Here We Are Everywhere

Na het nodige topoverleg tussen getalenteerd studente Marije Kuiper en ondergetekende is besloten om de eindexamencatalogus 2009 van de Academie voor Popcultuur en mijn boek een titel te laten delen: Here We Are Everywhere. Een thema dat we delen, maar ook een samenvatting van de boodschap die ik over wil brengen in mijn boek. Een goed concept schept een (kijk op de) wereld. Een goed concept brengt het hier en nu dichterbij. Maakt alles even overbodig.

Gezien de titel in het Engels is en we de catalogus en het boek willen gebruiken om de Academie voor Popcultuur te definiëren en aan de buitenwereld te presenteren, wordt het boek ook in het Engels geschreven. Hier een sneak preview. Graag uw commentaar.

I’ve bought a house that was built in 1828. And there’s a lot of DIY work to be done in there. And during that DIY work I came across a pencil scribbling that said “1896, P. Kremer”. So this mister Kremer was doing DIY work in 1896 and wanted a future generation to know that he tried his best. Which was a bit like finding a message in a bottle.
I suppose this Mr. Kremer had work. Let’s assume he was a baker. Everybody in this village would have known he was the baker. And whether he was in church on Sunday, at the butcher on Monday or at someones birthday on Friday, he would be identified as being the baker.
When I’m at the butcher I’m a man with a young son. When I’m at work as a teacher I’m a pseudo-serious encyclopedia of modern day trivia. When I’m at work as a freelance copywriter or strategist I’m a young person with connections and a ton of ideas. I am perceived as someone different everywhere I go. The reality that is me as a person of flesh and bones has little impact on the way I am perceived. Big change in a 113 years.
But the same goes for the reality that I live in. Mr. Kremer was constrained to his physical surroundings. If he wanted to talk to his mother, he’d have to make time to visit her. I can whip out my mobile phone and make that wireless connection more important than the couple of square feet I am standing on in an instant. Place is irrelevant to me to a certain extent.
Mr. Kremer lived before TV, radio, youtube or twitter. He could have bought a newspaper, but most likely got his news from the local cafe. Where news was supposedly pretty local. No need or possibility to be frightened about people dying of Mexican flu in Mexico or Koreans having a rocket.
We on the other hand can be driven mad by all the news and knowledge we have access to. Should I worry about a flu breakout on the other side of the world? Should I care about people in Africa that have nothing to eat? Should I protest against Guantanamo Bay? How can I relate to all these things? And how can I choose what to act upon?
I have no choice but to chose. I can’t act upon everything. I can’t even act upon everything that intrinsically touches me in any way. So by default I need to filter my sources and perceive my reality in a way that I see fit.
You can possibly see that as a constraint. But also as an opportunity. And since I’m a DIY type of person, I’d like to see the positive. How can I mould this world to my advantage?

There’s no rulebooks anymore. So here’s the rulebook for that.

With different angles of approach in every chapter, this book sets out to be a guide in our world today. Avoiding to become victim of the chaos around us, and setting out to make everything out of this opportunity.