October 13: the ideal citizen

Alexa cleans your house for you. Everything is now run through it. Your music; your TV, your light switches; all your information requirements. When I was young the height of technology seemed to be doors that opened by themselves when you approached them. Nowadays if you have to open your own door you feel cheated. The modern home has no need of things. All your discs and books are swept away leaving empty white space, or, rather, grey, which is the on-trend base colour of show homes in magazines and estate agents. And what is in these show homes? A couple of books maybe – signifier of the ability to engage with the old culture – but books that engage with the on-trend tastes of the moment, Vegan cooking, an art book dedicated to Banksy, a novel that inspired a TV series (The Handmaid’s Tale? Why not?); a marble island in the kitchen zone with an empty surface for children to do their homework or where parents can cut some fresh fruit – my experience of the marble island is that families load their shit on them; a poster of Audrey Hepburn, new icon for metropolitan sophistication – it only took her fifty years to make it to the number one spot, having to hack her way past Marilyn Munroe, James Dean and Che Guevara. The terrible thing about the ideal home is that it is made for the ideal on-trend person, that is to say the man or woman driven wholly by the engine of his news feeds, the man with no particular tastes, no opinions and no personality, the ideal citizen.


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