Friday 19 June 2009

Nodding under the paperweight

Most reasonably objective and well-dressed people will probably say something along the lines of “why?” or “make me” or “I just can’t see myself being interested enough to do so, I’m sorry” when confronted by one of those ubiquitous Follow Me On Twitter signs so very muchly favoured 'pon the Internettle. However, I recently watched myself write the following to an actual girl:

“…..although some Romanians got attacked in Belfast and Twitter seems to be sustaining the Iranian revolution. I loathe the hopeless, vacant, desolating nothingness of Twitter more than I loathe most things, in fact, but this made me stop and think. If it turns out to be true that Twitter has helped Iranians get information out of their country then I'm entirely scuppered in my attempts to think of anything sneery or mocking to say - a relief to everyone, really, especially me.” *

Between ourselves, I think it’s an absolute certainty she’ll fall for me after that smoothly erotic outburst, you know. But yes, of course, it’s too early (and crazy) to claim that Twitter could be the difference between an ossified theocracy and any other system of governance you may care to mention, that much seems obvious - and the madder mullahs will probably have a Tiananmen or two up their beards, in any event. But still, it's a relief to finally have something positive to say about Twitter (and that’s probably what matters here, historically speaking).

Good people use Twitter, lovely people, people I actively like and admire. It’s upsetting, then, to have to imagine them being tortured (with torquemadan efficiency in the dungeons of some Moldovan castle by an epicene sadist with strappado eyes and a lisp straight from central casting) and forced to admit they are insanely wrong to twitter, tweet and twat.

Oh, but I bore myself with my negativity (or realism, as I call it in moments of happy delusion). I bore myself so much, in fact – not just in this, in everything – that the urge to confront my head with a spade is powerful, present and real. I’d love to smash my stupid face with a flurry of fatal blows, begging for a forgiveness most indulgently self-denied. (I often suspect I’m a particularly fierce Catholic just waiting to happen.) Plus, there are few things less impressive than someone mocking something they don’t really understand - and I don’t really understand Twitter.

In fact, I know nothing. And not just about Twitter, either, but about anything much at all. It’s probably best to acknowledge, then, that Twitter – under certain pre-revolutionary conditions in certain countries ruled by certain pre-clever men, religious or otherwise (China comes into play here), and with all necessary qualifications, reservations and misgivings attached – is not entirely abysmal.

Incidentally, I’ve just heard on the radio that Facebook is being credited with helping the would-be revolutionary Iranians, too. I can’t fairly be expected to be as positive about Facebook as I’ve just been about Twitter - that’s an unreasonable stress to put myself under, I feel - but what I can say, however, in a slight paraphrasing of a once fatefully reviewed book, is that Facebook fills a much needed gap in our lives.

(Good grief – things move fast. Now I’ve just heard that Supreme Leader Ayatollah ali Khamenei has called Britain Iran’s most treacherous enemy. Where did that come from? Take it back, you cad. We love Iran in Britain. Love it. You’re the problem, numb nuts, now move over and give clever a chance. And be sure to take your grimly agrarian, Jew-hating puppet - the effortlessly rancid Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - with you. That's one deeply unpleasant little peasant. The cheek of it. Tsk.)

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