12 November 2005

Screaming egos

I was out walking in the neighborhood the other day when I saw the personalized license plate "RLLN22S." Huh? It was one of those that takes you a minute as you try and jam the letters together and sound out the numbers. "Real lawn tutus?" "Our ellen twenty twos?"

Then I saw the big rims and figured it out instantly. "Rolling 22s". The license plate was on a huge SUV with giant chrome tire rims.

Not only was this person convinced that big tire rims were a way to happiness that they were willing to spend upwards of $2000 on them (I just learned that myself, wow) but they wanted to make sure people noticed by putting it on their license plate.

Did someone not get enough hugs from Mom?

To me, stuff like this - conspicuous consumerism, wearing clothing and accessories with logos all over them - is just embarrassing. What it says to me is not "I'm classy" but "I don't have anything inside me, so I have to buy my identity."

I think I am probably hopelessly old school about this, because it is rare to see anyone under 30 who doesn't have enough logos on their bodies to rival a NASCAR car. Let's face it, it's hard to BUY clothes without logos on them. You have to make a real conscious effort and even then there are some logos, like on athletic shoes, that are unavoidable. You have to dig pretty deep into the bargain bin to find running shoes that the makers are so ashamed of that they won't slap a logo on them.

But people take it too far. Purses that are just one continuous logo pattern. Tiffany jewelry where showing off the maker's mark is the whole point. I even saw a girl with a Roxy logo tattooed above her butt. I can't wait til she has to explain that one to her grandkids.

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