I went to see another a film on my own last night, Garden State if
you're interested, something which I've got back into the habit of doing
when I'm in a certain mood. Afterwards I was waiting at the bus stop
pondering whether to spam this very list with more inane thoughts on
films you probably don't even care about, when an Italian man, around
50, started talking to me.  For no particularly good reason, I think,
other than that he was bored. 

We chatted for a while - we were both taking the same bus - and it
turned out that he's a political photographer. Before he got off at
Roseberry Avenue, heading in the direction of ur-gastropub The Eagle, he
gave me his business card.

There's an odd fetishism around business cards. Brett Easton-Ellis
riffed on it in American Psycho. The Japanese ('meishi' is Nihongo for
business card - pretentious, moi?) have elaborate customs for the
correctly polite way to receive them. 

I have stacks. I never use them. Some have "bespoke internet application 
designer" on them, some say "senior games developer" and some say "just 
another technical yahoo(!)". My current job, which couldn't be less 
client facing if I tried, doesn't afford me the opportunity to try find 
another place to stash another unopened box of the little suckers.

In some ways I miss the legitimacy that being given your stash of 
business cards gives you. It's like a present for passing your 
probation period, it means you're part of the corporate family and 
that, through some nebulously and poorly understood process, minions 
have been dispatched clutching a piece of paper with your name on it and 
clear instructions to make something for you and you alone. It's pretty 
nifty when you think about it.

But it made me ponder, as I wended my way home via a conveniently 
located pub, if perhaps it's not cameras that steal your soul but that 
each business card, uniquely tied to you like the damning DNA in a 
biometric database, contains just a little bit of your anima, your id, 
your essence. And everytime you give one out, tossing them round the 
meeting table like anyone is going to give a shit later, you're giving a 
little bit of yourself away.

It would explain why most salesmen are hollow-eyed shit-corpses, 
completely bereft of soul and non-faked vitality.

Garden State was good, by the way.