The human ego is bizarre and endlessly fascinating. I’ve also been finding it extremely funny lately, too, witnessing the things that people do to make themselves feel o.k. about themselves. Maybe I’ve lived in Los Angeles long enough now for me to find unbridled egotism humorous instead of merely patently obnoxious.
For example, I saw a guy the other day in Amoeba Music wearing a ‘Fred Durst Sucks’ T-shirt. After I remembered who Fred Durst was, I realized that it apparently was important enough to this guy to express this lovely sentiment, so that the world wouldn’t think less of him, but perhaps would think less of Fred Durst. (To quote Gore Vidal, another erstwhile Angelino, ‘It’s not enough to succeed; others must fail.’)
In addition to simultaneous devotion to and disdain for rock stars, people in L.A. (and, to a lesser extent, in other places) bolster their egos with suntans, cars, implants, trophy wives, wealthy husbands, tattoos and piercings, houses on hills, the right wine, shopping at Saks, career advancement, identification with sports teams/figures — the list goes on and on and on. The funniest part is when the very thing that bolsters one person’s ego fails to garner any respect or recognition from anyone else.
I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll be discussing ego a lot herein. Living here at the epicenter of narcissism, there’s never a shortage of source material.