My opposite raises his eyebrows, amused. “Tell that to Bill Gates,” he says.
“Bill Gates doesn’t count.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“I read somewhere that Bill Gates pays five million dollars every year to compensate for his ecological footprint. And that of his family.”
“But that’s a good thing, don’t you think?”
“It’s neither good nor bad. Bill Gates can do whatever he wants. He doesn’t represent the salvation of humankind or our apocalypse. He is what he is, perhaps the richest man in the world. He can act like a Greek god, cruel and absolute – or selfless. He’s as distant to the rest of us as he is to a pair of new shoes. And somehow, he’s probably even distant to himself. There is a malignant charm in that. There’s no more progress with him. And what would it look like anyway? The most he can do is become his own idol.”
The young man looks at me questioningly. There was a logic to my explanations, wasn’t there? And I made an effort to be understandable and comprehensible. Then he starts talking again briefly, stops mid-thought, and begins again – with a question.
“So why’s the Ferrari blue?”
Just then my cellphone rings: it’s the editor-in-chief himself. Perfect timing. Now I really have to go.