To The Best of Our Knowledge
from Wisconsin Public Radio
These days it seems we just can't get enough of it.
Over the past few years, luxury spending in the United States has
been growing four times faster than overall spending. We're spending
more money on more products and services that we don't really need
like Evian bottled water and Prada sunglasses. In this
hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, our love affair with luxury.
Also, "The Natural History of the Riche" and a documentary
film about gleaners.
Paul Krugman wrote an article called "For
Richer" for the New York Times Magazine. He tells Steve Paulson
that there is a widening chasm between the super rich and the
rest of us. He thinks social mores have changed. The rich think
it's OK to use their power to benefit themselves no matter who
suffers as a result. Also, Richard Conniff is a journalist
who sees parallels between the rich and some animal species. He's
the author of "The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide."
He tells Anne Strainchamps that the air kiss is a lot like chimpanzee
grooming. And reveals what really happens over lunch at posh New
James Twitchell is the author of "Living
It Up: Our Love Affair with Luxury." He tells Jim Fleming
that for the first time is history, ordinary people can sample
real luxury and we can't get enough of it. From fancy water to
designer accessories, yesterdays luxuries today stack the shelves
at Walmart. Also, French film-maker Agnes Varda has made
a documentary called "The Gleaners and I." The film
is a portrait of people who make their living picking over stuff
other people have thrown away. Sometimes they're artists and sometimes
they're just trying to survive.
Paul Lukas has written a book called "Inconspicuous
Consumption: An Obsessive Look at the Stuff We Take for Granted."
He talks with Jim Fleming about the gadget that measures your
shoe size, and the charm of the string on the box of Animal Crackers.
And then there are the weird Life Saver flavors in Australia.
Cassette copies are available
at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 02-10-27-B.
- Richard Conniff, The Natural History of
the Rich: A Field Guide (W.W. Norton & Company)
- Paul Lukas, Inconspicuous Consumption: An
Obsessive Look at the Stuff We Take for Granted, from the Everyday
to the Obscure (Crown Trade Paperbacks)
- James B. Twitchell, Living It Up: Our Love
Affair with Luxury (Columbia University Press)
- -- "Alienation's For The Rich"/They Might
Be Giants from the CD, "They Might Be Giants" (Elektra)
- -- "There Is Nothing Quite As Wonderful As
Money"/Monty Python from the box set, "The Instant Monty
Python CD Collection"
- -- "Baubles, Bangles And Beads"/Dean
Elliot and his Big Band from the CD, "Zounds! What Sounds!"
- -- "With Plenty of Money And You"/Count
Basie & Tony Bennett from the CD, "Ultra-Lounge Vegas
Baby!" (Capitol) http://www.ultralounge.com/
- -- "Starbucks"/Radio Boy from the CD,
"The Mechanics Of Destruction"
- -- "Charlie Brannock's Device"/Men &
Volts from the CD, "Object Lessons: Songs ABout Products"
- -- "Popcorn"/Hot Butter
from the CD, "Rock Instrumental Classics, Volume 3: The '70s"
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