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Affluenza: Fact-Heavy Book Carries a Lightweight Message
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Darin Banner
(dbanner) - MLife

Locale: Pacific North West
Hmmmm on 04/06/2008 18:15:35 MDT Print View

I'm starting to get the feeling that maybe George doesn't like the book review very much.

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Re: My observation - yup, still the same on 04/06/2008 23:09:45 MDT Print View

The book cites numerous examples of people who have realized that the accumulation of things, such as power and wealth, have only made them miserable and discontent.

"Did they talk to Warren Buffet or Bill Gates?"


I don’t know about anyone else... I have no interest in reading the book "Affluenza" but I’m enjoying George’s satirical wit!

Hey what happened to the BPL stickers that said:

"He who die's with the most gear win's"

Edited by FastWalker on 04/06/2008 23:12:27 MDT.

Darin Huska
(dusk) - F
Re: Advanced TMS on 04/07/2008 19:02:30 MDT Print View

"Years ago I started a thread on my BBS about simple living and being able to get by with the basics. I came up with the idea of giving everyone a box that was a one meter cube and all your personal possessions had to go in that box. The other forum members said it was impossible. I don't think so and I'm working towards it-- cleaning out my closets and paring down my "stuff." I'm going to get a washing machine box and start there."

When I returned from my 4 year tour in Germany, ALL of my belongings were in a ARMY-issue duffelbag and a 1mx1mx.5m wood box, including my snowboard and rock climbing gear. It CAN be done.

LESS is more!

James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
Money is the root..... on 04/07/2008 21:22:10 MDT Print View

A common misconception is that money is the root of all evil.  Actually, it is the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil.  Money itself is just a tool that can be used to purchase things for one's self or as a blessing to enhance the lives of others. Thus, money is neither good nor evil.  As a physician, I know many very wealthy physician friends who are some of the most miserable people I know.  The reason for this misery is that they do not understand that humans are triune beings consisting of mind, body, & spirit.  If any of these 3 characteristics is "out of balance" the result is a "unhappy camper".  Obtaining "stuff" cannot achieve balance in our lives because it cannot fill the void of an empty spirit.  I think "Affluenza" is the greatest sickness in our society today, but I also think that lightweight backpacking is a means to do more with less & be happier in the process.  Definitely a lesson that can be applied to our lives in general!  Now that I am 50 yrs old, I am much happier not carrying a 50+ lb pack with lots of unecessary stuff in it.  There is a lot of satisfaction in learning a new way to think, to research new gear, to use that gear in an integrated way, & to be unburdened in the process so that the majesty of nature can be fully enjoyed.  For me this assists in the renewal of mind, body, & spirit that adds some balance to life.  For further information, please refer to the life, travels, & trail encounters of the ultimate lightweight hiker, Jesus of Nazareth, as chronicled in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John.

Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: Money is the root..... on 04/07/2008 21:27:02 MDT Print View

You may want to check out Gandhi as well

Peter Fogel
(pgfogel) - F

Locale: Western Slope, Colorado
affluenza on 04/07/2008 22:55:18 MDT Print View

If you have managed to follow this thread all the way to here, you may be one who is ready to receive a gift that was offered to all who would hear it, over 2500 years ago and still remains as relevant today as it was then.

Seek the words of Lao Tzu.


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Money is the root..... on 04/08/2008 03:01:51 MDT Print View

Where there is excess of money though, there is a love of money (for the most part). People don't hang on to their money excess just because it's used to buy stuff. It only takes so much to feed/cloth/shelter an individual/family at a reasonable lifestyle. The vast majority of us likely have excessive love of money.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Re: My observation - yup, still the same on 04/08/2008 11:02:25 MDT Print View

Great review of the review, George!!! Prompted me to read the review, and now will definitely NOT read the book.

I agree completely that the review (and the book, too, if the review's explication of the book is acccurate) totally reeks negativity, which the reviewer (mirroring the book?)chooses to plaster all over everyone. Excuse me, but after rereading the review itself, I should amend that to say "all over all Americans" as it appears that the empty souls in pursuit of excess is rampant only in that group.

Negative stereotyping. That's what needs a cure.

Disclaimer: this negative review of a negative review of a negative book does not advocate for or against benefits or merits of simplifying or complicating one's life. It seems, however, that happiness and health results from something other than spending or abstinance. And whatever works for one person doesn't necessarily work for everyone.


Gerald Hutchinson
(BR360) - F
Affluenza and Cure? on 04/08/2008 13:06:35 MDT Print View

If affluence is a sickness, then what is its cure?

Perhaps recognizing the essential "nature" of human beings, most first-order spiritual leaders (Buddha, Christ, Ghandi) said in one way or another that "earthly wants" or "attachment" is the cause of suffering. Non-attachment, and building a spiritual base rather than a material base, they said, is the cure for suffering. [Insert your own favorite spiritual quote to support this statement.]

I fail to see how the pursuit of lightweight backpacking, which requires the purchase of high-tech gear made using ultra-industrial processes (titanium, aluminum, Spectra, Cuben, silnyl, polyurethane, PTFE's, carbon-fiber, computer chips, etc.) and the transportation to and from the trail head in a combustion-engine vehicle---for the purposes of recreation---is in any way consistent with living a simple life!! (Green living it ain't!)

Real simple living means living like the Amish or the Mennonites: growing your own food, making your own clothes, building your own homes from native trees, taking care of your health every day so that you need little medical care. It means having few/no earthly desires, so no need to travel except to market.

When your life is rich within, there is no need to seek without. Go backpacking in your mind! That's ultimate light-weight.

As for me, I'll rely on the fruits of civilization, capitalism, and industrialization to help me on the path to "enlightenment." After I clean out my closet...

Andrew Richard
(fairweather8588) - F

Locale: The Desert
Affluenza video on 04/08/2008 13:19:15 MDT Print View

I found it ironic that we watched a video about Affluenza today in one of my classes, I think it was made in '95

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: Affluenza and Cure? on 04/08/2008 18:22:11 MDT Print View

My cure is to buy a bigger house. Then when I move my old house "full" of stuff into my new very much bigger house I have so much extra room I have to buy more stuff to try and fill it up.

It is so much fun.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
If money is the root of all evil.... on 04/08/2008 22:06:56 MDT Print View

Then feel free to send that money to me. I'll buy my dream house in Moab and retire at 35 ;-) The ravens told me I should....just need the money. lol...

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Is affluenza really the issue? on 04/08/2008 22:48:37 MDT Print View

My work gives out free shots to prevent influenza, but I never realized how important they were! Ironic then that I go there to make money to buy the stuff I need... ohhhhh, wait... AFfluenza... now I get it!

Seriously, should this debate really be about whether folks want more, more, more...??? Or would a more meaningful debate be about the non-sustainability of our culture? I don't care if you like to accumulate stuff, as long as the production of that stuff isn't destroying the planet that I like to hike on. Chances are that it is.

So I guess less is more!

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: If money is the root of all evil.... on 04/09/2008 04:09:45 MDT Print View

Just to be clear, the Holy Bible says (1 Timothy 6:10), "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil."

Not ALL evil...

Jimmy Swaggart
Client 10

Edited by jshann on 04/09/2008 07:50:19 MDT.

Greg Vaillancourt
(GSV45) - F

Locale: Utah
No backpacking this weekend on 04/09/2008 10:08:33 MDT Print View

I'm going to rent a jacked up truck and run over little bunny wabbits in the desert. WOO-HOO!!!

Maybe I'll pull an Ed Abbey and fire beer bottles out the window while I'm at it. The menu? STEAK BABY!

When confronted by those who adorn themselves with conspicuous halos the proper reaction is to p*ss them off.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re:No Backpacking this weekend on 04/09/2008 10:53:20 MDT Print View

Don't forget to shoot at some signs and trail markers, especially in a national park:)! Greg your my hero!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: No backpacking this weekend on 04/09/2008 14:46:11 MDT Print View

Moo Cow Steak? Pffft! Bison is soooo much tastier and healthier. twice the price of cow it must be evil :-P

I do also need a Jeep Rubicon as well to go with my dream shack. So again, if money and possesions are evil, please by all means send them my way.

charlie babbage
(babbage) - F
Re: Re: My observation - yup, still the same on 04/11/2008 17:01:04 MDT Print View

George - that was stupid. Just being honest.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: My observation - yup, still the same on 04/11/2008 17:32:04 MDT Print View

>>> George - that was stupid. Just being honest.

My wife has told me so for almost 32 years!

Atchoo atchoo, I'd better drink plenty of fluids, rest in bed, and take a MerinoUL. Now where is that tracking number...

Twelve-step needed immediately. Please help me, I'm stupid and affluenza infested. Not to mention a blind wretch. PM me for an address where to send your checks. Thanks in advance.

F. Thomas Matica
(ftm1776) - F

Locale: Vancouver, WA
Long Time Ago...In a Galaxy Far, Far Away.......... on 04/13/2008 01:48:01 MDT Print View

This thread brought to mind a couple of authors from my college days back in the 1960s. E.F. Scumacher and Richard Buckminster(Bucky) Fuller.
Schumacher's concept was "small is beautiful" and is presented in his book of the same title, i.e. "Small Is Beautiful".
Fuller, in his many books, spoke or "doing more with less" which he referred to as "ephemeralization".
May I suggest that anyone interested in this thread topic peruse these authors' writings in text and on the web.
Thomas M