what's interesting for me is where this (largely) american consumerism juggernaut runs up against the wall of more european protestant guilt, especially in the food scene. the result - we desperately want to be thin and stylish, but we end up fat and bloated.
the old european theory used to be that you just can't have unlimited pleasure. it will be spoiled and so no longer pleasure. that's the sub-text for countless fairy stories where someone gets given three wishes and ends up wishing they had never been given them, because they go wrong in some way. compare that to the american dream of the unbridled pursuit of pleasure - pleasure on tap and pleasure for its own sense.
we see the later here in dubai in the unlimited buffets, the 'all you can eat' offers and the more-for-less attitude that many think is driving the diabetes epidemic to crazy heights. unfortunately, the economic crisis has seen the opposite - the fine dining, quality more than quantity desire - facing harder times.
gourmet or gourmand? which are you...