You don’t have to be a millennial to love a good life hack. But if you are a millennial, simply being content with your novel discovery will never do. The world must know the level of awesomeness with which you lead everyday life — blind to the fact that said world is truly unforgiving, and drawing attention to yourself carries significant risk of something more than shares and likes.
Case in point: Peter Berkowitz, a 25-year-old illustrator and former resident of a recently famous San Francisco box.
[jump] Don’t get us wrong, Millennial Problems loves boxes, especially the kind you can live in. And Berkowitz wins a ton of participatory medals for commissioning a box, then squatting in it for $400 a month at his friend’s Sunset District apartment.
After all, it costs $10,000 a day to live in a studio in San Francisco, while a bed in a shared apartment with 17 bedrooms, a half-bathroom, and an outdoor shower goes for $5,000 a month. A h/t to you, sir. But why, oh why, did you have to go and get all millennial?
Why the hell did you invite TV cameras into your box, then give an interview to one of the nation’s largest news outlets, then write a freakin’ op-ed for a global media brand? Wait, that wasn’t all? You wanted to manufacture and sell these things?!
Not even a fortnight passed between Berkowitz’s brush with internet fame, his new business idea, and the spark that set the whole box idea aflame. Hoodline was there when the ash settled:
“We’re concerned that Mr. Berkowitz is going out and trying to increase the number of these, knowing that this is an at-risk type of thing to do,” said DBI's legislative and public affairs manager, William Strawn. “It's not just a matter of high rents and a matter of how people are coping with rents in San Francisco; there are fire safety realities.”
Ah yes, the whole thing was illegal. Since that didn’t stop Uber or Airbnb, we can’t be too hard on Berkowitz. But we’re gonna have to strip all those medals and put him on a public apology tour a la Lance Armstrong (who also knows how to win, and lose, medals). What did you think, Berkowitz, you’d be given a key to the city? The mayor and Board of Supervisors would convene an ad hoc working group around your box, with the aim to fill all San Francisco homes with boxes by 2020? The headlines would be epic: MAN HOUSES PEOPLE IN BOXES, SAVES CITY.
No, you actually just wanted to powder your own ass and then make a buck:
I love the pod we’ve built. As I see it, I have all the essentials and then some; privacy, a comfortable place to work due to a fold down desk, perfect light for reading and a tastefully calm place to be in.
At least you admitted you’re the last person who should be solving San Francisco’s housing crisis:
Personally, I tend to be convinced that the more deregulatory efforts would be on average a better route to take, but I could certainly be wrong. I’m an illustrator, not an economist, and the world is more complex and nuanced than is my grasp of it.
Next time, try not to shit in your own box house.
And check out this awesome song with a box theme by Dan Bern (not a millennial). It’s also full of nuance: