“Confusion on Americans’ Addictiveness”
“Want-Creation Fuels Americans’ Addictiveness” is a confusing title as much as the essay belonging to it. In the essay, which initially appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch, Author Philip Slater poorly emphasizes that American society has contributed and amplified Americans’ addiction behavior. The article is initially engaging to a reader, however, the transitions between topics can lose the reader’s interest because of the ambiguity. Slater also brings good points for the reader to consider but he fails to correlate them together in a manner that could easily identifiable. Slater is also unclear as to the intention of his argument by his manner of bringing up irrelevant issues that are present in American society. Ultimately, the poor organization and Slater’s inability to show the relationship between the examples given make this essay difficult to read and difficult to comprehend the purpose for which it was written for.
Slater’s article describes American society as being “individualists.” He suggests that Americans “like anything that looks like a quick fix.” (301) “We don’t want to think about the side effects, the Big Picture, or how it’s going to make things worse in the long run. We aren’t too interested in the long run as long as something brings us more money, a promotion or a new status symbol short.” (301) Due to this, Americans are never happy with what we have and seek to attain fixes by consuming ourselves in whatever the media or our society has put in front of us. This behavior has caused Americans to become an “addictive society” (303). “This need not be a drug. It can be money, food, fame, sex responsibility, power good deeds, possessions, cleaning.” (303) Slater uses great examples to support his argument, however the way he transitions in between them, make his points hard to follow. It isn’t until the end of the essay, where a reader can...