and choosing professions with highest chances of real wealth and prestige. (Particularly the clichä lawyer's brain is filled with formalistic stuff at the expense of personality.)

Some groups may have felt wrongly subsumed: Those who lived in the same settlements but with different mindsets, and university people like Tom Lehrer who chose their science for its own sake and with individualistic plans.

Is my impression wrong (not knowing the west coast myself)? If so, what else made Lehrer and others despise the song?