Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ecce homo

When I was 18, there was some kind of party involving my dad’s work colleagues in our garden. Observing from the sidelines, I noted that one of the secretaries wasn’t much older than me. She was polished to perfection, all fake smiles, polite phrases, small talk and social graces. As a grumpy teenager who had none of these attributes and gloriously failed to see their point, I probably wondered how much voltage you need to convert a human being into this kind of robot.

Later that night, it fell to me to drive this very same robot home, and during a half-hour drive I was surprised to find that there was a human being behind that robot façade. I don’t recall what we talked about, but I was so impressed I might have fancied her if I hadn’t seen her other side earlier in the evening, the memory of which still scared me. (I wrote a poem about this, called ecce homo, which you’ll find below – in German.)

Now I had a similar revelation from the infamous topless photos of the woman formerly known as Kate Middleton (easy to find on tumblr). I hated the whole wedding shebang with a passion and found every one of the officially approved fake-smile photos revolting, but on seeing those paparazzi shots I got, for the very first time, the impression that there may actually be a human being behind that robotic façade.

As the editor of the Italian magazine Chi said, they show two normal human beings in love. Maybe that’s why we (here in the UK) are not allowed to see them. The monarchists don’t want us to know that there are normal human beings underneath all the fancy clothes. In that case, there actually is a very strong public interest case to be made for publication of the photos, in order to break through the deception we’re getting all the time.

It is also noteworthy that, on the travels during this affair, she put on a headscarf when visiting muslim countries where women are expected to do so, but when visiting Pacific island nations where women go topless, she didn't adopt the native dress code. Very puzzling all this.

Still, why a lively human female in her 20s would choose to live a robot’s life, remains a mystery to me, in both cases.

PS: I tend to agree with Jonathan Jones's recent comment on all this.

I have found a lovely photo I would like to use here, just asked the photographer for permission and am awaiting response. In the meantime, enjoy the cover of Chi magazine and Steve Bell's topless royal family, and please check back tomorrow.

OK, giving up on that photo, here is plan B:

Spare a thought for poor old Kate Topping, she will have a lot of unexplained traffic on her linked-in profile this week! But seriously, while Google Germany categorically refused to censor the autocomplete algorithm just last week, when the ex-president's wife asked them to stop the auto-propagation of rumours, it looks like Google UK has decided to lend the royals a hand. Another scandal within the scandal.

ecce homo


als funktion
von erwartung
und leistung

als apparat
mit optimalem

als kommunikations
element geölt
mit höflichkeit

doch dann
aus dem
rahmen getrennt

sieh da
ein mensch

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