[Read part one of the “In My Humble Opinion” series.]

- - -

Can I phrase this question in a way that I can get the simplest answer from you? Okay: Is wood no longer good enough?

Why is every new building in America made with bricks? I see men with red t-shirts and overalls in low-income neighborhoods lugging wheelbarrows of bricks up forty-five degree inclines. It makes me sick.

I grew up in a house made of wood, with wood shingles, and real glass for windows. If you gave me fifteen minutes I could count the bricks in our chimney and that would be that. Are we trying to save forests here? Because if we are there are better ways of doing it, and I don’t like bricks being shoved down my throat. Every time I turn on the television I see nothing but bricks. Where is the Cleaver house? The Cunningham house? The Bunker home? The home where The Six Million Dollar Man pumped iron and told jokes to his bionic wife? They are nowhere because America has turned its back on wood and, by extension, wood buildings.

We, all of us, live in prisons of our own making, prisons made from bricks and security systems, where garage door openers can turn on our neighbor’s microwave if even the slightest malfunction happened. It’s pretty obvious how the rise of garage door openers is directly and, I would argue, intimately related to the increase in the number of brick structures.

My point is that I once saw a man who was on fire rolling around on his own front porch. The man across the street from him had just parked his car in his garage. Even their fences were made with extra-large bricks.

Since when is it so cool to be in a brick house? Are we as a people that sad, that stoic, that . . . Russian?

I have a good question: Where are the carpenters? I would like you to answer me that question (that is necessary and vital). If you are sick of our country’s embarrassing infatuation with brick buildings, please join me in rising up.

I can’t hear you.