Unnecessary Things #4: An Informative Guide to Raising Your Ego

Unnecessary Things is a column by Meriwether Clarke.

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Anyone who’s anyone knows the real reason millenials keep putting off kids. Careers? The economy? The dwindling existence of eligible men? YEAH RIGHT.We’re all too busy raising something else besides jam-handed toddlers: OUR EGOS.

That’s right, forget the traditional days of ten years past, when late twenty-something hipster couples strolled down cobbled Williamsburg streets, a fat newborn named Jeremizekiah strapped to the bearded father’s chest. Why bother with progeny when the real gift you want to leave to the world is something that will last forever? No, not a diamond…your Facebook account!

In fact, I can barely stay still long enough to type this informative guide. There are Instagram photos to be taken! A Goodreads account to update (5 out of 5 stars for Rilke…IN GERMAN)! A SELF-PRODUCED AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL DRAMA TO ACCIDENTALLY SEND TO ALL MY FRIENDS! But I’m getting carried away. Tori of tori.gov has promised to monstrously inflate my ego for all this incredibly difficult typing. So here it goes–some small snippets of advice for raising your ego, today. Simply identify your ego-type and follow my fail-proof inflation guide:

 The Intellectual Ego

It’s hard to be a young intellectual. So misunderstood. So convinced of your own mind’s infinite gifts. So sure that debates about postwar linguistic power structures have a place at the dinner table. That Christmas tree ornaments are a representation of bourgeois Nazi values. Fear not! To be an intellectual is to feel alone! Don’t shave off your beard because it itches! You–upper middle class, young, white, vaguely educated–must understand true suffering. How else will you save all the uneducated human slobs you’re forced to interact with every day from themselves? We need you, intellectuals, we need you!!! Power on! Buy that limited edition of Madness and Civilization printed on paper made from recycled straitjackets. Share it with all your friends over nutmeg and absinthe lattes, brewed by your local street vendor as you stared into the chilly winter abyss, pondering…everything.

The Beautiful Ego

Linda Evangelista once famously said she doesn’t get out of bed for more than $10000 a day. YOU SHOULDN’T EITHER (plus inflation). We peasants don’t deserve to see your flawless face and snake-venom tinted eyelids unless you’re being properly compensated for your good genes. You worked hard for those genes! You DESERVE it! And if you DO get out of bed, make sure to spend at least seven hours plucking your eyebrows into perfect half circles and dusting your cheeks with upcycled tinted chalk dust. Then tweet about it. Let us know the secrets to your beauty! WE WANT TO BE BEAUTIFUL TOO.

The Artist Ego

We live in a world that values money over knowledge, sexuality over inner beauty, Justin Timberlake over Bach. What’s a young Artiste to do, burdened by soulful emotions and gratuitous self-loathing? Where should the young James Joyces and Elizabeth Bishops of the twenty-first century go to feel appreciated? To be told that html poetry written at 3 AM outside of your ex boyfriend’s apartment will SOMEDAY BE RELEVANT?!?! Easy! To ungentrified hipster neighborhoods in big cities! To Portland, where you can meet other people just like you! TO MFA PROGRAMS! Who cares if the homeless man on the corner doesn’t realize that your three-dimensional collage made out of beer caps and egg shells represents capitalism’s failure to sustain an educated and cultured populace? Knock on your neighbor’s door, invite them to the coffee shop across the street, and force everyone around you to listen as you explain your art to someone who actually understands it. Someone just like you.

Meriwether Clarke is a rage-filled poet who deigns, every day, to grace the streets of Irvine, CA with her Medusa-like hair and fabulous wardrobe. She thinks the five most terrifying words in the English language are “I agree with Jonathan Franzen.” She simply doesn’t have time to tell the rest of you what’s wrong with your life choices.

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