Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Twitter is for twits.

I'm not basing this on Jon Stewart's breathtaking analysis of the phenomenon. I'm judging this solely on the seat-of-the-pants reaction I have to a) the concept and b) the fact that the Republicans are treating it as the end-all and be-all of the next wave of politics.

The idiotic concept:
Jack Dorsey had grown interested in the simple idea of being able to know what his friends were doing. Specifically, Jack wondered if there might be an opportunity to build something compelling around this simple status concept. When he brought the idea up to his colleagues, it was decided that a prototype should be built.

Now, how many people could possibly be so vain that they think the rest of the entire fucking planet gives a rat's ass about what they are doing on a blow-by-blow basis?

People are dying in wars in Africa and Asia. People here at home are hanging onto their homes by their fingernails. We have a budget crisis unlike anything that's ever come before, coupled with an economic disaster the size of the universe and you mean to tell me the most interesting thing you can think of is some friend missed brushing his teeth this morning????

My god, and then you wonder how the hell the Republican party remains relevant to the national dialogue?

The folks at Twitter will tell you this is just another means of "staying connected".

Right. Maybe that's a really bad idea? Maybe the ability of someone to instantly beam that they've just masturbated to your phone or e-mail is invasive, nasty, and just too much information? Maybe the idea that I need to know what my Congresscritter's thoughts on bass fishing is a bad one?

I'm sure, if used properly, Twitter makes sense. Maybe if you are keeping track of some sales agents in the field or something. But here's the thing: we're humans. We don't USE things properly. We alter them, distort them, and customize them to how we see fit.

And so you have enormous amounts of bandwidth wasted on messages that tell the rest of the planet "Hey! I'm eating pasta for dinner!"

My god, how lonely do you have to be to send that? Worse, how lonely do you have to be to read that?

The Republicans have jumped on the Twitter like flies to shit, and here's why: you can soundbite your way to renown. You don't have to explain, you don't have to detail, you can send messages to your followers, errr, such as they are, without saying a whole lot.

In effect, Twittering is the American Idol of communication. Soft, plump, fluffy, and intrusive and ultimately without any merit or value and likely destructive in the long term. Like a marshmallow Rambo.

If there was no other reason available not to Twitter, the fact that the "Know Nothings" have jumped in with both feet should be enough to give you pause.

Now, I know I've just pissed off a bunch of people who I like and even respect, because I see Twits all over the place. They can consider this an intervention, if they like, a shaking at the shoulders and a slap across the face saying, "Good god, where is your humanity???"

Or if they want to continue in denial, then they can consider this the cranky rant of a crackpot. Either way, it makes no difference. I've got it off my chest, and I could do it in more than 140 characters.