Monday, 19 January 2009



As I struggle with my challenge, for which I have set the deadline of the end of the month, and with which I am struggling to apply the necessary effort (it feels a bit like being back at school or college, but with none of the pressure of a teacher or lecturer breathing down my neck) I will tease out some of the themes I am exploring for the challenge in relation to entirely different subject matter.

At the risk of being a hated iconoclast, I would say that it all started with Stephen Fry, then quickly moved on to John Cleese. But the infection reached maximum levels when Jonathan Ross entered the fray and was complete with the addition of the News of the Screws' showbiz writer. I refer of course to the slow death of Twitter. It's an odd thing, as I'm sure I've said before, that some people have just never got it (Graham Linehan - who tweets under the name of Mrs Doyle - rather satisfyingly uses the word 'grok' in this context, and the bloke off Myth Busters talks of being unable to persuade members of his family to join in, even though he is an extremely enthusiastic participant. For myself, I know of no other personal contacts who tweet, though some do seem to follow me) while others can't seem to stop. I have loved it for the two years or so that I have been indulging, and I guess partly for the reason that it always sat outside the mainstream media, while at the same time forming a meta-discourse on it. Reading about the gradual shutdown of the Mars Phoenix lander was one of the high points for me. I actually found the final moments very moving, and I have to give kudos to the guys at Mission Control for imbuing a piece of metal on a far distant cold rock with a personality. The sad fact of the matter is that Twitter is increasingly a story in itself, and I am firmly of the opinion that inclusion in the London Paper is enough reason to hate anything.
Stephen cannot be blamed too much I suppose. He is one of the stately homos of England after all, and it was fun and illuminating to read his tweets of rage at Windows Vista, joy at the wonders of the natural world, and see his pix of Madagascar. A little light went out when I read recently, however, about the Beeb taking exception to him tweeting material from his latest trip to Australia/New Zealand for copyright reasons. Seeing Cleese appear was something of a shock, but it turns out that he is carving out a little 2.0 niche for himself, and again it's hard to maintain any sense of anger towards the man. The same cannot be said of Mr Ross, who has an uncanny ability to be excellently funny (on the radio at least) and infuriatingly lovey, especially on his Friday night chat show. The Sun now regularly trawls Wossy's Twitter feed for nuggets of information. And that, my friends, is that.


EP said...

Sir - I DEMAND to know why this entry was on a subject other than St. Obama.

Didn't you get the memo!?

Myeral said...

Reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons where Homer becomes the leader of the International Brotherhood of Jazz Dancers, Pastry Chefs and Nuclear Technicians, fighting Burns in the battle for dental care. As Lenny asks for a shout of support for Homer, there's a unanimous cry of YEAH! and then a small voice - unseen - says 'No' in a Droopy style.