Monday, January 30, 2006

No Picture Please

I was approached by two people from the Downtown News last week, one holding a tape recorder, the other a camera, who wanted to ask me a question. I thought they wanted directions, but they didn't.
News: What is your favorite winter Olympic sport?

Chanchow: Speed skating.

News: Why?

Chanchow: Because it's fast and unusual.

News: Who's your favorite speed skater.

Chanchow: I only know one, Apolo Ohno, but I wouldn't say he's my favorite. I like them all.

News: When do the winter Olympics begin?

Chanchow: Hmmm, in a couple weeks.

News: [Nodding] Yes, February 10th. Are you going to watch?

Chanchow: Maybe some of it.

News: What's your name?

Chanchow: Ummm, Chanchow.

News: Your last name?

Chanchow: I'd rather not say.

News: Can we get an initial?

Chanchow: N.

News: What do you do?

Chanchow: I'm an attorney.

News: Where?

Chanchow: I'd rather not say.

News: [Looking at eachother] We could say an "Attorney from Downtown." [Pointing the camera at me]

Chanchow: Oh, I'd rather not have my picture taken.

News: Well, then we can't include you. We ask questions, then print your picture with your responses.

Chanchow: Well, that's OK. I don't need to be in it.

News: [Looking at each other puzzled, then at me, then shrugging.] OK.
Was I being overly suspicious? Have I become a victim to our fear ridden culture? Would most people mind having their picture, name, occupation and place of work printed? I take a lot of comfort in being anonymous (aside from this blog)-- I don't pay my bills online, I don't like to valet my car, I screen my calls. None of these is quite like having my likeness in the paper, but I see some connection.

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