By James B. Twitchell
The democratization of luxurious, Twitchell contends, has been the only most vital advertising phenomenon of our times.
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Extra info for Living It Up
If not to own, then to lease. Needless to say, as the twentieth century faded into oblivion, Cadillac, which had a history of “owning” the luxury category, lost its vaunted place as the best-selling domestic luxury car to Lincoln. ” Incidentally, Ford also owns the prestigious English car company Jaguar. Lest anyone doubt how powerful the modern claim on luxury is— the company also owns Aston Martin, which really is a luxury car—just look at how the company couches the appeal. The refreshing candor of Jaguar.
So, as luck would have it, when “there came a windfall just when my neighbor wanted to sell thirty of his acres, I bought them because I could. ” Mills more than doubles her estate. “The only thing I do with my land is inhabit it,” she says proudly of her own savvy consumption. ” I too don’t like jet skis, SUVs, and barking dogs. But would we all be better off if each of us exchanged our noisy toys and pets for more than thirty acres? Especially when fierce environmentalists tell us that we really only need a dwelling of less than 10 by 16 feet?
Like Rousseau and Wordsworth, they assume the natural condition of humans is to live apart from manufactured things. How to cure ourselves of luxe addiction? ” Or if not in the newspaper, then in books (Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance industry) or, most recently, in magazines. What could be more telling than that Time Warner, incubator of such advertising-rich magazines as Southern Living, Entertainment Weekly, and People, as well as Breathnach’s own Simple Abundance book series, has launched a startlingly successful magazine, Real Simple, dedicated to battling overconsumption by yet more consump- 36 Twitchell_Ch1 12/20/01 12:27 PM Page 37 Over the Top tion?