Multiple choice... this one's easy...

Everyone likes a good moan, myself included ( :slight_smile: ) but here’s the rub. We all hate the idiots who can’t show respect for everyone else, who drive at night with their lights off, who speed in residential areas, who steal our bikes, who mug people, who litter and so on and on and on…


We also hate the Nanny state… leaning into our lives and dictating how to do things, and then putting in stupid legislation which disrupts our lives to try and control those very same idiots…

So I guess the question is, which one do you want?

A) Continual disruption by a stupid, ill-mannered, badly raised, criminal, moronic variety of prat which never seems to go away no matter how much we complain them…


B) The Nanny State affecting all of us, and forcing the prats to conform (in theory)

See… you can have one or the other, but you can’t have Both or Neither…

Time to make your minds up folks. Disruption by Prat or by Government… take your pick… A or B?

I choose B… but it is not very effective.

The consequences of A can be worse. :slight_smile:

We can have both … the proof is out there! :stuck_out_tongue:

A for sure since B doesnt work anyway

I take option C of taking all my meds in one go. That or we start a revolution and line them all up against a wall.

I vote Anarchy and a whole new system,

ok I now this isn’t in the spirit of the game and I was only given the option of A or B, but neither work.

im with kevsta on this one LINE UM UP:D

If you want to know why you and lot’s of other people are so unhappy with the society they live in it’s possibly worth starting with the Bill Clinton quote “it’s the economy stupid” (no offence personally - it’s an apt quote though :wink: )We have been living through a quarter of a century of hyper-capitalism which has promoted and thrives upon a toxic culture of materialist egotism, one-upmanship, envy and greed - in which material wealth and status are seen as superior in virtue to social responsibility and connection - and in which social necessities such as housing have been reduced to mere speculative commodities to be gambled upon - all of this has had a toxic effect on our society - is it any wonder that people behave so selfishly and irresponsibly towards one another?

Capitalism does have positive benefits for societies if it is constrained within certain set standards and limits - however these traditional limits have been successively scrapped by Neo-Con robber barons - and Joe Public is left picking up the pieces - while they ride off over the horizon to their tax havens with our wealth.

I think the Psychologist Oliver James in his books ‘Britain On the Couch’ and ‘Affluenza’ are worth reading if you want to get a handle on where we are at - although his solutions are a bit superficial:

Affluenza: How to Be Successful and Stay Sane

by Oliver James
400pp, Vermillion, £17.99

In his 1997 book Britain on the Couch, Oliver James asserted that “advanced capitalism makes money out of misery and dissatisfaction, as if it were encouraging us to fill up the psychic void with material goods”. In this book, he explores the idea further, and it’s terrific. A lot of readers, wanting to put their finger on why the affluent world they live in makes them so uneasy, will want to cheer. Here he is saying, loud and clear, that capitalism is bad for your mental health. And then he tells us why this is the case, and what we can do about it.

“My focus,” explains James, “is on why we are so f*cked up, not with dangling a false promise of the possibility of happiness.” He’s right - he doesn’t offer false promises. By the time you’ve finished this book, you, too, might be feeling pretty pessimistic. As if we weren’t already - as James points out, almost a quarter of Britons suffer “emotional distress”. “Cards on the table,” he says, “I contend that most emotional distress is best understood as a rational response to sick societies.”

So why are we, in James’s words, so f*cked up? It’s because of what James calls Selfish Capitalism, or, more catchily, “Affluenza”, a virus-like condition that spreads through affluent countries. In these countries, notably English-speaking ones, people define themselves by how much money they make. They are also ruled by superficial values - how attractive they look, how famous they are, how much they are able to show off. As the sociologist Erich Fromm would have put it, we have moved from a state of “being” to a state of “having”. Now we are obsessed with what other people think of us, and we’ve lost touch with our own feelings.

How has this happened? James is very coherent on this matter. He explains the thesis behind Vance Packard’s famous book on advertising, The Hidden Persuaders: in a society in which people all have what they need, the job of advertisers is to create false needs. Packard wrote his book in the 1950s, and what James is exploring is the fallout from 60 years of false needs. The fallout, of course, gets worse; each successive generation is more anxious and depressed. In the past, people wanted things because they were useful; later, they wanted them to enhance their status; and now they want them because they feel ugly and alone.

It’s a wonderfully clear and cogent thesis. Affluenza, as defined by James, is clearly recognisable as our way of life. It spreads because it feeds on itself; when you try to make yourself feel better by buying a car, or bulking up in the gym, or spraying on a fake tan, or having a facelift, you actually make yourself feel worse, which makes you want to buy more things. As James points out, the virus has spread to television - “most programmes,” he says, “are now barely concealed advertisements for classes of product” - and education. James sees modern education as “little better than a systematic method for spreading the virus”.

He travels the world, interviewing rich, unhappy people. There is Sam, a New York billionaire who lives alone in a vast apartment. Sam was addicted to heroin, and now seems to be addicted to casual sex with young girls. He has, we are shown, pursued the goals of affluenza to their ultimate point. He can have anything he wants, but nothing satisfies him. James also meets the trophy wife of another fabulously rich man - she is addicted to shopping and cocaine, and he is often away from home. Their relationship is based on mutual contempt: she spends his money with vengeful spite; he pays her back with coldness and abuse.

James visits places in the grip of Affluenza, such as Australia and Singapore, and also places less affected. People are more depressed, he tells us, where inequality is greatest. So Denmark, with its high taxes, is hanging in there; Danes are less impressed by wealth and glamour than just about anyone else in the developed world. Heartbreakingly, he visits societies where the virus is taking hold, and shows us things that are about to die out. Russian women, he says, dress with individuality and a type of flair missing from the west, where they tend to follow the intricacies of fashion, and feel terrible about themselves. And people in Shanghai apparently feel less social anxiety, because, even though western values are sweeping the place, they still have their roots in an earlier era.

Well, he’s convinced me. The antidote is simple: look inward, not outward. Don’t be a sheep. Try to be “beautiful” rather than “attractive”. Embrace the family. Don’t see life as a competition. Don’t watch too much TV. Simple, perhaps. But will it be enough? One of the scariest parts of the book is James’s analysis of New Labour politicians. Have they been infected with the virus? Well, just think of Tony Blair and his property dealings, his flash holidays, his spray-on tan. Think of Peter Mandelson, who said: “We are seriously relaxed about people becoming very, very rich.” Think of Prescott. Think of Cherie Blair …

“Just as Aids is stalking the globe, so is the Affluenza virus,” says James. I think he’s right. So will you.

Hmmm, I’d choose B, thought I think therecan be a happy medium.

Oh, and NinjaJunkie, damnyou for adding another book to my oh so long reading list hehe!

Ok I’ll pick B but what difference does it make? Those measures from gov are there to eliminate or reduce the number of prats, etc but it never works 100%…so whether you pick A or B prats & idiots will always be present!:unsure:

I have to admit I vote prats… they’re easier to avoid than obligatory civil servants and red tape which most of the time legislates against quite ordinary day to day events… relatively speaking there are equal prats to Government pen pushers, but generally I relate to a prat far better than someone with OCD whose paid to follow a rule so strictly that it makes my life hell.

Just putting up with/or tinkering with the problems of an anti-social fragmenting society and not looking at the fundamentals mean you either don’t get anywhere or see the situation you are complaining about get worse - seems to be a reluctance here to actually get to grips with the bigger ideas that might solve the problems people complain about.

Over and Out.

I saw your 12:45 post earlier and thought I don’t have time to read that!

Glad I came back to read it now. Two books have been added to my reading list!

Thanks. :wink:

Definitely worth a read SP/Dr P. :wink:

NJ, your post makes interesting reading and heres another LB adding them to an ever growing ‘must read’ list.

Given the two choices I would take A as meddling civil serpents make my teeth itch.

Other things can make you re-evaluate your life, such as someone in your family needing support.

I’ve just sent Oliver James an email demanding a promotion fee. :wink:

ninja…please mate…do me one favour…

never leave this forum mate…;).


You’re not Oliver James are you? :stuck_out_tongue: