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June 20, 2007

Appealing or Appalling?

You know I like to travel.

When I'm grabbing some lunch at home, I often flip to the Travel Channel to see what's new. This afternoon, I was alternatingly excited and appalled by the show about "The World," the world's "first floating gated community." The management company is ResidenSea. The World is a luxury liner where you can "be at home and see the world passing by your window." It is a residence - people live on board full time, but circumnavigate the globe, calling at exotic ports. Units are as large as a reasonable house (c. 2000 sq ft) and are highly personalized with the most opulent furnishings. The emphasis is on PRIVACY. There are no more than 350 persons on board, although there could be 4 times that many in the same space. The spokesman said the ship was designed for penta-millionnaires. Yes, that means you need to have at least $5 million to afford this lifestyle. And you don't even own your unit. You buy the right of use for 50 years.

Click here for the details and a slideshow about the ship.

At first, I couldn't stop gawking and imagining what fun it might be to live there. Then I felt ... well ... it was just way too far over the top. I've lived in Minnesota long enough to know that it would never pass muster here. Remember, everyone's above average but no one is too much above average. It would fit the Texas life-style, but not the Austin life-style.

It made me think about a piece I heard on Morning Edition on the way to work this morning. If I recall correctly, they said that the cost of the political campaigns of the 10 most hotly contested Senate seats exceeded $250 million last election. That's a quarter of a BILLION dollars on 10 political campaigns. When you add the other Senators, all the Representatives, and the Presidential ticket -- it's absolutely staggering. Think about how much good could be done in the world with all that money.

My idea of campaign reform: let everyone have one brochure (multi-colored is OK, but it has to be copied back-to-back), one website, and one TV debate appearance. Take all the other money and end homelessness and provide health care for everyone.

I know -- it's naive and simple-minded. But hey, it's my blog! Have a nice day.

Posted by hgroteva at June 20, 2007 3:15 PM | Life | Travel


MPR ran a story a few months or so ago about another type of floating house. People who would otherwise not be allowed access to U.S. jobs lived and worked on board a ship moored just off the U.S. coastline.

Posted by: lynn at June 28, 2007 10:46 AM