My friend Snooky has a husband who is a DJ. We talked about the amount of "bling" in hip-hop videos today. In the latest Missy Elliott video (didn't think I'd do *that* didja?), there are Jeeps and tekkie devices, and of all things a Yorkie. A dog. As a status symbol. As though we lived in Ancient Rome and Caligula were our leader.
OK, I realize that as Americans, a working-class immigrant people gone nouveau riche, we are all rather excited to acquire stuff and things and bling. African-Americans are particularly entitled to explore their cravings for things, too (I chuckle at Chris Rock's rant about spinning rims).
But on reading this entry by Concierge Services, I realize that it is becoming easier and easier for our kids to be sucked in to owning things to prove their mettle. The corporate consumer culturalists get us when we're young and keep us addicted.
American Girl. Reebok, Nike, and Puma shoes. Puma bags. Kate Spade bags. Even Louis Vuitton bags for young'uns. On MTV (a horrible Caligula consumerist show, so far it has deviated from the art that was the 24-hour music video show) "My Super Sweet 16" presents to us a young Los Angeles (Iranian?) girl who insists on having a harem-style Sweet 16 party, flies off to Paris for her outfits, tells her mother she is "having an emergency" on viewing the Versace window, convinces her dad to buy her a brand new Range Rover as her first car, employs about four stud-like looking young men to lift her on entrance to her party, and her mother flips out when the daughter heads off to Santa Barbara with her friends because "that is the last straw."
I thought Jordache and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans were the big deal when I was growing up.
Today, it's attempted or actual murders over Harry Potter books. We relinquish our selves for things to prove who we are. I do think this phenomenon occurs in other places, other countries, other societies...but surely, not to the degree that we allow it to happen here.
Has our society gone insane, or are we the victim of pandemic low self-esteem?