CHAPTER 17

Diagnostic test

The following situation, imagined by Affluenza coproducer Vivia Boe, has not occurred. Not yet.

You’re watching TV, in the middle of a program, when the screen goes black for a moment. The scene cuts to a breaking news story. A large crowd is gathered outside an expensive home with some equally pricey cars parked out front. A well-dressed family of four stands on the stairs, looking grim. One of the children is holding a white flag. The reporter, in hushed tones speaks into his microphone: “We’re here live at the home of the Joneses—Jerry and Janet Jones—the family we’ve all been trying to keep up with for years. Well, you can stop trying right now, because they have surrendered. Let’s eavesdrop for a moment.” The shot ...

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