An Exploration of my Generation
by Folke Eikmeier
Wednesday night, researching for my thesis, reading the Wikipedia article on 1989 — a historic year full of watershed moments. In the night between June 3rd and June 4th, the People’s Liberation Army crushes the democracy movement on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. On November 9th the Berlin Wall falls, marking the beginning of the end of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. And, possibly more important, on October 19th, I am born.
Imagine my shock when I see the 1989 article containing a list titled “Births”. People born in 1989 important enough for a Wikipedia entry? Who are they? And, more importantly, why am I not on that list?
Well, firstly, I’m not an athlete, like Liu Zige (March 31st) from China or Nastia Liukin (October 30th) from America, who at age 22 have already won Olympic medals in swimming and gymnastics. I’m not a talented football player like Thomas Müller (September 13th) who plays in the German national team and I’m not female and beautiful like Miss Earth 2009 Larissa Ramos (February 4th) fromBrazil.
I’m also not a messiah-wizard, like Harry Potter (July 31st), and not talented enough to be the actor that plays him, Briton Daniel Radcliffe (July 23rd). My voice doesn’t make little girls go crazy like the one of Bill Kaulitz (Septermber 1st), lead singer of the German Exportschlagerband Tokio Hotel. Finally, I’m probably not quite as intelligent as Ukrainian chess Grandmaster Kateryna Lahno (December 27th).
But wait! At UCU, I have written several essays on extremely relevant topics, like “Jakob Grimm as a Cultural Nationalist,” or “The de facto Status of the Republicof Transnistria.” Doesn’t that make me as important as American porn actress Madison Ivy (June 14th)? Well, I can just make my own entry!
Sadly, the editing page tells me I’m not allowed: “Do not add yourself, non-notable people, fictional characters, or people without Wikipedia articles to this list.”
Since I am myself and not fictional, the conclusion is clear: I am non-notable. A nobody in the world of the World Wide Web. It’s really my own fault. I should have trained like a maniac to be good in sports. I should have taken acting and singing classes. At least I should have started riding Icelandic horses at age three, like upcoming equestrian champion Valdimar Bergstað (December 19th).
Then again, if I keep doing my readings I might just become knowledgeable enough to write a book interesting enough to earn me a Wikipedia entry. After all, the story of my life continues, which sadly is not the case for everyone born in 1989. Australian bodybuilder Aziz Shavershian (March 24th), better known as YouTube celebrity Zyzz, became notable for his perfectly trained body and cool quotes. On 5 August 2011, he died at age 22, of heart failure which might have been related to the use of anabolic steroids. If true, this means he was killed by the very substance that helped to make him famous enough for Wikipedia.