Wednesday, December 17, 2008


n: a contagious middle class virus causing depression, anxiety, addiction and ennui...

I sat on the bus with Oliver James' new book poised. (James, O. (2007). Affluenza.Vermilion) I notice a guy with an iPhone and I become transfixed with what he was doing. Quite obviously he was meeting someone but wasn't sure where he was going; fascinated I watch him pull up some A-Z app and work out his route with a route planner. Then I watched with increasing jealousy as he zoomed in and out to get the finer details of the journey; place names, roads, bus routes. Increasingly I felt I want one of those. By the time matey boy was talking to his friend and giving him the time of his arrival I was fast trying to convince myself - I need one of those!

Worried that matey would see me agog I start the book. Flick through acknowledgements and contents and get to the "Are you infected with Affluenza?" Keeping a careful eye open on the iPhone seeing him listening to music while playing some cool looking game I read the first couple of sentences.
"The Affluenza Virus is a set of values which increase our vulnerability to emotional distress. It entails placing a high value on acquiring money and possessions, looking good in the eyes of others and wanting to be famous. Just as having the HIV virus places you at risk of developing the physical disease of AIDS, infection with the Affluenza Virus increases your susceptibility to the commonest emotional distresses: depression, anxiety, substance abuse and personality disorder (like 'me, me, me' narcissism, febrile moods or confused identity)."
Oh dear..!

Despite this book having the word ennui on the front cover it is well worth a read the vaccines he suggests alone are helpful to digest.


Rob said...

But ... you still need an iPhone
i loooove mine!

Gordon said...

Rob I must be in the wrong denomination!! Altho the girls did get me a ipod touch for my birthday and Christmas present!

Rob said...

you're not in the wrong denomination ... you don't have to wear dresses ... its not worth it even for the iPhone!

Have a great Christmas and maybe we will catch up in 09!