Keeping Up with the Joneses

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Jeffery Bowen
Professor Brownlee
English 111X
16 July 2010
Word Count: 755
Keeping up with the Joneses
Materialism and consumption maybe it is the new globally social epidemic. Where’s it going, is there a cure for this disease? Everyone is guilty of materialism to some extent whether he or she chose to accept this concept or deny it whole-heartedly. Is it the individuals fault or can this way of life blame someone or something? Fortunately, always wanting more is not a crime, or else everyone would be a criminal for society’s actions. It is a good thing that exercising rights of freedom is not limited to indulging, but freedom also allows the right to conserve. Just who are the Joneses anyway; they sure have a bunch of people in competition! Excessively often individuals feel they must compete with neighbors, co-workers, peers, or even family. This materialistic way of life is tough; trying to fit in is a tiring task. Magazines, books, internet, and television have been sources of advertising for quite some time, however, can these media sources take the blame for individual decision making; probably not.

The year was 2001, the subject, a young man in his early twenties. Moving to Alaska was supposed to be a new adventure and he was searching for happiness hoping Alaska was the place to find it. Transitioning from Dallas, Texas to Fairbanks, Alaska was somewhat of a challenge for this young man. How can one become acclimated to Alaska’s weather? J.B. found out the day he arrived in Alaska. Up to this point in life, J.B. could fit all of his belongings into an old worn out sea bag that he had obtained in the United States Coast Guard. Thanks to the Coast Guard’s old-fashioned ways of molding young individuals for service life, J.B. could pack his sea bag like tuna fish in a can. Everything except for his personality, vehicle, and few choice items, were packed snug inside the ugly green sea bag.

Two and a half years earlier J.B. purchased a nice base...
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