Tuesday December 4, 2001 | by Vaughn Watson

The Rise of the Glassholes

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized


The beta release of Google Glass has been surrounded by controversy. A steep $1500 price point, concerns about privacy, and the newest gossip of co-founder Sergey Brin’s affair with one of his employee are just some of the stories being associated with Google’s most anticipated product in years.

The social response to Google Glass, however, has been the most interesting. Pictures of beta users spotted in public were plastered all over blogs this summer. These local heroes (or villains) even made their way into major publications like The Atlantic and The New Yorker. A Youtube video featuring reactions of New Yorkers to Google Glass received almost 100,000 views. Though it hasn’t been released yet, Glass has already become a social phenomena.

The most popular definition for “glasshole” on is “a person who constantly talks to their Google Glass, ignoring the outside world.” A less popular definition delves further into the issue, saying “the general belief is that these people are photographing, recording, Googling, and Facebooking the people they’re interacting with instead of focusing on the conversation or acting like a human being.” The two definitions go to different extremes, but they ultimately address the same concern: that Google Glass will completely distort normal human interaction.

For Tim Yardic, owner of The Glass Hole in Pollock Pines, CA, the word has a different connotation. “I needed a name to add some recognition, something to be remembered,” Yardic said. He originally opened the gallery in 2009, after a 20-year career as a police officer in Reno, NV. Citing “a lack of places to purchase in Reno,” Yardic decided to open his own space that also functioned as a retail shop for local glass artists and hobbyists.

The name, which he and his wife came up with together instantly made them laugh. As a brand name, it attracted attention from the local community and the world. Yardic noted almost 200 people (quite a few for such a small gallery) all over the world liking his gallery on Facebook. The success surprised him. “When I first did a google search for it, almost nothing came up, ” he says. Now, his gallery is the first result if you don’t omit the all-important “the.”

Robert Golden, also the owner of The Glasshole, albeit one in Kentucky, wasn’t even aware of the trending term. “I had never heard of the term ‘glass hole’ until I researched it on Google. When I read what people were saying it meant, I was a bit confused. Google Glass is something I had never heard of until I looked into the word.” Golden, like Yardic, was surprised to discover that there were multiple galleries now using this name and that it had become such a popular slang term. Golden even seemed slightly offended by the term and its reference to people who are obnoxious. “When my father said I should use the ‘glass hole’ as a shop name, he said it for a reason. I am an avid craft beer connoisseur that takes my beer glassware very seriously.” He argues for a different breed of ‘glasshole,’ a pretentious sort that takes even the glass his beer comes in seriously.

Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.