Einst kauften die Menschen Vinylschallplatten, nein, nicht wegen der Musik sondern wegen der überlegenen Haptik. Vinylkritiker diskutierten in Fachzeitschriften die Knackigkeit und schwärmten von Materialfortschritten der Plattenfirmen.

Der A&R-Teilzeitmitarbeiter einer Plattenfirma brach stets in Jubel aus, wenn eine neu gegründete Musikgruppe ein seltenes Demotape einschickte. Nun hieß es schnell sein und sofort per Telegramm mit einem unterwürfigen Anschreiben das freundliche Vetragsangebot zurückschicken (anhören würde er das Tape später). Musiker mussten gut behandelt werden, man wollte sich ja nicht mit der einflussreichen Musikergewerkschaft anlegen.

Gut erinnere ich mich noch daran, wie die Jahrgangsbesten bei der Abiturfeier berichteten, dass sie einen der begehrten Studienplätze als Freejazzmusiker oder Ausdruckstanzchoreograph abbekommen hatten. Wir anderen waren neidisch, denn sie würden Urheber sein, mit einem starken Urheberrecht im Rücken würden sie die Zukunft formen und die Gesellschaft voranbringen.

Doch wir hatten ja zu schlechte Noten und mussten uns stattdessen mit Berufen durchschlagen, die weniger gesellschaftlichen Wert und Ansehen hatten. Besonders Mediziner und Juristen fürchteten die unklaren Berufsaussichten. Wenn es gut lief, konnte ein Anwalt im Alter um die 30 vielleicht ein paar aufsehenerregende Verfahren in den großen Gerichtssälen der Republik verhandeln. Aber später würde er alternd durch die Provinzgerichte ziehen, ein paar wenige treue Prozessbeobachter im Schlepptau, die mit ihm zusammen vom alten Ruhm zehren.

Oh ja, einst war Künstler ein knallharter Ausbildungsberuf mit erstklassigen Berufsaussichten. Fabrikanten flehten ihre Kinder an, ihr Talent nicht im Betrieb mit langweiligen Vorstandssitzungen für mickrige zweistellige Renditen zu verschwenden. Nein, sie rieten dem Nachwuchs stattdessen zur Kunsthochschule, damit sie später einen ordentlichen Beruf haben, der sie bis ins hohe Alter ernähren kann.

Aber all dies ist nur noch verblassende Erinnerung. Das Internet, ja, es ist schuld. Das Internet brach aus und zerstörte all dies. Vorbei, leider, alles vorbei.

Wenn ich jemanden via Google, Xing oder Facebook nicht finde
– hat der dann etwas falsch oder etwas richtig gemacht?

Der Gedanke kaum auf, weil ich gerade die früheren Mitschüler für das Klassentreffen zusammensuche.

Received this email message to my .de address today:

Subject: “Subject for German customers”

“Dear Sir or Madam,

this is a default email message that gets sent out automatically in the licensed version.
This is written in English. However it might be better changed it to German language since only email addresses who end with *.de will get this message.

With best Regards
Email Spider —
Attention! Please never use our software to spam other people.”

Director Steven Lisberger about his movie Tron [at 3:30 in the video]:

“We were worried about being taken over by this ‘1984’ sensibility of computer data being gathered on all of us and not having access to it. The PC didn’t exist. You couldn’t really get a small computer unless you knew how to work in machine language. And we thought: Well, if everybody could just get their hands on their information and manipulate it and become part of the web, well, then the world would be perfect. Obviously, this is what happened. But the world isn’t perfect.

[In 1982,] I informed 10-year-olds that this might be the future. And they really dug it. But their parents just went to a Disney film with them that was [supposed to be] a family film that had a whole lot of things in it they had never heard of and didn’t understand. People are offended by change when it comes from a direction they didn’t expect. So they went next door and watched E.T. three times.

But their kids did not forget this film. And then, when the PC showed up, they said: Oh yeah, I know what this is about. And they became this digital generation.”

This isn’t true. Back then, the first cheap home computers were available to the general public and the PC as we know it today was introduced a year before Tron was released.

Then again, it is true. I was 10 years old when Tron was released and Steven Lisberger’s quote describes my mindset since then.

But honestly, Tron also was a wonderfully silly movie and we kids just enjoyed it for its visuals and popcorn appeal and laughed at the corny story. Come on, it featured a flying Bit!

Did it prepare us for the things to come?

During a trip to the US in 1993, I found this strange text embedded in a road in Washington D.C. and took a photograph of it:

toynbee.jpg

Having just read the novel ‘2001’ with its fantasy of possible next steps in the evolution of mankind and its mind, this was a cryptic, haunting message by an unknown troubled soul. I kept wondering about it over the years.

Others did, too: Googling the message over a decade later found a small documentary film project by a group of hobbyists. It turns out that these Toynbee Tiles had been found in several unexpected locations in and outside the U.S. and the story behind them appears to be a beautiful mystery worth making a film about it. They asked for dates and locations of Toynbee Tile sightings, so four years ago I sent them my 1993 photo and wished them best of luck.

And now, their handcrafted film is finished. It appears to be good: The documentary “Resurrect Dead” has been accepted to the Sundance Film Festival.

But the story doesn’t end here. Here’s an email the filmmakers sent me yesterday:

Hello Everyone in my Contact List,

For decades, hundreds of cryptic tiled messages have been embedded in the roads of cities, towns and highways from New York to Rio, Brazil. The mystery began in Philadelphia in the early 1980’s. The tiles all repeat a variation of the message:

‘TOYNBEE IDEA
IN KUBRICK’S 2001
RESURRECT DEAD
ON PLANET JUPITER’

Half a decade ago, I became involved in a documentary project that investigated the ‘Toynbee Tiles.’ The story was a good one, and a few weeks ago the movie was accepted into the Sundance film festival. This is all great news, but I’m not writing you to brag about it.

Until now, the film has been self-financed by Philadelphia based director, editor, producer, writer, cameraman and score composer Jon Foy. And by self-finance, I mean that he paid for it with what he earned at his day job cleaning houses. His story proves that talent, hard work and perseverance can get a movie into the most prestigious film festival in the world… but that’s about it. Once it’s there you need some real money, real fast to see it through. There’s a final pressing of the film, merchandise, publicist, legal fees and a million other expenses, small and large.

And that’s why I’m writing you. Our 4-person team needs money and has started soliciting private donations via kickstarter.com to help raise it. You can read more about the project and watch a video here:

Resurrect Dead – A Sundance Documentary in Need of Your Help

If you can, please consider donating something to the project. Also, please help spread the word, by forwarding this message to anyone you know who might be willing to help. Any amount is appreciated and if you look at the gifts, you’ll see some incredible deals. For example, if this movie takes off even a little, a limited edition DVD signed by a suddenly famous director would be an instant collectible. Thanks for taking the time to read this solicitation/plea.”

While Jon already reached the original donation goal, he’s still in debt thanks to this movie. So dear readers, why not donate a bit more to get him and his team out of the red?

Update: The film team has set up a blog about their Sundance visit.

  1. Tja.

zwobot

Ok, der Witz ist recycled. Und nein, ich habe Zwobot auch damals nicht verstanden.

Und dann war da noch die übersichtliche Mobilfunktarif-Auswahl von T-Mobile:

T-Mobile Tarifübersicht

 

Berlin, Samstag, 23 Uhr. Nach der “Freiheit statt Angst”-Demo. Die S-Bahn ist ausgefallen, die Leute fahren eng gedrängt im Regionalzug. Hans-Christian Ströbele steigt mit seinem Fahrrad ein. Die Leute gucken (ich auch), aber sprechen ihn nicht an. Er will vermutlich auch seine Ruhe haben.

Am Hauptbahnhof steigt er wieder aus. Zwei junge Männer tuscheln: “Das war er doch, oder?” “Ja, ich denke schon. Und wenn nicht, sieht er dem Trittin wirklich sehr ähnlich.”

Nachtrag: Hab’s dem Büro von Ströbele per Mail geschrieben. Der antwortet:
“Normalerweise werde ich mit ‘Schäuble’ verwechselt und angesprochen.”

Systemfehler - Melanie Filsinger, Hannover, Citycards Kunstkarte

“Systemfehler” – eine alte Citycards-Kunstkarte von Melanie Filsinger aus Hannover