Thursday, March 8, 2012

paper-thin, paper-frail

from my Abandoned Ohio photos, Dublin
click to embiggen
Here's what's not beautiful about it: from here, you can't see the rust or the cracked paint or whatever, but you can tell what the place really is. 

You can see how fake it all is. It's not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It's a paper town. I mean, look at it, Q: look at all those culs-de-sacs, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I've lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.

― John Green, Paper Towns


  1. Interesting. I hear that the number #1 item in our landfills is paper. So much for recycling.

  2. We live in a disposable world. Wasting everything...

  3. Your previous photo of the dog is magnificent!

  4. I remember my brother and I making a similar analogy, back in the 70s. Nothing's changed too much. The world still feels as though it could go up in smoke at any time.

  5. So much truth in Mr. Green's statement; we seem to have entered the Age of Disposability. But...thinking of paper houses brings thoughts of houses treated as paper by the elements: how did your corner of OH fare during all those storms?
    Cool photo, btw.

  6. Love your new look here Tess!! :-)

  7. My little corner of Central Ohio has been relatively calm...just a few showers and claps of thunder...thanks for asking ds...

  8. Early in my career as an architect I moonlighted drawing up houses for a developer. Depending on the subdivision, I would design the fifteen, the twenty-five and thirty-five year house. His contractors built them exactly the same, using the same materials. Of course they were all expected to last a lifetime or two. Maybe some will.

  9. Well, he certainly got that off his chest! Reminds me of the little boxes made of ticky tacky.

  10. well I think John Green has a bit of an attitude. You know, newspaper rolls are very strong. In Massachusetts there used to be (and may still be) a house made out of newspaper rolls, and inside furniture, tables, chairs made out of newspaper rolls. although perhaps newspapers are themselves going by the wayside

    Supposedly the computer was to reduce our use of paper. wonder if that has manifested?

  11. 25 years ago:

    "Oh! Get a computer, and never use paper again."

    24.5 years ago:

    "What you need is a nice Printer--everyone loves those dots"--grin! (Brac-a-brac-a-braca, Bzzzzz, etc.)


    "HELP! Piles of paper on my desk, I cannot even find my computer!"

  12. Beautiful photograph - and an intriguing quotation. You always surprise and delight.

  13. A friend of mine once bought a paper shop ... it blew away ...

  14. Logically the 'paper trail' should be radically reduced. But it is still a bother. Now there is also another bother, the discarded computer hardware taking over from paper.It presents an added danger of toxic elements released into the system. Whew!


  15. I was shocked to read this.
    Not because I do not agree, but because I read it here.
    Tess, unless we can turn this around the world is fucked. I rarely use that word, but am so frustrated that after shouting and writing about climate change and sustainability for too many years to remember, it only gets worse and not enough people know it is happening or care enough to demand change.
    Thank you so much for this piece.
    Knowing you are speaking up is heartening
    PS: Who will you vote for?


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)