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David Baum
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David Baum is not of his time, and it would be easy to say that he is a person from the 19th century as this was, after all, the Austrian century, in a way – well, it was maybe over by then already and ended for good or bad in 1918: But all of this misses the point, because David of course is very much of his time. Which only seems like a contradiction if you still live in the 20th century. Today the past is very contemporary, it has pierced through the layers of postmodernity, it has shattered established sets of belief. In David’s case that means that he might very well be a monarchist, an anarchist, a democrat and a dandy. He might be in Munich working, in Austria hunting, in Paris hanging out, all at the same time. He might be a journalist only out of lack of better words or opportunities, in another period there would have been a profession for somebody like him that would not force him to work or earn money. There is something slightly decadent about him, which goes back to the 19th century, right, and the melancholy that is wrapped around his self is less a sign of failure than of futility. And you still get up in the morning, you still shave, you still dress well. Out of self-respect. And because there is nothing else to do.
I know David from Tempo where we worked on a fabulous celebratory issue trying to catch that spirit of daring and fun and politics and beauty again that was Tempo – but the times had changed and we gave our best and it made a little noise, but that was it. So now, here we are again, and I am glad that David is along for the ride. He is the kindest and most polite person you could imagine, which is rare in any circumstance, but especially so among journalists: Which of course does not mean that he is gullible or, for that matter, without ire. It is just, how can I say it: His venom is benign.
And the past is the new black.

People
David Baum
by Georg Diez