Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 5:41 AM
Frankly, the whole craze smacks of pandemic egocentrism.
I can’t think of a single person on planet earth whose thoughts and activities I’d want to know about 24/7. Nor can I think of anyone with whom I’d even consider sharing my thoughts and activities so comprehensively (or is that compulsively?).
(“It’s No Treat for Me To Tweet, The iPINIONS Journal, July 23, 2009)
I consider Twitter even more of a social contagion today than I did when I wrote the above three years ago. Not least because we have a record now, which shows that this medium does little more than give voice to people who really should just keep their mouths shut.
In point of fact, a sure sign of the oft-cited decline of Western civilization is a faux celebrity like Kim Kardashian making more money writing idle-minded tweets about her cash-driven life than a Pulitzer Prize-winning author like Philip Roth makes writing psychoanalytical books about his angst-ridden life. Apropos of which, is it any wonder Roth announced just last month that he was ending his writing career?
If, say, Justin Bieber were to offhandedly announce that he will never record another song; if Kristen Stewart were to proclaim that she is finished acting forever; if LeBron James were to declare that he has played his last game of basketball…
If any of those things were to occur, they would become the topic of furious, nonstop national conversation.
But when one of the most admired and honored authors of fiction this country has ever produced let it be known that he has written his last novel and will write no more, it took weeks for anyone in the United States to notice.
(CNN, November 25, 2012)
But it’s hardly surprising that celebrity whores like Kim Kardashian and wannabe thugs like Chris Brown would use Twitter to sell their wares and display their thuggish lifestyles, respectively.
Nor is it surprising, incidentally, that a no-name female comedian would make a name for herself by picking a Twitter fight with Chris, which she clearly knew would happen when she called this pugilistic and misogynistic clown a “worthless piece of shit.” Because nothing became her quite like having him respond by telling her to “take them teeth out when u suck my dick hoe (sic).”
And their tweets only became more profane and scatological from there – much to the delight of Twitter snobs in the mainstream media (like the women of The View) who could not wait to wax indignant about these twittering fools to boost their ratings.
Actually, it speaks volumes that even Chris was so embarrassed by their exchange over the weekend that he immediately deleted his account. But Twitter is such an addictive soapbox that I suspect it’s only a matter of time before he gets back on … only to spew and incite the same bile. Besides, the real shame is that we live in a world where a certifiable jerk like this can have 11 million people following/hanging on his every word.
What is surprising, however, is that erstwhile pillars of Western civilization are taking to Twitter like hood rats to crack.
Most notable among them are former GE Chairman Jack Welch and News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch. For there can be no doubt that, but for their Twitter addiction, the world would never have known that Welch is a right-wing nutjob who thinks Obama’s “Chicago guys” cooked macro-economic numbers to boost his re-election; or that Murdoch is a closeted, oxymoronic Zionist who thinks the self-hating “Jewish-owned press” is anti-Israel in its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
So just imagine what this portends for public debate – having politicians and corporate CEOs compete with entertainers and wannabe celebrities to see who can attract the most twits with their mindless tweets on everything from public policy to daily gossip. And let’s face it, getting self-interested attention seems to be the prevailing reason for tweeting. And every tweeting twit in the twitterverse seems to think that the only way to get it is to be as obnoxious, incendiary, and/or bellicose as possible
This is why I firmly believe that Twitter has about as much redeeming value as Twinkies. And it’s why the mainstream media are no better than Hostess in this respect. Because the contrived tweets (i.e., junk commentary) of self-promoting buffoons like Donald Trump would never enter public consciousness, let alone public discourse, if networks like FOX News did not routinely report them as BREAKING NEWS.
Granted, I can’t be too bothered by the way this is dumbing down public discourse if I’m compelled to publish these rants only once every three years. All the same, here’s to Twitter going the way of Twinkies (i.e., into bankruptcy) before my next rant is due.
No treat for me to tweet