When he was a boy, he dreamt of becoming an abominable snowman. Viewed metaphorically, his dream has become reality, at least if you look at his access to and effortless relationships with money and power. His new interest is guitar playing and if he speaks as miserably as he plays this musical instrument, I can only dread the interview. Gong ka-chong.
Betram gives a long hug, sits in the middle of the floor and puts the guitar to his cheek as if it was a violin. What follows is a clumsy presentation of Brahm’s lullaby known from a baby-toys with a string attached. He offers coffee with biscuits. Now follows a torrent of emotionally unintelligent statements that clearly express that Bertram Dahl is nothing but a measly nihilist and cynicist. Finally, I have to interrupt him by bringing forth my own visions in order to derail his externally controlled monomaniacal speech flow. It’s because I have to look after my friendships. It’s because I have to ask God to strengthen me in my faith. This, I know how to do. So I have to ask Bertram Dahl to tell me how he looks after his friendships. He is the kind of person who rarely answers phone calls and plays with his shame and loneliness as if they were interesting playmates. He is just the type that sings: I have no need for friendship, friendship causes pain, with Simon and Garfunkel. I lay my speeches and my project plan for my new social media in front of him. He reads. He does not lift his glance even once.
“I won’t tolerate this,” he finally says, letting the papers drop on the coffee table.
He explains: “We cynics and nihilists will not be confronted with projects which are at once brilliant, loving and realistic. It makes me feel like I’ve wasted my life from the very beginning, ever since the time I wanted to become an abominable snowman. In other words, your project is so good that I’m getting stomach cramps and having trouble breathing. But there’s a snag in it, a serious mistake, it’s too good for this world.”
I look at him with a sharply pointed look. Is he right?
“I think you can get it up and running if you listen to me carefully,” he says.
The room gets quiet. The curtains stop their swaying.
“Now you listen carefully. 1. Build it up based on your own friendships. 2. Have patience with your friends. They must be allowed to understand the philosophical aspects at their own pace. 3. Publish friendly conversations and reactions like videos and pdfs. Then people will start using it after some time.”
The curtains come back in motion. Confused and encouraged I pack my things and leave Bertram Dahl.