The Burdened House

We often speak about how we are burdened – with debt, guilt, pains, and all sorts of unpleasant things. Few of us complain about being burdened with wealth or health – with affection or intelligence. Yet sometimes this can also be so.

Likewise, our houses or other dwellings can bear burdens – of poor design, complexity, and over-equipment. And they suffer just as much as their occupants from this.

I am bid to this conclusion after looking at the two areas in my own home that function as electronic entertainment areas. One is in a front sitting room – one a middle-of-the-house adjunct to the kitchen. In both these spaces a large television and its electronic boxes sits and glares at the spectators. Gone are the days of one television in a lucky home with a simple set of rabbit ears or the Australian equivalent – the spiral antenna – on top of the box. Gone, too, the dependence upon set weekly schedules from two television stations that cease transmission at midnight. I cannot imagine how many programs are concurrently on offer

They are a burden to me, though a boon to the other members of the family. I pay for them to consume electricity every minute of the year, yet rarely glance at them for any reason. Could I disconnect them and lower the bill, I would…but it cannot be done without deprivation for the rest of the household.

Thank goodness these columns are written on a good old fashioned computer. It runs on wood chips.

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