Jan
5

Thinks That Make You Feel Old




Posted at 17:43 by D. Aristophanes

MTV reports that ‘socialite’ Casey Johnson, 30, is dead ‘of natural causes.’ Not something I’d normally write about, except that via MTV we learn that Johnson’s partner, the reality TV person Tila Tequila, ‘broke the news of Johnson’s death on her Twitter account on Monday evening.’

‘Everyone please pray 4 my Wifey Casey Johnson. She has passed away. Thank u for all ur love and support but I will be offline to be w family,’ she wrote, but returned to Twitter for a few more updates. ‘This is a very heartbreaking time for me. I just want some privacy as I deal with the loss of my Fiance Casey Johnson. [My] heart is shredded.’

Early Tuesday morning, a distraught Tequila tweeted, ‘I can’t stop these haunting visions of her and I … we made such a lovely couple, only beginning to spend the rest of our lives together.’

Is it just me, or does anybody else find such a public declaration of private grief seriously off-putting? Part of it’s just cross-generational — I sometimes have to remind myself that Gen Y et. al. use technology and the public forum of social media in ways that aren’t necessarily bad but just different from the way I would and do. I fucking hate Twitter, fr’example … just can’t stand its truncated format, which seems to me to be essentially a celebration of the spectacularly unexamined life and a giant ‘eff you’ to the studied craft of writing.

At any rate, MTV helpfully reports at the end of the story that ‘Johnson’s last tweet was posted early on the morning of December 29′.

145 Comments »

  1. Rusty Shackleford said,

    January 5, 2010 at 17:51

    “I just want privacy” she Tweeted

  2. D Johnston said,

    January 5, 2010 at 17:56

    It may well be cross-generational, but I’m in that generation and I don’t get it either.

  3. TruculentandUnreliable said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:05

    Wev. I’m 29 and there’s no fucking way I’d break the news that my partner was dead via Twitter. I’m sorry her partner is dead and I’m sure she’s devastated, but Tila Tequila is still a fucked-up attention whore.

  4. Willy said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:06

    Age 30 and dying of ‘natural causes’? Is that a euphemism for a stroke or heart attack? (the linky sez she had childhood diabetes)

  5. N__B said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:06

    While I dislike Twitter, I wouldn’t judge a generation by a fame-whore like Tequila.

  6. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:06

    Well, everybody needs to yell at someone to get offa their lawns. Fr’example, stinky old coots probably said much the same thing about folks who’ve ever even considered the phrase MTV reports.

    That said, I fucking hate Twitter too.

  7. N__B said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:07

    Damn U, T&U!

  8. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:07

    Tila Tequila is, sadly, this generation’s answer to Paris Hilton: someone who got famous because she was not famous, desired to be famous and would lower herself to do anything it took to become famous.

    That she is employing the tools of this generation…and proves conclusively that Twitter is for twits…is no surprise to me, even if her disingenuity makes me mourn for the days when brash balls-to-the-wall self-promoting meant getting arrested after arranging press coverage.

  9. creature said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:08

    Sad situation, but telling a few million casual observers that you want privacy is, uh, bizarre, at the very least.

  10. Mysticdog said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:09

    Nah, there are a lot of people who express their emotions better through the faceless net than in person. I am sure she felt better having done it.

    technically, Twitter does not damage your privacy… you decide when and what you want to send out, and no one can bug you back through it. Not that I would use it (not being a narcissistic asshole), but I understand it’s draw.

  11. Willy said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:10

    I’m willing to give TT a pass on this. If my SO died suddenly I’m sure I would not be thinking right for quite a while.

  12. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:11

    Mysticdog,

    I challenge that assertion: people don’t change because technology changes. This stunt was proof that her narcissism is more important to her than her “wife”. It’s all about her. Johnson was an accessory in her life, no more than a handbag or a pair of Jimmy Choos.

  13. TruculentandUnreliable said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:11

    I actually really like Twitter. But again, Tila Tequila=attention whore.

    I will also say that I do see a difference in the way that people under 22 or so treat the internet and social networking than even people my age do. I think my age group still has a few boundaries left. I’ve noticed people in college now seem to have no idea what should be private.

    Then again, some dude I went to college with posted a picture of his two-year-old taking a shit on his Facebook page, so I could be wrong.

  14. Simba B said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:12

    I think that people who don’t do Twitter get a bad impression of it from the politicians and celebrities that use it. If that was all there was, then fuck yeah, it would suck. But there are a lot of people who use it just to connect with already-existing friends. Heck, you can even lock up your Twitter account so it’s only visible to the people you approve—this might seem like an anathema to some understandings of Twitter, but it makes perfect sense to me. I hate the viral marketing bullshit, the politicians, and the celebrities as much as anyone else. But at the same time it’s the use of the tool that sucks, not the “tool” itself.

  15. Simba B said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:13

    I will also say that I do see a difference in the way that people under 22 or so treat the internet and social networking than even people my age do. I think my age group still has a few boundaries left. I’ve noticed people in college now seem to have no idea what should be private.

    I’m 25, and I lock down just about every social networking tool that I use. Everything is “friends only” on every site that I use. It’s one thing to connect with friends, it’s another to have your life on Google.

  16. N__B said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:15

    some dude I went to college with posted a picture of his two-year-old taking a shit on his Facebook page

    He gets a pass if the picture was titled “Birth of a Republican.”

  17. TruculentandUnreliable said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:16

    But at the same time it’s the use of the tool that sucks, not the “tool” itself.

    Exactly. I use it as an RSS feeder and social networking tool more than anything. I try not to tweet about inane shit like my coffee and my new shoes, though I’m sure it happens.

  18. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:17

    I fucking hate Twitter, fr’example … just can’t stand its truncated format, which seems to me to be essentially a celebration of the spectacularly unexamined life and a giant ‘eff you’ to the studied craft of writing.

    I see no difference between tweeting and sending my friends a text message. That’s fine if you want to meet up later or have a bit of news to send, but fercrissake, that your dog upchucked a bone?

    Don’t need to hear it. Sorry. And there’s the difference. No one would broadcast a SMS to that effect, but damned if they don’t tweet shit like that without a second thought.

  19. Rusty Shackleford said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:17

    some dude I went to college with posted a picture of his two-year-old taking a shit on his Facebook page

    Is that like a “poke”?

  20. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:18

    By the way, wasn’t Casey Johnson in or just out of rehab for heroin? I know she’s the daughter of Jets owner Woody Johnson (out of respect…).

  21. TruculentandUnreliable said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:18

    Everything is “friends only” on every site that I use.

    My Facebook page is locked down, but my Twitter account is open. I don’t have my full name on it, though. It would be pretty easy to find out who I am, but that’s really not a big deal to me, since people are just going to Google my name and see what comes up.

    He gets a pass if the picture was titled “Birth of a Republican.”

    Alas, no. I believe it was “Max’s first poo poo in the potty!”

  22. Progressive Center Left Grrl Voice of Truth said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:22

    I challenge that assertion: people don’t change because technology changes. This stunt was proof that her narcissism is more important to her than her “wife”. It’s all about her. Johnson was an accessory in her life, no more than a handbag or a pair of Jimmy Choos.

    It’s actually right there in the quote: ‘…we made such a lovely couple…’ Who says that? She seems concerned with the appearance of the relationship, not for her partner. Nabokov would have trouble writing her character better.

  23. Ted the Slacker said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:25

    “just can’t stand its truncated format, which seems to me to be essentially a celebration of the spectacularly unexamined life and a giant ‘eff you’ to the studied craft of writing.”

    Sorry, DA, can’t give you this one. That’s like saying haiku is a bastardization of poetry.

    Clearly there are all sorts of illiterates and other reprobates twittering away, but there are also memorable, brief twitters by witty twitterers which speak volumes with refreshing brevity. Like this.

    With you on the public grieving point, but not on Twitter generally. Microblogging does not fuck up writing, people fuck up writing. Also.

  24. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:27

    Ted, that’s like digging for a ruby in a mountain of rocks.

    (59 chars. btw)

  25. Mark D said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:27

    I’m no fan of Twitter, either. As a writer, I see it as just one more thing that is destroying the English language.

    But as a business communicator type of guy, I see it (and the dozens of other microblogging sites just like it) as a tool with some potential. For example, it can be great for customer service, like Zappos uses it, and for posting interesting links, like several military sites I follow for work.

    Sadly, however, far too many people use Twitter to share things about which no one else gives a shit—the high school kid who tweets what he ate for lunch, celebrities who share their morning rituals and stupid jokes, rightwing bloggers who were going to use Twitter to TAKE OVER AMERICA FROM TEH EVUL LIEBRALZ!!!!111!!11onehundredeleven!!11—or for a unique brand of vacuous self promotion that, more often than not, turns into a display of weapons-grade stupidity (e.g., Sarah Palin, former KC Chiefs running back Larry Johnson).

    And once the media anointed Twitter the Next Greatest Thing Ever in the History of the Universe, we got a perfect storm of suck.

    So, yeah, I’m kinda torn on the whole thing since it’s not so much the tool itself that’s bad—it’s the tools who use it.

  26. Ted the Slacker said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:31

    that’s like digging for a ruby in a mountain of rocks.

    Is that not a metaphor for the intertubz generally?

  27. N__B said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:32

    that’s like digging for a ruby in a mountain of rocks.

    Is that not a metaphor for the intertubz generally?

    For some people, it’s a metaphor for tugging their shorts out of their ass.

  28. What said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:33

    I have no idea what any of these people are but Casey Johnson had the face and head of an eight year old pageant runner-up, sooooo

  29. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:34

    that’s like digging for a ruby in a mountain of rocks.

    Is that not a metaphor for the intertubz generally?

    The difference being, the Internet is not thrown at me from a million different rock-tossers.

  30. Mark D said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:35

    Microblogging does not fuck up writing, people fuck up writing.

    I will have to wholeheartedly and respectfully disagree with this statement.

    Microblogging practically forces a person to ignore basic rules of grammar and spelling to get things to fit. And given how many young people text and tweet, my fear is a generation who thinks writing sentences “lke this 2 get 2 fit LOL” is a perfectly okay. And it very well may be so in another decade.

    But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. :-)

  31. Trilateral Chairman said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:36

    1) Twitter is the first Internet fad that I really didn’t understand at all. Don’t know where it came from, don’t understand it, don’t get why everyone is tweeting all of a sudden, don’t want anything to do with it, don’t want it to be popular because then I’ll have to figure out how to follow it.

    2) I lock down all my social-networking stuff too. I’m actually very hard to find on the web, though that’ll change if/when I get an actual professorial job.

    3) I do wonder what’s going to happen to privacy. The kids don’t seem to mind having their private lives open to the world. Sometimes I think that in the decades to come, it’ll be commonplace for every young person to have nekkid photos of themselves spread around the web. God only knows what effect that will have on body image issues, etc.

    4) Get off my lawn, damnit.

  32. Mark D said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:37

    Dear fucking lord.

    I guess when writing a comment about butchering the English language, one should make sure one doesn’t butcher the English language. With, say, numerous typos and extra articles and shit.

    I blame too little coffee …

  33. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:38

    it’ll be commonplace for every young person to have nekkid photos of themselves spread around the web

    And I’ll be there, asking about subscriptions.

  34. Trilateral Chairman said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:38

    Casey Johnson, of whom I was previously unaware. Tila blamed the drugs, but I’d lay my bets the plastic surgery. She doesn’t look 30; she looks like a 50-year-old trying to look 30. Oy.

  35. Soj said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:42

    So what exactly is the “proper” way for old school (semi) celebrities to contact the media and/or public about issues like this? Is some 1940′s blandly worded “press release” somehow exponentially ethically better than using Twitter?

    Never knew much about the celebrity in this instance but what’s so wrong about informing people who DO care about her life (at least nominally) first versus a few paid hacks at the celebu-tainment outlets?

    Long story short – apparently it’s ok and not worth a fuss for a few media outlets to “break” this story and make money from it but she can’t announce the same info to her opted-in (presumably) adoring fans?

    Twitter is no different than television – if you don’t like it, shut it off.

  36. D. Aristophanes said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:44

    I think I’m also a little cranky because ‘traditional’ long-form bloggers were the hippest of the hip like only two years ago and now we’re dinosaurs.

    Also, as a professional journalist, I can tell you that at least in my experience at my organization there has been a TON of pressure on us ‘content-providers’ from the dimwitted check-signers above us in the hierarchy to ‘leverage’ Twitter, Facebook, etc. … without any real plan as to how to do that, or why … and with no grasp of the sheer TIME it takes to develop a legitimate social media presence and reputation such that it would deliver discernible ROI.

    Time that — obviously, as evidenced by our harebrained choice of profession — we writers would rather be spending on our craft. It’s all very frustrating because I *get* that the reality is that I don’t get to be the pure reporter of some imaginary bygone era … that marketing oneself is part of the job description at this point. And Twitter is a damn good tool for that, apparently.

  37. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:44

    Hm. Interesting:

    In 2006, Johnson spoke about a falling out she had with her aunt Elizabeth Ross “Libet” Johnson upon discovering through intimate e-mails that her aunt had stolen her boyfriend, John Dee.[3]

    In 2007, Johnson adopted a daughter, named Ava from Kazakhstan.[4] (ed. note: The baby was returned when the birth mother was found)

    Johnson openly declared her sexuality as a lesbian. One of her ex-girlfriends was Courtenay Semel (whom she dated on and off during 2008–2009 and who set Johnson’s hair on fire in January of 2009, after a fight[5]). On November 30, 2009, Johnson was arrested for allegedly stealing jewelry, shoes, 600 pages of a legal document, clothing, and underwear from Jasmine Lennard, who was tipped off by Semel (whom she was seeing at the time). Johnson allegedly left a used vibrator and wet towel as a calling card.[6]

    On December 9, 2009, Johnson and Tila Tequila announced that they were engaged.[7][8]

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement for stability…

  38. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:47

    So what exactly is the “proper” way for old school (semi) celebrities to contact the media and/or public about issues like this?

    Why should there be “a way,” proper or not?

    Why should we care? Who the fuck is Tila Tequila or Casey Johnson and why do they matter? Why are they any better than the homeless guy on Hollywood Blvd who died this morning from tuberculosis (assuming)? Why don’t we care about him? He didn’t have Twitter, much less a press agent.

  39. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:48

    It’s all very frustrating because I *get* that the reality is that I don’t get to be the pure reporter of some imaginary bygone era … that marketing oneself is part of the job description at this point.

    Blame Woodward and Bernstein. In one stroke, they both capped off investigative journalism and killed it.

  40. tigrismus said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:50

    Is it just me, or does anybody else find such a public declaration of private grief seriously off-putting?

    I find “I can’t stop these haunting visions of her and I” off-putting. Yeesh.

  41. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:51

    I find “I can’t stop these haunting visions of her and I” off-putting. Yeesh.

    Especially when you consider just a week ago, Casey was committing a felony.

  42. Malaclypse said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:52

    I kind of believe this analysis, which compares Twitter to Newspeak: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2009/02/twitter-communication-and-my.html?showComment=1233810180000

  43. D. Aristophanes said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:52

    Sometimes I feel that all of a sudden a trade I’ve invested the better part of my life getting good at has been been made obsolete by things like Twitter. It’s like being the ice delivery guy when they invented the refrigerator … and Ashton Kutcher is on the board of directors of Frigidaire.

  44. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:54

    The world’s always going to need writers, DA. After all, 3G coverage ain’t universal.

  45. TruculentandUnreliable said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:55

    there has been a TON of pressure on us ‘content-providers’ from the dimwitted check-signers above us in the hierarchy to ‘leverage’ Twitter, Facebook, etc. … without any real plan as to how to do that, or why … and with no grasp of the sheer TIME it takes to develop a legitimate social media presence and reputation such that it would deliver discernible ROI.

    That’s happening in library culture a lot, too. There’s this huge push toward social networking shit in an attempt to reach out to the yout, but with no real plans or explanation as to why being on Twitter will bring more people into the library or garner more support for libraries. I fail to see how the fuck the American Library Association’s presence on Second Life does anything except embarrass people in the profession.

  46. Soj said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:55

    Why should we care? Who the fuck is Tila Tequila or Casey Johnson and why do they matter? Why are they any better than the homeless guy on Hollywood Blvd who died this morning from tuberculosis (assuming)? Why don’t we care about him? He didn’t have Twitter, much less a press agent.

    Nobody is saying one SHOULD care but the E! Network and People magazine and TMZ and etc, etc all exist precisely because some people DO care. There are entire businesses built on providing information about celebrities. I didn’t know this particular one and I don’t “care” personally about her any more than I do the anonymous homeless guy.

    But MTV cared enough to air something that sparked the topic of this thread by the people with the keys to publish on this website so it wasn’t ME who was the “prime mover” on all this giving a shit :P

  47. Rusty Shackleford said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:57

    Me would be willing to give Twitter a pass in exchange for the entire world grasping that “I” is not an object.

  48. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:57

    … were the hippest of the hip like only two years ago and now we’re dinosaurs.

    The folks who used to think that you’re hipper than Tila Tequila still think that regardless of “The Twitter”.

    The folks who think that you’re not as hip as Tila Tequila also thought that before Twitter came along. And who are those mouthbreathers anyways? Fuck ‘em.

    And I draw the line here before I wade off into the medium is messy and all that theory shit that I don’t rightly understand anyways.

  49. D. Aristophanes said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:58

    Jesus – Second Life? I thought at least that was one vein of stupidity that had finally dried up. Does it still exist?

  50. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:58

    DA,

    You might take comfort in words from Orwell:

    English [...] becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.

  51. TruculentandUnreliable said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:59

    Microblogging practically forces a person to ignore basic rules of grammar and spelling to get things to fit.

    I guess I’m anal, but I don’t really tweet something unless it resembles an actual sentence.

    I’m inclined to blame people’s inability to spell or use basic grammar conventions on our shitty education system, not on technology. An educated person knows the difference between head-splitting text speak and proper English.

  52. tellybelly said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:59

    I turned 55 yesterday and I love the internet (I truly believe the creation of the Internet is one of mankinds’ crowning achievments). But I HATE cell phones, I got over Facebook about three weeks after I signed up and you couldn’t get me to sign up for Twitter if you threatened to stick Dick Cheney’s ass in my face.

    I do not think that everything I do is worthly of putting out there on the streets, as the kids used to say, and I prefer to confine my thoughts to blog threads. But being available to anyone all the time – not for me at all.

  53. Nom de Plume said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:59

    Johnson’s last tweet was posted early on the morning of December 29

    Tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk.

  54. Arky said,

    January 5, 2010 at 18:59

    I dunno, death notices, hanging black crepe, arm bands, widows weeds … and now this.

    Do I care? No. Do I like Twitter? Don’t use it so I don’t know. (Or, don’t use it because I don’t want to know.) The only person I was following was Palin and that was for the laffs.

  55. TruculentandUnreliable said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:01

    Does it still exist?

    It did as of, say, six months ago…I don’t know about now. That was some insanity. People were getting married on it. So weird.

  56. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:01

    Nobody is saying one SHOULD care but the E! Network and People magazine and TMZ and etc, etc all exist precisely because some people DO care.

    True.

    So does the porn industry, but we manage to shun that as much as possible.

    Indeed, I’d argue that the Tila Tequilas of the world ARE porn of the worst kind: debasing, ugly, vile indulgences that should never be shown the light of day.

    Celebrity “porn” should be classified “conservative” and put up against a wall and shot.

  57. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:04

    Does it still exist?

    Yes. Jesus’ General, in fact, holds a regular dance party in it.

    I tried using it. Never could figure it out, and got quickly bored. It seemed like Dungeons and Dragons as co-opted by the cheerleaders and first string quarterbacks.

  58. Trilateral Chairman said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:05

    I guess I’m anal, but I don’t really tweet something unless it resembles an actual sentence.

    I don’t tweet, but I *do* use full sentences in text messages.

    I’ve been around since the days when the Internet really took off, and I’ve always been gratified to observe that there’s a subset of people who insist on using reasonable grammar and punctuation regardless of the medium. Email, IM, online computer games, whatever–you still see people writing stuff out. I’ve even seen it among members of the younger generation. [I'm not part of the younger generation anymore, am I? Fuck...though I'm probably too old to use copious profanity now.] “Proper” writing will survive, even though it might end up being a niche market. Maybe it always was, though.

  59. Soj said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:10

    Shorter version of this thread:

    Part 1 – Some celebrity who doesn’t merit being famous said some predictably stupid and shallow shit [Ed note: I agree, so why the hell is it the topic? LOL]

    Part 2 – Aaaargh, I’m cold and there are wolves and Twitter frightens me.

    all internet traditions, etc, etc :P

  60. Ted the Slacker said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:12

    I will have to wholeheartedly and respectfully disagree with this statement.

    Microblogging practically forces a person to ignore basic rules of grammar and spelling to get things to fit.

    I think the disconnect here is that you think tweeting, texting etc will damage the art of writing; I think they will change some of the ways we communicate. There will remain a place, a valued place, for quality writing. I think.

    Can’t figure out if DA is more put out by being forced to use Twitter for daft ends, or the medium itself just gets under his skin because it is used by and for the benefit of so many nitwits.

    But I will defend to the hilt people who are able to produce a rhetorical rimshot in 140 or fewer characters. This is a skill in its own right, and twitter is a perfectly good venue for them to ply their trade.

  61. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:14

    Ted,

    If they make you pass a test to Twitter, then hey, I’ll sign up in a heartbeat.

    It’s the idea of having a boatload of shit that I have to wade through to get to the nuggets you speak of that puts me off. It’s one thing to scroll down a page, it’s another thing entirely to “delete, delete, delete”.

  62. Willy said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:19

    I don’t Tweet but I like reading some of them.

    Like from this guy:

    “Who in the fuck is tila tequila? Is she a stripper?…That’s her? Yeah, that’s a stripper, son, I don’t give a shit what you say.”

    “Love this Mrs. Dash. The bitch can make spices… Jesus, Joni (my mom) it’s a joke. I was making a joke! Mrs. Dash isn’t even real dammit!”

  63. NutellaonToast said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:24

    I find people who scold others on how they should grieve to be off putting, actually.

  64. Mark D said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:24

    I think the disconnect here is that you think tweeting, texting etc will damage the art of writing; I think they will change some of the ways we communicate. There will remain a place, a valued place, for quality writing. I think.

    I see what you’re getting at, Ted, and you’re probably right. Guess I’m just feeling old (at just 38) and cranky today.

    Also, as a professional journalist, I can tell you that at least in my experience at my organization there has been a TON of pressure on us ‘content-providers’ from the dimwitted check-signers above us in the hierarchy to ‘leverage’ Twitter, Facebook, etc. … without any real plan as to how to do that, or why … and with no grasp of the sheer TIME it takes to develop a legitimate social media presence and reputation such that it would deliver discernible ROI.
    –DA

    It’s like we work for the same company or somethin’.

    As the person who is tasked with updating our company Facebook and Twitter pages (at the rate of about one post a month, or when we have a press release), the lack of strategy drives me apeshit. Even more so since I’m not in a position to actually develop some objectives and a strategy for our social media efforts.

    It’s just another example of businesses running to something because the media is talking about it non-fucking-stop, but not actually figuring out if it’s useful, worth the effort, and something that will either enhance the brand or generate revenue.

    It reminds me of some of the first business websites (or, to use proper AP style, Web sites) once the Internet took off, and how just brazenly shitty they were.

  65. Sarah Palin said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:29

    Real Americans can express any thought in less than 140 characters.

  66. Pryme said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:51

    I don’t fault Tila as much as the whole reality-show culture. TV producers got lazy, and instead of hiring actual actors/actresses, writers and directors, they throw some nonames with little social skills and even less ethics in a house or on an island or wherever, and laugh all the way to the bank while the audience “ooohs” and “aaahs” at people “who are like them.”

    It like they got together and said, “Daytime Soaps is too much work. How can we be less creative yet more profitable?”

  67. mmy said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:51

    I don’t understand it, even though I tweet quite a bit, because I try not to tweet about my personal life.

    But, seeing as I am not a psychologist, I am not gonna try to explain it. I don’t see any difference between people who say TT is an attention whore and Republicans who used to try to claim Bill Clinton had a narcissistic personality disorder.

  68. D. Aristophanes said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:54

    ‘Thinks’ that make you feel old. Huh. Telling. Lileks has more.

  69. N__B said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:59

    I don’t see any difference between people who say TT is an attention whore and Republicans who used to try to claim Bill Clinton had a narcissistic personality disorder.

    Really? Bill Clinton, whether or not he is a narcissist, has accomplished a number of note-worthy things in his life: Rhodes scholar, governor, two-term president, etc. What has Tila Tequila done to merit the attention she craves?

  70. Trilateral Chairman said,

    January 5, 2010 at 19:59

    Back to the topic at hand…

    creature said: Sad situation, but telling a few million casual observers that you want privacy is, uh, bizarre, at the very least.

    Not if a good many of those casual observers (or the paparazzi they feed from) are likely to be pestering you with questions, comments, etc. This is a pretty standard statement for celebrity death notices, really. It’s probably futile, but it’s understandable: you might be a fucked-up attention whore, but you still might not want to have the paparazzi shoving cameras and microphones in your face.

    Mysticdog: Nah, there are a lot of people who express their emotions better through the faceless net than in person. I am sure she felt better having done it.

    I’ve known a couple people who used a similar approach (email, not Twitter). It was a bit jarring at first, but it made sense. You can say what you want to say, you can think about how to say it, you only have to say it once, and you can imply that that’s all you have to say on the topic and that you’d appreciate not being interrogated about it. You don’t have to endure people politely feigning expressions of sympathy (which I always have trouble with–I mean, I appreciate the courtesy, but it still bugs me). ‘Tisn’t a bad idea, really.

  71. Ernest Hemingway said,

    January 5, 2010 at 20:02

    Listen, you verbose bastards:

    For sale–
    Baby shoes.
    Never worn.

  72. Simba B said,

    January 5, 2010 at 20:06

    I guess I’m anal, but I don’t really tweet something unless it resembles an actual sentence.

    I’m the same, and I find it amusing that the ones who generally use AOL speak—either in text messages, Twitter, or whatever—are the old, un-hip, and/or stupid: politicians, celebrities, and your parents. Everyone on my Twitter list uses normal (casual) English, in complete sentences. I’m not sure I’d be willing to read anyone’s Twitter who didn’t, if not for comedic purposes. Somehow we manage to fit interesting stuff into 140 characters without sounding like a Disney channel viewer on LSD.

    And maybe anyone in my age cohort can back me up, but the only person I know who uses that stupid AOL speak in text messages is my mother. My partner’s mother does this too. Every time I text message someone my age, it’s always normal, coherent English sentences. Maybe it helps that Verizon now lets you combine multiple 160-character segments into one message (and charges you for multiple messages too, but oh well), but somehow, again, we manage.

    Like from this guy:

    A high school friend of mine became “a fan” of that on Facebook. I took a look at it and it is pretty damn funny, although I guess I have a hard time relating since my dad was (and is) never a caricature of Archie Bunker.

  73. Substance McGravitas said,

    January 5, 2010 at 20:07

    I’m willing to give TT a pass on this.

    Me too. If your friends and family are subscribed it’s the easiest way to avoid going through the address book and letting everyone know your baby’s dead. Which is a pretty shitty thing to have to do.

  74. Ted the Slacker said,

    January 5, 2010 at 20:11

    I see what you’re getting at, Ted, and you’re probably right.

    I hope I’m right!

    Btw, part of me here is being I think a bit contrarian, I do recognize that texting etc can degrade kids’ linguistic skills. But I don’t believe the “market” for quality writing will suffer long-term damage, assuming kids get sufficient exposure to quality writing. I’d worry much more if this latter assumption was badly misplaced.

  75. Linnaeus said,

    January 5, 2010 at 20:11

    I resisted signing up for Twitter for a while, but my friends convinced me to give it a try. I find that I like it; even the inane posts are sometimes a nice diversion from my daily routine.

    I also think that “Twitter vs. quality writing” is a false dichotomy. I do sometimes write in a truncated fashion on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean I carry that practice over into other contexts when I don’t have to.

  76. Simba B said,

    January 5, 2010 at 20:16

    Me too. If your friends and family are subscribed it’s the easiest way to avoid going through the address book and letting everyone know your baby’s dead. Which is a pretty shitty thing to have to do.

    My partner does not have the best of health, although I suppose I’m biased since I happen to have exceptionally-good genes and health (my mother’s side of the family has this habit of living to 90 or 100). I try not to think too much about the multitude of things that could go wrong, now or in the future. I have enough to worry about as it is.

  77. Ernest Hemingway said,

    January 5, 2010 at 20:23

    Listen, you loquacious bastards:

    For sale–
    Baby shoes.
    Never worn.

    Oh, and fuck WordPress with a tiger fang and a rusty fishhook.

  78. mary b said,

    January 5, 2010 at 20:25

    I agree.
    Only twats tweet.

    How can anything be so important to fit it into 140 characters or less?
    Maybe an SOS?

  79. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 20:32

    I find people who scold others on how they should grieve to be off putting, actually

    And people who scold about the proper way to scold people about mourning put me off, actually. Also.

  80. Felonious Monk said,

    January 5, 2010 at 20:46

    Oh, I’m totally clueless. And I’m 19, so I should be all over this shit, but the idea of putting your personal life online for everyone to see has always mystified me.

  81. Ernest Hemingway said,

    January 5, 2010 at 21:02

    Only twats tweet.

    How can anything be so important to fit it into 140 characters or less?

    For sale–Baby shoes. Never worn.

  82. John F. Kennedy said,

    January 5, 2010 at 21:03

    How can anything be so important to fit it into 140 characters or less?

    Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

  83. Neil Armstrong said,

    January 5, 2010 at 21:05

    That’s one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind.

  84. Bitter Scribe said,

    January 5, 2010 at 21:08

    What gives Johnson’s death a little extra twist of tragedy is that it was several days before her body was found. Apparently her family was pissed enough over her substance abuse that they were practicing “tough love” (Christ, I hate that term!) or just plain avoiding her.

    The three inevitabilities of life: death, taxes and guilt.

  85. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    January 5, 2010 at 21:11

    But JFK, that speech is over 1300 words long. You’d need like a hundred something tweets to twit it (actually I’ve got it at just over 7600 characters, so 55 tweets’d do it). And that Hemingway guy? I know he’s famous for brief sentences, but when they’re pulled out of context, what do they mean?

    That’s just one of the problems with Twitter, the glorification of random quotes completely out of context.

  86. Mark D said,

    January 5, 2010 at 21:16

    Corpse parts missing. Doctor buys yacht.
    –Margaret Atwood

    Oh, and that Hemmingway quote, Dragon-King, was a story. It was a contest to see who could write the best 6-word story, and that is one of the famous entries.

    In fact, Narrative magazine has a 6-word story contest every year.

    Might enter, but scared of rejection.

  87. IceNine said,

    January 5, 2010 at 21:17

    I’m a 60-year-old geezer and Luddite: no Twitter, no Facebook, no cell phone. Ever.

    Aristophanes perfectly captures my objections to Twitter. Like him, I am a writer. I have worked hard at this craft (for 30 years). Twitter demeans the strength and vitality of written language. It undermines the lexicon. Worst of all, to use Aristophanes’ phrase, Twitter is “a celebration of the spectacularly unexamined life.”

  88. Substance McGravitas said,

    January 5, 2010 at 21:27

    Twitter is the gay marriage of the internet and will ruin everything if others have it.

  89. superdude said,

    January 5, 2010 at 21:42

    It’s her tone that puts me off, not so much the use of Twitter. “Thank u for ur love”: Well, I would never write that and expected to be taken seriously, but it seems especially disrespectful in this context.

  90. pedestrian said,

    January 5, 2010 at 21:42

    Tila Tequila is, sadly, this generation’s answer to Paris Hilton.

    Holy shit, Paris Hilton is already the LAST generation? I don’t even know who this Tila person is! I’m only 27! How did I get to be so old?

  91. The Goddamn Batman Is Shopping Around A Reality Show Titled "Life With Alfred"; Very Wooster-And-Jeeves, Only With More Psychopaths And Fast Cars said,

    January 5, 2010 at 21:42

    Put me in with the group who are less “Tila Tequila iz attention hoor amirite?” and more wondering who all the attention johns are. Is it that she’s about the closest thing to an anime character that a human can possibly be, or become? Your secret promiscuous Asian bisexual fantasy made flesh? You actually–good Lord! *choke*–think she can sing?

  92. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    January 5, 2010 at 21:49

    Twitter is the gay marriage of the internet and will ruin everything if others have it.

    It’s troo. Da bible tells me so.

    For to post updates via SMS as one would normally do through a proper application is an abomination before God.

    I believe in opposite micro-blogging, and so should everyone else.

  93. lobbey said,

    January 5, 2010 at 22:01

    It like they got together and said, “Daytime Soaps is too much work. How can we be less creative yet more profitable?”

    Celebrity Big Brother

  94. Blue Raven said,

    January 5, 2010 at 22:02

    Wow, people who think they understand something they’ve never used are being judgmental on the Internet. Whodathunk. The irony is I was just tweeting to someone about something going on in SL, so I actually USE both of them. Which is why I find all y’all way too funny.

  95. kingubu said,

    January 5, 2010 at 22:05

    In my experience, the people who believe that Twitter is made up entirely of ZOMG LOL UR SUCHA DUMASS are either 1) people who’ve never used the service or 2) tried it, but gave up on it before finding anyone interesting to follow.

    During my brief subscription I’ve: traded puns with some of the funniest people in the English-speaking world, been alerted to important articles that helped to shape how I think about politics, been turned on to some of the best films I’ve seen in my life (and I’ve seen a lot of movies), had my ideas questioned in ways that made me smarter as a consequence, have learned from a host of people I never see on TV how prejudices against smart people and Black people are made doubly worse of you’re smart and Black, and been given access to a trove of previously unavailable early Modernist art that has fed my soul in ways that are hard to quantify.

    But, you know, it’s all just a bunch of PR flacks and dumb kids with boundary issues.

    And those bleating about some Orwellian “destruction of Teh Language” due to the 140 character limit need to re-read the sections in Politics and The English Language about the value of being terse.

    </humoless:dildo>

  96. pws said,

    January 5, 2010 at 22:06

    Hi everybody, it seems that a point is being missed here. Twitter is a tool for blogging from old school cell phones. The kinds that use a telephone keypad and not a real keyboard.

    The young ladies I know who use it, use it in that way.

    Why blog from a cell phone? Well, for instance you can blog while waiting in line at 7/11, for a movie or hanging out at the mall. etc.

    I also think tweets, whether locked or unlocked are primarily intended for friends and family. Well, unless you happen to be a celebrity.

  97. Dude, Chill said,

    January 5, 2010 at 22:17

    Atrocious grammer and the inability to spell are far from new. These electronic communication fads have done nothing more than promote social acceptance of speaking like an idiot. I fail to comprehend how the inane stupidity of tweets has anything to do with the (perceived) demise of “old school” bloggers who like do to crazy things like write in complete sentences.

    Sometimes I find myself lamenting the “good old days” when I observe behavior that I find shocking. Then I remind myself of those signs above bathrooms that read “White Only” and remember that despite the small irritations of life, the long term curve is for the better.

  98. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    January 5, 2010 at 22:34

    LOL, Twitapocalypse Now!

    Wonder if this’ll draw as many first time posters as the Foreskin Holocaust.

    Lookee, I just fucking hate Twitter. Ain’t that allowed?

    Since USENET, the thing that’s gotten me is the whole conversation-not-a-conversation thing. IRL, sometimes my mouth goes faster than my branes and I gotta uh, er, um a lot. But since I’s R typnigs, I can do quickie on teh fly edits and moderation (LOL, fer sure) of the garbage that shoots around inside my head. The whole microblogging thing compresses that too much for me. And while I don’t begrudge you folks your emerging new social networking wankathon, I do think you (specifically) are sanctimonious twats just like the Talibangelicals.

    Okay that last bit was an exaggeration – after all, considering what you let all those folks do to your mother, you can’t be that uptight.

    P.S. Twitter sucks!

  99. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 22:37

    What gives Johnson’s death a little extra twist of tragedy is that it was several days before her body was found.

    Found in her own apartment. A week since she last tweeted.

    Makes you wonder what her fiancee was up to, huh? The same “griefstricken” little….well, you get the idea.

  100. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 22:39

    During my brief subscription I’ve: traded puns with some of the funniest people in the English-speaking world, been alerted to important articles that helped to shape how I think about politics, been turned on to some of the best films I’ve seen in my life (and I’ve seen a lot of movies), had my ideas questioned in ways that made me smarter as a consequence, have learned from a host of people I never see on TV how prejudices against smart people and Black people are made doubly worse of you’re smart and Black, and been given access to a trove of previously unavailable early Modernist art that has fed my soul in ways that are hard to quantify.

    Which differs from the threads here…how? Oh. Right. 140 characters. For the terminally ADHD afflicted.

    Oh. Nevermind.

  101. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 22:40

    Atrocious grammer and the inability to spell are far from new.

    Nor going away anytime soon, it appears…

  102. Mark D said,

    January 5, 2010 at 22:56

    And those bleating about some Orwellian “destruction of Teh Language” due to the 140 character limit need to re-read the sections in Politics and The English Language about the value of being terse.

    Two things:

    a.) Not sure those of us (primarily writers by trade) worried about the death of English see that death as “Orwellian.” At least I don’t. I see it more as laziness, deep-seated issues with our education system, and a society that cares more doing things quickly than correctly. But that’s just me.

    2.) You are confusing terseness with convenience. Dropping every vowel out of a word isn’t being “terse” — it’s being forced to conform to a character limit. Hemmingway was terse. Ashton Kutcher is in a hurry.

    iii.) I think some are conflating several things here. Some don’t like Twitter because they think the whole idea is stupid, others (myself) because it’s killing real writing, others just to be contrarian, and still others because they don’t think anyone can say anything important in 140 characters or less. Those are all very separate issues and need to be considered as such.

    IV.) I suck at math.

  103. Substance McGravitas said,

    January 5, 2010 at 23:11

    others (myself) because it’s killing real writing

    Yup, gay marriage.

  104. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 23:24

    Mark, in fairness, Orwell in his “Politics and The English Language” did point out that laziness would be the death of the English language.

    However, he, like Edwin Newman, was speaking to the issue of empty language: language that sounded like something but meant nothing, like “politically correct” speech (in quotes, only because the generally accepted trope communicates the concept) or scholar-speak. And he had a point.

    But I’d also be willing to bet long money that, if he had encountered Twit-speak, he would have been horrified. I’m sure he’d be horrified at our use of emoticons in blog posts and comments, and the acronyms we’ve taken to using.

    I mean, FWIW, OMG, that we can’t type another dozen letters in a medium that actually makes correction a snap!

    Either way, masking and tamping down emotional content thru the use of inflated words or deflated nyms is just a bad idea.

  105. actor212 said,

    January 5, 2010 at 23:25

    IMHO. Also.

  106. kingubu said,

    January 5, 2010 at 23:40

    Mark, what you’re missing regarding the dreaded Character Limit is that people can and frequently do spread an idea across more than one Tweet and many more use Twitter to post links to their longer blog posts (where, I’m sure you’ll be scandalized to learn, some “real writing” sometimes appears).

    I used “Orwellian” in reference to the comment above that pointed to a post comparing the truncated grammar you can see in certain people’s Twitter feeds to Newspeak– a ridiculous premise. Personally, I think the character limit has actually helped my writing skills. I’m a wordy fucker and anything that forces me to try to say more with less is a net good. But, again, even in those cases where the idea I’m trying to get across doesn’t fit under the limit, I can just break it up into a series of Tweets. No harm, no foul, no ideas harmed during the making of, etc.

    As for what Ashton Kutcher does or doesn’t do, I really couldn’t care less. He’s a dumbass, that’s why I don’t follow him on Twitter. You are aware that you can pick and choose whom to “follow”, right?

    As Actor pointed out, there really isn’t anything happening on Twitter that you can’t or won’t find in your average S,N! comment thread, there’s just more people to choose from so the odds of hitting a gem are higher in the aggregate.

  107. Twitmaster said,

    January 5, 2010 at 23:50

    blufin2na 4 $177K! http://bit.ly/8aL4AI

  108. TruculentandUnreliable said,

    January 5, 2010 at 23:55

    You are aware that you can pick and choose whom to “follow”, right?

    Also, if you have Brizzly, you can “mute” someone if they’ve posted, like, eight tweets about the shitty salad they had for lunch. I like it quite a bit.

  109. pedestrian said,

    January 5, 2010 at 23:57

    Hemmingway was terse. Ashton Kutcher is in a hurry.

    iii.) I think some are conflating several things here. Some don’t like Twitter because they think the whole idea is stupid, others (myself) because it’s killing real writing

    That implies that the key difference between Hemingway and Ashton Kutcher is technology. Let’s experiment by giving the former an I-Phone and the latter a quill pen and a blotter.

    My take is that the people who aren’t writing to your standards wouldn’t be anyway.

  110. Mark D said,

    January 6, 2010 at 0:00

    Yup, gay marriage.
    –Substance McGravitas

    Except, ya know, not a single study has proven that gay marriage will negatively impact “opposite marriage.”

    Meanwhile, there are studies that show Internet slang is creeping into teens’ school writings (linky), and a whole host of stories from parents and educators about Internet shorthand creeping into real writing (link to one of them I had already bookmarked for something else).

    So that’s an Equivalence Fail. :-)

    Again, I have no issues with the concept of Twitter (or texting or IM or anything similar)—as I noted earlier, they are great tools in and of themselves. And there are millions who can separate what they type online to what they type academically or professionally. I get that.

    But there are millions of kids who don’t get that and are developing bad grammatical and spelling habits that may well last a lifetime. Because of that, both parents and teachers need to find ways to educate kids on how to make that distinction and ensure they don’t go into the “real” world thinking it’s perfectly okay to use shorthand in the cover letter accompanying their job application:

    “Deer serz,

    I can haz teh jobzor? Plz?

    kthxbai!

    With all that being typed, there is the chance that, instead of killing English, those kids are creating a whole new language. Kind of like leet speak, but with fewer characters, and that will accepted into the rest of society. And who the hell knows—in 30 years the words “thank you” may be printed everywhere as “thx,” and “teh” the acceptable form of the older “the.” English isn’t static, after all.

    Not sure if that will stop me from yelling at the kids to get off my typographical lawn, but, ya know … :-)

  111. actor212 said,

    January 6, 2010 at 0:05

    LOLresumes! Beeyootiful!

  112. Substance McGravitas said,

    January 6, 2010 at 0:05

    Meanwhile, there are studies that show Internet slang is creeping into teens’ school writings

    Surprise! English changes. I’m mad that “enormity” means “really big” but I can’t do much about it.

    The links don’t really mean shit: slang you use tends to be slang you use whether you’re in 1910 or 2010. Big deal.

    But there are millions of kids who don’t get that and are developing bad grammatical and spelling habits that may well last a lifetime.

    It’s a funny thing: I work with people like that except they are old.

  113. Mark D said,

    January 6, 2010 at 0:09

    Mark, what you’re missing regarding the dreaded Character Limit is that people can and frequently do spread an idea across more than one Tweet and many more use Twitter to post links to their longer blog posts (where, I’m sure you’ll be scandalized to learn, some “real writing” sometimes appears).

    1.) I never said that real writing didn’t appear on Twitter and that everyone who uses it is destroying the language.

    2.) I’m sure you’ll be scandalized to learn that it’s been my job to update our company’s Twitter feed for nearly two fucking years. I’ve used it probably more than you have, in fact.

    3.) You do realize that some of us have actually used the service and still think it has some negative side affects, right?

    4.) The reason I used Kutcher as an example is because he has a million followers and is a prime example of one of Twitter’s drawbacks (the mundane celebrity updates). Sorry if that went over your head.

    So, in conclusion, please don’t add to my comments things that were never in them, realize that some who criticize have actual experience with the thing they are criticizing, and back the fuck off the patronizing attitude.

    kthxbai

    :-)

  114. Mark D said,

    January 6, 2010 at 0:12

    LOLresumes! Beeyootiful!

    There is a distinct possibility of much awesomeness in those …

  115. Mark D said,

    January 6, 2010 at 0:23

    The links don’t really mean shit: slang you use tends to be slang you use whether you’re in 1910 or 2010. Big deal.

    I must not be doing a good job of explaining this.

    Twitter in and of itself isn’t a problem. Slang and/or shorthand aren’t problems.

    It’s an inability to distinguish between informal writing and formal writing that’s the problem, along with an entire generation that’s having issues distinguishing between the two. And I realize that 99% of people probably don’t give a shit about that, and that’s okay.

    As a professional writer, however, it’s my job to think it’s not.

  116. Linnaeus said,

    January 6, 2010 at 0:28

    3.) You do realize that some of us have actually used the service and still think it has some negative side affects, right?

    I think the word you want here is “effects”.

  117. TruculentandUnreliable said,

    January 6, 2010 at 0:32

    Surprise! English changes. I’m mad that “enormity” means “really big” but I can’t do much about it.

    What are you talking about? Engliƒh haƒ alwayƒ been þe ƒame.

  118. J— said,

    January 6, 2010 at 0:33

    It’s an inability to distinguish between informal writing and formal writing that’s the problem, along with an entire generation that’s having issues distinguishing between the two.

    This would seem to me the province of writing teachers.

  119. pedestrian said,

    January 6, 2010 at 0:36

    and that’s okay.

    As a professional writer, however, it’s my job to think it’s not.

    Is that what writers do!

  120. Substance McGravitas said,

    January 6, 2010 at 0:45

    It’s an inability to distinguish between informal writing and formal writing that’s the problem

    This is still a step up from the era of the divide between Those Who Do Formal Writing and Those Who Write Nothing At All If They Can Help It.

    Complaints about internet language are an old-person freakout and not much more. I don’t have much use for Twitter (Well, there’s this…) but it’s not the decline of civilization when kyyootgrrl tweets about a vampire movie.

  121. NutellaonToast said,

    January 6, 2010 at 1:07

    “And people who scold about the proper way to scold people about mourning put me off, actually. Also.”

    Yes, calling someone out for what they do when they’re more upset than they’ve ever been is EXACTLY the same as saying that people shouldn’t be so judgmental, too.

  122. tigrismus said,

    January 6, 2010 at 1:12

    OK, I’m sorry I judged her grammar while she’s grieving, but “of her and I” still gives me the willies.

  123. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    January 6, 2010 at 1:20

    Second Life makes a mockery of zombeehood.

  124. Realist said,

    January 6, 2010 at 1:53

    Personally, I find it difficult to sniff disapprovingly at someone who just lost a spouse, particularly someone who restricts her outbursts to a voluntary audience. As long as I don’t have to participate, I’m willing to cut her some slack on how she chooses to grieve.

  125. pedestrian said,

    January 6, 2010 at 2:41

    Speaking of alarming grammar…

  126. Smiling Mortician said,

    January 6, 2010 at 4:39

    This would seem to me the province of writing teachers.

    I knew this would all turn out to be my problem eventually.

    Yeah, I realize you’ve all moved onto the shiny new threads by now, but I had to work all day. Teaching writing. So, y’know, my bad.

  127. f said,

    January 6, 2010 at 4:45

    twitter isnt for writing. its like this comment im writing, but it isnt in response to a specific blog post.

    not that hard to understand.

  128. kingubu said,

    January 6, 2010 at 5:48

    So, y’know, my bad.

    You better be using your lecture time to learn’ ‘em not to use Twitspeak on their resumes, ’cause I’m sure they’re not smart enough to figure that out on their own.

  129. ice weasel said,

    January 6, 2010 at 6:53

    Simba B said, “it’s the use of the tool that sucks, not the “tool” itself.”

    Exactly. Remember that whole fucked argument that blogs could be news organs and bloggers couldn’t be journalists just because their shit wasn’t printed? Hating Twitter because some nasty attention whore can’t put the thing down, even when she claims to be devastated by the death of a loved one, is rather silly, isn’t it?

    I love Twitter and precisely because I can program as I wish to and change that at any time.

    It’s funny to see the whole Gramps Simpson thing going down here. I seriously did not expect it.

    That said, the 140 character format is limiting and at the same time liberating. I don’t know, I see both sides of it.

    “Birth of a republican” wins the thread.

    Re: D. Aristophanes at 18:44
    Better said than at the top. It’s no reason to hate on those of who enjoy Twitter and see value in it. Seeing from your perspective, I can understand why you don’t like it. Again, it’s how the tool is used, not the tool.

    Regarding people in general ripping their guts in public via social media, I don’t get it either. It’s one thing if it’s a protected feed or FB page and only your friends are seeing it. Every day I see something that makes me embarrassed to be a human. That said, it’s easy enough to unfollow them or lose the friend on FB. No big deal really. Kind of like turning the channel. And if that sounds cold, I guess it is.

    Re: D. Aristophanes at 18:52
    Maybe it is. I don’t think so but if you feel that way maybe so. I can tell the one shame I see is mainstream media just ignoring social media or, as you pointed out earlier, doing it very, very badly. Can’t really blame Twitter for that though, Most of the media has been phoning it in for decades now.

    In summary, wah, wah, wah, fucking wah. I get it. A bunch of hate Twitter (and the evidence is clear, many of you have no idea how it works). Fair enough. I heard all the same shit ten years about blogs. And before that, it was email that was the disease which would kill great writing. Somehow, good writing still survives, much as it always has, here and there in small amounts and sometimes, in the most unusual venues.

  130. Brian X said,

    January 6, 2010 at 9:13

    I can’t fault Tila too much — two reasons.

    1. The Twitter thing seems to speak to something about human communication, and possibly human vanity as well. I don’t tweet, but I have been known to get up in the middle of a sleepless night and complain about whatever it is that’s keeping me awake. I can’t really put into words what it is, but I can’t really be offended if mourning over Twitter is what helps her get through the grieving process.

    2. Given how much single-minded effort she put in to being famous for no particularly good reason (apart from being cute and Asian, I guess), and given that her reaction to her last relationship’s breakup was so embarrassingly public and incoherent, she probably doesn’t even know how to be private anymore, and may be just a little broken in the head on top of it.

  131. Dan Someone said,

    January 6, 2010 at 9:38

    “Anything invented before you were 18 has been there forever, anything that turns up before you’re 30 is new and exciting, and anything after that is a threat to the world and must be destroyed.”

    Actually, despite my advanced age, I use a lot of social media to stay in touch with my friends and family and to get pointers to things of interest around the Internets.

    I’ve also found it can be fascinating to watch the “public timeline” — the flow of every public tweet around the world. It’s like being in a train traveling at high speed through the night and looking for a split second into the windows of the houses you pass.

    Twitter is not the first communications technology to meet with such skepticism and derision — Henry David Thoreau said, “We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it might be, have nothing important to communicate…as if the main object were to talk fast and not to talk sensibly.” — and won’t be the last. At least all you Twitter haters are in good company.

  132. Jason said,

    January 6, 2010 at 14:46

    This would seem to me the province of writing teachers.

    Hey! That’s me!

    Everybody’s right. You are all God’s beloved creatures, and He wants you to have beds rigged to tweet the type of lube you are using when you are having anal sex, after which you can complain about somebody’s grammer, or speling.

    Actually, it’s the tool that’s bad. Updating via web at Twitter is a shitty experience. Thank god for Brizzly and Tweetdeck.

    Everybody is always like “Oh these students and their writing” well you know what? I’ve been going to Cs and NCTE and reading Computers and Composition and Kairos and everybody’s so up each other’s asses about “cultural literacy” and the ideological function of discourse and the rhetoric of scientism that they forgot to learn fucking HTML for chrissakes. So I walk into graduate-level professional writing classes and I hear “You should know how to do a ‘web page’! Disclaimer: I do not know how to write a web page. But you should!” So who the fuck are they to talk about anything? No I do not get very smart emails from students. But I don’t always get very smart responses from teachers, either; they sure sound smart, though.

    I graded papers in 1992, and I graded them last week. Same shit, different era. Mark D has a point, and Substance McGravitas is right, and you’re all gonna die. The nature of language is change, yadda yadda. Focusing on writing “skills” is instrumentalism that will betray redemptive pedagogies of liberation, and so on. God, it’s a good thing we humanities instructors have been doing such a good job with this Freire and Bizzell, or else we’d have a new Millennium with, like, Eight Years of Bush and mainstream anti-labor sentiment and anti-gay laws and “I’m not a feminist, but…I got 99 problems and a bitch ain’t one” and all that! Wait, what?

    Honestly, yell at us, not Tila Tequila, who didn’t pay as much for her tits as we did for our degrees.

  133. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    January 6, 2010 at 14:55

    Well since this is teh “serious” Twitter debate thread, let me just add this:

    PENIS.

  134. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    January 6, 2010 at 15:20

    No wait, here’s what I’m actually saying.

    Youse Twitter fanbois best be steppin’ off. Recognize. ‘Coz that’s whut u R. Fanbois.

    Twitter version of the argument

    TwitH8r: LOL! Twitter sucks Kaus’ second hand goats!! LOL!
    U: @TwitH8r, U R Dumb. L2P! Obvious u kan’t tipe wif your thumbs.
    TwitH8r: @U LOLwhut1!?1!one?1! wev, liek U no who’s almost as bad as Twitter but not quite? Hitler that’s who!!! LOL!
    U: Look @TwitH8r, bad english has been with us since strict nuns started using the wooden ruler for dangling participles.
    a212: This #Nuns4GrammarBSDM interests me. Newsletter? Subscribe?
    TwitH8r: @U yeah, yeah – kids these days, offa lawn. Whut about teh broadcasting of whut @DAristophanes called “the spectacularly unexamined life”?
    TwitH8r: 139 FTW! LOL!
    U: I already said that bad english and grammar is nothing new. Lookit all them nouns that have been verbed.
    TwitH8r: @U no whut sucks, other than your mom?
    U: L2P. You’re like the kid who won’t eat his cilantro when he’s never tried it before.
    U: Except that your old. Geezers. And ignorant too!
    EnglishTeacher1984: Fuck youse guys.
    TwitH8r: UR MOM!!! LOLWHUT!
    TwitH8r: Well maybe I am ignorant, but I do know what your mom’s like in the sack.
    TwitH8r: New xkcd! I bet @officialTila has no trouble. Whut 2 soon?

  135. Looch said,

    January 6, 2010 at 15:39

    D-KW FTW.

  136. Mark D said,

    January 6, 2010 at 16:35

    ::standing ovation::

  137. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    January 6, 2010 at 18:23

    ::blushes::

  138. Turbine Yukon Palin said,

    January 6, 2010 at 19:03

    Having lost people close to me, I’m sorry for whatever grief she’s going through, however she chooses to express it. Last year, I called up an ailing former lover of mine to wish him a happy birthday, only to have . . . someone, I don’t even know who, pick up his not-deactivated cell phone and tell me he’d died before his birthday. My friend had previously asked me to go to his funeral (he knew he wasn’t well), but I missed the whole thing, because someone hadn’t communicated anything at all to me. And I hadn’t checked in soon enough.

    The fact that I’m deeply suspicious of how deep a person Tila is, and by extension how deep her grief is, isn’t really her problem: it’s mine. Compassion for those outside of my monkeysphere doesn’t come easy, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try, especially when my own bias is against me. And, to my dismay, I find I need reminding of that more often than I’d like.

    Which has nothing to do with how vulgar, exploitative, and emptying I think reality-celebrity culture is. Except for RuPaul’s Drag Race, because, dude, drag queens trying to claw their way to fame! That goes through “fake tits” and all the way out the other side!

  139. Jason said,

    January 6, 2010 at 19:54

    How did DKW know my chat handle? “Youse guys suck, who don’t think so?”

  140. Dude, chill said,

    January 6, 2010 at 22:00

    So if internet shorthand does establish itself in language, what is really lost?

    I remember a similar discussion I had involving cursive writing. An elder of mine insisted that the world was about to end as a direct consequence of the growing number of youngsters printing rather than writing in cursive. I’m not entirely sure that comparison is valid, but the arguments seem similar.

    The lashing out against Twitter and internet shorthand all seems to be little like railing against inevitable change–like saying “I don’t know why, but I don’t like it.” On the other hand, the ability to communicate effectively is necessary to any society, so there is validity in the idea of resisting allowing shorthand into the language.

    I guess it is therefore incumbent upon us to be sure that teenagers understand that icky old people language is a necessary skill. We cannot rely on teens to understand the importance of skillful communication.

  141. LanceThruster said,

    January 6, 2010 at 23:13

    Tweeting seems to usually combine a forced brevity with an endless flow of the mundane. In Ms. Tequila’s situation, she considers those following her tweets enough of an “inner circle” to give them the inside scoop on her personal loss, and those on the receiving end feel even more “connected” to her via their “special status”.

  142. Sheesh said,

    January 7, 2010 at 13:30

    I know we’re done with this, but:
    Mark, what you’re missing regarding the dreaded Character Limit is that people can and frequently do spread an idea across more than one Tweet and many more use Twitter to post links to their longer blog posts [...]

    This is one of the reasons I hate Twitter — what’s the point? You’re putting your words right in to someone else’s wholly owned (but public) sandbox for no reason (but it’s a win for the sandbox owner; they can mine all that shit and your social network and your hash-cloud to sell you to someone). If you aren’t SMSing all your tweets from a 12 button phone then you have zero fucking reason to use Twitter at all. I mean other than the fad and the endless cops to how cool the arbitrary message length is, there is no reason to sign up if you don’t use the SMS gateway. (I.e., most tweeters, because again only 1% of twits post from 6 year old Nokias.)

    I hate when people reinvent the wheel. It’s a colossal waste of effort. I see Twitter as I do Myspace (and Geocities before it, and AOL before it); just another tool for the simple that couldn’t be bothered using existing Internet standards. In this regard Facebook is less problematic. At least it’s a real app and not an RSS reader with an arbitrary character limit.

  143. SqueakyRat said,

    January 8, 2010 at 18:17

    What bugged me was “We made such a lovely couple . . .” New high water mark of celebrity narcissism?

  144. twif said,

    January 8, 2010 at 18:52

    RE: Second Life. my uncle works for the navy. they use second life for…something. i’m not quite sure what it is or if they are either, but it should be known that yes, the navy has a dedicated second life server.

  145. Substance McGravitas said,

    February 13, 2010 at 2:09

    Athletes tweet their grief over death of luger

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