Feature Article on Consumerism

Essay by anna_anna99High School, 11th gradeA, August 2006

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Oh my God, not another handbag. My hand grips the railing with battled self-control until my knuckles turn white and I get a curious cramping sensation. Ever since I was little I've had an obsession with handbags and this one, with its soft leather and exquisite handicraft was tempting me, calling me, just one quick look. Doesn't necessarily mean I'll end up buying it. NO! Self control, breathe in breathe out. You can do it, just walk away - but of course I couldn't and I, with a delightfully guilty conscience skipped into the boutique as my only New Years resolution crumpled in flames. I've talked to others about this predicament and every one has confessed to a similar problem with varied items. We have an addiction to shopping for a particular item, and thrillingly culpable as it is many have been diagnosed with a new sickness; affluenza.

The influence of America and its obsession with materialistic goods is a colossal force behind affluenza.

America really provided the backbone to our shopping craze, our love of the colourful, sexy and glamorous. America made it accessible to every strata of society. This of course, only accelerated our culture's slide into super-affluenza. Bruce Dawe - a noted cynical poet who writes about society's issues with consumerism wrote a poem called Americanised. Americanised is from a toddler's point of view about his superior mother's doings and his fascination for 'mummys things' which are so different from his toys. In this he uses an extended metaphor throughout the poem and likens Australia to a confined child and America to his bossy, insincerely generous and cold-hearted mother. Our current predicament with the contagious affluenza is shown when the child throws away the old toys given by relatives (aka old alliances) to play with bottles with...