Everyone can hold a videocamera

By Susanne Jirkuff


I was thinking about what to write, but all my thoughts were dissolving into the summer air. After forgetting myself for a while I suddenly had this idea that I would like to have a populist’s skill, that of bringing everything to a point. No endless chains of connected facts, no contexts, no backgrounds, just a sentence with everything you need to know. Something like, An artist puts paint on canvas, not ink on paper. Or, If words don’t come easy they’re cheesy. Or, Those who write are too weak for action. Or, You better look up to the sky not down to the table. Yep, the sky is blue today and two trees cross their branches high above my head. Infinity and beyond… it’s not easy to be a populist. You have to keep people up to the scratch. As soon as their thoughts start to flow you’ve lost them. Your sentences have to be short and strong. A square-sentence. A “We” sentence. That “We”… as soon as I start to think over that “we” I start to get distracted again. The majority. Those who… have a family? Work from 9 to 5? Watch TV-shows? The middle class?

Let’s make it easy: right now “we” is a couple of people sitting around in the park, two pigeons that I can’t see but hear behind me, a squirrel that suddenly appears on the tree to my right; some students, women with children, two fathers pushing a buggy. A peaceful we. Would they join me if I declare, “We Park-People are doing the right thing! We want peace, love. Jobs for all people. We like art. Artists should get much more money for the work they’re doing. Yet we concede that 98 % of all sculptures should be thrown out of parks. If we want to talk to somebody we do so, but we’re not using the cell phone. Cell phone people need an umbilical cord to their musty little privacy, but we celebrate the public space. We share our blankets. We like nature unless it means crazy weather like this summer. Birds, squirrels, and smaller bugs are okay. We only hate dogs in the park. And babies who scream longer than half an hour. People who let their dogs shit on the lawn will be executed.”

Can you be a populist AND impose a ban on mainstream simplifications like Paulo Coelho or ambient music? I mean before the elections. ‘Cause then I would like to add some points: bestseller rankings are a pain in the ass. We don’t need lists of books, cooks, or rich motherfuckers. Artists rankings in glossy magazines are for people who can’t see the difference between a bill and a picture. Speaking of magazines: women magazines have to decide if they are an ad for cosmetic surgery OR a call for self-confidence. Jamba Ringtones will be stored together with Plutonium for the next 10,000 years. And, sorry boys, but German Hip Hop is – how shall I put it – a delusion, something that rather NEEDS parental advisory. So, if you want to get creative take my advice: everyone can hold a videocamera!