I visit American Digest on a regular basis. It's a very good site. I usually like what he has to say and how he says it. Many of the links are very interesting as well. However, today, I ran across a link that made me laugh, derisively.
Here's a link to the specific post.
Traveling through or across America, especially its wonderful west has been a more or less permanent theme since Europeans first landed here and began their westward expansion. The classic account (in my humble opinion anyway) is Lewis & Clark's epic journey. There are many others following in that noble tradition.
In more recent times Kerouac's "On the Road", Steinbeck's "Travel's With Charlie" come to mind. Making it seem somehow more cliche. Searching for the soul of what they perceive to be America. Kesey's journey was written about in Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test" or drug addled college kids take a trip, in every sense of the word. Taking along Neal Cassady to lend a hint of working class, street frisson.
In my best Rod Serling voice.
"Fast forward to today, we have arrived, as we are reminded on a daily basis, at an age of farce. Meet Hank Butitta, budding architect, with a freshly minted Masters of Architecture degree in hand. For his thesis project, young Hank buys a bus. Renovates it and goes off on a journey across western America. To lend a tone of seriousness, he says, that it's in furtherance of the 'Tiny House Movement'."
I love the blurb, [my comments in bold]
"As the economy recovers uncertainly and the real estate market remains tenuous, many Americans
are looking at novel, alternative ways to live and save money. And buying a school bus is just the way to do it! (In fact, we are moving to the suburbs in lower numbers than ever before). Hank Buttita saw this trend, took the ante, raised it, and went all in. With who's money? Buying a bus and tricking it out as we see is not exactly something most grad students can afford. He doesn't pay a mortgage or rent an overpriced apartment he maybe has rich parents, or a trust fund, he does, or would pay some serious change though to heat it in the winter. Then there's that whole shower & personal hygiene thing. or succumb to the soul-withering blackhole of the post-graduate job market. No, sir. Hank bought a bus."
Looking at the interior, it's evident that this is not some hippy bus. At first I thought laminate floor, but then saw the striping on the floor which appears to be from a basketball court. No, no laminate, nothing but oak will do. I'm sure the rest of the bus is similarly done. As I said, no hippy bus. And gas. I'm sure the bus doesn't get thirty miles per gallon. A spendy little trip.
Along the way, we get such pearls as, "The first time I visited Portland I knew I should never live there, but I really wanted to. In Portland, I would have become complacent. There was no machine to rage against." Rage on brother.
Even NPR got 'on the bus' so to speak. I'm sure that just happened.And of course there's a photographer along for the ride too. Kind of reminds me of when Sean Penn took a photographer along when he tried to rescue New Orleans after Katrina.
Somehow, I don't think Hank will be living in a small house himself, but he will design them for all of us grateful little proles.
If you have the money, and you want to buy a bus, trick it out with oak gym flooring and such, then travel across the west with friends & family when you finish school , all without a job, be my guest. If you want to promote yourself on NPR, fine. But please, don't pretend to be doing it for some obscure so-called noble cause.
This hits me as the sort of callow self-absorbed arrogance that someone who has spent the better part of his life in school would come up with. I laughed when I read he was an architect. Sooo typical. I've spent almost my entire adult life in construction and engineering. I've met some really good architects who were also really good people. Very few. I don't know why is it that architects so often seem to be arrogant, pompous asshats, whose smug self-absorption clouds around them like the stink from a bad fart. I guess it just attracts those type of folks.
Maybe he'll write a book about it too.
Posted by Tim P at 8:06 PM