If you're a fan of fuckface idiots, this week's show is chock full of them due to the huge problem of "affluenza." It's the phenomenon of rich people blaming their affluence on their inability to tell right from wrong. It turns out that being too wealthy can cushion you from things like consequences for your actions, empathy, justice, jail time or any modicum of consideration. It's a huge sense of entitlement to not just public resources, but other people's actual lives. That sense of entitlement may be pervasive, as displayed by drivers of luxury vehicles who are the least likely to yield for pedestrians:
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What's ironic is that for all the wealth people hoard, and all of the endless consumption, it hasn't made anyone happier for it:
The original definition of affluenza had more to do with excess consumption and the stress related to it, as seen in this dated documentary from 1997. It's about an hour long so the bulk of the interesting parts come up top if you want to skim:
Which leads us to the modern case of affluenza: Ethan Couch. He's the spoiled shithead who stole a bunch of beer from Walmart with his friends, then killed 4 people while drunk driving and injured 9. Here are the victims left in his wake; the four in the middle are dead:
The judge gave him 10 years probation and mandatory time in a cushy rehab facility with horses, massages and hot tubs. No jail time. The judge gave the horse-shit explanation that probation would keep Couch "under the state's thumb." Of course, Ethan Couch immediately skipped his probation hearing and fled to Mexico. But not before throwing one last rager in violation of his probation. Here's the shithead partying with drunk friends after his verdict:
Also, we come to learn that Ethan was unsurprisingly homeschooled because his parents disagreed with a teacher who said he wasn't allowed to drive at 13. Here are all the sordid details on ABC's 20/20:
As for Dick, he was predictably contrarian, even when it comes to defending a murderer. Dick mischaracterized the judge's ruling as a rejection of the affluenza argument, but this exact same judge ruled for jail time on a very similar case where another teen, Eric Bradlee Miller, killed one person while drunk driving: