How Do I Love Me? A Conversation Between Ego and Narcissism

At a design event recently, Ego made a not-so-surprising appearance. I caught up with it afterward for a short interview. Narcissism saw we were talking and nudged into the conversation. Here is an excerpt.

Let me count the ways.

Do you know the word humble?

Ego: Can you define your term?

Narcissism: I don’t understand the question! Are you referring to me? Have I done something to offend you? Why don’t you ask me about me?

Freud wrote that ego is a sense of self.  Yet he later revised his definition to mean a set of psychic functions such as judgment, tolerance, control, planning, defense, intellectual functioning, and memory. Does that definition suit you?

Ego: Oh, humble—yes, for sure that would be my middle name, if I had a middle name. But, please, that’s enough about me. What do you think of me?

Narcissism: Let me answer that with quote from my dear friend George Harrison—he was very fond of me, you know. He wrote this song about me:

All through the day, I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.
All through the night, I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.
Now they’re frightened of leaving it,
Everyone’s weaving it,
Going on strong all the time.
All through the day, I me mine.

You were invited to this design conference to talk about some of your influences. Do you have any?

Ego: My reputation is based on a lot of strikingly unique work and intelligent presentation.

Narcissism: I believe that all influences are within me. I’m influenced by my own work—impressed too. I derive great personal pleasure from the things I do, as I’m sure others get pleasure from them too.

How often do you Google yourselves?

Ego: Never. [Ping!] I get alerts.

Narcissism: Well, looking up my name is really extremely interesting. I see so many extraordinary things about me. My Wikipedia page is hugely popular—I get so many compliments.

Is there anything you’d like to say to young designers?

Ego: Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Narcissism: Better yet, follow me! My feeds are so much more interesting. I’m also tops on Pinterest! I’m pinteresting!

Follow Steven Heller on Twitter! And don’t miss his live DesignCast—Researching Design History: From a Personal Perspective—streaming live tomorrow, June 27, at 2 p.m.

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