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Archive for Monday, October 15, 2012

Shopping sickness explored

October 15, 2012

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Does television shape behavior, or reflect it? And if it reflects it, is it an accurate representation or something from the circus funhouse? If television were a realistic depiction of society, I’d be pretty worried — if only about the threat of zombies.

Television has a long, weird history when it comes to materialism and consumer habits. It’s an advertising medium, after all. With the exception of Ralph and Alice Kramden’s spartan apartment on “The Honeymooners,” or the Conners’ ramshackle home on “Roseanne,” few fictional characters have ever lived within their apparent means.

Beyond scripted series, docudramas extolling the picking and pawning of items create a completely phony sense that fortunes can be made from mere scavenging. Cable also explores and exploits the dark side of materialism, most disturbingly on “Hoarders” (8 p.m., A&E).

Now comes “My Shopping Addiction” (10 p.m., Oxygen), a series that follows young people and their unrealistic relationship with money and unhealthy obsession with possessions. In the opening segment we meet Heather. She should be comfortable, having received a large inheritance from her grandparents. But she’s already blown through hundreds of thousands of dollars on shopping binges.

Not all compulsive shoppers are as “lucky” as Heather. Roshanda subsidizes her bad habit by borrowing from friends and family. And we’re not talking about luxury. Roshanda’s places of indulgence are 99 Cent Only Stores.

‘‘Shopping” also features advice from two psychologists who help both women admit to their compulsions and explore the reasons behind their self-destructive behavior.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Game 2 of the National League Championship Series (6:30 p.m., Fox).

• Paula Abdul appears as a guest judge on “Dancing With the Stars” (7 p.m., ABC).

• Canton, Texas, is the setting for “Market Warriors” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings).

• “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” (8 p.m., Travel) travels to Rio.

• The new series “The Brokaw Files” (9 p.m., Military) offers hour-long reflections by former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw on a single subject. Tonight, it’s the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

Comments

deec 1 year, 6 months ago

These shows both reflect and encourage the consumer culture. Since something like 70% of the nation's economy is based on buying stuff, it is the true American religion.

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George_Braziller 1 year, 6 months ago

My step-nephews (18 and 21) both received $125,000 from their father's insurance policy when he died. Both blew through almost all of it in less than six months. They don't even know where they spent it all.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Since our nation has been forced into a shop till you drop industry how in the world do republicans expect that to be a success by putting so many Americans out of work? An estimated 20 million?

Supply Side Economics has been hell on the economy. And these two escapades into a monster known as "Home Loan Frauds" compound the hell brought on by Supply Side Economics. Supporting republicans appears to be not only a threat to our very way of life but also a whole lot anti American.

Can either republican or democrat shoppers afford this example of republican economic policy ever?

These are the republican economic policies or apparent entitlements that literally destroyed jobs,economies,retirement plans. And made owning a home a risky investment - now that is remarkable. AND are hell on shopping opportunities.

--- This ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm[

--- This ENTITLEMENT Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

--- This ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Since advertising absorbs substantial space during any segment why do consumers have to pay for the television service known as viewing?

For example during a 30 minute news session viewers should consider themselves lucky to receive 15 minutes of news. This constitutes 50% dedicated to advertising which to this household is a mammoth waste of our time.

In fact advertising can get down right rude and insulting which begs the question is there any such thing as truth in advertising? Do away with high profit political advertising as has been done with "truth in advertising".

There is more advertising than news in our newspapers. What's up with that?

Since our nation has been forced into a shop till you drop industry how in the world do republicans expect that to be a success by putting so many Americans out of work? An estimated 20 million?

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