5 January 2017

Tweeting

Though the internet has gradually claimed a significant chunk  of my life, there are features of it that do not appeal to me. This aversion is instinctive. For example, I don't "do" Facebook and I am anti-Twitter. Regarding the second facility, I guess it helps that I have never owned a mobile phone - smart or otherwise - and Twitter seems to be principally designed with phone technology in mind.

It might be argued that blogging is itself a self-indulgent narcissistic activity but surely far less so than Facebook or Twitter. As someone who earned his living on the back of the English language, I am repelled by the very idea that thoughts or arguments might be effectively dealt with in just 140 characters. It is an insult to scholarship and rather boorish too. Facets of human experience usually deserve and indeed require far more than 140 characters for proper expression. 140 characters should be no more than a headline or a title but certainly not the whole caboodle. No way.

In contrast, President Elect Trump seems to be a Twitter enthusiast. Since his election, he has been firing off tweets almost on a daily basis with little regard for the gravity of his office or the responsibility that this will entail through the next four years. 

I imagine him in his silken bathrobe, lounging in the penthouse suite of Trump Tower. Melodramia has already gone to bed having once again successfully dodged The Donald's crude grabbing technique. He pours himself a large glass of Trump whisky and grabs his smartphone instead. Frigging Melodramia! What can he tweet about tonight? Hillary's e-mails? The Great Mexican Wall? American car companies?  Obama's birth certificate? There's nobody to stop him. He can say what the hell he likes - if he could only spell Guantanamo.
It's disturbing. It's scary. The Leader of the Free World creating policies on his smartphone in the middle of the night. Stirring hornets' nests, not giving a fig for the ripples his tweets might cause. He's like those spotty keyboard warriors who fire out nasty remarks, smugly believing they are safe behind their pseudonyms. They can say what they want - just like The President Elect.

Meanwhile over at Donald J. Trump's official website they are selling badges for his inauguration, bumper stickers, baseball caps and T-shirts. You might also be interested in Trump eyewear, Trump suits and neckties. Trump leather accessories or perhaps his latest book, "Time to Get Tough" which is of course subtitled "Making America Great Again". When did it stop being great? I suspect it stopped on November 9th last year when  Mr Trump crossed the line.

Life is filled with questions. Who the hell is Jackie Evancho? What is the "Movement" and why did The President Elect choose to put that word inside inverted commas? Was this choice significant and does "Movement" really mean something else?

44 comments:

  1. Excuse me, I'm just going to have to google Jackie Evancho now.

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    1. In Wiltshire you might become her first fan. She will be delighted.

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  2. "...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth" fits nicely into 140 characters with room to spare. Lincoln's address at Gettysburg was two minutes long and followed a two-hour speech by someone whose name no one remembers today. One does not need to be long-winded to make one's point.

    Jackie Evanchco is a young singer who was on America's Got Talent a few years ago. We don't know your celebrities either. Don't be so smug.

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    1. I know who Kelly Clarkson is. I put one of her CDs on in the Oxfam shop yesterday afternoon. As for long-windedness, I am equally against that. There were 272 words in Lincoln's Gettysburg address - that's around 1300 characters - far more than a tweet allows. Besides it seems very disrespectful to mention Trump and Lincoln in the same breath.

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    2. I'm American and I had no idea who Jackie Evanchoco is, either.

      No well know celebrities will agree to perform at Trump's inauguration. None. Even some members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir have resigned rather than perform for it. And good for them, I say.

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    3. Everybody of note has privately refused to perform for Trump. I loved the response of Rebecca Ferguson, a British singer, who said she would only perform at the inauguration if she was allowed to sing "Strange Fruit" which has a special place in the hearts of Black America.

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  3. I don't know if it made the news over there, but the Democrats are opposing the Republicans' proposed repeal and replacement of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) under the banner "Make America Sick Again".

    Catchy Slogans R Us.

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    1. Make America Wise Again
      Make America Smile Again
      Make America Tolerant Again
      Make American Pancakes Again
      Make America Fair Again
      Make America Dance Again

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  4. It's a disgrace that an American president-elect can't stay off Twitter. He's worse than a 13 year old girl with his Twitter tirades and tantrums. He has none of the grace, dignity, and humility a future president should have and refuses to even try to pretend otherwise. Anyone who voted for him should be ashamed. Disgusting.

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    1. Up in the penthouse of Trump Tower, perhaps the President Elect does not after all wear his silk bathrobe when tweeting but a thirteen year old Scottish schoolgirl's uniform.

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  5. The twitter machine is a crutch for small minds with small thoughts. Lincoln was succinct, so was the Costutution RWP. That remains no excuse. I vote with Mr. Pudding on this one.

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    1. Take that Mr Brague! Wise Reamus speaks the truth.

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  6. I'm neither on Facebook nor Twitter, too. Why? Presumably because these social media are full of these silly trivia. Waste of time, my oponion.

    (YP, you once asked me, if I write a personal blog. I started one on New Year's Day. To pay back a tiny little bit for all the good reads I get, thank you! But I'm still learning. Link in my profile, if you like)

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    1. I am going over right now BI! Good on you for making a start. I hope it will be a happy adjunct to your life.

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  7. Like you, I never saw the appeal of Twitter. Maybe I'm too garrulous for my own good but it seems to me that the 140 character limit can only promote misunderstanding. Or maybe that is the point - you only have to look at the #BLMKidnapping trend begun by far right groups after the assault in the US today. Or the Queen is dead rumours that spread over the New Year. Misinformation and disinformation is king as Agent Orange and the Brexiteers proved last year.

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    1. Twitter is like a big two fingers at erudition and civility, whittling ideas down to compressed minimalist sentences

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  8. I don't "do" Facebook, either, mainly because of the way personal data of its users are handled (= sold). Twitter has never appealed to me, either, although I think it is true linguistic art if someone manages to express something significant in just 140 characters - I couldn't do it, as most of my comments prove!
    Blogger satisfies all my social media needs when it comes to my personal life, while XING does the same for me when it comes to work.

    Your blog is the first time I have ever come across the name of Jackie Evancho. And indeed I would like to know why "Movement" is in inverted commas.

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    1. I don't think that most of the people who use Twitter could be described as linguistic artists. More commonly they are linguistic vandals.

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  9. No, I'm afraid I don't "do" Twitter or Facebook (what do I need them for?), or any other so-called social media "necessities". I do have a mobile phone - somewhere - but haven't used it for a couple of years.... and not sure I can remember the pin number now !

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    1. What do you need a PIN number for? I thought that PIN numbers were for cash machines. Did your old phone dispense banknotes?

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    2. I should be so lucky !!

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  10. Trump is older than I am. As a senior citizen, I understand quite well the importance of daily "movement." I am sure, with his shit-laden statements, he does also, though I suspect diarrhea, and not constipation, is his problem at both ends.

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    1. Your comments lead me to the probable conclusion that you are not one of The President Elect's keenest supporters Jan... but I could be wrong. Thank you for clarifying his use of the term "Movement" - as in bowel movement. I have just tried a movement myself but nature wasn't responding as I desired.

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  11. I think there's a place for dialog which is more structured, reasoned and full of supportive information. On the other hand , somehow fools like
    Trump have got through the education system without learning some basic skills of expression.

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    1. I don't think he has any idea how stupid and arrogant he appears.

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    2. and you can add that many of his followers are in the same category.

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  12. When Trump is the actual president, surely someone else will manage his Twitter account?
    Someone a little more diplomatic, I would hope.

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    1. He should give Barack Obama the job.

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  13. I am happy to have found your entertaining & erudite blog. :)

    I live in the U.S. and fear that megalomaniac taking the reins. A quick impeachment of Trump is what we need, and there is probably plenty of justification for that!

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    1. Justification before he even enters The Oval Office. What about HIS e-mails that evidenced tax evasion over many years?

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  14. I am going to try to be as delicate as possible here. Perhaps the "MOVEMENT" has something to do with what he is full of. A good "MOVEMENT" might solve a lot of our problems.

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    1. In the song "Exodus", Bob Marley sang about "movement of the people" but he had a different kind of movement in mind. They weren't all heading to what Americans call "rest rooms".

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  15. I just wish everyone would get over themselves and get over the fact that Trump won the election! For goodness sake! Enough is enough!

    All the whining and complaining surely does no good and will do no good! It's so bloody annoying! I've never heard so much whinging...and it's gone on for so long, for goodness sake!

    I'm on Facebook and have been for ages...and through it I caught up with friends of old who I thought I'd never find again (and vice versa).

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    1. Maybe if you were an American citizen with the threat of Trump hanging over your head you'd understand why we can't (and shouldn't) "just get over it".

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    2. Should citizens of Nazi Germany have "got over" Hitler's election?

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    3. I have to agree with Jennifer and YP, Lee. Resistance to Trump's agenda is essential.

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    4. Lee, I have accepted the election results as I do with every election. I hope Trump does a good job as president. At the same time I have a right to comment on his actions just as I have had the right to comment on all former presidents' actions. I am not whining. I am being a citizen of the United States.

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  16. It worries me that you don't have a mobile phone YP. What about when you are alone rambling in the countryside? you could fall and be incapacitated and need help.

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    1. I hear what you are saying Libby but for many millennia human beings managed perfectly well without mobile phones.

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  17. You don't seem to have mentioned how you got Trump's Twitter statement, as a non-user.

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    1. I discovered that non-users can view Twitter accounts online. You don't have to use a mobile phone Derek.

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  18. I'm with you about Twitter. I signed up when it first launched, years and years ago, but I only tweeted a few things and never really took to it. I eventually deleted my account.

    I do like Facebook, though. I can honestly say I have never before been in touch with so many of my current and former friends, which is a cool thing.

    I have no idea who Jackie Evancho is. But if her album sales are skyrocketing, maybe we'll hear about her now! LOL! (Trump is definitely turning this into a Brave New World, isn't he?)

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    1. More like a Scared New World Steve. Regarding Facebook, I must say I have no desire to hook up with former friends. To me that's history... water under the bridge... but that's just my way of looking at things.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.