Img credits and copyrights: Lennart Tange
the vicissitudes I was thinking that day were tangling with each other, in particular had caught my attention some events and a question to which I tried to answer: where are we now? In background, was stealing my attention the Brexit, voted favorably few weeks before, then an article about Snapchat read on Linkedin that morning and an exhibition of Ai Weiwei at the Belvedere park in Vienna that I had just seen on Domus.
The Brexit, dear friend, was a time when the compages of now elderly and disillusioned baby boomers had decided that, because they had never been able to do anything great in their history, because it was essentially a generation of pampered children as young princes, who enjoyed the economic boom only possible thanks to the sacrifices of their parents, it was better not to contradict themselves and go and locked up in the bedroom with piggy bank full of all the money that the dad and mom by now deceased had left to them.
The article about Snaphchat instead was meant to all marketing and communications agencies to say them that their the work was already old, that their metrics on Facebook and Instagram was stuff of ancestors and today “The Young People” (which young people? as if all were the same, I thought to myself) are somewhere else … are super-fast, super-dynamic and therefore the real engine of the future marketing was Snapchat. They were all so “super” that I don’t not even tell you which ones were the characters with more following … you would not believe.
Then there was Ai Weiwei and his exhibition where he had made up huge lotus flowers tying in a circle some life jackets and put them on the baroque pond of the Belvedere park in Vienna, just to want to deal with what was then the crisis of refugees coming from Africa and the Middle East to Europe because of the wars that were destroying their countries. Just in Vienna, Austria, that in those days, you will not believe, even though it was one of the countries with less immigration among European ones, was putting barriers to the Brenner Pass because it did not trust the controls that made Italy. You know Italy from years was accepting and going to take in the sea thousands of people every month, but it’s true, four or five had escaped … those Italians, you can never trust them!
But in all seriousness, then, dear friend, we were not understanding much of what was going on, it’s not like now that we have such clear ideas and an idea of earthly life so well understood.
Dear friend, in those days we thought these events that happened, not had anything to do with each other.
Facebook’s metrics to sell cookies and the war in Syria? The exhibition of artist and political dissident, what does this have to do with Brexit? We would have said.
We realized only after having lost everything that the generation in command was made by set roles, by characters and not by people, and that the driving thrust of the decisions at the political level, but also in daily life of every person, it was not a push, was a brake … it was fear that drove us, that it was like having a blind man at the wheel, because you know, fear blinds.
That, dear friend, was not the era of warrior monks, was not the era of people who can see, this was the era of yoga done outdoors in five thousand at a time because compulsive shopping was no longer working to lighten the family disagreements .
That was an era when being a dreamer was blasphemy and instead being disillusioned was considered a virtue, at that time we don’t yet knew that if we delude ourselves with all our being we made true our illusions.
We did not know it, but we were doing it, but our illusions, were illusions dictated by fear and cynicism. That is, we did not know that the disillusioned ones are deluded by the cynicism force. We grew younger generation now convinced that the harmony knowledge of architecture was nothing compared to how many shoes can make selling a fashion blogger.
Think, dear friend, that companies capable of building design pieces of unequaled quality in the history of the entire humanity had not a hundredth of following if compared with a youtuber that pulls all the days of crap in his face and makes apology of some other nonsense always found on the internet.
Dear friend, thinks that while the world was still making religious wars as two thousand years ago, no one was explaining on TV what the scientists were discovering at CERN in Geneva.
Think, my friend, think that on TV there were daily interviews with characters who never serve no purpose in human history and there was never an interview with Stephen Hawking, with Shirin Neshat or think dear friend that in pay-TV, the television series were in fact to paid, while channels (or channel) of art were free, and … no, dear friend, were not free because art is important and is considered a primary good , no dear friend, were free because so much would not have had an economic yield equally so there were few people interested.
Think, dear friend, it was more expensive enter the stadium than the museum. You think that at that time a football player could earn hundreds of thousands of Euros a week and young people who wanted to launch new companies to improve the quality of life for all is killed to find a lender that would give them a hand, after that the same generation of their parents had also taken away from them even the hope of the future.
Think dear friend, that sometimes those guys worked months and months, without pay, at their own expense and without any incentive … and if they had the strength to get to build something, and after beating all the competition in a contest, maybe gave € 15,000 for projects that they needed a minimum of ten times to be marketed … think my friend, that someone made it, practically a miracle.
But above all, think dear friend, that despite everything, I’m here to tell you about it.
Yes, because we realized that the disillusioned ones, are deluded to be right about everything, people empty, who fill themselves only with the idea they have of themselves, and gradually we have eradicated them from positions of power and put back on people who they know they are empty only without the curiosity for each other.
In fact, over time our society has recovered itself, we realized that people curious, who wonder, those who want to experience new things, those people who like to know what other people do, those different from them, they rarely have the same tastes.
Yes dear friend, people really curious, are curious about different things at different times of their life experience. Curious people are all different.
At that time we had just realized that all aspects of social life and active in a society are part of its business, which is the food of a community, that allows it to live and then make all the experiences that people needs in their path.
But, my friend, the mental and commercial systems, as well as production and distribution were left far behind, not as technology, indeed, for that we were more than okay, but as thought.
We were talking about break even point, but we had not realized that it was the one to have to bend to our needs and not vice versa. Because you know, if you always expect to achieve a profit, putting people to serve the economy and not the economy at the service of people, this will lead, in order to increase profit on a single unit, to the simplification of production models, then at simplification of products distributed and finally to the simplification of the tastes of the people. People who want all the same, are people who have never talked to themselves.
At the time, dear friend, we had not yet wondered why we wanted the same things? But it seems normal? We are all different, but then we all wanted the same things, today it would seem crazy. There was necessarily something wrong, I told myself.
However dear friend, we were on that street, on the standardization of tastes and on the continuos search of profit to buy things without taste. People often did not even know that what they were buying was not decided by them, because they could choose only what the economy was put at their disposal.
Many businessmen of that time, in front of such statements, would have told me that there had never been so much choice of products in all of human history with phrases like “you have just to walk into any supermarket to see it.”
And it was true, my friend, never before the trade had been so full of different products and so colorful, but the thought, it was the same for everyone.
People were buying thousands of different products, but with only one single way of thinking.
That was the economy of the single thought: buy the one that makes me look like I want to be.
It was sold according to that thought also the salad. You know to what we realized that would bring the ideology of constant dissatisfaction that has to be satisfied? We realized that would lead to a disease called “chronic dissatisfaction of existence.”
The mental game was extremely well built, the world was full of all good things, but you’ll always felt with a need to be filled. The most serious disease for our society of the time was in fact called “the stagnation of consumption”, because if you felt yourself already fulfilled, you bought less and the mechanism would stop.
Then came another system in place, that of the production-distribution-sales chain that if it could create one product for many people could be economically positive. So what happened? What happened was that we would found ourselves all with some “sets of needs” all the same, and although we had all these huge similarities, the feeling of dissatisfaction make us take care only about our needs and make us unable to talk to the others, because made us feel distant from each other. This is for two reasons, the first reason of distance was dictated by the fact that having the same needs, so the dialogues were not so interesting, and second, we were interested in ourselves and not for others. We have all become different outside and identical in our inside.
Back then it was from few years that we had begun to talk within the companies of Inbound Marketing and Story Telling, to get in harmonious and fluid contact within the flow of communication with the public, so as to involve users towards products and services that were on the market without interrupting their flow of normal life.
It was a first step, but the truth was that the system had to be re-founded by foundations. People had to come back to deal with other people and understand that the diversity of others is the first means of personal growth. This then we would have ferried in the world of business, where, just as it is now dear friend, people buy thousands of products, for thousands of different reasons.
A time when the control mania has been banned as a symptom of fear, the same that made us stay away from the diversity, and we accepted the price of living in a strange world, each with their own ideas, but aware that the ideas of others may influence my and in the continuous exchange of views, products, sensations, suggestions and evolving my self that is never the same as yesterday, stands out the idea of a fluid society, which does not close in a Brexit, who no longer need of an Ai Weiwei that tells us to pay attention to the people who die at sea and that young people, are such only biologically, but each of them has a duty to give birth to himself in his unique and unrepeatable way every day.
Then we realized that homogenize the consumption, helps an economy based on a closed society, where individuals prefer to have all the same ideas at the risk of discussing and where the need installed of the continuous personal dissatisfaction increases exponentially the closing level to the others.
Today we understand that each individual needs his system of life and therefore even economic. Everyone buys according to his thought which is today what will not be tomorrow, in respect of his right to evolve day by day.
And during those years of technological innovations, while some were concerned that artificial intelligence could one day take the place of command, most of the society there was already putting the economy at the command.
Today we understand dear friend, but we had gone very close to putting the economy at the place of humans.
Then this morning I wake up, and you, dear friend, I have yet to met you, and a man has put in the place of himself driving his life, the religious fanaticism and made a killing in Nice killing and wounding dozens of people without any restraint. So, I stop to speak and I tell you only that one day I will tell this story of change, but for now everything is still to be done.