Meeting your idol

This is too weird! My twenty-something-age-idol mentioned me in Twitter. It all started out when I was flipping through my Twitter feed and my eye caught a funny tweet by Lotta. She felt hip knowing Bieber and Beliebers pass the age of the normal suspects – but when asked couldn’t mention any songs. Then someone explained that the oh-baby-baby-song is Bieber’s. Based on the unique description of lyrics, I thought I’d been dancing to it lately during my dance lessons. (But it was Usher’s Scream, apparently very hip too.) And then my idol comes in and comments the chords, C-Am7-F-G. O.M.G.

Although I haven’t been following her music lately, I should confess that Maija Vilkkumaa is still my idol. Back in the days, she was one of the rock stars writing lyrics, composing, and completely rocking in Finnish, and as a result start a whole new genre. Super hip! She seems to do what she enjoys, which I always seem to respect.

Getting the kicks of her commenting something I was attached to (sounds so lame here), I thought of idoling. There is a saying about idols by Kirsi Piha (yet one idol of mine): Never meet your idol(s) because it might turn out that they are jerks despite all the inspiring stuff they created / wrote / composed / said / played etc. Before, I was extremely cautious to meet my idols. Also in the academia from my field, although It’d be possible as most of the people who inspire me academically are actually alive (unlike in Ancient philosophy). Yet, I stayed further away only enjoying their wisdom from the distance.

Why I feared my (academic) idols might turn out to be douchebags? We are all humans and occasionally humans are also irritating, right? At times, I’m also annoying, right? But that’s it, I thought my idols are somehow above me and my standards. I was allowed to be irritating but my idols weren’t. After all, they created something I was inspired by and seeing them as humans would have endangered my inspiration.

When I started teaching one of my first fears was that someone hates me. Then even a bigger fear emerged: What if someone thinks I’m very smart and then comes to talk to me and realises I’m a douchebag. And this is when I felt released from fears of meeting my idols: We are not perfect and that’s absolutely great.

Nowadays, I’m more willing to face my idols. Yet, it’s hard to figure out what to say. Should I confess that they are my idols? ‘Hello Ms. Villkumaa. You really rocked then and you rock now. Back on the days, we formed an air band every time we heard your song, no mater where we were. Usually I played the air drums. What’s up?’

Siberia calling

I have been thinking about what it would be like to live outside the system. It all started when we cancelled our newspaper order (in Finland you get newspapers delivered to your home every morning if you want). It’s not that I consider quitting the newspaper order as living outside the system. But it led into thinking the theme as I suddenly have had more time to read other publications. By the way, it is very entertaining to read two to three different types of newspapers/magazines side by side and compare how they analyse the world. Such fun!

The more alternative publications I have had a chance to read put emphasis on the quality of life, which is, according to some views, more probable outside the system. Or as the group of eco-villagers in Siberia consider, the only alternative after the inevitable destruction of civilisation as we know it. My friend pulled me back from my daydreams and asked how would I keep contact with my close relatives and friends from Siberia. If the Siberian eco-village generator is out of order, no Skype connections for this needy villager.

More than Skype connections I have been thinking about the ways to bring about change. Despite the harshness of Siberian winters and hotness of summers, it might be easier to escape the system and stop trying to change it. Overall, is it really needed that we abandon the current arrangement completely and start out fresh? Rather we could try to hold on to our goals in everyday interactions in order to live according to our values. However, if we stay it is tempting to give in.

My friend forgot one issue definitely postponing my eco-villager career in Siberia. My skills in Russian language are nonexistent. Siberia state of mind might be calling but please let it be in some language I understand.