I’m still doing a bit of post-flu coughing and spluttering.  So I note that‘Affluenza’ is suddenly everywhere – the title of psychologist Oliver James’ new book.  Affluenza is described as ‘‘a contagious, middle-class virus causing depression, anxiety, addiction and ennui’

I suppose that kind of thinking is a natural part of ‘the times that are in it’  Suddenly the idea of playing at asceticism has become a new hobby for the affluent middle classes.  No wonder M&S is suddenly doing badly.  The Motley Fool is e mailing me and suggesting that I should try ‘Frugal Fridays’   But it’s interesting that Nick Spencer, in writing about Affluenza, notes the potential of suffering – and of religious faith – to help people to find less depressed and unhappy lifestyles ..

Meanwhile, we wait to see other signs of that public attitudes towards [ostentatious displays of] wealth might be changing.  Bad enough that Ronaldo wrote off the Ferrari in Manchester this week.  He might have been wiser to take the bus rather than the Bentley later in the day.

Andrew Grice writes in today’s Independent about the way in which people perceive some people [Sir Alan Sugar and JK Rowling] as more deserving of their wealth than others [Roman Abromovich and Lewis Hamilton]   But I suspect that it’s not so much the wealth itself – more how it is acquired and what the possessor does with it.

Saturday night fever

My Independent today carries a ‘Thou shalt not pinch sermons from the Internet’ piece about the tendency of young Catholic priests to download and read sermons as if their own. Can this be true? Are people really stupid enough to do this? I can’t bear to read my own old sermons – let alone anybody else’s.

But I do tend to do a bit of Saturday sermon-surfing – more to find something to give me something to think about than a great lump of undigested text to download. But at present I can’t find anything much that suits me. I had an affection for Sarah Laughed for a while – but she seems to have run out of steam. In truth, things have never been the same since Jane Williams stopped writing sermon notes in the Church Times.