EC The 50 Altered States Of American Housing

Oh the horror! Movies that is. Its summertime and once again they’re out there, all those shriek-worthy trailers just waiting to pounce. They’ll grab you by the psyche and parade just for you and your mind’s viewing pleasure an all-inclusive review of your horror genre past. And if you happen to have been born squeamish and came of age in the ‘80s, you know it only took sitting through a handful of scream inducers before you gave up the fight and relinquished the field. A little Halloween here, a dash of Friday the 13th there with some Freddy K thrown in for good measure and yours truly duly checked out for life.

The 50 Altered States of American Housing

Sadly, swearing off the blood and gore didn’t do the trick. It was there, just waiting, a whole new dimension of mental anguish. Altered States was its name, the psychological was its game and late night channel surfing its domain. While it’s true the film was a cinematographic groundbreaker, it’s also true that scenes such as those featuring hideously hallucinogenic ever-narrowing hallways were enough to make one wish British filmmaker Ken Russell hadn’t been so desperate for work in the late 1970s. Russell was the 27th director Warner Brothers approached when the 26th, Arthur Penn, abandoned the project after a failed six-month stab at success.

As the New York Times review said at the time, “Russell, using special effects…combines electronic music, video imagery and all manner of visionary artifacts in a fast, ear-splitting, spectacular array.” All those special effects might be fascinating for some, but, if one “ahem” should need a certain amount of uncluttered mental space to maintain one’s wellbeing, combining the above with hellishly narrow hallways certainly lingers to unnerve an unsuspecting subconscious.

Lucky for us, we live in an airy, not scary, new world of wide open floorplans. We live in the 21st Century of big houses as far as the eye can see. Consider if you will that in the late 1970s, when Russell first set foot on the Altered States movie set, the median home in America was just over 1,500 square feet. Stretch your leg room and fast forward to today – the median home size has grown to 2,500 square feet and the living space of the average occupant has doubled.

If anything, this impetus to expand has accelerated since 2010. After a brief reprieve in the immediate aftermath of the onset of the housing crisis, the pace of growth in home sizes has actually picked up. In the event this makes absolutely no sense vis-à-vis what you’ve been reading in the papers about millennials’ financial wherewithal, rest assured, there is a perfectly rational explanation.

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David P. Goldsmith 5 years ago Member's comment

A great read as always Danielle DiMartino Booth.

Moon Kil Woong 5 years ago Contributor's comment

Federal Reserve and Fannie and Freddie Mac have created a horror story by disrupting the free market and yet they blame the free market for the conundrum. Eventually, high value homes will face a similar disunity as their inefficient and overvalued natures break down. In the end everyone loses when the market is disrupted by the greed. Yes it is the greed of bureaucrats and banks including the Federal Reserve that created this mess that is only growing worse by the day.

This story is far from over as the young and middle class pay the price for misdeeds done in the name of prosperity for the well connected and sold to the public as lies upon lies.