So, You’re a Gentleman?

by Chikashi


image source: somewhere in Twitterland

I have no idea if the above business card is authentic or a hoax, but it reminded me of a different kind of description, ‘gentleman’. Chen has been in the news for his Quixotic and public musing about acquiring the New York Times Company at a valuation made in a similar manner as that used when buying scrap metal. If the above business card is genuine, the mentality underlying the green bits are actually not uncommon amongst successful entrepreneurs who built something big from nothing even if the sentiments may not be demonstrated in exactly the same manner as Chen does. Regardless of the way it is being executed, it seems to be in line with the more recent fad termed ‘personal branding’ being touted mainly by very confused people to those who are similarly confused.

Referring to oneself as ‘gentleman’ seems different from branding. I think it’s safe to say that the word has lost its association with social class. The contemporary meaning has mostly, if not entirely, to do with the way one carries oneself and behaves towards others. From time to time, but seemingly more frequently these days, one comes across a male who refers to himself as a gentleman. I find this perplexing.