The Onion nails the identity thing yet again in a predictably hilarious way: 

Looking cool, which the report defines as “the outward projection of an appealing and often enviable image of oneself that others perceive as requiring little to no effort,” appears to be a nationwide obsession.

“To put this into perspective, the amount Americans spend on cool looking haircuts is nearly 15 times greater than the total amount spent on cancer research,” said Eric Gerhardt, noted economist and lead author of the report. “Whether it’s name-brand sneakers, an all-in-one espresso maker, or a pair of hip and stylish Ray-Ban sunglasses, we devote tremendous resources each year toward our conspicuous attempts at stature enhancement.”

“It’s pretty much an epidemic at this point,” the 52-year-old professor added before pausing momentarily to adjust a small gold earring in his freshly pierced earlobe.
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Asked about ways the $14 trillion might be better spent, Professor Ian Thorson, a sociologist at Georgetown University, suggested the funds be used to combat poverty, but acknowledged that donating to charities was not always effective, as even those Americans in need often spend much of the assistance they receive on trying to look cool.

“The whole thing ends up being a vicious cycle,” Thorson said. “The only way this situation will ever be remedied is if people just relax and try to be themselves, you know? I mean, that’s cool, man.” Added Thorson, “Right?

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