Rekindling the Intellectual, Spiritual, Creative legacy of Christians in Culture

TKMaffluenza A Dick Staub Interview (Segment 4 of 4) with John De Graaf, the producer of a PBS series and companion book titled, Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic, joins us to talk about this widespread disease, which can be described as "a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more." De Graaf, discusses some of the symptoms: shopping fever (mall mania), credit card debt, bankruptcies, greed and envy, homes congested with stuff, a shortage of time, declining savings, an overload of possessions, consumeritus among kids (especially teens) and an ache for meaning. A fascinating and sobering discussion and wake up call.

One Response

  1. My own feeling about the problem is that we seem to be a media driven society, and media has become, over the last half-century, such an aggressively advertising-driven enterprise (as opposed to culture-driven, which it originally was) that the materialism underlying advertising has overwhelmed our senses . . . to the point where we are literally, as a society, powerless in the face of its drumbeat. In effect, we are mass-hypnotized by experts at the game.

    I don’t watch TV, myself, and haven’t for many years. About me, let me just say that I turned my back on the wage-paying world 35 years ago, and learned how to happily get along without it. Dallying with poverty, to be sure; but oh, what a lovely 35-year dalliance it has been! I learned so much about what life can be, and how secure it can be as well (thanks to the spiritual element of Providence, a reality that the world at large has simply forgotten, or ‘unlearned’).

    I didn’t follow the Joe Dominguez formula, because I couldn’t wait to set aside the necessary funds . . . I did it ‘cold turkey’. And I learned so much more by doing it that way! Today, at close to 80, I live quite comfortably on a social security income of about 8K per year, plus a few entitlement perks. So I know it can be done, and can be worth the doing.

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