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Oprah Disses A Modern Practical Home, I Rant About It, It Ends Up On TreeHugger! Which Brings Us To The Kitchen.

For the record, I do NOT have time to watch television.
*Ahem.* Ok, I do not have time to watch television a lot.

Honeychile, I found this video of Oprah touring a modern home on twitter, bay-bee!

I was so floored and embarrassed by Oprah's reactions to her host's tour I couldn't stop talking about it.  I admire Oprah - how can you not admire someone who overcame so many odds to become one of the most powerful people, ever?  And she really does SO much good. BUT her reactions throughout each frame of this video make me *cringe* - not only was she impolite to her host, it is clear she did not even try to understand the practicality and beautiful design of small footprint living.

Small footprint living extends beyond architecture. And this is where TreeHugger's Lloyd Alter brings us back to the modern, green living kitchen... read it all here!

Ironically the fridge we will have in our own prefab green home is the same size (maybe even smaller) as the European family in this clip. Like them, we embrace small footprint living, and that is reflected in the kitchen: we cook our own food, and cook daily, purchasing much of it from the Amish store or friend's farms or grow it ourselves... so no need for a big fridge. The fridge is for mostly any leftovers of a meal + a few items.

The freezer, however, *WILL* be much larger... why?
Not because I intend to stock up on frozen pizzas and buckets of hors d'Ĺ“uvre from Costco ; ) (um, yeah- right) but because when I buy lamb, I buy A LAMB. And there will be venison to store.

Mr. Alter also sums up some aspects we embrace in our own line of prefab passive solar house kits:

From the article:

"1. Bedrooms are for sleeping.
This is an extreme example, but there isn't even a master bedroom, the parents make up a sofa bed in the living room. The kids share a very tiny one.
2. There is storage for everything.
If you can't hide it you don't own it.
3. Minimize the use of drywall

It appears that every surface in this apartment is either glass or a built-in with a laminate face; almost kid-proof. Drywall is really a paper faced wall with a hairy surface that collects dust and mould; glass and laminate clean up easily."

I also agree strongly with Mr. Alter's fourth point, that you have much to gain by living in the city.  But we have land in our blood, in our heritage, and focus on preservation though purchase of rural property.

I just can't stop watching this video...

The dining room view, stunning, and the host modestly introduces the view with,
"We like to spend time together as a family here..."  Oprah responds, "Well that's wonderful. That's all that matters..." (as if she were implying, "well, 'least ya got *that*...")...

"But this is their whole bedroom? This is their whole bedroom. You're kidding me."
"That's your whole refrigerator?" ... "But that was your whole refrigerator... right there."
"Is there another floor? Where do you sleep?" ... "I saw the bed? This is the bed! That was just...charming...?"
I could never imagine Oprah walking into a low-income row house and making these same comments.  

Why is it okay to question people so who choose to live efficiently?

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At 1/12/10, 5:04 PM , Blogger Free in Christ said...

Yes, I was astonished by her attitude as well. While I can understand where she is coming from (rich, western lifestyle, where family and children are not valued), she certainly was judgmental, and I agree with you, she would have been more tolerant of a low income family. This video represents a cultural conflict. On one hand, Keynesian economics of fractional reserve banking requires ever increasing growth of the money supply through debt. On the other hand, some people can accept living within their means and avoid debt, while leaving their family with more time with each other rather than just chasing the dollar. This later group is a true enemy of the state's economic system. We should not be surprised by people's shock when we are considered heretics to their belief system.


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