Sunday, August 05, 2012

The shocking new fad?

Glenn Reynolds notes that American culture, having played the "shock value" card until it's no longer attention-getting, is now shocked to find there are people who've ignored the various siren calls to self-destruction:
A spin across the cable dial will reveal some examples — the Duggars are exciting because they have lots of children and raise them themselves; Dave Ramsey says to live within your salary.
But for me the strongest case in point is CNBC’s “Princess,” with Jamaican-born financial adviser Gail Vaz-Oxlade.
Each episode revolves around an overindulged young woman in her 20s or early 30s who’s spent herself — and usually her parents, boyfriend and sometimes even siblings — into near-bankruptcy. With friends and family, Vaz-Oxlade stages an intervention, making plain the costs of this behavior, both personal and financial.
Then the profligate subject is put on a strict budget, and forced to cook, clean, take public transit and show respect for the parents, boyfriend, et al. who’ve been supporting her. If she passes all the tests, she gets a check toward paying off her debt.
It’s like bourgeois boot camp; you can tell that many viewers enjoy seeing the pampered “princesses” learning to cook, clean and perform other traditional tasks for themselves.
But this is only news because so many modern young people lack those skills, once taken for granted.
Here's hoping this is a 'preference cascade' against irresponsible self-indulgence.  This could be a dangerous trend... next thing you know, they'll even be requiring teachers to dress professionally or something...

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