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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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In this, the third of four excerpts from Daniel McGinn's new book House Lust, McGinn explores what is behind the growing obsession with homes -- it's "house lust," a phenomenon that says as much about our times as it does about the homes we live in.
When I tell people who live in ordinary-size houses that I've been visiting 9,000-(and even 29,000-) square-foot homes, I hear two common reactions. The first involves the cost of these homes: People marvel at how anyone could (or would want to) foot the seven-(or eight) figure price tags homes like this carry. But the second reaction is more common, and it has less to do with finances and everything to do with family dynamics. People worry that if they lived in such a large space, they'd become disconnected or isolated from other family members, as everyone hangs out solo in sunrooms, grand conservatories or luxurious bedrooms. In Potomac View, Md., where nearly every child's bedroom features an en suite sitting area and bath (and very often their own TV and video-game system), it seems like a valid concern. Indeed, so many kids today are being raised in homes that feature a bathroom for every bedroom, some experts say today's teenagers have grown unusually squeamish about undressing in school locker rooms or sharing gang-style dormitory showers.
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