8.21.2009

On the Corner of Self-Absorption and Regression

During the Renaissance, egomaniacs of privilege had paintings of themselves commissioned. They put on dour faces as if inconvenienced by the whole thing, but unless they were of royal lineage, no one was holding a gun to their head. They loved every minute of it. It was all just part of the act.

Later generations went for pop art images of themselves a la Andy Warhol. The bright quadrant of cartoonish images screamed, "I'm hip, I'm rich, and I must be colorblind!" The less wealthy went for caricatures of themselves, sketched at Disneyland and at beach boardwalks.

But Los Angeles isn't just an egomaniac's mecca; it's the land of babies. Once people come into money they hire people to make them grilled cheese sandwiches and make their beds. They get swimming pools and install elaborate water slides. They stand in line for three hours to get the newest iPhone and have public tantrums while waiting for it. What sort of self-portrait would cater to these foot-stomping arm-crossing whiners? They want to see a likeness of themselves sans the flaws, but also want to cater to their over-indulged inner child. What better way to achieve this than to have their image encapsulated in a toy?











The medium du jour? The Etch-A-Sketch, created by Etch-U-Sketch.

You can purchase your likeness in size small or large, without the magic eraser powder. You can order a poster print of your image. You can even purchase a sped-up video of the process to embed into your Facebook page.

For those not nominated, not cast and not auditioning, this slice of validation can be hung over mantels and in the grand foyers of your family home. Hundreds of years from now, your descendants will peer into that red plastic frame and think, "Wow, they really must've been something."

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