Air Conditioning and not missing what you dont have

If you really knew me, you would know i am a huge Firesign Theatre fan.  In one of there albums a used car salesman is pitching the vehicles cimate control system and says

“It is fully equiped with factory air conditioned air for our fully air conditioned factory.”

You would also know that Twin Oaks has very strict agreements around the use of air conditioning.  There is no place that has it consistently (except perhaps an ailing members room) and there are only a very limited number of places where it exists at all as an option.  [An Acorner recently committed the heresy of installing there own window unit, without asking anyone if it was okay – it was not.]

One of the few places there is air conditioning is TCLR (Ta Chai Living Room) so to encourage people to make hammocks in the air conditioned.  It has been over 100 degrees the last few days.  TCLR has been nearly empty.  Despite the heat, we basically dont consider air conditioning much of an option here, culturally.  People could be using it.  Cameron was until a few moments ago making a hammock and now i am parasiting off the coolness as the room slowly heats up now that it has been turned off (i am blogging not making hammocks, so no electric cool breeze for me).

But the rules are so strong about it’s restricted use, that i did not have it in me when Helm was complaining about Cameron’s solo use of TCLR for hammocks  making displacing 8 people from Not Forum who would have happily used the space that unless someone from that group was going to make hammocks, technically the AC would have to remain off.  In this we are still Behaviorists.

Could we tell Houston to turn off the cool breeze?  i am not sure, but certainly we live with extreme temperatures here. And while people editorialize about the heat.  I find they do just about the same amount that people who are surrounded by AC all day do.  Only their expression somehow feels more authentic to me.

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

3 responses to “Air Conditioning and not missing what you dont have”

  1. shayn says :

    It’s true that changing expectations and habits is huge and important, but I will say that dealing with high temperatures in a concrete-filled, densely populated, vertically built, urban environment is way different than dealing with them in sparsely peopled, tree-filled, rural community, even in swampy, humid virginia. I do not function well in heat at all, especially with sleeping, but having tried both, i’d take a/c-less virginia over a summer in new york or boston, no contest.

    There’s also something about living in a culture that does not harshly punish humans for smelling like humans or for being visibly sweaty (not unrelated to relatively low population density). Part of what’s so hard about high temperatures out here in babylon is the constant vigilance necessary to manage their effects on one’s body in ways that are socially appropriate (so you can keep your job and your friends, etc.)

  2. paxus says :

    Dearest Shayn:

    i agree. This is why i threw in the line about Houston. First off, we do live in the fields and woods and so heat does not blast off these the same way it does off asphalt and steel. But your second point is perhaps even more compelling. In Babylon, you are not allowed to smell like sweat regardless of the temperature. This is of course some type of madness.

  3. Sara Tansey says :

    hmmmmm, while i understand both points, i think there are ways to live in an urban setting without air conditioning. i dont do so well in the heat either, i sweat and overheat easily and take minimal preventative measures against my smell when i think to. i live in charlottesville in a house that doesnt have air conditioning (woodfolk). we do an aggressive passive cooling regiment: closing up during the day, pumping the hot air out of the upstairs windows at night while pumping cooler air in downstairs. sure, there are days i do a couple of cold rinses just to keep my body temperature regulated, but its not awful.

    and while most of my friends are of a pro-b.o. leaning, i work as a nanny in the house of a very upscale family and sometimes when my aroma is getting particularly out of control i’ll do a baking soda/apple cider vinegar wash. but otherwise i come in every day, usually visibly sweaty and some amount of smelly from the bike ride and drink some water before going upstairs to get the baby up for breakfast. my body odor was probably something of a discomfiture (along with my body hair)–and may still be–for the family i work with, but fortunately i’m a kick ass nanny and that’s what’s important. and in the meantime i get to push the realms of people’s comfort and create positive relationships with them despite all of these socially taboo things that i do. it feels like a powerful way to challenge the social norms–i dont censor my natural physical expression while being myself, which means everyday people have to deal with this schism in their social programming about what someone who looks like me is supposed to be like but isnt. it’s not always perfect and i’ve gotten negative feedback about all of these things, and it doesnt outweigh the positive relationships i’m building. and i love it.

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