AFFLUVIA

An Englishman is worried about hard-working Australians:

Sydney’s culture of the relentless pursuit of property, perfect bodies and status has British psychologist and author Oliver James worried. As part of research for his recently released book, Affluenza, he travelled to seven countries to research the effect of consumerism on happiness.

Seven countries? The effect of all those flights on George Monbiot’s happiness should provide a thrilling sequel.

He found the obsessive pursuit of money and possessions was not buying happiness.

These money-can’t-buy-happiness theorists should perform an experiment. Find two people of equal wealth; take all the money off one; give it to the other. Then ask who is happier.

The affluenza virus was worst in Sydney, where he found interviewing locals a depressing experience. It was, he said, “the most vacuous of cities. The Dolly Parton of cities in Australia.”

Dolly seems a happy enough person, despite her wealth; cruelly, however, she awards scholarships to poor students, thereby exposing them to the ambition/misery vortex Oliver James frets over.

He had not been to Sydney before and expected a “philistine nation” of “jolly, uncomplicated fun-seekers”. Instead, he found a city in thrall to American values and a puritan work ethic that robbed life of joy and meaning. Middle-class Sydney, he writes, is “packed with career- obsessed workaholics”. When they are not working the longest hours in the developed world, they pursue perfect bodies through joyless fitness regimes, or obsess about property prices. Always, they are looking around anxiously, in the hope that others aren’t doing better than them.

It would have been reassuring for these people to lay eyes on James.

While Britain has “its Posh and Becks”, — obvious examples of conspicuous consumption — cultural differences, including a more entrenched class system, has put the brakes on the spread of consumerism in Britain.

“The British, compared to the US or Aussies, are less easily convinced that money will get you further. The British elite have been around for an awfully long time and there is not the crassness of the Australian rich.”

If the Parton remark didn’t already confirm it, now we have proof: we’re dealing here with a standard-issue English snob. A remarkably stupid standard-issue English snob.

His advice to Sydneysiders? “Start reading.” Starting with his book, perhaps?

Why bother? We’ve already flicked through and tossed aside Clive Hamilton’s Affluenza: When too much is never enough, which covers much the same ground (“Affluenza has been more intense in Sydney than anywhere else in Australia. Sydney has always had a love affair with money”). Question: what do these idiots do with all the money from their anti-money books? Further about James from Scott Burgess; meanwhile, on related wealth issues, Mark E. emails:

A quick check of Professor Flannery’s bio shows he has trousered $US150,000 from the Lannan Foundation, an outfit that recently honoured Robert Fisk with its cultural freedom prize.

Which was worth $US350,000. Let’s hope Fisk has had his affluenza shot.

Posted by Tim B. on 01/29/2007 at 09:58 PM
    1. When will one of these clowns stop interviewing Paddo leftys, of course they are unhappy, they want regime change and until it happens they are unhappy and project their bitterness onto the rest of us.

      I’ve been to the UK perhaps 20 times in the last 5 years and people are not happy in that part of the world. This pommie prat must be talking to different people to me, most pommies are just resigned to their lot in life and every single one wants to emigrate to Australia.

      Posted by Nuffy on 2007 01 29 at 10:19 PM • permalink

 

    1. Money doesn’t make you happy. Too right. Cocaine and hookers do.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 01 29 at 10:20 PM • permalink

 

    1. “In 1999 the foundation established the Prize for Cultural Freedom, an annual award designed to recognize people whose extraordinary and courageous work celebrates the human right to freedom of imagination, inquiry, and expression.”

      Gee, Fisk received $350,000 for getting one out of three? Imagine what it would have been if had scored a trifecta; there wouldn’t be a drop of claret left anywhere in world.

      Posted by paco on 2007 01 29 at 10:20 PM • permalink

 

    1. #2 IT cocaine is God’s way of telling you you have too much money.

      So what if people are obsessing about getting as much as they can, whats the alternative? Blowinig each other up over something that happen over a thousand years ago and cant let go?

      Posted by artful-dodger on 2007 01 29 at 10:27 PM • permalink

 

    1. Personally I’d rather be living in the Dolly Parton City than the Oliver James City. Dolly is generous, gracious and well-mannered. James is just a supercilious arsehole.

      Hopefully as we speak the diamante-encrusted arsehole-seeking ICBMs are blasting off from Dollywood.

      Posted by blandwagon on 2007 01 29 at 10:31 PM • permalink

 

    1. But when you suggest to one of these elitist twits that all their socialist dreams would be realized by moving to some radically egalitarian place like North Korea, they look at you like you just goobered on the Creme Broulet.

      Posted by Vanguard of the Commentariat on 2007 01 29 at 10:31 PM • permalink

 

    1. They should give all their money away and see how happy they are to worry about paying the bills.

      He could start by giving me all his royalties.

      Oh, and Flannery may never have to work again.

      Posted by kae on 2007 01 29 at 10:36 PM • permalink

 

    1. Why do they never interview the poor but happy?  They go on all the time about how poverty is widespread and all, so there must be multiple thousands around just waiting to spread the joy.

      Posted by saltydog on 2007 01 29 at 10:37 PM • permalink

 

    1. Completely off topic, but I hear that Gina Elise, the girl who put the hubba hubba back into the calendar, needs another 15 donations before she can visit wounded US servicemen in San Diego. There are 55 men there in all, and Gina wants to have a calendar to give every one.
      If you haven’t done so yet, get over to Pinups for Vets and donate today. Remember, it’s not just an excuse to ogle Gina! It’s a blow against the terrorists too.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2007 01 29 at 10:37 PM • permalink

 

    1. Wait
      Before we put the boy to task
      May I be so curious as to ask his name?
      Oliver!
      Oliver, Oliver
      Never before has a boy wanted more.
      Oliver, Oliver
      Won’t ask for more once he sees what’s in store
      There’s a dark thin winding
      Stairway without any banister
      Which we’ll throw him down and
      Feed him on cockroaches served in a canister
      Oliver, Oliver
      What will he do when he’s turned black and blue
      He will curse the day
      Somebody named him Oliver.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 01 29 at 10:41 PM • permalink

 

    1. When people are poor, it’s because capitalism is bad.
      When people are affluent, it’s because capitalism is bad.
      When people are fat, it’s because capitalism is bad.
      When people are fit, it’s because capitalism is bad.

      Posted by Stone Cold on 2007 01 29 at 10:45 PM • permalink

 

    1. Wasn’t it Mae West who said:

      “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor”.

      “Believe me, rich is better”.

      Posted by Jack from Montreal on 2007 01 29 at 10:46 PM • permalink

 

    1. I had the misfortune to sit through an hour long bleat from this Moaning Minnie on SBS a while back, and laughed like a drain at his asanine, simplistic assumptions. The sheer hypocrisy of these Dismal Jimmies is a hoot in itself- if they truly believed money was not only the root (fwor fwor) of all evil, but the source of all misery and the cause of all anomie they’d be busy stuffing their royalty cheques and appearance fees down the dunny or into landfill, so their malevolent influence could be destroyed- no good giving it away, as you’ll only make the recipient dosser miserable, trying to climb the greasy pole and fretting over property/share fluctuations rather than vacantly smiling at the inane burblings of a poverty promoter. Wish I had the front to push one of these schticks, or a new-age scam like the previously mentioned College for Creative Cretinism- all these mopey moonbats are cashed up, and ripe to have their accounts hoovered by some smartie.

      Posted by Habib on 2007 01 29 at 10:52 PM • permalink

 

    1. I’d rather be unhappy and rich, than unhappy and poor.  Then again, I am pretty happy and relatively well off, so James and Hamilton can go jam it where the sun don’t shine.

      Oh, and if things go to plan, I should be (what I consider) stinking rich in the next 10 to 15 years, maybe sooner if things work out well.

      Posted by Razor on 2007 01 29 at 10:54 PM • permalink

 

    1. Money doesn’t make people happy – but not having money definitely makes people unhappy.

      I suspect those who have financial security sometimes forget this.

      Posted by Ian Deans on 2007 01 29 at 10:58 PM • permalink

 

    1. I am so sick and tired of these wealthy superior cretins coming here to Sydney and telling us how to live our lives.

      What the hell – fuck off!

      Posted by Bonmot on 2007 01 29 at 10:58 PM • permalink

 

    1. As part of research for his recently released book, Affluenza, he travelled to seven countries to research the effect of consumerism on happiness.

      The article doesn’t say what all the seven countries were, but I’d be willing to bet he didn’t visit any bush villages in Africa or South America and ask them about how happy they are without money.  Tim said it:  stupid standard-issue English snob.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 01 29 at 10:59 PM • permalink

 

    1. All of this money should be going to find a cure for assholuenza.

      Posted by andycanuck on 2007 01 29 at 11:00 PM • permalink

 

    1. Oh, and I have been poorer than this Oliver James character could ever imagine himself being, and I didn’t like it.  Not one bit.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 01 29 at 11:01 PM • permalink

 

    1. Maybe this sad sack could stand on the US side of the Rio Grande with a loud hailer, lecturing Mexicans.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 01 29 at 11:01 PM • permalink

 

    1. Looks like I’ll take Jamie Oliver’s view of Australians over that of Oliver James.

      “The thing I love about it (Jamie’s Kitchen Australia) is these kids are really honest compared to the kids in the UK,” Oliver said.

      Who’d a thunk it?

      Posted by ErnestBludger on 2007 01 29 at 11:04 PM • permalink

 

    1. I think Stone Cold has put it very succinctly and accurately.

      These people can’t stand choice. They make great hay out of the sometimes useless gadgets and myriad of different brands of similar products not realising these are simply the side effect of high productivity and people having sufficient money to not have to worry too much about the basics in life (which i thought was a good thing). And how can anyone talk about the English class system as if it is somehow a positive??

      As for Clive Hamilton (a bit O/T), I noticed in a book store today that he has another tome out. And guess what. It’s all about how the Howard government has stifled dissent. How original and unpredictable from him.

      Posted by Francis H on 2007 01 29 at 11:10 PM • permalink

 

    1. So this guy flys to Sydney, interviews a handful of people and concludes that Sydney, with a population of 4 milion, is “a city in thrall to American values and a puritan work ethic that robbed life of joy and meaning”.

      How does that work? Sounds kinda like a Lancet study.

      Posted by Change is the only constant on 2007 01 29 at 11:11 PM • permalink

 

    1. Thats it? So the people work hard and look after themselves? Shit, I can’t wait for his expose on Asian cities.

      How about one on the maloderous, dentally challenged people of his own city?

      Posted by Nic on 2007 01 29 at 11:11 PM • permalink

 

    1. ’He had not been to Sydney before and expected a “philistine nation” of “jolly, uncomplicated fun-seekers”. Instead, he found a city in thrall to American values and a puritan work ethic that robbed life of joy and meaning.’

      Too bad the Aussies aren’t more like the culturally superior Europeans.  Then they’d be spending their time developing brilliant political philosophies like communism or fascism, and slaughtering each other by the millions in periodic world wars or mass purges, instead of wasting their time working and making money.

      Posted by Dave Surls on 2007 01 29 at 11:12 PM • permalink

 

    1. Oh and as for his advice to start reading (as if Sydneysiders didn’t read much. my god what an idiot), any odds he’d be critical of a Borders or the like opening up anywhere near him (discounting books is so crass) and actually making it cheaper and easier for the prols to purchase books.

      Posted by Francis H on 2007 01 29 at 11:14 PM • permalink

 

    1. COULD London be the saddest of cities — intellectually bereft, spiritually empty? Are its residents T.S. Eliot’s proverbial snobbish fuckwits — heads together but whispering nothing except deadening conversations about the crassness of others?

      London’s culture of the relentless pursuit of status by whingeing a lot has Australian world expert and lint collector, Margos Maid worried. As part of research for the recently released book, Fuckwittenza, MM travelled to seven countries to stay at nice hotels and eat buffets while thinking up insults for English dickwads.

      MM found the English obsessive pursuit of whingeing was not bringing happiness. The fuckwittenza virus was worst in London, where he found interviewing locals a depressing experience. It was, he said, “the most full-of-it of cities. The Robert Fisk of cities in England.”

      Having not been to London before, MM decided to keep it that way, spending most time in five star hotels in the tropics.. Middle-class London, MM writes, is “packed with moaning layabouts”. When they are not playing with themselves, they pursue fat pale bodies and bad teeth through poor diet and an absence of dental hygiene. Always, they are looking around anxiously, in the hope that they may find a bag of hot chips that someone left in the street.

      “(It was) full of people who place a high value on whining, and generalising about others” he said. The result? Londoners have a “greater risk of suffering from self abuse, and of never seeing the fourth day of an Ashes test”.

      “They (Londoners) were like the tin man from the Wizard of Oz. No dick.” MM noted Bureau of Statistics figures highlighting a rise in fuckwittism — particularly among old Londoners trying to justify living in what amounts to a disease ridden fog-filled lavatory.

      While Britain has “its people who left the country years ago”, — obvious examples of people who aren’t fuckwits — cultural differences, including appalling weather, has put the accelerator down on the spread of whining in Britain.

      “The British, compared to the US or Aussies, are easily convinced that whining will get you further. The British elite whingers have been around for an awfully long time and there is not the just getting on with it of the Australian people.”

      But in London, a strong cold change combined with little or no penis, means that many middle aged males ever quite feel like they can “measure up”. MM’s advice to Londoners? “STFU.”

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2007 01 29 at 11:18 PM • permalink

 

    1. Welcome back,well jerry we have just crossed over to the Aussie v pommy game thats about to start,whats going on down there on the sideline.

      Thanks bob,Aussies are just warming up out there with the barbies and slabs of V.B but don,t look to interested in this game,the pomms are looking edgey and rattled,just getting a pep talk from the coach John Piliger who is very angry indeed,there is a bit of a fittness cloud hanging over this pommie team,most have sore throats from screaming about all thats wrong with australia and a few a limping from some type of blown up subway train thing,Trainer Robert Fisk on loan from the Hezbollar team rubbing down a few players there.

      Posted by sparrow on 2007 01 29 at 11:22 PM • permalink

 

    1. There’s nothing like an elitist leftoid socialist in the guise of a genuine British snob whining about the success of the West to remind us that we are doing something right and just.

      Here’s to Capitalism!  Long may she reign!

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 01 29 at 11:22 PM • permalink

 

    1. Does it say if he came out here to follow the England XI?  The poor bloke just has to lash out.

      Posted by rebase on 2007 01 29 at 11:23 PM • permalink

 

    1. Instead, he found a city in thrall to American values and a puritan work ethic that robbed life of joy and meaning.

      Yeah, likely everyone he met was “busy” and when he left the room they reverted to being jolly, uncomplicated fun-seekers.
      What a prat.

      Posted by Mike_W on 2007 01 29 at 11:23 PM • permalink

 

    1. “The Robert Fisk of cities in England.” 
      Can there be any harsher condemnation?

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2007 01 29 at 11:23 PM • permalink

 

    1. “When a man is tired of London, he hops on a plane and heads to Australia for a decent life.”

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 01 29 at 11:29 PM • permalink

 

    1. …wanders hither…ah! there’s a piece…picks it up, puts it back where it’s meant to be…wanders thither…good…more…puts it back in its place…wanders over there…finds some more…repeats insertion…ends up back here…looks like the last piece…replaces as per manufacturer’s instructions.

      (Jack has been wandering around picking up the pieces of his brain that exploded when he read that the cretin’s cretin, Robert Fisk, had been awarded a $350K prize.)

      By the way, with 90% of my cognitive ability temporarily disabled I was almost able to make sense of Fisk’s work.

      Posted by Jack Lacton on 2007 01 29 at 11:30 PM • permalink

 

    1. A great quote from Dolly Parton to David Letterman on the cost of her wardrobe, make up, and hair:

      “It’s very expensive to look this cheap!”

      Posted by JDB on 2007 01 29 at 11:30 PM • permalink

 

    1. OT, but at the other end of the Affluvia chain is David Hicks who likens his internment to a Nazi concentration camp with apparently no sense of irony.

      Posted by rebase on 2007 01 29 at 11:31 PM • permalink

 

    1. Damn and curse my pursuit of financial security. It’s must so depressing to be able to protect one’s family from the hardships and emergencies of life. And as far as luxuries go, a child’s face on Christmas morning shows me how depressing extravagance and generosity can be.

      To cheer myself up I recently burnt the contents of my wallet in my backyard. I am now awash in euphoria and joy. The rush of sublime bliss is so profound I will now burn down my house. Aaahh what the heck, my neighbour could do with a little lift – I’ll do his as well.

      Posted by Penguin on 2007 01 29 at 11:35 PM • permalink

 

    1. I hate those stupid questions, a few years ago I was asked “would you be happier receiving less money for working less hours” or something like it from an employee of the free ‘MX’ newspapers they give away on Melbourne’s public transport- my comment was “I do”, although it never got published.

      Posted by Mattofact on 2007 01 29 at 11:35 PM • permalink

 

    1. Ollie is suffering a disorder common among the British middle classes – penal envy.

      They are upset that they sent the worst of their citizens to other side of the world only to see them flourish under the clear blue skies. More personally, they farewelled their friends who set off for a new life with words of encouragement such as “I’ve heard the black pudding awful” and “You won’t get Coronation Street there”. Then, as they whiled away the bleak winter in their dank two up, two down, they got letters saying “Bought Beryl a new car for her birthday. Going to take her out on the boat for a few hours, come back and have a big barbecue and surprise her with it.”

      As for his cheap shot about Dolly Parton, my impression from interviews is that she is a witty, smart and charming woman.

      Posted by Contrail on 2007 01 29 at 11:56 PM • permalink

 

    1. Hey, where can I go to be exposed to this affluenza stuff.

      I think I want it.

      Posted by rinardman on 2007 01 29 at 11:56 PM • permalink

 

    1. Yeah, when I think of Australians, the first word that comes to mind is “joyless.” And the first word that comes to mind for Brits is “sunny.”

      cultural differences, including a more entrenched class system, has put the brakes on the spread of consumerism in Britain…The British elite have been around for an awfully long time and there is not the crassness of the Australian rich.”

      Peasants. Mind your place.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2007 01 29 at 11:59 PM • permalink

 

    1. Ollie is suffering a disorder common among the British middle classes – penal envy.

      I almost sent a large amount of liquid onto my computer when reading that, Contrail!  I misread “penal” as “penis”, and had to wonder what brought that about!  😀

      And Dolly is a gracious and charming lady.  I always appreciated her, even though I am not a country music fan.

      I also suspect that she would also rip Oliver’s gnads off in a heart beat.  If the twit had any to begin with.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 01 30 at 12:06 AM • permalink

 

    1. Hey.  Just because this joyless whinging Pom (can a Pom still call a Pom a whinging Pom and not be sued by the UN?) comes from London, don’t slag off London.  Every city has their wankers.  It is a fabulous city.  I grew up there and spent 30 odd years there.

      However, his comments on Sydney are way off the mark. In the 12months i have spent in Sydney, the people we have met have universally been more laid back, have a better work-life balance, have been less materialistic and are better company.

      Posted by pommygranate on 2007 01 30 at 12:06 AM • permalink

 

    1. But i do live in the Northern Beaches not the Eastern Suburbs, which i am told is full off frappacino-sipping, leather-elbowed, lily-livered, tree-hugging, eco-moonbat, we-are-the-worlders.

      Posted by pommygranate on 2007 01 30 at 12:08 AM • permalink

 

    1. So this guy is disappointed that Aussies aren’t philistine enough?  First time I ever heard “philistine” used positively.

      But why do these miserable sad sacks have to take out their own discontent and moral emptiness on everybody else?  He thinks his life sucks, tough titty, but that’s no reason to slam another country for his own shortcomings.  Come on, Australia, you have to start living down to Oliver’s expectations!

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2007 01 30 at 12:09 AM • permalink

 

    1. But i do live in the Northern Beaches not the Eastern Suburbs, which i am told is full off frappacino-sipping, leather-elbowed, lily-livered, tree-hugging, eco-moonbat, we-are-the-worlders

      try going into the Coogee Bay Hotel on a Friday night and saying that.

      Posted by JonathanH on 2007 01 30 at 12:29 AM • permalink

 

    1. #43 Pommyg

      Any slagging of old London town here is meant purely as a counterpoint to the original article about Sydney. God knows you’ll find legions of willing marsupial shaggers over there at any given time.

      Scratch most Aussies and you’ll find an anglophile not too far under the surface, though best not to try it in an ashes year.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2007 01 30 at 12:37 AM • permalink

 

    1. Speaking of Dolly and affluence she once sang:

      But they didnt understand it
      And I tried to make them see
      That one is only poor
      Only if they choose to be

      It seems to me that most Australians would understand the sentiment perfectly well, but I doubt that Oliver James with his praise for the landed aristocracy does.

      Posted by 91B30 on 2007 01 30 at 12:39 AM • permalink

 

    1. The lefties have finally found a “problem” they know how to fix.

      Posted by Paul Zrimsek on 2007 01 30 at 12:39 AM • permalink

 

    1. My anti-Socialist credentials are well established, so bear that in mind before reading my thoughts.

      I haven’t read this book, and I suspect I won’t agree with his agenda. However, I am convinced that by becoming part of such a consumer society, we as a society have become weak.

      Two notable examples:

      1) How many people have a serious first-aid kit at home, and know how to use it? Answer: Not enough – as people expect to be able to dial 000 (or 112 from a mobile phone) and voila, an ambulance will arrive.

      Guess what? When a natural disaster or terrorist attack occurs, it ain’t coming.

      However, keep 80 litres of fresh water, some batteries and a survival kit at home, people will look at you like some kind of survivalist whackjob, rather than a sensible person.

      2) Once upon a time, if you wanted a BBQ in your yard, you’d call five mates, get a hundred bricks and blow your Saturday building it. You’d be pretty happy with your lot.

      Now, people who can’t afford the $9000 Eight Burner (with wok burner and rotisserie) Stainless Steel Cow-burner 9000, are convinced they live well below an acceptable standard of living (if not below the poverty line). This is a damned shame.

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2007 01 30 at 12:44 AM • permalink

 

    1. Well it’s back to work now – joyless and sad

      My pay this week? I’m going to give it back to my boss as I hate to come down with affluenza at my age

      Bloody whinging Poms

      Posted by aussiemagpie on 2007 01 30 at 12:47 AM • permalink

 

    1. #50 Dan

      (The bomb shelter out back is the give-away to the nutjob.)

      2) Once upon a time, if you wanted a BBQ in your yard, you’d call five
      mates, get a hundred bricks and blow your Saturday building it. You’d be
      pretty happy with your lot.

      You forgot the steaks and slabs, you can’t get mates to do anything without some slabs – and try not to break out the slabs too early, or you’ll get nothing done!!

      (this might help with “slab” – and some other stuff…)

      Posted by kae on 2007 01 30 at 12:51 AM • permalink

 

    1. #49 SOCTTWAVGC

      (Sit on chair thinking that was a very good comment.)

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2007 01 30 at 12:51 AM • permalink

 

    1. I see there’s even an Affluenza website.

      Posted by pommygranate on 2007 01 30 at 12:53 AM • permalink

 

    1. #44 pommygranate, it’s known as the Insular Peninsula.  Not a bad place to have to live, though…

      Posted by rebase on 2007 01 30 at 01:04 AM • permalink

 

    1. Being rich may not make you happy, but it buys you a much better class of misery.
      Ive worked bloody hard for the 3 properties I own, most of which have been purchased while earning under $45K. It meant Ive lived cheap, not poor and I think mr arseforbrains needs to be exposed to the diffrence.
      I have 20 more years work before I retire in relative wealth, all going to plan. Then I will engage in the immature and hedonistic behavior he seems to expect from colonials. (See baby boomers, but self funded)

      If it hasnt allready been said, suck my nuts.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2007 01 30 at 01:10 AM • permalink

 

    1. #55 rebase

      Manly beach, Shelley beach, Clontarf Reserve, Collaroy, North Curl Curl, Whale beach, Palm beach, Avalon, Kuring-ai National Park.

      Yeah. It’s alright.

      #46 JonathanH

      I thought Coogee was posh?

      Posted by pommygranate on 2007 01 30 at 01:14 AM • permalink

 

    1. #50 – Dan, you can still buy a 4-burner Jumbuck from Bunnings for $139.  It’ll have hot spots and cold spots and will waste half your gas bottle.  It will also be a bugger to clean off the grease.  Once you get the grease off it will start rusting there. But it’s so cheap you probably afford to chuck it out after a few uses – which I think many people around my way are doing, seeing the number of bbqs placed out for the council clean-up.

      Posted by rebase on 2007 01 30 at 01:16 AM • permalink

 

    1. It would seem that affluenza is something that affects people who want things that I don’t that I think cost too much and that they can afford.  How insufferably individualistic of them.  Why can’t they just take their proper cues?

      Is there a picture of this twit?  With full smile showing his Brit dentistry?

      And shouldn’t the Gerbil Wormering people be bashing him for jetting about to seven countries?

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2007 01 30 at 01:29 AM • permalink

 

    1. Oh.  1) Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can give you way more places to look for it.  2) Money can’t buy you friends, but it enables you to hang out with a better class of people while looking for some friends.  3) Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you one helluva night.  4) Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can make your misery way more comfortable.

      You get the point, I think.

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2007 01 30 at 01:33 AM • permalink

 

    1. #59 Oliver James pic. If that is not him, then my apologies too his chrome dome doppelganger.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 01 30 at 01:35 AM • permalink

 

    1. Money can’t buy you happiness, but poverty can’t buy you shit.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2007 01 30 at 01:37 AM • permalink

 

    1. #62- why buy it? The Queensland government is to provide it free of charge, via your tap.

      Posted by Habib on 2007 01 30 at 01:50 AM • permalink

 

    1. For Shame, Tim! Linking to such a small picture of Dolly Parton! Can’t any reader provide something better?

      Posted by McAnzac on 2007 01 30 at 02:04 AM • permalink

 

    1. There’s a damn sight more ‘perfect bodies’ to pursue in any sunny Australian city than in some run-down suburb of sodden Birmingham or Leeds or Glasgow or whatever slummy dump James ‘hails’ from. All that ‘looking around’ isn’t anxiety, Oliver, it’s just that there are perfect bodies everywhere you look.

      Bourke Street was bliss at lunchtime.

      Posted by ilibcc on 2007 01 30 at 02:04 AM • permalink

 

    1. There’s also the sister cause of Affluenza ie Wars are all about Money/Oil.
      These idiots overlook it is money that builds/buys hospitals, schools, police forces, medical research, safer roads, ambulances, safe housing, refrigeration for food etc.

      There must be a gene that about 2% of the population carry that dictates these people just have to try and prove that making money is bad. Dedicating one’s life to trying to build a perpetual motion machine would actually be a more productive pursuit.

      I think these people also have some vague idea in their head about what is “enough” money and they want to tell you how much is enough for you.

      Posted by the nailgun on 2007 01 30 at 02:16 AM • permalink

 

    1. #57
      It’s definitely got posher since I left!!! Shit, I’ve been gone nearly 18 years now.

      Coogee Bay Hotel was the Maori hangout. As I’m a Kiwi by birth I used to have a beer there occasionally. Some of the Aussie boys who didn’t know the Maoris would goad them a bit. They didn’t need asking twice. The fights there were legendary.

      #56 sounds like your nuts are solid gold, mate. Think I’ll bite them off and pawn them, if it’s all the same to you

      cheers

      Posted by JonathanH on 2007 01 30 at 02:19 AM • permalink

 

    1. I wonder if I could get a guvvie grant to test whether people obsessed with money are more or less happy than those obsessed with sex?

      I guess I’d have to personally screen out the rich nymphos from the sample.

      Posted by the nailgun on 2007 01 30 at 02:22 AM • permalink

 

    1. A quick check of Professor Flannery’s bio shows he has trousered $US150,000 from the Lannan Foundation, an outfit that recently honoured Robert Fisk with its cultural freedom prize.

      For every leftist and someone else’s money being united, there’s also a fool (or a taxpayer) being parted from his money.

      In this case a dead fool.  Papa Lannan would have been better off leaving his money to the cat for all the good it’s doing.

      Posted by Mr Hackenbacker on 2007 01 30 at 02:36 AM • permalink

 

    1. #58

      Dan, you can still buy a 4-burner Jumbuck from Bunnings for $139.

      I wouldn’t know. I have a $46,000 Beefburner Signature Series, with seventeen burners, its own abbatoir and built-in micro-brewery.

      None of which changes what I said of course.

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2007 01 30 at 02:42 AM • permalink

 

    1. Maybe Olie thinks we should live like they do in Londonstan. Lord only knows we have enough “Red Ken” Livingston wannabes in local government. Envious prat.

      Posted by BJM on 2007 01 30 at 02:47 AM • permalink

 

    1. #33 (Infidel Tiger, updating Samuel Johnson, 1777)

      When a man is tired of London, he hops on a plane and heads to Australia for a decent life.

      Beaudy, mate!

      Posted by Chris Chittleborough on 2007 01 30 at 02:55 AM • permalink

 

    1. Ah, Dolly Parton.
      Everyone’s favorite 48F cup.
      I often wondered why she never brought out an album ‘Dolly Parton’s Biggest Hits’ – and then I said it quickly – now I know.

      Posted by Bonmot on 2007 01 30 at 03:48 AM • permalink

 

    1. #70 Dan
      I reckon a 17 burner BeefEater BBQ would cost, oh, around $1million judging by the way BeefEater know how to charge…..

      Posted by Bonmot on 2007 01 30 at 03:58 AM • permalink

 

    1. there’s an ARC grant in this. think i’ll put in a research application to do some testing of the proposition that money doesn’t make you happy.  this will involve people who think money doesn’t make for happiness sending me all their liquid assets. i will then use a remarkable piece of kit called the Profilgate Affluence Contentment Oracle to test the level of endorphins in my brain as i spend the dosh.  the government research funding will be used to buy cattle prods & hire enforcers to persuade the likes of monbiot & james to hand over their cash

      Posted by KK on 2007 01 30 at 04:13 AM • permalink

 

    1. “The affluenza virus was worst in Sydney”

      He’s using an incorrect measure of wealth.  Sydneysiders are dollar rich but standard of living poor, due to the low housing affordability there.

      Use a proper standard of living measure and the wealth and happiness of Australian cities will correspond directly.

      Posted by 2dogs on 2007 01 30 at 04:18 AM • permalink

 

    1. You can tell that The Age is just loving every word of this story. Another put-down of Sydney. Yay!

      Of course, this turkey doesn’t mention Melbourne, but why should he, it’s not even a speck on the horizon for most Brits, who if they are thinking of migrating, have only one Aussie city in mind. However, a litlle more of James’ superficial research would have quickly revealed Bleak City to have Australia’s highest unhappiness ratio, not to mention the greatest number of bitter and twisted, Howard haters. Their bodies aren’t perfect like those of Sydneysiders, either.

      Posted by Big Arnie on 2007 01 30 at 04:21 AM • permalink

 

    1. #77 ‘Big Arnie’ as someone who resides in the State of Brackistan, I can attest to the fact that you are correct. But not all of us are Howard haters, that I can assure you.

      Posted by BJM on 2007 01 30 at 04:47 AM • permalink

 

    1. It’s all very well for you lot to sneer and laugh but I suffer from affluxia. It’s no fun swigging Mylanta direct from the bottle at three in the morning, let me tell you.

      Posted by geoff on 2007 01 30 at 04:53 AM • permalink

 

    1. It’s no fun swigging Mylanta direct from the bottle at three in the morning
      You too?

      Posted by Bonmot on 2007 01 30 at 05:02 AM • permalink

 

    1. I watched the start of the 7.30 report on the ABC. The top story was:

      With record employment, it’s a case of good news on that front. But how much better off are workers? Are we any happier?

      and featured perennial sad-sack Clive Hamilton. This naturally annoyed me so I switched off the TV, turned to the net and *ahem* came across certain videos linked to this story.

      In this case, money (spent on a computer and broadband connection) bought me happiness.

      Posted by ArtVandelay on 2007 01 30 at 05:07 AM • permalink

 

    1. I wouldn’t know. I have a $46,000 Beefburner Signature Series, with seventeen burners, its own abbatoir and built-in micro-brewery.

      Peasant.  Behind my fibro shack, just beside the chook run and under the old apricot tree is my $100,000 “NASA barbie” – solid titanium , 25 burner, 10 after-burner and 10 stand-by nuclear powered electric hotplate equipped, fully chrome featured barbeque, which comes supplied with its own bevvy of scantily clad assistants (invisible to the wife in my “fully optioned” model).  There are 5 built in chefs to prepare meat or fish to any specification, an array of drinks on tap that would make any Sydney pub green with envy, together with 5 waiters to prepare and serve the drinks, and … well, one doesn’t like to boast you know.

      Its really great to have a simple Saturday barby with that little unit.  I put the “I’m the cook” apron on, grab the tongs and snags and then tip the whole lot over the fence, place my food & drink orders, have one of the assistants help me get comfortable, then feel really miserable..

      Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2007 01 30 at 05:28 AM • permalink

 

    1. #78 Thanks BJM. You probaably have a perfect body like us Sydneysiders, too.

      Posted by Big Arnie on 2007 01 30 at 05:32 AM • permalink

 

    1. “…he found a city in thrall to American values and a puritan work ethic that robbed life of joy and meaning.”

      I may be wrong here but I reckon if you played a little word association game, with some citizens of Cairns, Casino or Kalgoorlie, the first thing that came into their heads when they heard the name Sydney would not be Calvinism.

      Ahh Sydney.  Part of the Great Southern Caliphate one day, protestant the next.

      I can handle him bagging out Sydney, he should investigate some of the less leafy neighbourhoods so he’d have something to really despair about, but I won’t hear a bad word said about Dolly.

      Somewhat ironic, or is it ignorant, to pick on Dolly. As someone pointed out earlier, her magnum opus points out that being ‘rich’ has nothing to do with how much money you have.

      As for ‘vacuous,’ there are a lot entertainers who claim to be shrewd business(wo)men simply because they haven’t managed to piss away all their earnings, but Dolly is the real deal.  There’s the often-told story about how Colonel Tom Parker wanted her to surrender half the publishing royalties to her song before Elvis would record it.  She told him to bugger off (not her actual words) before going on to have a hit with it a second time.  Then Whitney Houston had a hit with it, selling a gazillion copies, all the royalties going to Dolly.  That one paid for a lot of books for kiddies.

      As for ‘affluenza,’ like all his fellow peanuts Ollie fails to understand that people aren’t ‘choosing’ to work fifty hours a week to buy trinkets. They’re doing it because that’s what having a job entails.  Given the chattering classes’ inclination to blame the victim, I guess it was only natural that the workers would be blamed for the long hours their made to work.

      Who are these people ‘choosing’ to work long hours?  Where do they live?  What industries do they work in?  What percentage of the population are they?  Where can I find a job that pays a living wage for dicking about on a Mac for a few hours a week in a remote location?

      This downsizing thing is a load of hooey.  If it meant working three days a week in a
      factory, rather than toying about with their Macs on their country estates or seaside residences, Ollie and his mates would be signing up for a 6.5 day working week.

      It’s all part of a middle-class myopia that fails to see that most people have jobs rather than careers, and has the likes of Jenny Macklin unable to get her head ‘round the idea that the majority of people don’t go to university.

      My advice to Ollie, start listening to country music.  Starting with some Dolly, perhaps?

      And get a penis extension.

      Posted by monaro on 2007 01 30 at 05:34 AM • permalink

 

    1. A guy up in Michigan named his llama after Dolly Parton.  Dolly Llama.

      He doesn’t really need a llama, but hearing about it made me happy.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2007 01 30 at 05:47 AM • permalink

 

    1. This makes me wild. This clothcock comes out hoping to sneer at the lazy beer-swilling yobboes. He has, after all, seen Sylvania Waters. He knows it all.

      Damn. They turn out to be hard-working people determined to get ahead in life while meanwhile building a country that makes the place he came from look like a white-trash hellhole run by upper class twits and professional monkeyspankers.

      What to do?

      Aha! Easy! Sneer at them for being wannabe Americans, so indulging his terribly fashionable Euroeunuch kneejerk anti-Americanism.

      Well, jam it up your patrician arse, sunshine. You have the froggies and the huns as your exemplars. Good luck with that!

      He came here to sneer down his oh-so-superior snout at us. Screw him and the horse he rode in on.

      And I despise Sydney…

      MarkL
      Canberra

      Posted by MarkL on 2007 01 30 at 05:56 AM • permalink

 

    1. Right,that’s it then. Don’t work to better
      yourself,don’t keep fit.

      Just be a fat,lazy,poor slob and tell yurself
      how much more successful you are than fools
      with ten times your income.

      Or move to Manchester,go on the dole and find Nirvana.

      Posted by dver on 2007 01 30 at 06:01 AM • permalink

 

    1. Of course, this turkey doesn’t mention Melbourne, but why should he, it’s not even a speck on the horizon for most Brits, who if they are thinking of migrating, have only one Aussie city in mind.

      Every Brit knows where Ramsey Street is, and as for Howard – remember the cheers he got at the Commonwealth Games opening?

      Posted by Craig Mc on 2007 01 30 at 06:14 AM • permalink

 

    1. MarkL. (#86)

      Five star rant. Worthy of Sam Kekovitch!

      Outstanding.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2007 01 30 at 06:19 AM • permalink

 

    1. cultural differences, including a more entrenched class system, has put the brakes on the spread of consumerism in Britain.

      Should we really be surprised how the supposedly egalitarian left has latched onto what is essentially an elitist “keep the lower orders in their place” argument?

      The British elite have been around for an awfully long time and there is not the crassness of the Australian rich.

      That’s it in a nutshell: he isn’t bothered by some people having wealth. He’s bothered by the wrong peoplehaving wealth.

      His work will be the core of a whole new wave of leftist twaddle. Most of those citing it will never have read it. Those who have will agree whole-heartedly that the problem is “the wrong people” have gotten their money by working for it.

      Posted by Rob Crawford on 2007 01 30 at 06:20 AM • permalink

 

    1. #27 welcome back MM. Re-energised I see. Thanks for that brisk cleanup of the kitchen, with a water cannon!

      Posted by blogstrop on 2007 01 30 at 06:52 AM • permalink

 

    1. Ooh he is dissying Dolly Parton that is gonna get country fans a might miffed at him that is for sure. Of course the whole premise of his book is a load of anti-capitalist bollocks.

      Posted by Andrew Ian Dodge on 2007 01 30 at 06:59 AM • permalink

 

    1. Oh.  It already said all that stuff about Colonel Tom in the linked article.

      Bugger.

      Anyways, I wanna go to Dollywood.

      Perhaps Sydney could become a sister city with Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

      Posted by monaro on 2007 01 30 at 07:10 AM • permalink

 

    1. Scary thought, if I stayed in England I could have ended up just like him.
      “There, but for the grace of immigration, go I”.

      Posted by Daniel San on 2007 01 30 at 07:24 AM • permalink

 

    1. Thanks, Pedro.

      Funny, I feel better now….

      heh

      MarkL
      Canberra

      Posted by MarkL on 2007 01 30 at 07:32 AM • permalink

 

    1. cultural differences, including a more entrenched class system, has put the brakes on the spread of consumerism in Britain.

      What bullshit. Like most leftists, this fool still thinks it’s the Fifties. From everything I’ve seen and read, crass consumerism is alive and well and spreading like wildfire in Britain (one small example is this show I used to watch called The City Gardener, where this guy would go to different British cities where young professionals were moving into old row houses and the like, and landscape their back gardens). I am guessing the only thing that has “put the brakes” on this is the high crime rate in Britain, which is partly a result of policies leftists like this put in place. Well, English people who comment here, am I right?

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2007 01 30 at 08:01 AM • permalink

 

    1. #82 SCD,

      Lightweight Girly-Man!

      Can your feeble BBQ be ignited by half a gallon of Liquid Oxygen?

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2007 01 30 at 08:04 AM • permalink

 

    1. Don’t think Britain has their Posh and Becks anymore, they’ve decamped to L.A. where they fit in as normal.

      Posted by Clubbeaux on 2007 01 30 at 08:40 AM • permalink

 

    1. #86: This clothcock comes out hoping to sneer at the lazy beer-swilling yobboes.

      Crikey, but Australian is a beautiful language! Nice job, MarkL.

      Posted by paco on 2007 01 30 at 09:02 AM • permalink

 

    1. I don’t know where to start.  I think this moron illustrates what is at the bottem of their wicked philosophy.  They love a ruling class, whether it be British Aristocracy or socialist bureaucrats, communist dictators, or Arab kings or tyrants.
      That an individual can earn money, and by doing so earn freedom and security, bothers these types down to their core.

      Is he implying that London hasn’t changed since the bleak days of the 70s?  I was there last year and didn’t notice much of a difference from money grubbing NY or Sydney.  I did notice that even though everything was double in price (and if you normalize the exchange rate about 25 to 30% more) than NY, the resturants were full and the shops were bustling.  I guess the whole London is the new NY meme of the late 90s early 00s was just a figment of the US press’ imagination?  I didn’t notice any shortage of places to spend money, nor did I see a large amount of monks in hairshirts (I did notice tons of burka clad ladies dropping amazing amounts of cash on designer clothing at Harrods).

      Posted by AnnNY on 2007 01 30 at 09:28 AM • permalink

 

    1. Only the poor go to heaven, so it is the duty of the pious to see to it that there are as many poor as possible. It is the Christian duty of the devout to take upon themselves the burdens of affluence, so that the masses are not distracted from their search for God. It’s a dirty job —

      Funny how the loudest denouncers of “xtian extremists” seem to be the most devoted to recreating the worst aspects of the least attractive version of “xtianism”.

      Regards,
      Ric

      Posted by Ric Locke on 2007 01 30 at 09:37 AM • permalink

 

    1. oh, and I do know how to spell bottom!

      Posted by AnnNY on 2007 01 30 at 09:40 AM • permalink

 

    1. #37: To cheer myself up I recently burnt the contents of my wallet in my backyard.

      Oh, dear me, Penguin. I wish that you had talked to me about it before burning your money. As a good Christian, I would gladly have borne your cross.

      Posted by paco on 2007 01 30 at 09:45 AM • permalink

 

    1. “The World Health Organisation study of fourteen different nations’ health said that Americans were six times more likely to have a mental illness than people in Shanghai or Nigeria, and Europeans were three times less likely than Americans to suffer. We fall under the Anglo Saxon model – proof that the American capitalist system is bad for your health, down to and including schizophrenia.”–Oliver James

      That WHO study doesn’t really tell you anything because the data is incredibly sketchy, however, one obvious reason why there are a lot more reported mental disorders in the United States or Europe than there are in Nigeria is because America and Europe are awash with pyschiatrists, psychologists and social workers, and there are virtually none of the above in Nigeria.

      In the PRC, of course, people who have mental health issues related to substance abuse problems don’t report it to the government controlled health system, because they execute dopers there.

      If James wants to believe that Nigerians or residents of the PRC are happier and more mentally stable than Americans or Europeans based on data like that found in the WHO study he cites, he can…but he’s an idiot for doing so.

      Posted by Dave Surls on 2007 01 30 at 10:17 AM • permalink

 

    1. Behind my fibro shack, just beside the chook run and under the old apricot tree is my $100,000 “NASA barbie” – solid titanium , 25 burner, 10 after-burner and 10 stand-by nuclear powered electric hotplate equipped, fully chrome featured barbeque

      So YOU were the first guy to the Skylab crash…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 01 30 at 11:04 AM • permalink

 

    1. 104 Dave,

      And while we in the west are freed from the day to day worry of random death from nature or government, we have more free time to indulge in the type of narcissism that leads to mental illness.

      Posted by AnnNY on 2007 01 30 at 11:13 AM • permalink

 

    1. my favorite version of the “money can’t buy happiness” trope came from, of all people, David Lee Roth of Van Halen.  in an article which ran in Rolling Stone or one of its associated publications in the 1980s, VH producer Ted Templeman admonished DLR that money can’t buy happiness,” to which DLR replied “well, maybe not, Ted, but it can buy me a boat big enough to sail right the fuck up next to it.”

      Posted by dub kitty on 2007 01 30 at 11:57 AM • permalink

 

    1. Yes, we all know that money doesn’t buy happiness.  So what?  Neither does poverty.

      Posted by RK on 2007 01 30 at 12:42 PM • permalink

 

    1. If poverty’s so great, where are all the people who want to “strike it poor”?

      Posted by paco on 2007 01 30 at 12:46 PM • permalink

 

    1. That’s funny. He wasn’t ‘giving it all that’ in his article on the Guardian website last week (see link). He seemed to think that Britain was as bad as anywhere else. Yet as soon as he gets down under, Britain’s all of a sudden better than Oz. I guess he figured that he’d get more publicity by winding Aussies up with an unfavourable comparison to the UK. Judging by some of the comments, he was successful…

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1997280,00.html

      Posted by Clankylad on 2007 01 30 at 12:52 PM • permalink

 

    1. Hmmmm.

      I hereby volunteer to suffer, on behalf of all mankind, this terrible affliction.

      Thus I will accept, in addition to the Nobel Peace Prize, $50 million USD and the hand in marriage to a beautiful hard-bodied 18 y/o girl who will do her very best to put me into an early grave.

      I’ll die happy knowing I’ve prevented the rest of you from suffering a similar fate.

      Posted by ed on 2007 01 30 at 01:02 PM • permalink

 

    1. Did someone want other pic’s of Dolly Parton?

      Posted by El Cid on 2007 01 30 at 01:30 PM • permalink

 

    1. #111: Saint Ed.

      #112: Yes, I do! Thanks!

      Posted by paco on 2007 01 30 at 01:59 PM • permalink

 

    1. Like the old joke about how each Australian city has a question to determine your social acceptability:

      Adelaide: “Who’s your family?”
      Melbourne: “What do you do?”
      Sydney: “How much do you make?”
      Perth: “Want another beer?”

      Posted by Jim Whyte on 2007 01 30 at 02:01 PM • permalink

 

    1. My advice to Ollie, start listening to country music.  Starting with some Dolly, perhaps?

      Definitely ease off on the Glenn Frey.

      Posted by Achillea on 2007 01 30 at 02:15 PM • permalink

 

    1. Sorry, I’ve been running around all morning taking care of all those errands we affluvianated people have to do, like buy groceries, fill up the gas-guzzler, pay the carbon-creating utility bills, etc.  Someone dissed Dolly?  The big-boobed, big-haired Tennessee hick who was smart enough to make herself one of the richest businesswomen in the US?

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 01 30 at 02:39 PM • permalink

 

    1. When they are not working the longest hours in the developed world, they pursue perfect bodies through joyless fitness regimes, or obsess about property prices.

      So the path to hapiness is being obese, out of shape and under or unemployed?  Go figure…

      Posted by Major John on 2007 01 30 at 03:15 PM • permalink

 

    1. Sorry Tim, I can’t read this crap. It is simply the musings of an Englishman who dispises the masses and their entertainments.

      HE IS A POM SNOB.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 01 30 at 09:01 PM • permalink

 

    1. I am guessing the only thing that has “put the brakes” on this is the high crime rate in Britain, which is partly a result of policies leftists like this put in place.

      The crime rate definitely doesn’t help, but I think that the main factors to “put [on] the brakes” are high property prices and high taxes.

      Posted by jic on 2007 01 30 at 09:41 PM • permalink

 

    1. Yeah, that too.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2007 01 31 at 07:53 AM • permalink

 

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