In Japan, perhaps some time during the bubble period of the 80s, it became customary to prefix certain items with “my”: expressions like “my home” (Jap. maihoomu) or “my car” (Jap. maikaa) came to epitomize individualization, a concept as vague as my teeth are aching right now, ranging somewhere from emphasis of private and personal ownership and property to rejection of an equally vaguely understood tradition. Something like a “to each their own” principle, applied to goods and services as much as to lifestyles. There’s also the expression “my pace” (Jap. maipeesu). When you say that someone is, or does something, “my pace”, it means they have a rather idiosyncratic manner of timing their activities or their work, that they are loners at the workplace, that they are slow – well, somewhat different.
Is Microsoft’s habit of prefixing certain directory names on a harddisk with “my” related to this Japanese “my”-boom? (maibuumu). Why did they actually develop this habit in the first place? Why the hell should you need to call a document folder “my documents”, an image folder “my images”? If it’s your own personal computer, whose else would these be? If it isn’t, who would the “I” be to whom they are thus assigned? The company superego? Microsoft? Plus, if they had been really serious, why isn’t the harddisk called “my harddisk”, the keyboard “my keyboard”, and the main language “my language”?
As the my-ification of the world seems unstoppable, we here at camp catatonia offer you a unique service both in German and English: print out the image of your choice and paste it wherever you like. We look forward to a most thorough and complete my-ification of the world at large.