A few days ago, I was reading a beach side novel about the dangers of unrestrained optimism. Confessions of a Shopaholic is about a woman named Rebecca Bloomwood, who has totally bought into the culture. Obsessed with beautiful clothes, she gets her self further and further into debt. At every turn, she believes that things will turn around. She could win the lottery, or do mail order frames for money or take a job in a shop although she has no idea about working in retail.
Basically, she does everything that a typical American (although she is British) would do. Instead of confronting her problem, she just ignores it and gets deeper and deeper in it. She doesn't seriously consider that her addiction could be ruining her life or attempt to take steps to stop it. Basically, while it is a silly book (I mean, it even has a happy ending), one can glean some commentary on the basic flaws of the Western Consumerism attitude.