Monthly Archives: April 2011

Warhol 2.0 – 15 minutes of anonymity

In times where people wish their “friends/followers” a good night via twitter and in moments, where Maltese real estate agents want to professionally interact with a communication intern in the Netherlands, you cannot stop but notice how public your private life has become. I can barely browse the internet without stumbling upon a Facebook thumb or a small blue bird. Hold on, I stumbled upon it? What seems as a nice usage of semantic turns out to be the latest gadget in the social media theme park. This service offers you (by logging on with your FB account) websites that mixes your personal interests and hobbies, so you can be exposed to even more news, tweets, updates and thumbs up than you even did before.

15 minutes of fame

While I personally have only joined LinkedIn to create a professional network which might come in handy for future jobs, recommendations and the usual “hey, let us stay in touch” idea, I come to regret it more and more these days. With smart kids, who seem incapable of understanding the difference between FB and LinkedIn (and thus publish seemingly meaningless nonsense regarding formula 1 or pressing the “i like” button on a “i go to bed” comment) I considered deleting my account for good. However, this action will be non-beneficial. Not for me, not for my “business partners” which whom I might engage in professional interaction at some point in the future (left aside the mysterious invite from the Maltese real estate agent) and certainly not for these geeks who need people like me (or in general, people) that are able to see their comments posted on various websites, blogs and forums. I will not delete my account at LinkedIn nor will I ever have one on Facebook. The reason for that is that I do not want to get sucked into the whole “show the world who you are” nonsense any more than I already have.
In 1968, when the great Andy Warhol coined the widely used expression of “in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”, his idea was far from being realistic. Fame was something remotely known to the younger generation.

I now want what my generation has come to learn but has forgotten even faster: 15 minutes of anonymity…

15 minutes of anonymity

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The old man and the window

Living in a street covered in red lights in a medium-sized Dutch city offers room for interesting observations of human behaviour.

I stare out of my window in the 1st floor. My window is huge and beautiful, but that is not the point. The point is that I am looking out of the window, knowing that only a few meters from my window I find windows covered in darkish red lights, the color provided by neon tubes. Each evening after work, I spend some minutes at my huge and beautiful window, staring at the traffic of people passing by, slowly, insecure, looking for people like me staring at them, hoping to not catch eye contact. One day, I watched a man (I reckon in his late 50’s) passing by my window more than 10 times within 1 hour, his facial expression showed loneliness at its core…

The “elderly” are being substitutes by young blokes once the dawn sets in, either making sure the prostitutes are not being harassed or, even more often I came to understand, trying to sell hard drugs. It never gets dark at night, it never gets silent at night. I don’t know who intimidates me more; those who actively seek the red lights or those who try to make a living with the lights. But nonetheless, old men, loitering down my street, longing for cold lights with cold eyes; this street is interesting for observations of human kind. provided that you have huge and beautiful windows…