#1: For All Life's Artificial Moments, an Artificial You!
Perfect for: Cocktail Parties, Family Gatherings, Performance Reviews, Admiring Possessions, Praising Incompetency, Submitting to Undeserved Authority, Listening Attentively to Mind-Numbing Air Bags, Finding Newborns adorable, Making Small Talk, and more!
The Akutoroido DER (DER stands for "Dramatic Entertainment Robot") is a robot with a 'realistic' female appearance, facial expressions, and movements (ie her eyes blink and she uses hand gestures to accentuate the points she’s making) whose makers claim can understand simplistic conversation topics ("Are you married?") and make reply ("No, but I am looking.")
In January 2010, the Japanese department store Sogo & Seibu began accepting pre-orders for Actroid life-sized, animatronic female robots. Quantities are extremely limited: only two will be sold, at a price of $225,000 each and will be manufactured in the likeness of the purchaser.
Why such robots appear to be universally limited to the female shape is a matter for cultural psychoanalysis and will not be explored here.
Current models (as seen in the video) have 'already infiltrated low skilled jobs where looking pretty and having the ability to answer three or four questions is highly valued.'
This about covers all the skills necessary to meet the expectations of your typical Obligatory Event. Certainly, my needs in regards to an Artificial Me when I'm not up to being my Artificial Self are few indeed.
“You say you were sick so you just sent your 2010 Akutoroido DER? Why, we didn't even notice!"
"What a wonderful, friendly 2010 Akutoroido DER you have! We talked and talked!”
For my obligatory events in St. Louis, for example, I would merely require the addition of:
- "So what high school did you go to?"
- "Have you tried the fried ravioli? It's delicious!"
- "I'm not originally from around here."
To watch a movie that gives you some idea how the use of robots for Obligatory Events might fit into your future, see the movie The Surrogates in #5. Or blow off your second cousin's baby shower and watch a Creepy Android Commercial:
#2: A Portrait of You and Your Doppelganger
Somewhere in the world is my identical twin. No, not the one my mother accidentally left at the hospital because she meant to leave me. Someone completely unrelated to me and who, yet, looks so much like me people swear we're not only related but the same person.
If only I could find her. We could do so much together. We could do that Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx mirror pantomime thing. We could do each others dirty work in person and not be accused of cowardly ending relationships via email.
And we could take a road trip to Montreal and be photographed by Francoise Brunelle, whose project “I Am Not a Look-Alike” (which I assume is the Evil Doppelganger declaration of “I am a Look Alike”) will eventually have its own exhibition and book.
Imagine. You and Not You, in a high gloss coffee table book. A gift any alter ego would cherish.
If you want to participate—and it’s BYOD (Bring Your Own Doppelganger)—contact Brunelle here.
#3: A Handcrafted Fake ID
This is a gift of time. Just you and your secret self (or a gathering of such dual-minded friends) engaged in a little arts and crafts. The whole point is to make it yourself. It sorta like a validation of your alter ego's existence when you make it yourself. That your alter ego is validated by the creation of a non-valid piece of identification is just more proof that it's true.
It takes a lot of time, some critical technical knowledge, a reasonable degree of intelligence (see ‘world’s worst fake ID ever photo, below) to make the sort of high quality fake ID cards one needs to fool the cash station attendant, much less the bartender.
- Worst Fake ID ever? Or conjoined twins?
- But damn, doesn't it sound like fun?
The sites included here provide very detailed instructions, links to valuable material resources and necessary technical information, and some variation of the following disclaimer:
These instructions are for making a novelty fake ID suitable for gifts and practical humor. This tutorial is designed to help you replicate a driver’s license. You can replicate both 30 mil PVC driver’s licenses as well as thinner, bendable driver’s licenses. The methods provided in this tutorial are designed for novelty purposes only. It is illegal to forge identification for purposes of identity theft or buying alcohol or tobacco.
So you can rest easy knowing that these highly detailed instructions requiring a considerable time investment and some fairly sophisticated skills are for making novelty items and not for the promotion of any illegal activity you or your alter ego might still be able to commit, at your age, with a fake I.D.
It's all just all arts & crafts.
Here are a few sites to get you started.
A few people commenting on the Wikihow site recommended this site, instead.
#4: CALVIN & HOBBES 10th ANNIVERSARY BOOK
Of course, once we have a Fake Us that can fill in for those obligatory social obligations, we’re going to want more from our Fake Selves, like the ability to do our chores, make our beds, do our home work or office work so we can do what we want to do all of the time. This requires more than blinking, smiling, and making small talk
This requires ‘bi-location’, or sometimes ‘multi-location,’ a term used to describe the ability/instances in which an individual or object is said to be located in two distinct places at the same instant in time.
Few models for such ambitions can provide better guidance than young Master Calvin and his Familiar, Hobbes.
In the 10th Anniversary Book you will find fully illustrated instructions for crafting your own Duplicator (not to be confused with the Transmorgifier) from which actual copies of yourself may emerge to clean your room while you go out and play—unless they are actual duplicates of you, in which case they're likely to tell you to go find some other sucker to do your dirty work, and last one outside is a rotten egg.
The three main lessons here for anyone who plans on duplicating themselves:
- Be careful what you duplicate. You just might get it.
- Don’t scrimp on functionalities. Get the Ethicator add-on.
- Be careful what you duplicate. You just might get it.
The Calvin and Hobbes 10th Anniversary Book, by Bill Watterson with specific references to pages 108 through 118, and again from 152 through 159. BUY IT.
#5: ANYTHING STARRING ITSELF!
- An Ego/Alter Ego Lovefest
Videos and books featuring alter egos, doppelgangers, split selves.
Mr. Hyde is hot in this modern-day sequel to (not a remake of) Robert Louis Stevenson's classic horror story. I didn't even like the story that much until it was 're-framed' for me in this six episode BBC TV series that first aired in 2007 From a BBC press release (and all true): "Writer Steven Moffat (Coupling, Doctor Who) has taken a modern twist on the classic tale of scientific misadventure which he describes as, "Somewhere between a modern horror story and The Odd Couple," whilst producers Elaine Cameron and Jeffrey Taylor comment: "The series is a remarkable conspiracy thriller - more Spooks than Robert Louis Stevenson." The perfect ego/alter ego bonding opportunity. BUY the BBC Jekyll DVDPrint This Post