The House of Dreams

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dubner's childhood home goes from sacred to profane -- and then back again.


More in:

Comments [4]

Tomara from NY, NY

I must concur with the previous commentators. As I was listening to this post I became more and more disappointed with Dubner for his condemning attitude. I could understand dismay with a new owner of your old home who had let it fall into disarray and then being happy that new owners were renovating it bsack to a previous ideal, but it sounded like the Dubners had not taken very good care of the home - for obvious and understandable reasons - but had the nerve to be self-rightgeous and preachy with the use to which a subsequent owner had put the house. Even though that subsequent owner had made physical improvements.
Having listened to the Freakonomics podcasts for some months now and gone into the archives to listen to past posts because I enjoyed them so much, I am extremely disappointed and saddened to learn that Dubner is as close-minded about other adults' sexual preferences as the so-called conservative "Christian" Republicans I always think of as just not that well educated (sort of "it's not their fault, they don't know any better"). Dubner mentioned on another podcast that he was a Republican, I just didn't think he was one of those kinds of Republicans...

Jul. 08 2014 08:40 AM

I just listened to this episode. I too was disappointed in the prudish moralizing. I can see how some family members may be a bit taken aback, but frankly, mom had the right attitude.

This is an example of how very sex-negative our society can be. The people who bought it were 'jerks' and the wrath they expressed was, frankly, uncomfortable to hear.

May. 30 2013 09:45 AM

I was also surprised and a little disappointed to find that Dubner was so prudish. I'm by no means a swinger, and I can imagine that the club may have been a little on the sleazy side. I can even empathize with Dubner and his sister's feelings. And it sounds like the couple that's renovating the house is doing a great job. Nonetheless, from everything in the story, it sounds like the sex house was perfectly legitimate and catered to consenting adults, so live and let live. People should have a place to do that sort of thing if they want, and it may as well be a big, rambling house in Upstate New York, even if it is someone's childhood home.

Dec. 22 2012 11:40 PM

I was very disappointed with this episode. It wasn't a story about economics; instead it was a bunch of prudish moralizing about how the previous owners of a property can somehow feel personally insulted by the perfectly legal business run in said property by its later owners.

The anger and hurt the narrator and his sister somehow manage to feel are perfect examples of the ridiculous sex-negativity of American culture. If their house had instead become a crack den or an illegal gambling parlor, do you think they would have been so horribly scandalized? Would they have asked the police what can be "done about it"? Of course not. This kind of baseless moral outrage is reserved for victimless non-crimes such as operating a 100% legal sex club.

If sex clubs aren't your thing then fine, don't go to one. But save the histrionics for something worthwhile.

Dec. 20 2012 09:10 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


About Freakonomics Radio

In their books Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomicsSteven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner use the tools of economics to explore real-world behavior. As boring as that may sound, what they really do is tell stories — about cheating schoolteachers, self-dealing real-estate agents, and crack-selling mama’s boys. American Public Media’s Marketplace and WNYC are now bringing those Freakonomics stories — and plenty of new ones — to the radio, with Dubner as host. Just like the books, Freakonomics Radio will explore “the hidden side of everything.” It will tell you things you always thought you knew but didn’t, and things you never thought you wanted to know, but do.


Supported by