Is the ugliness of stuff here a function of a lack of money, or is it merely a practical aesthetic?

I’m now, again, hearing a dog pain-whine coming from S___’s — not sure what’s going on there.

And back to housing — I thought yesterday at 5, while burning papers, … that [my grandparents] never really had that much money. They’ve always just scraped by. They had a farm, yes, but they have often/mostly (always?) done things on the cheap — like Papa’s machine shed built from scraps, mismatching metal, etc. — or this upstairs on the house, built from plywood removed from a restaurant demolition. Not that these ways are wrong, but then Papa also doesn’t maintain things well — partly because he’s old, partly because he’s got no money, and partly because it’s probably just his nature. … I’ve heard [my grandma] say, at times, and not so often lately, that she wants the farm to look nice. I recall her making a point years ago about mowing up to the buildings, not having grassy edges everywhere. But, I mean, is the ugliness of stuff here a function of a lack of money, or is it merely a practical aesthetic (a non-aesthetic?) that doesn’t care what stuff looks like so long as it holds together? (the engineer mindset, though even some engineers are move into neatness)

[From journal of Sat., 28 May 2011, J141, pages 67-68]

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