Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'm My Own Copilot

Today I saw, on the back of a vanity car, surrounding a vanity plate, a slogan that seemed particularly contextually appropriate:

It's all about me.


I remember an ad campaign from some time ago in which a practical couple drove a practical car around the city, passing flashy cars populated by people who shouted their idiosyncracies through megaphones: from the sportscar, the bleach-blonde woman declared "I crave attention!" From the oversized sport-utility vehicle, the blow-dried, manicured businessman proclaimed "I have a small . . ." The couple, meanwhile, have branded themselves: in a world of vanity, they are pragmatic and sensible, and fiercely proud of it.

I guess people identify with their cars, and some go so far as to make statements with their cars. I do this myself: the Z from my spandex bodysuit shows through the window of my hatchback, helping me distinguish my Hyundai from every other, and letting people know that there's a geek of the highest order within walking distance of the parking lot. But it strikes me today, having seen this car from behind, that we inhabit a culture predisposed toward the exaltation of the self.

1 comment:

Web said...

Narcissism appears to be a core value of our culture. Along with that, a keeping up with the Jones' mentality for many in our culture screams "Look at what I have!" and "Look how successful I am!" and "Aren't you jealous of my stuff?"

It's a battle that many face on a daily basis. I know I struggle with it (like my need for a new flat panel TV). It's too bad people do not channel the energy used to individualize themselves into nurturing a relationship with God.