Perhaps McMansions aren't so bad.
Suburbia sure gets a bad rap.
While advertisers and our banks might still paint the "Great Australian Dream" of home ownership in the suburbs as life's ultimate ambition, it seems the fashionable, the arty and cultured think otherwise - or they'd live there as well.
You don't have to go far in your city's hip bars to find some dude with a Ned Kelly beard, wearing tight jeans and a cardigan talking about how sterile it is out in the boonies; how all the sprawl is good for is breeding bogans, strippers and Test cricketers.
McMansions, shopping centres, fast-food stores and Bunnings Warehouses - they're all the same, whether you're in Victoria, NSW or the Territory - all so bland, so artificial, so uncool, goes the argument.
I'd like to say I was immune to this condescension, but I actually put it into print in my new novel, Hello Darkness, the narrator suitably contemptuous of his suburban roots.
"If I end up back in the suburbs, you'll find me dangling from an overhead beam by an extension cord, pants heavy with my last creative output," he thinks.
"The grey telegraph poles and vexed children and streets all look like the cul-de-sac I wasted my teens in, searching for things to do until I became an adult and stopped searching altogether."
Well, the narrator can be a bit of a wanker, just like most people who drone on about the suburbs being a "lesser" existence, that they're somehow not as "authentic" a lifestyle as paying twice the rent at the beach or in the inner city.
In movies and TV shows, kids now talk wistfully of getting out of the 'burbs and heading to funky town, the exact opposite of our grandparents who drove the other way in search of an extra bedroom, a lawn and somewhere to barbecue the chops.
The aforementioned "Great Australian Dream" is apparently a nightmare for many hipsters, as laughably daggy as John Williamson singing about plums trees, "a clothesline out the back, verandah out the front, and that old rocking chair".
And if you require any more proof as to how devalued the suburbs have become, search no further than the fact it's where immigrants end up - those utterly clueless newbies to our country with little other choice.
Or so we tell ourselves.
Writing recently in Canada's Toronto Standard, Navneet Alang observes "It's a profoundly privileged, Western idea to want to forsake sterility for the 'real and gritty'.
"The funny thing about being an immigrant is it's quite possible you've had more 'authentic' experiences than you know what to do with. Affluent white Westerners might find the thrall of Mumbai or the heat and dust of Iraq thrilling and somehow true.
"But once you leave those places, the appeal of the suburb is precisely what we're supposed to hate: you have your own space in a clean, uniform neighbourhood and you drive your own car to an air-conditioned office," Alang writes.
I'd wager the Afghans and Sri Lankans risking their lives in leaky boats to get to Australia aren't dreaming of a shitty one-bedder in Fitzroy or Surry Hills.
Their visions are probably pretty similar to those of our grandparents - a lawn and a nice, big, neat, bland house - because, as Alang writes, "once you've lived in a developing nation, sterile can feel good. Uncluttered is good. Cars are good."
Maybe it's a case of wanting what you never had as a kid: the grubbiest, inner-city uni student is guaranteed to have grown up behind a white picket fence, while the Indian guy who builds a McMansion shared his bed with five siblings in Calcutta.
In his case, I guess the grass really is greener in Australia - mainly because it's Sir Walter soft-leaf buffalo lawn.
THROW ME OFF THE AMP BUILDING
Well, you can't throw me off, but I will be abseiling down the AMP Building at Sydney's Circular Quay as part of the 2011 Urban Descent to raise money for the Sir David Martin Foundation to help youth in crisis.
SERIOUSLY - I never ask you people for anything - well, aside from buying my book - and this is a great cause. I would welcome any contribution, great or small, that you could make and it's sooo easy to do. Go here.