There are 3 things that instantly come to mind whenever I think of the suburbs.
There’s The Wonder Years. This sick with nostalgia feeling of different, goofy, outdated, salad day moments in all these different suburbs and Navy housing units that I grew up in. And this isn’t a recent phenomenon. Generations of Americans have been raised in the suburbs since the post-WW2 boom and they each have their own goofy, outdated, corny memories of growing up in those housing units that are special to them.
There’s swimming pools & punk rock. There’s everything from the Bad Religion punk rock, Blink 182 suburban punk rock, and straight edge punk rock as a rebuttal to the conformity of the suburbs. During the droughts of the 1980’s Los Angeles homeowners would let their backyard pools run dry to conserve water and that in turn directly created the vertical skateboard movement. Last year, people were abandoning their homes because they couldn’t make their mortgage payments in such great number that there was an explosion of West Nile virus in southern California because nobody was maintaining all these polluted swimming pools. Punk rock & The Law of Unintended Consequences.
And then there’s The Home Owner’s Association, the mafia of the suburbs. Drunk on power and accountable to no one, they are The Law of the suburbs. Leave your Christmas lights or Halloween pumpkins out too late after the holidays and the first time you’ll get a warning, the 2nd time you’ll get a ticket. If you want to build a fence or make a landscaping change you need their blessings. If you want to paint your wall you have to get written permission from them beforehand. Even if it’s the same color. Revolutions have been fought over slighter grievances.
That’s why Crazy Guy’s House is so ironic.
At 90 some years, The Outer Sunset has got to be one of the oldest suburbs on the West Coast. Yet, there’s no Home Owner’s Association out here. Because there’s no way in Hell that this house would exist in any other suburb in California that had one. I’m part of the David Best fan club and I’m all for transforming trash into art…but sorry, sometimes trash put up on a pedestal is still just trash. Crazy Man’s House is a windmill of crap. On a windy day you can hear Crazy Man’s House from half a block away. If I lived near this guy it would drive me crazy over time, yet in the 14 years that I’ve lived out here not only has he not been forced to take his shit down, but dude has actually added to his collection.
That’s why life in The Outer Sunset is so surreal. Like a David Lynch movie. Or a bad youtube video. It’s own little piece of the Twilight Zone where the laws of physics, zoning violations, and common sense don’t always exist. It’s very weird.
Nice purple succulents though -