The trend for weekend pampering is not a new one. Back in 1132, Yorkshire's Rievaulx Abbey was described as a "marvellous freedom from the tumult of the world". Almost nine centuries later, English Heritage is encouraging us to find inner serenity on a series of "Pampering Saturdays" within the walls of the ruined abbey, including t'ai chi demonstrations and classes and foot massages in the herb garden.
I really don't think that the monks were finding freedom through pampering. Rievaulx was one of the first Cistercian abbeys in England, and Cistercians were an order renowned for their austerity: the Trappists are Cistercians. It may even be that if you're looking for a marvellous freedom from the tumult of the world, you're not going to find it in a foot rub.
I'm more and more convinced by the idea that almost all of the modern media is a sophisticated form of trolling. Trolling on a web message board is where you post something deliberately provocative and enjoy the ensuing attention -- for example, dodgy claims about the World Trade Center attacks, and suchlike.