Where can I find humor about technology

Ilona Hartmann: "I've come to terms with the fact that people think I'm funny"

Berlin - β€œI grew up as an only child among adults. Not always someone was interested in my thoughts, ”says Ilona Hartmann and has to smile a little. We meet on a freezing cold January day on Maybachufer to go for a walk.

The author wears platform boots, black flared pants and a hoodie. Hartmann is a Berliner by choice, she became prominent on the Internet, but not for her style, but for her words. On Twitter, the platform that limits every text to 280 characters, Hartmann hits her followers' feed with whatever comes to mind. At least that's what she says. Under the alias @circuspony, the 30-year-old has been commenting on her world, the cracks of her generation, Berlin's gray areas and the wonders of the World Wide Web for nine years. The figure, who Hartmann β€œpieced together” on Twitter over the years, is followed by almost 17,000 profiles, and there are 38,000 on Instagram. That is remarkable.

She writes something like: "You should stop when it is most beautiful so not today"

one should stop when it is most beautiful so not today

- Ilona πŸ¦‹ π•šπ•π• π•Ÿπ•’ 𝕙𝕒𝕣π•₯π•žπ•’π•Ÿπ•Ÿ πŸ¦‹ Hartmann (@ Zirkuspony) June 23, 2020

Ilona Hartmann's humor is millennial humor. The humor of a generation that has been thrown a few attributes from apolitical to lazy, the generation to which I also belong. What arouses identification works on the Internet, and Hartmann's tweets aim to identify with the irony with which she tries to master the seemingly endless gap between (self-) demands and reality.

"What I write:" Unfortunately I could not reach you by phone ... "what I mean:" To my great joy and relief, you did not answer after two rings. "

what I write: "Unfortunately I could not reach you by phone ..."

what I mean: "To my great joy and relief, you did not answer after two rings."

- Ilona πŸ¦‹ π•šπ•π• π•Ÿπ•’ 𝕙𝕒𝕣π•₯π•žπ•’π•Ÿπ•Ÿ πŸ¦‹ Hartmann (@ Zirkuspony) February 2, 2021

While media people from the baby boomer generation, i.e. from the 55 plus generation, keep getting upset over the question of who can and shouldn't be publicly put under the heading of "satire", the ruthlessness of Hartmann's jokes is predominantly directed anyway against yourself. The missing punctuation marks and the harsh use of grammar are just variations of saying: Have your discussions on television, we own the Internet.

"Humor has greatly diversified on the Internet," says Hartmann. β€œThe 90s humor was very clichΓ©-based. That's just awful. ”The debate about what satire is allowed and what is not leads this Twitter bubble in a completely different way than its generation of parents, whose pop-cultural socialization mainly took place with the TV program. One thing is clear: stepping down is no more. So Ilona Hartmann does not tweet without a filter either. Fortunately, I think.

In Berlin, β€œonline” is seen as a competence

Hartmann studied cultural studies in Leipzig. At that time she had two things: a lot of time and a great need to communicate. The Twitter concept came in handy for her, after all, in order to communicate with the world there, nothing more than an account is required. The number of people who wanted to read her pointy miniature comments grew. In 2016 she moved to Berlin, where following is a factor in job interviews and β€œonline” is a competence.

Ilona Hartmann got her first job as a copywriter in an advertising agency. She set headlines and catchphrases full-time. When the colleagues there let her see that they thought she was funny, her first thought was: β€œOh no, now I'm the jerk.” She is reserved in conversation, speaks softly, takes her time. When the siren of a fire engine roars by, she interrupts her sentence and waits for the car to pass.

Although she knows that her appearance on the Internet is read as a "comic performance" - Hartmann does not want to be called a satirist. β€œIt's more like that, and I don't mean it as flirtatious as it sounds, that I've now come to terms with the fact that people think I'm funny,” she says. She writes on Twitter: "Why does everyone find humor so attractive? Every funny person is the result of a traumatic childhood and therapy started a few years too late."

why everyone finds humor so attractive every funny person is the result of a traumatic childhood and therapy started a few years too late

- Ilona πŸ¦‹ π•šπ•π• π•Ÿπ•’ 𝕙𝕒𝕣π•₯π•žπ•’π•Ÿπ•Ÿ πŸ¦‹ Hartmann (@ Zirkuspony) October 1, 2020

Ilona Hartmann would prefer her texts to be understood as "comic relief", she says in the queue in front of a Kreuzberg cafΓ©, as a comical relief, as an outlet in everyday life that creates pressure. Their principle: observe, exaggerate, shoot out. In this way, she works her way through overstimulation, splitting and constant crisis in an almost therapeutic way. And also through their own lives. After school, when she was in her early twenties, she wanted to go out and be free, she says over oat cappuccino. Finally deliver on the promise of youth! Instead, "seven years of chaos" have come, she says. The glorified twenties, more like an exhausting decade to try it out, as she thinks. Like many of her peers, she had to learn: Self-discovery is a privilege that can also become weight.

Ilona Hartmann's novel is called "Land in Sicht"

β€œThe first few years of my life felt like going downhill on a bike hands-free. At night. Without looking. It could have been fun, but I was scared for my front teeth the whole time. ”This is what Jana, the protagonist of Hartmann's 2020 debut novelβ€œ Land in Sicht ”, says. This is Hartmann's alter ego. Similar to Hartmann's tweets, the story of the protagonist Jana lives from the skepticism with which she views her surroundings and herself. Hartmann's relationship with her character is similar to that of her Twitter alias: "I'm close enough to her to be honest, but far enough away not to feel naked," says Hartmann.

What Jana and Ilona have in common is a childhood without a father. The fictional character says: "According to my observations as an eight-year-old, one of the main tasks of a father was: wearing belts with a square silver buckle, interested in newspaper articles with lots of text and without pictures, frowning, and driving in silence." the author: "His main task was not to report."

At the age of 24, the fictional character decides to get to know her father. He is the captain of a Danube cruise ship. Hartmann did not come up with the bizarre descriptions of the Danube steamer and its amiable, sad clientele. She actually took such a trip. The story of a painful childhood without a father also questions the petty-bourgeois traditional expectations of the family and clearly shows the dual role of the single mother. β€œJana owes everything to her,” says Hartmann as we, defying the cold for a moment, sit on a bench. The boundaries between character and author are blurring.

In real life, Hartmann describes getting to know each other as an β€œemotional stretching exercise”. β€œI wrote it down in my biography where it wasn't,” she says. The nicest thing about the 160 pages of the novel is its entertainingness. The fact that Hartmann had to cut punch lines on the advice of her editor is not noticeable, because there are still enough.

pms level: had to change the side of the street because the shape of the calves of the person in front of me made me extremely aggro

- Ilona πŸ¦‹ π•šπ•π• π•Ÿπ•’ 𝕙𝕒𝕣π•₯π•žπ•’π•Ÿπ•Ÿ πŸ¦‹ Hartmann (@ Zirkuspony) January 27, 2021

On Twitter, Hartmann often speaks to her followers and me from the heart. Again and again she asks: Is it me? Or is it the world that is sick? "pms level: had to change the side of the street because the shape of the calves of the person in front of me made me extremely aggro.β€œMaking fun of one's own existence becomes a coping strategy. Many millennials still hear the assurances of the post-war generations that they are better off in all areas, no, they have to be better. So the feeling of never being good enough becomes part of the post-postmodern growing up.

There is no question: in the discussion of where satire ends and where discrimination begins, more diverse, including non-academic voices, such as on Twitter, participate today. Those who are now trembling about their interpretive sovereignty may find this stupid and call it cancel culture. But you can also call it democratization. In the digital rebellion of generations Y and Z, due to the low threshold of the Internet, but also due to the demarcation from the boomers, who still sit at the switching points of traditional entertainment as gatekeepers, various voices have become louder. Being political has changed its meaning. To be funny too.