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The Life, We Are Told, That Is Most Desirable

Hedonism and wealth are openly worshiped on shows such as The Hills, Gossip Girl, Sex and the City, My Super Sweet 16, and The Real Housewives of ... The American oligarchy, 1 percent of whom control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined, are the characters we envy and watch on television. They live and play in multi-million dollar beach homes and expansive lofts. They marry professional athletes and are chauffeured in stretch limos to spa appointments. They rush from fashion shows to movie premieres , flaunting their surgically enhanced , perfect bodies in haute couture.Their teenagers throw $200,000 parties  and have $1 million dollar weddings. This life is held before us like a beacon . This life, we are told, is the most desirable, the most gratifying.

-Chris Hedges from Empire of Illusion: The End Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle