Little boxes

Every now and then a song comes along that savages the sterility and banality of modernity and its cookie cutter institutions.

Malvina Reynolds' classic “Little Boxes” did it in 1962, with its allusions to the “ticky tacky” conformity of residential tract housing and the sanitized roles that our social order tries to stuff us into. A half-century later the tune holds up all too well, as Walk Off The Earth brilliantly demonstrates.

This song identifies SO many easy targets: our barren, highway-glutted, carbon-wasting, soul-choking suburban sprawl (which is arguably the biggest contributor to climate destabilization); our assembly-line industrial-era educational factories that produce obedient citizen-workers who (too often) “come out all the same”; and our personality-crushing, spontaneity-killing, Dilbert-imitating corporations that strangle the creativity out of its boxed-in cubicle captives.

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