Sunday, July 19, 2009

My Name Is James Tillich

The world is overflowing with serious people. Most of them have reason to be serious. I even have occasional reason to be serious. But nothing singular should ever be selected as a lifestyle choice as there are options available for a reason. We were meant to take them, to use them, to make them a personal and wonderful manifestation of ourselves. We were meant to grab a moment of fun here and there to complete us as whole, functioning human beings. Without fun we are missing something vital to our being. It's like living without blood in your veins or reading only poetry that stops just before the last stanza.

Then there's the internet, this web of serious commentary mixed with blogs written by people's pets, the absurd mixed with the poignant, the propaganda dressed up as truth and raising hell at the virtual neighborhood bar every chance it gets. Never before has the potential for so much mixed with the reality that there's a whole lot of people in the world with too much time on their hands.

I'm not one of those with too much time. Most of the time I fall asleep exhausted  and even dream of sleeping. The older I get the more I need some kind of help to get me through the next phase of running my business and trying to survive in a severely depressed economy. I frequently have an overwhelming desire to just blow it all off and live like I did in my 20's--in the company of my best traveling buddy and a furry companion helping me search for the most beautiful piece of nature to pitch my tent.

But that's for next year. For right now I get by with a little help from fun. I realized a long time ago that one aspect of the internet was its potential for fun. It is, when you think about it in a particular way, the world's largest ant farm. It provides a venue for just about anything one wants to do or say. It is entertainment that you let in voluntarily, content you collect for its ability to make you feel something other than the tedium of the ordinary. It is a huge collection of amusement waiting to happen.

That is why when I first heard about James Tillich, I was immediately intrigued by his potential for fun. This is from his MySpace page:

"James Tillich was born in a college philosophy class in December of 2006. A student suggested the name "James Tillich" as an incorrect option on part of a hypothetical test question. Upon hearing the name "James Tillich" the instructor burst out laughing and said, "There never has been a James Tillich." He immediately went over to the computer and Googled an exact word search for "James Tillich". Both instructor and class were amazed when "No results found" popped up. Later that night one student searched both English and German databases. Results? Zip. Nada. Nechevo. Nothing. There was no trace of such a person ever having existed. The instructor decided, "Well if he never existed, then I'll create him." read more

This to me represents the true spirit of what is one internet running alongside another one. It is the web that is woven with laughter, with fun, with the sense of play that never goes away, no matter how old we get. In fact, it is this very sense of play, this ability to turn something as mundane in its functionality as the internet into your own personal ant farm, an ant farm where all the ants wear funny party hats and dance in conga lines to Jimmy Buffet as they drink margarita after margarita, that keep you alive in a form worth living.

And in that spirit of fun I invite you, your friends, your acquaintances, even people you really don't care much for, to come play with James Tillich. I have made him a blog. Do drop by and leave him a message, a note encouraging him in his non-existence, his splendid sense of nothingness he has perfected to a precise, invisible art. James Tillich's blog

Follow him on Twitter.   @jamestillich  

Start your own Tillich Blog. Visit his store

Buy a t-shirt:


But most of all, use him for fun. No one will ever know as he doesn't exist. So that gives you lots and lots of room to play.

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